From Tamriel to San Andreas
A while ago I read a series of blog posts in which a man described what happened to his character after he started playing Skyrim. It was very entertaining. In this series, I am going to try follow in his footsteps for Grand Theft Auto Online*.
When and What
My objective will be to play for one hour every week (either on a Saturday or Sunday) with the character I have created for the series and afterwards write about what I got up to. This post is very long – nearly 2,00 words – so in future I may focus on particular events rather than try to fit everything in.
As it happens, this series isn’t my first attempt to write about GTA in a creative fashion – I started a story blog, Escaping Hades, inspired by the game at the beginning of 2013. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long – due to time constraints as much as anything else – but if you would like to see what I did manage to write, you can do so here.
To be sure, this series is – in some respects – a continuation of Escaping Hades one so maybe the heroine – Eurydice – will turn up. That is possible as she was based on my previous character in GTA Online.
Meet The Assassin
With that said, let’s begin this post proper. An aeroplane lands at Los Santos International Airport and a smartly dressed man steps off it. He has a clump of chestnut hair on his head and is unshaven. Who is he? What does he do? And why do his lips shine? Is he really wearing lip gloss??
Below is a mug shot of the man in question**. As you can see his name is Drew. Deciding upon a name for a fictional character can be really hard sometimes, but Drew’s came quickly as drawing a new character was exactly what I was doing.
The next picture shows Drew in all his glory. A comb may never touch his hair, but that doesn’t mean he is a complete scruff; rather the opposite, in fact. Waistcoat, tie, smart trousers and shiny brown shoes. This man might be an academic. But those lips…
Leaving the airport, Drew goes straight to the young, cocky looking man whose car is parked a few feet away. Lamar Davis is a small-time crook with big-time ideas. Before he can hope to implement them, however, he has been told by his boss – a drug dealer named Gerald – to pick up the newcomer. He’s a man who comes highly recommended, Gerald tells him, do him right or he’ll do you dead.
As a result of this warning, Lamar is all nervous energy and talk when he and Drew meet. Once they are in the car, and no doubt wishing he could do it later, Lamar gives Drew his welcoming present – a gun.
Look at the Wheels!
Any violence is going to have to wait a moment, however, because once Lamar has driven us across town he invites Drew to take part in a street race – against himself. Drew is my third GTA Online character and on both other occasions that I have created new ones, I have failed to beat the young punk, so I am very up for this challenge.
Unfortunately for Drew, however, after a good opening stint, I crash after hurtling down a slope too fast. I recover, but only temporarily; Lamar speeds into the distance and my race record becomes 0-3. I used to be such a good racer in GTA IV online races.
Busting Makes Me Feel Good
I’m in need of redemption. Fortunately, I soon receive a call from – Lamar? Gerard? I can’t remember – telling me to go to a drug deal that is taking place underneath the Olympic Freeway and relieve the gangsters there of their product.
Off I go, and when I arrive at the deal, all goes well. I stay in cover, remember to flick my controller stick upwards to get a couple of head shots and before long am surrounded by rubbish and bodies.
There is a problem, though – the drugs are not here! Another gang member has driven off with them. So, it’s back to the crapmobile I picked up after racing Lamar for a chase across town until I catch up with him.
When I do, our cars clash and I fire wildly. This isn’t a wise idea as before I know it my pistol runs out of bullets. What am I going to do now? My only option is to make the gangster crash his car. I feel this will be easier said than done. However, after smashing into the gangster’s car a few times, I cause it to hit the concrete barrier in the middle of the road and flip over several times in spectacular fashion.
After the car comes to a halt, the gangster struggles out of it and takes off down the freeway with Drew in rapid pursuit. Goodness knows what the Los Santeans (or Los Santons? Santoans?) must make of the sight.
Soon, however, Drew catches up with the young scallywag and thump him on the head with the butt of hisy gun. Let that be a lesson to you, young ruffian, crime doesn’t pay.
Sadly, I think Drew accidentally killed him, so the young man will never learn the error of his ways. Probably just as well as Drew is about to make a hypocrite of himself by taking the drugs to Gerald for, you guessed it, money.
After visiting Gerald, and receiving the first of many warnings to shut up about him, the game sends Drew to the nearest clothes store where I increase my character’s dapper rating by buying all the waistcoats, ties, bow ties, and smart shoes on offer.
I then take Drew to a nearby Ammu-Nation to get properly tooled up. Hello shotgun twins – sawn-off and bull pup!
Have gun, will rob store
Drew arrived in Los Santos with no money, so making some by
fair means or foul is a priority. He approaches a store. There is another player in there. Hopefully just buying some snacks.
I wait some more…
The player leaves. I could have used the opportunity to shoot him but new weapons notwithstanding I am not keen to engage other players just yet.
So, once he has left, I approach the store. Oh dear! It’s closed. The other player wasn’t buying snacks at all. Of course not; he was robbing it. Not to worry, I’ll just go and find another one.
After doing so, there is an awkward delay when the game won’t let Drew in. Once he does get inside, he puts his pistol to the owner’s head. The frightened man delivers the cash – getting shot for his efforts. Drew makes his escape – and gets all of two steps before one of the rozzers shoot him dead. It’s Drew’s first death at the hands of the law.
Once Drew respawns into the game, the game directs him to LS Customs. There are a few players congregated on Atla Street in the middle of town, though, so I divert – it’s time these punk asses punk asses realise there is a new gun in town. I chase a player into a car park and pursue him round it in Benny Hill fashion before realising what a twit I look and give up. I back out and head off to the LS Customs just off Eastbourne Way.
Or so I think because a motorcyclist has just passed me. Easy meat! If I can’t shoot him from my car, I can definitely knock him of his bike and then do so!
Except that… I miss him. I aim the car but he just darts out of the way with contemptuous ease. It looks like that’s game over until I see on the minimap that he is coming back. I get Drew out of the car, give him his sawn-off and wait until the biker returns. Then – bang! I’ve bagged my first kill.
Somewhere along the way, I changed my crapmobile for a Zion Cabrio (I think). At LS Customs I repair it, get it insured and respray it red so that I can pretend it is a Ferrari.
Cypress Hills LTS
Despite the fact that I’ve just killed several drug dealers, Gerald calls me to say I have to prove my worth before he’ll hire me for jobs. I’m told to head off to Cypress Hills in the south-east of the city. There, amid the various industrial buildings that dominate the area, I step into a blue circle and learn about Last Team Standing (LTS) games, Deathmatches and so forth. Up till now I have avoided those in my GTA Online career as being too much effort for too little reward but this’ll change with Drew.
I have to admit, I’m not sure if Gerald wanted me to step into the circle but before I know it, I am in an LTS game with one other man – a player who is Level 183! He must think he is in for an easy win.
We start off several blocks apart; after we have caught up with each other, we exchange gunfire at two ends of a single block. I hit him several times. He only gets me once or twice. He disappears into the industrial estate. I follow warily. It looks like he has gone onto the roof but moments later appears again on the other side of the road. More gunfire. I hit him again. He doesn’t go down. Is my pistol firing peas? Level 183 approaches from across the road, I aim my gun and – click click.
I’m out of bullets.
And moments later, as I run around like a headless chicken trying to work out where the ammo dumps are, I am out of life as well.
An Unexpected Boost
As I head back to Ammu Nation I realise that I had over $150,000 not $15,000 in my pocket so once in the gun store I buy all the guns! This more than makes up for the disappointment of losing the LTS.
The Lipstick Killer
When I created Drew, I decided to give him smokey eyes make-up and, as already mentioned, lip gloss. Why? I asked myself. Perhaps to unsettle men before he killed them. The lip gloss didn’t really stand out, though, so as my hour of playing drew (no pun intended) to a close, I visited the hairdresser on Hawick Avenue and had her give Drew red lipstick. You can see it below.
Lipstick and eye shadow are, of course, normally the preserve of women. Is Drew wearing it because he wants to unnerve men before he shoots them or is there something else at play here? We’ll find out in future episodes. If you read the Escaping Hades stories, though, you might see where I am going.
After visiting the hair dresser, Drew climbs into his car and joins a race. Brand’s Snatch takes place in the north side of town, passing a film studio and beautiful Spanish-esque church along its way. Once again, I start well but soon get clattered out of contention. I drop down to third of six, make a mini recovery only to lose it again. I finish third. A definite disappointment.
My hour of playing is now up. I park Drew’s Zion Cabrio and back out of the game.
* Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I read the Skyrim posts, but if I ever come across them again, I’ll be sure to link to them here
** I must apologise for the poor quality of the pictures. I am playing the game on the XBox One, which has the capacity to take screen shots and upload them but I haven’t yet worked out how to do that. As soon as I have, I’ll be sure to use the pictures here