Episode 31: Fear and Loathing In Los Santos: Part 1


Last time I talked about the horror movies that I’m deathly afraid of. However, if there’s one thing that I’m more afraid of, it would be actually playing video games. Now, I love video games; I just can’t play them! I tend to panic pretty quickly and I’d rather watch the story of a video game than most movies. Still, there is this little part of me that wants to become good at playing games.

Anyway, my brother’s been playing Grand Theft Auto V for a while and, one time, he decided to try the Online aspect of the game. Although there isn’t really a story to it (you travel to Los Santos for some unknown reasons and quickly get into the spirit by racing, robbing and killing people), I like the fact that Rockstar did try to insert some personality into the proceedings.

They had me at jets fighting each other.

They had me at jets fighting each other.

The first thing that struck me (besides all of the other people trying to kill me) was it was like PlayStation Home. Well, if you could jack a car, run over other gamers with it and steal their money, that is. But just watching my brother explore the city of Los Santos and the backwoods and desert areas of San Andreas made we want to play it as well.

Now, just to give a little background, the only Grand Theft Auto game I’ve experienced is the fourth installment. I’ve never seen my brother play the GTA games from the PlayStation era. I think my parents didn’t allow me to watch it because of the criminal activity (which is strange because they were fine with me getting nightmares from the Silent Hill games). I didn’t really like Grand Theft Auto IV (I wasn’t fond of the Russian guy you control throughout the game) but I found the Story Mode and violence levels of Grand Theft Auto V intriguing.

But none of that really prepared me for playing the Online component. I liked how you create your avatar in GTA:O. Instead of simply adjusting sliders or choosing features, you select what you’re grandparents and parents look like. While I do like it, in the long run, this is going to be extremely limiting. In fact, I wasn’t completely satisfied with what my Robin looked like

Still a hot looking lady, if I do say so myself!

Still a hot looking lady, if I do say so myself!

Once that’s done, you then have to create your character’s attributes. This is done by adjusting what you’re character does during a 24-hour period. The activities, in turn, increase or decrease your avatar’s skills. So, if you increase the number of hours you allocate to playing sports, you’ll get a boost in strength but your driving ability will take a hit.

Now, the instant I landed in Los Santos Airport, I was immediately hit on by Lamar, one of the supporting cast of the main game. I would’ve been okay with it but I really didn’t like what I’ve seen so far from this guy during the Story mode, pushing Franklin into doing small-time crimes when he already pulled of a major jewelry robbery with Michael! But it was sweet of him giving someone he met online a new, untraceable pistol. It’ll come in handy!

After blowing through the first race, I made the stupid mistake of trying to get in contact with other players immediately. This is when the horror started for me. But it does have a happy ending!

So, there I was, going to a part of the map where I saw 3 dots close together. I wanted to see what they were doing. Then, all of a sudden, BOOM! My car erupted in a fiery ball of flame, incinerating me instantly! What the heck? I didn’t even see what hit me!

I respawned and, like the n00b that I am, naively rushed back to the place where I died. As I got close to the spot where I died, BOOM! Once again, my Robin suffered a horrific attack from nowhere. I think I actually flew a couple of yards into the air when the explosion hit me! Now, this happened a couple of more times. “Screw this!” I said to myself (and I never really said “screw this” before in my life. I must really be getting into the spirit of the game now) and just tried to escape before these guys… BOOM! Another explosion rocks my world again!

By the 7th time, I finally found out how they were killing me… one of them had a tank!

How the heck did I miss something this big?

How the heck did I miss something this big?

And it was headed straight at me! I managed to dodge it’s first shot as it hit an electrical post. I then formulated a plan. Well, I like to say I formulated a plan but the following events were actually blind luck… but who’s telling the story anyway?

I hid behind a wall made of grass and peeked out from the corner. The tank was barreling after me! As it tried to run me over, I had my Robin clamber over the wall again and the tank missed me by a few inches! I hid behind the wall and, like a total idiot, fired a few shots from my pistol. I’m not sure if this is true but I think I actually heard laughter emanate from inside the tank as my shots bounced off its armor.

I could see the barrel lower and aim directly at me from behind my grass wall. The tank fired. BOOM!

After the smoke cleared, I realized I was still alive! How the heck did I survive a direct tank shell? It turns out I didn’t get hit! The tank cannon fired and the explosive shell hit the apparently explosive-proof shrub of a wall I was hiding behind. Peeking out from the behind the wall, I saw the smoldering remains of the once impervious tank lying smoldering in a heap!

What I imagined it looked like from the air.

What I imagined it looked like from the air.

Yeah! I managed to take out a tank! Who’s laughing now, bitc… Oh, crap! I think I see him respawing and coming after me! I better run away quickly!

So, while my initial adventure to Los Santos was pretty disastrous. Technically, I’ve been turned into a zombie more times than I care to remember but taking down the tank by myself was pretty epic! What will I do now? Shopping, of course! And I’ll talk more about my adventures shopping on Grand Theft Auto: Online next week!

One more picture for the road!

One more picture for the road!


Have you played GTA Online yet? What’s the craziest way you’ve died? Or the whackiest way you’ve whacked someone? Leave them in the comments section!


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