This week video game developer Rockstar games delivered a huge Christmas surprise for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3 users who already have GTA 5 or plan to buy it in the very near future. As of yesterday, a new title update rolling out to GTA 5 includes Festive Surprise, a giant holiday themed update for the game’s multiplayer experience.
Rockstar announced the free title update was coming to all owners of GTA 5 yesterday in a post on its Rockstar Newswire blog. Make no mistake, the Festive Surprise update has the same sense of humor we’ve come to expect thanks to past GTA 5 updates. To be clear, this update doesn’t add anything to the single player story; it’s exclusive for the GTA Online multiplayer that came with the game at no additional charge.
The most striking addition in the update is a new game type called Snow Days. Snow Days is a giant snowball fighting game type. At some point during the holidays the weather will change in GTA Online and user’s characters will be able to make snowballs and throw them at each other. Snow Days sound like a sort of death match, with Rockstar noting that getting hit by one will do big damage to a character’s health. Rockstar doesn’t provide any specifics on when this snowfall might take place.
Nothing says, “Happy Holidays” like robbing an establishment with a mask that mirrors the face of the gingerbread man. At least, that’s if you’re going off the new costume pieces included in the Festivus Surprise update for GTA Online. Also included are embarrassing pajamas you’d normally only wear for the holidays, ugly Christmas sweaters, scarves, hats and masks. These will all be available for free for anyone until January 5th. Presumably, after this they’ll be available for in-game cash.
Four new cars are being added to GTA Online with the Festivus Surprise update. A new Hot Rod Christmas Ratloader, Slam Van and two sports cars for racing are also included in the free title update. Once earned, these cars will be available in the game for users to keep. Fireworks and a special gift for those who log into GTA Online on Christmas Day are also included.
All of that is great, but the special holiday crates are going to be what attracts the most attention. Rockstar says these crates will randomly drop in the game for users to claim until January 5th. They’ll include some special items that were previously exclusive to the game’s social events and other upgrades.
There are changes and fixes included in the update that have nothing to do with the holiday shopping season at all. This update includes new options for owning three different properties in GTA Online. Previously, players could only own two properties. Auto-leveling for the game’s first-person mechanics on the Xbox One and PS4 now has a manual switch.
Xbox 360 users will be prompted to update GTA 5 the next time they open the game. The Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 support silent updates. As such, they’ll download the Festivus Surprise update themselves without appearing to be on — provided the user hasn’t disabled that functionality.
GTA 5 is $29.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3 owners used at GameStop’s website and retail locations. The PS4 and Xbox One versions are both $59.99. The latter two include visual upgrades, in-game cash for GTA Online and a new first-person mode that Rockstar wasn’t able to bring to the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Unfortunately, PC users are still out of luck, Rockstar has plans to launch GTA 5 for PC on January 27th. That’s roughly three weeks after the Festivus Surprise extras have ended.