Hot on the heels of their Tuners update, Rockstar is now set to launch another brand new single-player update to GTA Online’s universe. The update, titled “The Contract” will see acclaimed American rapper and industry big, Dr. Dre, alongside GTA V’s main protagonist, Franklin Clinton, and his associates, Lamar and Chop the Dog.
Following Rockstar’s previous Halloween event and Tuners update, which saw new themed activities and a mass drop of new vehicles and hangouts respectively, GTA Online will now dip into an all-new side of Los Santos for its “The Contract” update. The update is set to release on December 15.
According to Rockstar’s official announcement, “The Contract” follows Franklin Clinton sometime after the events of GTA V’s storymode finale, accompanied by his hustle-partner Lamar, beloved pup, Chop, and a new addition, Imani – who is said to be a highly-skilled hacker. Franklin now runs a “celebrity solutions agency” called F. Clinton and Partner, that specializes in assisting high-profile clients with discreet assignments. His big break arrives as none other than Dr. Dre himself, who tasks the firm with retrieving his cellphone. Along with sensitive information and private conversations, the device also holds a collection of unreleased music by the maestro, making it all the more important to recover.
Lamar, Franklin, Imani & Chop [via Rockstar]
While news of “The Contract” dropped on Rockstar’s website on December 8, 2021, fans have been speculating Dr. Dre’s association with the GTA franchise since Snoop Dogg’s October interview on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. During the interview, Snoop revealed,”Some of his (Dr. Dre) music is connected to the GTA game that’s coming out”, saying “I think that will be the way that his music will be released, through the GTA video game.”
The interview led fans to believe that GTA 6, the next installment to the series, was due sooner than they’d anticipated, and would feature the rapper. However, with no confirmation from Rockstar, some guessed this would be a GTA Online update instead, which sees much more frequent releases.
The Announcement Trailer
For a less-than-a-minute trailer, Rockstar has packed in a lot of new details! The video opens with an overhead shot of a drummer, later revealed to be American rapper Anderson .Paak, who features in-game as well. While Dr. Dre will star as himself, Rockstar hasn’t yet revealed .Paak’s character. The trailer plays alongside a swanky snippet of .Paak, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dog’s ‘ETA’, a track that should make its debut with the update.
Eagle-eyed fans might also catch glimpses of new vehicles, unlocked locations and interactions between characters and the environment. There are also various music-themed locations scattered across scenes, adding new flavor to GTA Online’s current gameplay.
Screenshot of Virgin Mary mural from the trailer [via Rockstar YouTube]
For fans that missed the beloved hustler from story mode, Franklin’s voiceover cut like a hot knife through butter. “Now I work with rich folk who got rich folk problems, and they don’t know how to deal with them. But damn man… I miss getting these hands dirty”, chimes original voice actor, Shawn Fonteno, who has reprised his iconic role as Franklin for the update.
There is something about otherwise non-interactive locations within the map opening up for online players, that will always be a treat, as GTA Online continues to drop updates, DLCs and events.
Highlights from Rockstar’s Official Announcement
While the story for “The Contract” reads to be straightforward, Rockstar’s announcement also came teasing new weapon, vehicle and location unlocks. More importantly, it confirms an 11-month standing hunch about Dr. Dre’s involvement after the events of the December 2020 Cayo Perico Heist update.
Picking up shortly after Dr. Dre’s cameo in Cayo Perico, “The Contract” sees Franklin bag Dre as his first high stakes client. Fans can expect new and famously unconventional mission styles, with Rockstar describing the update as “a wild and hilarious ride through Los Santos”.
The announcement also showcases some new additions to the game’s existing catalogue of weapons and vehicles. Namely, a compact EMP launcher the size of a handgun, an even smaller stun gun, and new Enus and Dewbauchee models. You can also see a wide shot of what looks like the lobby at F. Clinton and Partner, and the inside of ‘The Armory’, a sleek multi-computer office space, that could be within the F. Clinton and Partner building.
And finally, Rockstar dropped a goldmine of new music and musical interactions in-game, as an “eclectic new radio station from some very special guest hosts”, “huge first-of-their-kind updates to existing radio stations” and “new and unreleased exclusive tracks from Dr. Dre and a heavy-hitting line-up of artists”.
“The Contract” will be GTA Online’s very first music-centered update. It promises some serious entertainment, and we expect to be quite immersed in this story when it drops. Fans that questioned a tie-up to the Dr. Dre cameo and the Snoop Dogg hint about a “new GTA game” can finally settle, and we can finally get some more much-needed gameplay with Franklin (and Chop)!