GTA Online's recent biker update has stuff you might expect, like new clothes, new vehicles and some new weapons. The update also has a few surprises up its sleeve, however, making it a great excuse to return to Los Santos. GIF source: Nuckha
Biker gangs have been a part of GTA V and GTA Online for years, but until now, they were always presented as the enemy of the player. As of this week, however, players can now start their own club and live the life of a biker. That is, assuming you have the cash.
To start a motorcycle club in GTA Online, a player will have to purchase a clubhouse from a new in-game website. The cheapest one is about $200,000 and the more expensive clubhouses will run you about $500,000. (Compared to how expensive previous properties have cost, it isn't that bad, though.)
Regardless of whether you start a MC or just join a club, you're probably going to be purchasing a new bike. GTA Online Bikers adds 15 new vehicles to the game, not all of which are bikes. A lot of these new vehicles cost less than a $100,000 which is actually pretty cheap in GTA Online. Upgrading and modifying these new bikes is also reasonable, outside of a few expensive options. I was able to make a pretty cool motorcycle for just about $150,000, though if you want you can easily sink a million dollars or more into buying a few bikes and heavily modifying them.
One interesting addition to GTA Online is the "Faggio Mod", a retro scooter that can be modified to look rather ridiculous, as you can see in this video by ThemanBG_:
The Faggio isn't some random joke upgrade -- instead, this is a reference to a strange cultural phenomenon in Southern England. In places like Brighton during the '60s, some Vespa enthusiasts would deck their motor scooters in wild modifications. Some of these mods included the addition of dozens of mirrors or headlights. There are a ton of references to this mod culture in the Bikers update. It's a nice reminder that the studio behind GTA isn't American.
[Image source: Dat Saintsfan]
I definitely got some Road Rash vibes while cruising down the highway swinging a wrench at other bikers. (If you are wondering how you actually melee while driving, you hold the X button and tap L1 or R1. For Xbox hold A and tap LB or RB.)
Once you get a bike, buy a clubhouse, set up a club and deck yourself out in some of the new biker clothes and weapons, you might be wondering: Now what? And this is where the new update really becomes a bummer for players like myself. If you don't have a group of friends or family you play GTA Online with regularly, a lot of the new features and mechanics will feel limited or just straight up useless. For example: You can ride in formation now in GTA Online. Doing so will fix your bike and give you health and ammo. But if you are riding solo, formations are worthless. Same with some of the new freemode missions and club features. If you have nobody in your club, then the ability to promote people isn't going to be something you use.
It's nice that there is content in GTA Online Bikers that solo players can enjoy, but make no mistake -- this is an update focused on groups of players and friends. Luckily you can mark yourself as someone who is looking to join a club and Presidents can see this and invite you. I was able to find two players willing to join my club and we spent a few hours together doing missions and hanging out at the clubhouse. Still I would recommend players who don't have a lot of GTA Online friends to skip creating a club and just join one instead. It's cheaper and you'll have more fun than riding around alone.
Here are a few a more random things I noticed while playing GTA Online Bikers.
- It seems like this update might have moved GTA Online into a post GTA V timeframe. Maybe? In your clubhouse you can find a reference to a character who died in GTA V. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into a silly photo.
- The clubhouse has a badarse bartender who seems to barely give a shit about you and your gang. She has a real "whatever" attitude that I can get behind. She also looks like Gemma Teller, a character from Sons of Anarchy.
- You have a computer in your office that allows you to invest in different illegal businesses, like cocaine manufacturing. (I haven't invested in any yet, so not sure how profitable they are.) To use this computer you have to first sit down at your desk, which is silly in a way I can really appreciate.
- Your clubhouse also has a dart board where you can play darts, so you don't have to drive out to the desert every time you want to play. Unless you buy the cheap clubhouse in the desert, like I did. Then again, who even remembers that you can play darts in GTA Online?