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Just when you thought it could not get any better, Rockstar Games gives us yet another glimpse at their upcoming title that seems to look better by the day. The title of course is Grand Theft Auto V and this time we got our first proper taste of what Grand Theft Auto Online is all about. And it looks absolutely incredible. To see it in all it’s glory check out the brand new trailer below and then I’ll go over what exactly this is all about.
After speculating about what I hoped would be in GTA Online (which you can check out here), Rockstar have delivered it all and so much more. Co-op heists against CPU AI, all side activities from the main game available online and the usual deathmatch modes also are here. But GTA Online is more than just a offering of modes, it is a brand new way to experience GTA. And I believe it is the first major step in what will be the future of the series, long after GTA V has gone away. An online world that is constantly changing and adapting offering everything you could ever want in GTA and more. The possibilities are infinite.
So how does it all work? Well each game will support up to 16 active players at one time, but every online player will affect the world in some way through how they play the game. Similar to the main game, you will want to earn as much cash as possible through a variety of different activities and missions, either against CPU or other online players. Once you have cash, it is up to you what to spend it on. A brand new car, tattoos, clothes and if you can afford it even penthouses and jets. GTA Online is all about earning what you get and then showing it off to the envy of other players. Just don’t expect everyone to let you get away with being a millionaire playboy.
Before you worry that a car or other material item you have spent your hard earned cash on could get stolen or lost, there are precautions for every outcome. Take out insurance and if you lose the car you can even get a hire car whilst you find a suitable replacement. Store up to ten cars in your garage complete with CCTV cameras and no one will be getting their hands on your favorite cars anytime soon. Even money earned needs to be put in a bank account otherwise you could get killed and drop all of your earnings where you dead body lay. Just like everywhere else, money equals power.
GTA Online looks to bring the complete GTA experience over to the multiplayer for the first time. So instead of just competing in races or death matches (which are still present in full force) you can just explore the world with your friends. Rob a liquor store then after escaping from the police go and have a round of golf or try and see who can get to the top of Mt. Chiliad the quickest. This is your sandbox and you can do whatever you want in it.
Alongside all the modes and activities, as well as brand new missions exclusive to GTA Online is the ambient events that make GTA worlds feel so alive. Perhaps you run into a gang trying to hijack an armored truck. You could just watch it play out, or you could hijack the robbery and takes the goods for yourself. This is just one of many different options that will add to make the world feel exactly the same as it’s impressive single player counterpart.
What might disappoint some people is that Grand Theft Auto Online won’t be ready at launch. It will be free to access for anyone who buys GTA V, but won’t become available until October 1st. Honestly, I think this is good news. First I never want to play something that is not ready, just like the original delay for GTA V. And I have faith in Rockstar that this delay means we will be getting the best experience possible. Also, this means we can concentrate solely on the hopefully incredible singleplayer for two weeks and then be blown away by all this new content shortly after release. Think of it as we now get two new GTA releases instead of one.
Another feature with huge potential is the content creator. While only limiting to creating races and death matches at launch, Rockstar wants the players to keep creating content so you never get bored of the same routine. Taking a page from the modding scene on PC versions, the possibilities for this in the future is insane. Imagine player created heists, vehicles and even entire cities. This really is the next step in the GTA evolution.
So now we finally have an idea of what Rockstar’s vision of open world multiplayer, as it is as ambitious as Grand Theft Auto III was back in 2001. This looks to live on far after GTA V and even the current consoles. Be sure this will make an appearance on next gen platforms even if GTA V does not. With the option for Rockstar to constantly add new content (for a price of course), we may no longer have to wait years between GTA releases. It will be a living, breathing entity that never goes away. I for one cannot wait for this next big step in one of gaming’s most important franchises.