GTA Online is one of the most successful automotive games of all time - and now Rockstar have decided to release an expansion dedicated entirely to the social side of car tuner culture.
This week's Los Santos Tuners update will extend the game in radical new ways - some of the DLC released in the past has admittedly been a bit samey.
Obviously tuning is a huge aspect of the game already - but some players can spend months finishing their digital dream car ready for a cruise only to be the victim of an airstrike in the middle of the road. This ruins the aesthetic slightly - car meets aren’t usually high priority military targets.
Rockstar's answer to this is to create a purely social area - where you have to leave your weaponized vehicles at the door - and group up with like minded modders to drool over each other's vehicles. Just like in real life.
This has been characterised as a massive, shared social area where you and your friends may bring your own vehicle and interact freely with other auto enthusiasts to race, show off your customised cars, and even make shady connections seeking talented drivers willing to make a quick buck.
Top Gear hilariously stated that the expansion is like the early days of Fast & Furious - about illegal drag racing and stealing DVD players rather than a retirement community for WWE superstars (yes, Johnson and Cena, we are looking at you!)
On the inside, the LS Car Meet has a “good vibes only” policy, making it a perfect location to avoid the attention of the cops and any small-time thugs seeking to harass the people of Los Santos.
You'll discover a plethora of opportunities to immerse yourself in the scene's throbbing heart, display treasured personal cars from your collection, and check out everyone else's. Up to 30 players may congregate with their cars at the LS Car Meet at the same time.
A new Reputation progression will be unlocked, with new perks unlocked at each Level. You'll also get access to the Test Track, a huge subterranean area within the Car Meet warehouse where you and your buddies may freely drive, drift, and race cars without worrying about annoying passersby or breaking the law.
You can also try out new rides on the test track, which gives you the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a variety of cars and push them to their limits (like what TrackDays offers for real cars - just saying).
For $50k in-game money, you may join the LS Car Meet 'club,' under a building in the Cypress Flats region of the map. If you spend a little more, you can establish your own car shop, which will unlock a series of 'contracts,' which are four-player, driving-focused co-operative objectives akin to the game's current heists.
Clandestine tuning and drag racing - and even opening your own shop. Cars may also be modified in real time, either by the players or by others. Hats off to Rockstar because they clearly know what they’re doing - not that it was up for debate given that they are worth $4 Billion.
The update also contains ten new vehicles created especially for this release, several of which resemble famous JDM oldies adored by tuning enthusiasts. Take a look at the Karin Calico GTF; Karin Futo GTX; Annis Euros; Vapid Dominator GTT; Annis ZR350; Dinka RT3000; Vulkar Warrener HKR; Obey Tailgater S; Dinka Jester RR; and the Annis Remus – you’ll see what we mean.