The time has finally come - the first major update for GTA Online in 2017 is now live. Cunning Stunts: Special Vehicle Circuit just blasted into the game at terminal velocity, adding a whole new way to enjoy the stunt races that the community fell in love with last year with the launch of the original Cunning Stunts update.
Interestingly enough, as opposed to what we predicted two days ago, the update doesn't actually contain any content beyond the 20 new stunt tracks designed with three of Import/Export's special vehicles in mind and that one new car that was announced alongside the update.
Rockstar put together an action-packed trailer to give players and idea what to expect while the update is downloading, and it's clear that the designers really gave it their best. The tracks seem to incorporate lessons learned from all those official tracks the developer has pumped out up until this point, and they seem to perfectly fit the style of their respective special vehicles.
The tracks designed around the Ruiner 2000 will require agility, as you'll need to use the various gadgets of the vehicle at a moment's notice. You'll need to jump over obstacles and use the parachute to glide across jumps that wouldn't be possible to clear otherwise.
Those tracks which are made for the Rocket Voltic are mostly characterized by massive jumps that you need to boost across. That said, Rockstar has managed to incorporate other traps which require a cultured use of the rocket boost to get around. Knowing when to hit the nitro means the difference between victory and loss.
The Blazer Aqua on the other hand is the most unique of three. In the past, we proposed a concept for a follow-up to the Cunning Stunts update that adds stunt tracks for aerial and water vehicles. This is a step in that direction, as the tracks will turn from solid to liquid, making use of the vehicle's amphibious nature.
In total, there are 20 new tracks built around the special vehicles. The Aqua gets 6, the Rocket Voltic gets 7 and so does the Ruiner 2000. To give players more incentive to try out the new tracks, Rockstar is offering double RP and cash rewards for all participants in these new races, giving players a chance to achieve a marked increase in their wealth while exploring the new content.
While the original Cunning Stunts DLC added a whole host of new vehicles designed specifically for the breakneck races the update was known for, in Special Vehicle Circuit the rides were a given, so here we are with only a single new vehicle added to the game's lineup.
The Progen GP1 offers a more classic take on the supercar following the recent posse of futuristic sci-fi concept cars being added to the class. The look of the car is refreshingly reserved, even though it's essentially a Tyrus variant. The car can be bought for $1,260,000, making it one of the upper-mid range vehicles in the game.
Seasons will change, fashions will come and go, economies will tank, the wholesome popstars of today will be leaking their own bondage tapes tomorrow - but the GP1 will always remain. This is what defined supercars for a generation, perhaps for all time. Pure and flawless. The Progen GP1.
We don't quite have a solid report on performance yet, however it seems that the car won't be breaking any records, such as that of the RE-7B or the 811. That said, it will surely float near the top of the car-chain and in the hands of a skilled driver can absolutely be a winner.
The new update did hold one surprise feature we didn't expect to see. From now on, all the vehicles which were previously locked behind Heist completion, such as the Insurgent HVY and Hydra, can now be bought without actually completing their associated heist, at a higher price. Here's a full list:
- Karin Kuruma
- Karin Kuruma (Armored)
- Lampadati Casco
- Jobuilt Velum
- Prison Bus
- Mammoth Hydra
- HVY Insurgent
- HVY Insurgent Pick-Up
- Nagasaki Dinghy
- Karin Technical
- Maibatsu Mule
- Brute Boxville
- Declasse Gang Burrito
These aren't the only restrictions being lifted, though. Heist equipment including the rebreather, LCD earpiece and night vision are also no longer locked to Heist completion. If that isn't enough, a number of vehicles no longer require players to reach a certain rank threshold to be available:
- Rhino Tank
- Annihilator Helicopter
- Buzzard Helicopter
- Dubsta 6x6
These moves are likely related to the fact that the update itself only offers a single new car for purchase. With the high influx of new players to GTA Online who are likely eager to get their hands on all the toys that the other players have, it makes sense to make these vehicles more accessible for a greater price.
Rockstar is also doubling down on discounts with the release of the new update. A wide range of in-game items will be 25% off through the 22nd of March, though this time around the promo doesn't contain practical properties like offices. Here's what's cheaper:
- Stilt Houses
- Penthouse Apartments
- Progen T20
- Engine Upgrades
- Turbo Upgrades
- Submachine Guns
- Body Armor
- Import/Export Clothing
Rockstar is also bringing changes to the Premium Race model by adding these new special vehicles races to the rotation. To debut the new approach, the special vehicle race Redneck will be the current Premium Race. On the one hand, this makes sense with the theme of the new update, but if you ask us the whole point of Premium Races was to capture the hardcore racing niche, however they usually dislike the stunt races or don't consider them serious racing.
One minor disappointment is that as opposed to what we expected, the new props used to create these special vehicle races aren't instantly available in the Stunt Race Creator. Nonetheless, we're eager to get our hands on them and see what the community cooks up.
Rockstar also dropped some major hints as to what kind of DLC to expect in the near future beyond the update to the Stunt Race Creator. We now know the names of two Adversary Modes which will be added to the game, Resurrection, and Top-Down. The latter was kinda-sorta leaked before and will be an homage to the 2D era of GTA games which featured a top-down camera.
Beyond this, we already know to expect a few classic GTA rides which haven't been added to this latest installment just yet, though we don't know exact dates. Chances are the new cars will be drop-fed on a weekly basis to the community.
However, one particular hint has the fans riled up concerns the possible addition of a fan favorite car to GTA Online which was previously only accessible in single player. Just look at the following excerpt and tell us that isn't the Duke'o'Death it's referring to.
Plus crazy new modes like Resurrection and Top Down, as well as a collection of oft-requested classic GTA rides - including one particularly morbid muscle car.
We're really ready for that. In the meantime, however, we have 20 new stunt races to keep us busy.