As undoubtedly evidenced by the update you are downloading right now (or have already downloaded, depending on speed), the recently announced and greatly anticipated Bikers DLC has been released and the content is now live in GTA Online. Rockstar has detailed all of the new features and mechanics, as well as a full trailer for the update.
Bikers was first announced not too long ago in a brief teaser posted by Rockstar about the upcoming GTA Online update. Not much of the details about what new features will be added to the game were revealed, rather the post provided a basic outline of what to expect. When Rockstar later announced the release date, some more information came to light, but we were still mostly scratching our heads as to exactly how things will work.
Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, Bikers is clearly an update that lived up to the hype, and then some. GTA Online has been expanded with all new game-modes, features, vehicles, weapons and customization options to get players into the whole Biker mentality and feel.
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The main gameplay mechanic in Bikers is, unsurprisingly, the addition of Motorcycle Clubs. Any player may purchase a clubhouse via the foreclosures.maze-bank.com in-game website (adding to GTA 5's list of domains, which already outstrips that of North Korea) at any point after completing a tutorial. Of course, you need the cash, but there are no other restrictions.
Once you've bought a clubhouse, you can set up your MC of which you will be the President. You can recruit up to 7 Prospects, who can rise through the ranks and be appointed the titles of Enforcer, Sergeant at Arms, Road Captain or Vice President. Each of these higher ranks comes with a special ability which will come in handy when running Club missions.
The President will have control over many aspects of their club. You can set a general outfit style, which still gives prospects some wiggle room for personalization, but ensures that the members will have a coherent and matching appearance. Presidents can also select from a number of pre-made emblems, or even a custom crew emblem, which will represent the Club.
The outfit styles have been complemented with 250 clothing items, 100 new tattoos and 6 new hairstyles for both male and female character models, all new with Bikers. While GTA Online has had a varied and extensive wardrobe already, and creating a biker outfit wasn't impossible, these new clothes allow you more options to find an outfit you like, while still sticking to the biker aesthetic.
Achieving a sense of unity through this loose interpretation of a uniform and the use of an emblem is crucial, as your tight knit group of 8 bikers will face enemies at every turn, and your members need to know that they can depend on one another.
Presidents will also be able to set the riding style of the club, picking between Relaxed and Normal. Another benefit, also available to the Riding Captain, is the Riding Formation
The clubhouse will be the strategic center and safe haven of your newfound GTA Online brotherhood. A total of 12 clubhouses are up for offer ranging from GTA$ 200,000 to 495,000, giving you a wide selection from which to choose your preferred headquarters.
Like the corporate offices introduced in Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, each clubhouse can be expanded beyond its default capabilities and looks by adding murals, changing styles, setting club emblems, buying a gun locker or adding a Custom Bike Shop, where your personal mechanic will see to the maintenance of your trusted stallions. The prices of these upgrades fluctuate within categories:
- Murals: GTA$ 86,500 - 150,000
- Style: GTA$ 138,000 - 400,000
- Club Emblem: GTA$ 50,000 - 62,000
- Gun Locker: GTA$ 320,000
- Custom Bike Shop: GTA$ 530,000
The default clubhouse benefits include a bar and darts board, both of which can be interacted with. The Arm Wrestling minigame will also be accessible in the clubhouse. Clubhouses also contain meeting rooms, much like the board rooms of corporate offices, where the planning of your exploits may take place. The meeting room also has the contracts wall, used by Presidents to launch new and unique Club Contracts.
Clubhouse Contracts include 11 different mission types, each with a different focus. These make up the PvE part of Bikers, as players will be faced by NPC enemies, many of whom have been encountered before in GTA Online.
- Gunrunning has players track down a protected weapons shipment, steal the cargo, and take it to a drop-off zone where they will be paid for the merch.
- P.O.W. tasks you with springing one of your underground contacts from prison.
- Guns for Hire sees your MC escort a convoy through dangerous turf.
- By the Pound has you act as a narcotics courier, completing a deal for the product and taking it to the buyer.
- Weapon of Choice gives you a specific target and a specific way of making people not live anymore. You know what to do.
- Nine Tenths of the Law has players steal bikes from protected locations and deliver them - in one piece - to the designated drop-off.
- Cracked has the MC storm a known base run by a rival gang, and steal the cash from their safe.
- Jailbreak tasks you with hijacking a prison bus and helping the convicts reach their getaway rides.
- Fragile Goods sees the return of the Lost MC as the enemy. You must track down their trucks and destroy them, along with their cargo.
- Outrider has your members pick up contacts scattered through the map with bikes, and driving them to their destinations while protecting them.
- Torched sends you on the offensive against rival gangs. You must destroy their ammo reserves.
On the PvP side of things, we've got an assortment of 4 Club Jobs, 3 Club Challenges and 4 Member Challenges. The first has different MCs competing against one another. The other two subtypes set the members of your MC against one another, with Club Challenges happening contextually during regular gameplay, and Member Challenges being their own missions.
- Deathmatch has the members of two MCs duke it out to the death.
- Joust is the same as Deathmatch, but on bikes instead of on foot.
- Caged In is what happens when racing is mixed with Deathmatches. You have to reach the finish line first on your bike, but attacking others with melee attacks is fair game.
- Stand Your Ground tasks one team with protecting a given area on the map from rivals, who in turn must conquer it.
- Sell Product has you transport product to various locations from your business. If a member carrying product during the mission is killed, that product cannot be recovered.
- Club Challenges
- Search and Destroy has MC members compete against one another to find and assassinate the target first.
- Wheelie Rider tasks members to rack up the longest wheelie within the time limit.
- Criminal Mischief has members cause damage to the most cars via drive-by melee while the timer ticks.
- Member Challenges
- Rippin' It Up has members cause the most damage within the timeframe while riding their bikes.
- Hit and Ride challenges you to rack up the most melee drive-by kills.
- On the Run slams all members with a 5 star wanted level, and it's last man standing from there on out.
- Race to Point is pretty self explanatory. First one to the destination wins.
One of the other features teased in the reveal posts for Bikers was the inclusion of new clandestine businesses. These businesses offer new ways to acquire money in GTA Online, and can be bought via the Open Road website accessible from the clubhouse laptop. These businesses include weed, forgeries, counterfeit cash, meth and cocaine.
These businesses will work a bit like more active versions of the warehouses tied to CEO work. These businesses will also be attacked by rival gangs, however they will have a more proactive role in adding digits to your GTA Online bank account. The businesses can be upgraded with more security, making it less likely that you'll be attacked, as well as more staff and better equipment to make the business more efficient.
Like the black market ventures of Finance and Felony, these businesses also require an up-front investment to get them off the ground and profitable. The more you're willing to sink into the business, the quicker and more it will pay-out. It's really too soon to tell whether or not these new businesses will rival the profitability of Heists or Crate missions.
Of course, one of the main attractions of this DLC was always the prospect of new bikes, and damn, has it delivered. A grand total of 13 new bikes have been added to the game via Bikers, including vehicles of all kinds, ranging from modern sports bikes, through classic choppers all the way to trikes. The full list of new vehicles is as follows:
- Western Nightblade
- Shitzu Defiler
- LCC Avarus
- Western Zombie Bobber
- Wester Zombie Chopper
- Shitzu Hakuchou Drag
- Nagasaki Chimera
- Western Rat Bike
- Nagasaki Street Blazer
- Maibatsu Manchez
- Pegassi Faggio Mod
- Pegassi Faggio Sport
- Western Wolfsbane
- BF Raptor
- Western Daemon
- Pegassi Vortex
- LCC Sanctus
- Declasse Tornado Rat Rod
- Nagasaki Shotaro
- Pegassi Esskey
- Bravado Youga
Bikers also adds a nice little feature which extenuates the special bond between bike and biker. Whenever you're using your most frequently ridden bike, you will get a damage and health regeneration buff, increasing both.
The update has brought a whole lot more to GTA Online than just bikes in terms of items, though. Seven all new weapons have been added to the game, including three new melee weapons which you can use to devastating effect while riding your bike. That said, a number of long-range weapons have also been added which are also pretty destructive. The full list of new weapons is as follows:
- Pool Cue
- Pipe Wrench
- Battle Axe
- Compact Grenade Launcher
- Sweeper Shotgun
- Mini SMG
- Pipe Bomb
GTA Online: Bikers has also brought a new Adversary Mode to the game, however this is bound to be a pretty controversial one. In the past, we've touched upon the fact that the community pretty much unanimously despises the slipstream mechanic used in racing. Well, Rockstar decided to go ahead and build an all new Adversary Mode entirely upon that mechanic.
Names Slipstream - obviously - the new Mode focuses on teams of racers, riding bikes, to pass through checkpoints simultaneously while catching up with one another, and speed-boosting by their opponents using the much hated slipstream mechanic.
Slipstream is basically an over-exaggeration of an actual phenomenon in physics, where the air resistance in decreased when moving close behind another vehicle ahead of you. 7 Slipstream maps have been added with the update.
The release of the new DLC also, as per tradition, brings with it a new week of special bonuses in GTA Online. Simply logging in, which I don't doubt you'd do anyway, will net you a sweet shirt and hoodie, while buying a Western Nightblade will also unlock a limited edition promotional shirt.
There are also discounts on offer, including rebates on body armor, ammo and weapon tints. Ensure that you never run out of bullets when you're in a tight spot with your fellow bikers with a generous 25% discount on Drum and Box magazines while the event lasts.
With the new event, a new Premium Race has also been designated. In keeping with the theme of bikes, the race this time around is Trench 1 locked to bikes-only. This is a great way for the slickest of two-wheeled racers to take home a massive 100k as their prize for coming in at first place.
Instead of waiting it out like in the past, Rockstar has decided to speed things up and just announce the Snapmatic Contest associated with this DLC right off the bat. Almost all major GTA Online updates brought with them a Snapmatic competition with a GTA $ 1,000,000 grand prize some time after launch.
If you've got a thing for biker culture, but also have a keen sense for photography, your task is to showcase the features and content of Bikers in just one shot. Five winners will be selected, whose winning shots will be displayed on the Rockstar Newswire, earning their creators some fame.
Amid all of this Bikers-themed goodness, Rockstar has managed to sneak in some other neat changes and tweaks to the game with the DLC. Beyond the numerous bugfixes that make the world of GTA Online all the more enjoyable, they have added the option to make Stunt Races non-contact, thus answering a long-standing community plea. They've also made the Western Bagger purchasable, and you can now race with destroyed or impounded personal vehicles.
Overall, Bikers turned out to be everything and more than what any of us could have hoped for. Granted, the DLC didn't bring back a fan favorite GTA character as a contact, but it added more than enough other missions and content for that to be excusable. Between the motherload of missions, the 17 new bikes and the new businesses, there is plenty here to sink our teeth into.
Which of GTA Online: Bikers' features has you most excited?