NBA 2K20 Review — Double Dribble


I’ll be honest: after NBA 2K19 last year, I half-expected to not have much anticipation for the series moving forward. It wasn’t that 2K19 was an atrocious game, but I didn’t like the direction that things were headed in, especially when it came to microtransactions and some of the game’s modes. But as this summer started to end, I found myself once again with an itch to play some video game basketball. And, I mean, how could I not with the offseason that the NBA just had?

So as I dove headfirst into NBA 2K20, I was actually excited to see how 2K and Visual Concepts looked to improve this year’s edition once again. What I found though is perhaps the franchise’s most derivative entry in quite some time. While the team at Visual Concepts usually implements new ideas and features in each NBA 2K game more than other sports titles, NBA 2K20 fails in this pursuit and instead feels far too similar to last year’s game in all of its major areas.

MyCareer is still the mode that many will likely pour most of their time into with NBA 2K20 and in some important aspects, things have improved in this area. The biggest upgrade that MyCareer has received this year comes in the way of the story. Typically, the narrative that comes in this mode is decent at best, with writing and performances that are often just bearable. Thanks to a collaboration with Springhill Entertainment, the production company owned by LeBron James, NBA 2K20 has received a much-needed upgrade when it comes to storytelling.

Rather than just focusing on the glitz and glamour of professional basketball in MyCareer this year, the game decided to try and tell a somewhat meaningful story that hones in on the responsibility that comes with being a superstar player. The mode’s main character, known as Che, is also just a generally likable protagonist that you want to root for. It’s not a story arc that’ll keep you thinking long after you finish its 2-3 hour runtime, but it does try to show a different side of the NBA this year and the journey that comes with joining the league.

The writing and performances have also stepped up quite drastically. No matter how you feel about past NBA 2K games, the voice acting and writing has often felt lackluster at best and cringe-inducing at worst. In NBA 2K20, the script feels much more natural and conversational. Guest stars like Rosario Dawson and Idris Elba also help break the streak of bad performances that the franchise has had when it comes to guest roles. We’ve come a long way from the days of Spike Lee shouting, “Shazam!”

The character creator in MyCareer has also received a slight overhaul in NBA 2K20 if you’re someone who really likes to get in the weeds with customization. The options you’ve had when it comes to designing your player in recent years has become increasingly stale, so this was one change I was happy to see Visual Concepts implement. It’s not a major boost to the larger NBA 2K20 package, but I enjoyed being able to create my own player that looked like he was straight out of the 1970s ABA rather than just another generic character.

Other than these tweaks though, MyCareer has, for the most part, remained pretty similar to last year. The Neighborhood is once again back, but the game doesn’t force you into this area in between every game, causing longer load times. The Neighborhood itself, in terms of layout, is also relatively the same as in 2K19, which I’m fine with.

Of course, I can’t go without talking about microtransactions when it comes to MyCareer, because you’re still going to be met with the option to spend money frequently. Character progression has remained the exact same in NBA 2K20, meaning that VC, the game’s virtual currency that you can buy with real money, is still your go-to source for everything you may desire. Want to upgrade your player’s three-point shooting? That’ll cost VC. Want to snag a new pair of Jordan’s? Yup, that too will cost you VC.

NBA 2K20 gives you VC constantly, so you’re never going to be totally broke, but when it comes to buying what you want, well, that’s another issue entirely. The cost of certain things in the game, whether they be cosmetic or stats-based, is often far higher than the amounts you’ll earn through natural means. For example, after every MyCareer game that I played this year, I would say on average I was earning right around 1,000+ VC. To merely upgrade my character to a point where I’d say he is average (in my estimation I would consider this to be an 80 overall) I needed to spend roughly 40,000+ VC just to increase his skills. That’s a whole lot of hours of grinding just to get to a point where you feel decently competent with your player on the court.

This is also just assuming you pour all of your VC directly into your MyCareer character, too. If you opt to buy some new swag to wear around The Neighborhood, you could be paying as much as 25,000 VC for a single item. Not every single piece of gear will cost this much, but for some of the more “exclusive” items, values skyrocket quickly.

The prices are just as outrageous in NBA 2K20 as they’ve pretty much always been. The only semi-positive thing I can say is that I do feel like the rate at which you earn VC this year, whether it be through playing games or other means, seems to have increased by just a bit. That’s just conjecture on my own part though and I can’t really directly verify as much.

In the pursuit of full transparency, I also feel it is important to mention that the version of NBA 2K20 that I was sent by 2K was that of the Legend Edition. This means that out of the gate, I had 100,000 VC at my disposal in-game. I could have opted not to receive this version and instead could have reviewed the standard edition, but I do feel it is vital to see how far your VC actually goes in these games, especially from a review standpoint.

NBA 2K20 is still way too reliant on VC across almost all of its modes and something has to change about this. Will it? Probably not, but it definitely impacts my enjoyment of the product, which is a shame because NBA 2K20 is still really fun to play.

While NBA 2K20 from a gameplay perspective still feels fantastic, I do have to say that this is probably the least that the franchise has been iterated upon in quite some time when it comes to improving the core mechanics. Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. There comes a point where it’s hard to shake things up too much without also potentially screwing up what it is that has made the gameplay so good. Visual Concepts has still made a handful of updates to the gameplay of NBA 2K20 this year, but they’re all incredibly minor and probably won’t be noticed by many.

As for what else is new this year in NBA 2K20, the WNBA has finally been added to the series for the first time. This is something that NBA Live brought in a few years back and 2K is now following suit. While it’s nice to see that the women’s professional league has been added to the game, there’s not much you can do with the league outside of the Play Now and Season modes. Still, it’s a step in the right direction for those who have been wanting an experience like this in an NBA 2K game.

Other than MyCareer, NBA 2K20’s usual slate of other supporting modes are back around this time and don’t offer much that would be considered new or different. MyLeague and MyGM are likely the two big season modes that most will gravitate to if they’re looking for a season-by-season game mode and each is still fun in its own way even if it does just feel like updated rosters are the biggest change.

MyTeam is likely the biggest mode other than MyCareer that most will play and there have actually been a fair amount of changes in this realm for 2K20. New additions such as Card Evolution give you goals to strive for while you play games with certain players. Timed events have also been added and Triple Threat, the mode’s 3v3 offering, has seen some changes, but not all of them are for the better.

My biggest problem with MyTeam though is that it’s just still so dang grindy. I understand why it is this way, but I can never get invested enough in MyTeam to dedicate large amounts of time to it, especially knowing that I’ll just have to hit the reset button 12-months from now. Plus, MyTeam is filled with potentially more money-making practices and randomized elements this year than any other NBA 2K game before. The entire mode just seems to be one major grind solely for the purpose of making you invest money, not because it wants to actually offer a compelling experience.

And once again this year, I also continue to struggle with input lag when playing online against others via MyTeam, too. This has been a common issue I’ve had over the years (I know for a fact it isn’t because of my own Internet connection) and to see it still being a problem here with NBA 2K20 is upsetting. Maybe the game is just too fast-paced to get eliminate lag entirely, but when I feel like there’s a 1-2 second gap between when I release the shoot button myself compared to when my player lets go of the ball in-game, that’s a problem. Assuming others who play NBA 2K annually have these issues, I truly have no idea how they get past it.

I also think it’s important to mention glitches, performance issues, and other bugs that I failed to come across this year. Even though the community surrounding NBA 2K20 has said loudly since launch that the game has been filled with a variety of problems this year, I really had none whatsoever in my own time with the game. I can only report on my own personal experience with NBA 2K20, and for the most part, the game has run well and has been devoid of any clear problems.

NBA 2K20 feels like a transition game for 2K. The full package still offers hours upon hours of basketball enjoyment to be had, but it doesn’t feel like any worthwhile improvements were made compared to 2K19. Plus, microtransactions are still present around nearly every corner, constantly beckoning you to just drop a few dollars into the game. I wish this would change, but I know it’s pretty much never going to at this point.

This is the least impressed I’ve been with an NBA 2K title out of the gate this whole console generation, which says a lot. With both Xbox Scarlett and PS5 arriving next year, I hope the team at Visual Concepts is gearing up big time to bring this series into next-gen. Until then though, NBA 2K20 just feels like more of the same game I’ve already been dabbling with for the past year.

The post NBA 2K20 Review — Double Dribble by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.



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Red Dead Online Debuts Specialist Roles in New Frontier Pursuits Trailer


Red Dead Online has slowly been adding content to its online world in hopes of building an experience to rival Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar’s other online behemoth. The newest addition to the game mode takes the form of Specialist Roles that give players new ways to interact with the world. Players can choose to be Bounty Hunters, Traders, or Collectors in the Frontier Pursuits update. Give the trailer a watch below for a quick summary of what’s coming.

At the very least, this update should give Red Dead Online players quite a bit to do. Whether you’re hunting down dangerous criminals, building up a bartering empire, or scouring the wilds for lost treasure there looks to be tons of options for having a good time. Each path gives you access to new stories, items, and weapons as you work your way through them. The Collector path, in particular, looks like a blast if only because it lets you embrace your inner treasure hunter.

Coming with the Specialists Roles are a few new clubs for you to join. The Wheeler, Rawson & Co. club gives you access to several new outfits and items as you work your way through the ranks. Players can also get access to the Outlaw Pass, though it will cost you 35 gold bars. This club gives you even more items and ranks to work through. The two clubs will only be open for a short time though, so interested parties will want to jump in as soon as possible.

Red Dead Online: Frontier Pursuits will launch on September 10 for PS4 and Xbox One.

The post Red Dead Online Debuts Specialist Roles in New Frontier Pursuits Trailer by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.



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The Outer Worlds Trailer Welcomes You to the Halycon Colony


The Outer Worlds has caught the eyes of many not just because of it clearly being the spiritual successor to Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas that many RPG fans were looking for, but because it has an interesting, corporation-controlled world as well. Some may still not be familiar with the ins and outs of the Halcyon Colony where the game takes place, so Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive, released a brand new trailer giving a great overview of the places players will explore in The Outer Worlds.

Of course, doing so in a standard overview trailer style would be boring, so the video is framed as an infomercial of sorts that is trying to entice people to come to the Halcyon colony. The video starts with Terra-2, the most populated planet of The Outer Worlds, before moving on to Monarch, a planet with less people but more wild and dangerous aliens. Sticking with the game’s tone, there is a clear pro-corporation spin on everything, as the video also ties in work to each location while throwing around questionable terms such as “company approved social clubs.”

After showing players around the Halcyon colony, the trailer moves onto elements like weapons and leveling up under the guise of jobs and career advancement. The Outer Worlds has plenty of quirky weapons, so it is awesome to see more of them in action. It even manages to touch on the game’s unique flaw system that has players choose to be fearful of something, and get debuffs from it, in order to gain an extra skill point.

If you want a decent look at everything this game has to offer before it releases on October 25, 2019, watch the trailer below. The Outer Worlds for PC, PS4, and Xbox One can also be pre-ordered on Amazon right now. The game is also coming to Nintendo Switch in the future. 

The post The Outer Worlds Trailer Welcomes You to the Halycon Colony by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.



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Borderlands Playerbase Surges on Steam Following Borderlands 3 Reveal


There’s no question about it: Borderlands 3 hype is in full swing. Following the PAX East reveal from developer Gearbox Studios, most gamers aren’t waiting until the April 3 announcements for more information. Instead, they are diving right into other Borderlands games on Steam driving chart numbers across the board.

Analytics come directly from site SteamCharts, which reviews both the average players and peak players that are around each month. And simply looking at each of the four major Borderlands properties over the last three months, you can see how much of a groundswell Borderlands 3 is driving since the game’s reveal.

First on the list is the original Borderlands, which is by all measures the least-played FPS:

Measuring from the game’s lowest lull of concurrent players in 2019 (January 23, 2019) to its recent peak, we see the game jump from 835 concurrent players to 3,422 concurrent players. That is roughly a 410% increase in players in the last few days as hype continues to build.

Following Borderlands is the most popular title in the series: the critically acclaimed Borderlands 2.

Comparatively, these two titles have wildly different playerbases, with the sequel drawing in over ten times the players. However, we can see instances of similar growth in 2019. From the lowest point of 2019 (May 7, 2019) the peak players have jumped from 8,134 to 33,562: another 413% boost in gamers.

The spinoff games fare even better — without going into the specific details on highs and lows, The Pre-Sequel has managed to grow by 545% while Telltale’s riff of the game has gained an astounding 1,666% growth in peak players.

What’s even wilder? Each game series stats continue to grow — with the most recent data being pulled roughly 30 minutes ago, all four titles have had their peaks in the last 24 hours. Not only has the announcement of Borderlands 3 brought a rising tide that lifts all boats, but the wave of hype is only growing. I can only imagine that these numbers will continue to surge as the new HD and 4K texture packs and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition land for all of the Gearbox titles.

At the moment, not much is known about Borderlands 3 outside of the reveal trailer — fans have been guessing that the game will release on October 1, 2019 based on context clues from that trailer… but it is honestly a longshot. Thankfully we are expecting a lot more info in the next couple of days.

Borderlands 3 will be available on PC and likely PS4 and Xbox One, though exact details on consoles and release plans are unknown. If you want to play the classics with 4K textures, feel free to grab The Handsome Collection via Amazon. Check out the trailer (below) and keep your ear to the ground in the next couple of days as more info is announced:

The post Borderlands Playerbase Surges on Steam Following Borderlands 3 Reveal by Lou Contaldi appeared first on DualShockers.



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Did a PC Version of Red Dead Redemption Just Get Leaked or an Elaborate Fake?


Red Dead Redemption 2 had always been confirmed to be coming to consoles, and back in 2017 during Take-Two Interactive Software’s financial conference call, they discussed the publisher’s stance on PC as a platform. However, there was no confirmation about the game arriving to PC. There was also news from VG247 earlier this year relating to an employee who popped that Red Dead Redemption 2 was for PC on their LinkedIn account.

Now we have even more PC rumors floating around after ResetEra user, no1 posted a video from a YouTube channel called Reupload Deleted Videos. This channel only has three videos, but the one video uploaded yesterday seemingly shows Red Dead Redemption 2 running on a PC. The video isn’t recorded directly and is a recording of a monitor — this is the number one tactic fake “leakers” use to generate authenticity. You’ll see keyboard prompts on the main menu, and the mouse movement appears to be realistic. The video shows the user going into the Red Dead Redemption 2 display settings. From there we see a good look at various PC exclusive settings such as Vsync, FXAA, different quality settings, and more.

The video is only a short 25 seconds and doesn’t appear to have a source from where the channel nabbed it from. The description does state,

“This is a Leaked footage of Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC, it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but if is fake, he did a great job.”

The original poster in the ResetEra forum recalled the moment Grand Theft Auto 5’s PC port was leaked in a similar way. You can find the video here. Once again, we see a small portion of gameplay being filmed with an external device and then see the video settings.

However, there are definitely reasons to remain skeptical. Looking aside from the fact this was captured on a cellphone instead of screen capture, the anti-aliasing setting looks wrong from the footage. Meanwhile, there is no 10 second UI scale once the resolution has been changed — a standard for most PC games.

Regardless, I have to concur, if this is fake indeed, it was well done. What are your thoughts on this? It wouldn’t be too crazy to think that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be arriving to PC as LA Noire, and GTA V made it to PC.  Check out the video embedded below and see what you think.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available for Xbox One and PS4 currently, and at the moment it’s feeling very festive in Red Dead Online.

The post Did a PC Version of Red Dead Redemption Just Get Leaked or an Elaborate Fake? by Ben Bayliss appeared first on DualShockers.



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Take-Two, Ubisoft, Activision and EA “Unconcerned” About China’s Game Crackdowns


China has been at the forefront of a gaming crisis recently due to brand new laws and policies set in motion that are limiting the number of video games consumers, especially children, are spending their time on. Earlier this year, the Chinese government stated that they had frozen new game approvals in a new campaign to tackle short-sightedness in children.

Because of China’s recent crackdowns on the release of online games, gaming giant Tencent was knocked from the Top 10 Biggest Companies list; so it is definitely something that other publishers might be getting increasingly worried about.

Well, they’re not (at least publically), according to a new report from GI.biz, which claims that western publishers such as Take-Two Interactive, Activision, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts are not worried about the crisis. While the situation could impact these companies financially due to China’s gold-mine status in the geographical gaming world, they are “shrugging it off.”

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick told the site that he thinks “it will be fine over time. China remains an enormous growth area for [Take-Two] as a result.” He cites the growth of NBA 2K that was approved already by the government.

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen also used existing games in the country as an example of why they think the situation would have died down by the time EA’s next projects for China will come around. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot once again had the same reasoning, referencing the success of hit game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege in the country.

Of course, while western publishers are seeing little to no impact on their current financial reports, it’s important to note that smaller Chinese studios based entirely in the country will be affected heavily.

These local development studios may struggle to stay in business, and while you think China may be hurting their economy, the government think very little of the gaming industry. Even though “China’s video game industry brought in $13 billion in revenue in 2013.” (CGIGC)

Either way, we’ll have to see if the situation ends up resolving itself or publishers have to make a run for their money come next year and beyond. We’ll update this story if more information arises.



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New Adversary Mode, Double Cash Promotions, and More Highlighted in This Week’s Grand Theft Auto Online Update


This week in Grand Theft Auto Online, developer Rockstar Games has announced via press release that a new Adversary Mode has been added into the game.

According to the developer, the new Adversary Mode titled Trap Door is the latest gore fest to land in Los Santos. Opposing teams will duke it out on a rapidly shrinking floating platform high above the Pacific and will be packed to the brim with all types of lethal weapons.

Every enemy you kill will banish into a respawn in the dreaded red zone – a purgatory-like area that only gives you a few seconds to escape back to reality and to the battlefield before you officially enter the afterlife. As per usual for new Adversary modes, there will be a double GTA$ and RP bonus for all participants now until Monday, May 21.

Of course, aside from double GTA$ and RP in Trap Door, double GTA$ and RP on Biker Business Sell Missions and Double GTA$ on Smuggler’s Run Sell Missions is up for grabs for all players for the rest of the week. While we are still on the topic of discounts and promotions, this weeks update also spotlights price cuts on select in-game vehicles, weapons, and more. As usual, a full list of these discounts will be provided below this article.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available now via Grand Theft Auto Online for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One – if you do not own the game already, you can pick it up right now on Humble Bundle.

This Week’s Grand Theft Auto Online Discounts:

In-Game Property Deal:

  • Executive Garages – 30% off

 

Fan-Favorite Vehicles Sale:

  • Mammoth Hydra – 40% off (Buy It Now & Trade Price)
  • Declasse Hotring Sabre – 25% off
  • Vapid GB200 – 25% off
  • Vulcar Fagaloa – 25% off
  • Ubermacht SC1 – 25% off
  • Coil Cyclone – 25% off
  • Lampadati Viseris – 25% off
  • Vapid Caracara – 25% off

Weapons & Tattoos:

  • All Ammo (including Mk II) – 25% off
  • All Assault Rifles – 25% off
  • All Sniper Rifles – 25% off
  • All Shotguns – 25% off
  • Doomsday Heist tattoos – 25% off

This post contains affiliate links where DualShockers gets a small commission on sales. Any and all support helps keep DualShockers as a standalone, independent platform for less-mainstream opinions and news coverage.



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Smuggler’s Week in Grand Theft Auto Online’s Latest Update Features Discounts, Promotions, and More


brace yourselves, its Smuggler’s Week in Grand Theft Auto Online, and to celebrate the occasion, Rockstar Games is offering double GTA$ & RP on select modes, extended double payouts in other modes, as well as opportunities to buy some new in-game property at a discounted rate.

According to the press release, now until Monday, April 30 all Smuggler’s Run Sell Missions will provide gamers with Double GTA$ & RP. Of course, those who love to soar the skies of Los Santos there is an opportunities to snag some double rewards this week in Stockpile. Additionally, there will be double GTA$ and RP payouts for those who partake in the recently released mode, The Vespucci Job or Hotring Circuit.

With plane traffic increasing for the next few days, now is a golden time to whip out your AA trailer and blast those aircrafts in the sky. If you do not own one, however, have no fear because you can obtain the Skulls Livery, free of charge by logging onto Grand Theft Auto Online anytime before Monday.

Last, but not least, this week’s deals feature up to 40% in savings on select aircrafts, clothes, super and sports cars, and vehicle upgrades. As always, a full rundown of this week’s in-game deals will be provided below this article.

In other Grand Theft Auto Online news, late last week, Rockstar Games announced Grand Theft Auto Online: Premium Edition. A “Game of the Year” type package, which provides gamers the “complete Grand Theft Auto V story experience,”

Grand Theft Auto Online is available now via Grand Theft Auto Online for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, if you have not done so already, you can order the title on Amazon now.

This Week’s Grand Theft Auto Online Discounts:

Aircraft (BUY IT NOW AND TRADE PRICE):

  • Nagasaki Ultralight – 40% off
  • Nagasaki Havok – 40% off
  • LF-22 Starling – 40% off
  • Mammoth Mogul – 40% off
  • Mammoth Tula – 40% off
  • RM-10 Bombushka – 40% off
  • P-45 Nokota – 40% off
  • Buckingham Pyro – 40% off
  • Buckingham Howard Nx-25 – 40% off

Super Sports and Classic Cars:

  • Grotti Visione – 30% off
  • Coil Cyclone – 30% off
  • Vapid Retinue – 30% off

Vehicle Upgrades & Customization:

  • Countermeasures – 25% off
  • Aircraft Weapons – 25% off
  • Aircraft Handling – 25% off
  • Vehicle Brakes – 25% off
  • Vehicle Engine – 25% off (includes Aircrafts, Bikes, & Cars)
  • Vehicle Armor – 25% off (includes Aircrafts, Bikes, & Cars)
  • Liveries – 40% off (includes Aircrafts, Bikes, & Cars)

Clothing & Accessories:

  • All Smuggler’s Run Clothing – 25% off
  • Flight and Air Racing Suits – 25% off
  • Parachutes – Bags, Canopies, and Smoke Trails – 25% off

This post contains an affiliate link where DualShockers gets a small commission on sales. Any and all support helps keep DualShockers as a standalone, independent platform for less-mainstream opinions and news coverage.



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New Adversary Mode and Vehicle Introduced in Grand Theft Auto Online’s Latest Update


Today, Rockstar Games has unveiled the newest update for Grand Theft Auto Online, which introduces a new set of wheels as well as a new Adversary mode for players to partake in.

According to the press release, this week Grand Theft Auto Online now offers a brand new car, the Grotti GT500 Sports Classic; a classic, two-door sports car sporting a powerful engine and a lot of speed, which is now available for purchase at Legendary Motorsport for $785,000 in-game cash.

Additionally, the new update introduces a new team-based Adversary mode called Air Quota. The concept of Air Quota pits sixteen players in teams of four; players duke it out against each other as they traverse the airs of Los Santos in a slew of aircrafts, including the P-996 Lazer, Thruster, just to name a few. On top of that, now until Monday, January 22 gamers who partake in Air Quota will receive Double GTA$ & RP.

Lastly, the developer has also announced that several in-game items are available for 25% off their original price. These discounts and sales are valid until Monday, and a full list of the sale items will be provided below this article.

In other Grand Theft Auto Online news, a couple of weeks ago, the developer unveiled a different Adversary mode title Slashers. Speaking of original content, being added to the game, this past December, the game received its most extensive update in the form of The Doomsday Heist, which introduces a brand new heist into the title.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available now via Grand Theft Auto V on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

This Week’s Grand Theft Auto Online Discounts

  • Facility Styles – 25% off
  • Facility Graphics – 25% off
  • Security Room – 25% off
  • Buckingham Pyro (Plane) – 25% off (Buy It Now & Trade Price)
  • HVY Nightshark (Weaponized Vehicle) – 25% off



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