GTA Online’s newest update, Smuggler’s Run, is all about planes and over-the-top action. After months and months of car updates, Smuggler’s Run makes GTA feel fresh again. Even so, the price tags on some additions are making people wince—but fortunately, you can still have fun with this content without having to be a billionare.
In Smuggler’s Run, Trevor’s paranoid neighbor calls your character with a business proposition to buy a hanger, get some planes, and start smuggling drugs, jewelry, and more.
The hangers aren’t cheap, with the lowest priced one hitting at $1.5 million in-game dollars. If you buy it, but the hanger comes with a plane and unlocks access to new missions and plane customizations. Once there, you can use a computer to trigger new missions.
One mission involved flying nimble stunt planes around Los Santos. Our goal was to excite a crowd, and to do that, we ended up flying dangerously around buildings and such. Once it was over, we got a crate that we could sell. Another mission put a friend and I into WW2-era fighter planes retrofitted with heat seeking missiles, which we used to dogfight a dozen modern jets. I had never done something like that before in GTA Online—but more importantly, it was fun.
The stars of the show are the new aircraft, because they feel totally different than anything previously included in GTA Online. The WW2 era fighter plane handles differently, actually feels ‘old’ in a way that’s interesting to play. A new plane called the Seabreeze is odd-looking but flies like a dream.
Other new additions include an ultralight plane, a strange rocket-powered glider, a micro heli, and a large propeller plane that has foldable wings and can float. Many of these planes are armed and some now have bomber capabilities, allowing you to drop dozens of powerful bombs on ground-based targets. Swooping low over an enemy base and carpet bombing their entire operation is a literal blast.
Many of these new aircraft cost over a million dollars, and others cost up to four million. GTA Online has been criticized in the past for high prices, but usually, Rockstar includes a mixture of really expensive items and more relatively affordable items. This time, it will take a player hours or even days to buy some of these new toys. It all helps fuel the conspiracy theory about Rockstar’s supposed obsession with selling Shark Cards, GTA’s microtransaction currency. Some players feel the prices aren’t normal. In turn, players are angrily asking Rockstar why they’ve designed the game like this.
Luckily, many of these new aircraft are available to players in the missions you do for Ron once you buy the hanger. So while you might not be able to afford that WW2 fighter plane right now, you get to play with it and the other new vehicles while you grind the money necessary to buy one for yourself. And the more missions you do, the more discounts you unlock for the new aircraft—you can get up to a million dollars off, which is nice. You get to save some money while having fun. I’ll take it.
There’s no denying that you will probably have to grind for hours and hours to buy some of these new aircrafts. But thankfully Smuggler’s Run is filled with fun missions and unlike Gunrunning, you won’t be waiting around for meters to fill up.
As with previous large update, Smuggler’s Run also adds new clothing and tattoo options for players. And for those who prefer ground based vehicles, Smuggler’s Run also adds a new super car:
Zach Zwiezen is a a writer and critic currently living in Kansas City, Missouri. He has written for Gamecritics, Killscreen and Entertainment Fuse.