Grand Theft Auto Online’s latest update is out now, and while Rockstar’s official “Newswire” site hasn’t posted any specific details, I’ve already played the new mode, which stars GTA V characters Franklin and Lamar. And while the new update isn’t amazing or anything, the timing of it will most likely further anger Red Dead Online players who are desperate for new content after nearly seven months of silence from Rockstar.
Double Down is a new asymmetrical adversary mode variant that was just added to GTA Online earlier today. It uses the older Franklin and Lamar character models as seen in the last big GTA Online update, The Contract starring Dr. Dre, which came out in December. In Double Down, two players take on the roles of the older-but-still-dangerous duo and must take on up to eight enemy players who all have double-barrel shotguns and infinite lives. The duo must survive four minutes, and unlike the attacking players, only have one life each. But they also have more weapons and explosives.
On paper this sounds like a fun idea, pitting an army of forever-spawning maniacs against two players with a ton of weapons. In practice, it’s a bit of a slog. The problem is that while Franklin and Lamar have a nice arsenal of rifles and bombs, it’s still an unfair fight against one shot, one kill shotguns wielded by an army of players running at them from all directions. Add in some classic GTA Online jank and you have a decidedly underwhelming experience. In the matches I played, Franklin and Lamar never won. And most players bailed after just one match, even though the mode is offering up triple RP. Not a good sign.
However, for Red Dead Online players desperate for new content, even this middling new asymmetrical horde mode seems like a pipe dream. It’s even more frustrating as this new GTA Online update brings in some legacy characters, something that RDO fans would also love. It’s interesting that hours after the GTA Online update went live on all platforms, Rockstar has still not tweeted about the new game mode or published any blogs about it. Maybe the publisher is just running late, or maybe it feels this isn’t a great time to be announcing a GTA Online update when its other massive game community is starving.
Regardless of all that (and the new mode being a bummer) I’m still excited to see Rockstar bringing back Lamar and Franklin in GTA Online. That duo was the best part of The Contract expansion last year and I’m curious to see what the future holds for GTA Online now that Rockstar seems more willing than ever to lean into its post-GTA V timeline and narrative. And I wonder, too, if Red Dead Online still has a future.