Earlier this week, Rockstar Games released the latest, big update for Grand Theft Auto Online, its super popular open-world MMO. The new update brought some much-needed changes and features to the nearly decade-old game. It also added a new semi-auto rifle to the digital streets of Los Santos that cost nearly half a million dollars and… it completely sucks. It’s so bad, that many are confused as to why it was even added.
The free Criminal Enterprises update for GTA Online launched on July 26 and it brought with it a lot of improvements and new features to the game, many of which had been requested by fans for years. The update includes stuff like the ability to do sell missions in a private session and the ability to finally run around the casino or inside nightclubs. It also added new track creator features and simplified eating snacks and using armour. All and all, not a super flashy or sexy update, but a smart one that will help keep the ageing game playable and fun.
The update also added a new weapon that just really sucks.
The Precision Rifle is, in theory, supposed to be a semi-auto sniper rifle that is highly precise and can be used in mid-range to long-range gunfights. And for an eye-watering high price of around $AU642,990 (without discounts) a lot of players might expect some decent bang for their buck. I know I did when I picked up the gun the moment I logged in after the update was live. What I and other players actually got for that high price tag was pretty terrible.
The first red flag appeared before I even fired the gun. After buying it, I went to spend some extra cash on upgrading it and adding some accessories, like a scope or silencer. This is a pretty common part of GTA Online and basically, all of my other guns have similar options. But the Precision Rifle doesn’t have any of this. All you can do is swap out the colours on it. There’s no scope, extended mag, flashlights, or anything. This made me nervous, but I figured at the time that perhaps it was so good it didn’t need that stuff. You read the headline and made it this far so I don’t have to tell you — but I will anyway — I was wrong. So wrong.
In the very first firefight against some random police who started attacking me for no reason at all (don’t look at all the dead bodies around me) I quickly discovered this rifle has a very slow firing rate. It also doesn’t seem any more precise or accurate than most of my other rifles and pistols. Against other players it also doesn’t seem to do much damage, taking three or four body shots to kill a troll trying to annoy you. While it does sound cool, that’s about all this expensive firearm has going for it.
Within the GTA Online community, the feedback from players is mostly negative. The vast majority of players online feel the gun is a ripoff and a waste of money, comparing it to cheaper rifles that have similar or even superior stats. I saw one player compare it to a Nerf blaster. Not a great review of a thing that is supposed to be a deadly weapon.
Adding to the negative reaction is that players were expecting another, different weapon to also be a part of this new update. That gun is the M16-like Service Rifle, a gun that Rockstar teased in screenshots released before Criminal Enterprises was released. But after the update hit, the gun was nowhere to be found. It turns out, via dataminers, that the Service Rifle is coming and will be a reward for completing a scavenger hunt.
Oddly, some players are reporting that when they loaded up the game after the update they found the Service Rifle in their inventory already. This version of the gun seems bugged and it’s all likely an unintended mistake. But at least it’s hard to complain about a crappy, bugged gun when it’s “free”.
Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar about the Service Rifle and if there are any plans to update or change the poorly-received Precision Rifle. Until something changes, I’d suggest you save your money and buy something else. And hey, at least Rockstar nerfed the terrible OP jetbike!