Thursday, 15 August 2013

Grand Theft Auto Online Reveal

Launches October 1st

GTA V is set to drop in just over a month. However, today Rockstar Games revealed an ambitious online multiplayer suite to accompany one of the biggest GTA games ever made. It is important to note that GTA Online will be “delivered” on October 1st, access being free with every retail copy of the game.

"Grand Theft Auto Online is a dynamic and persistent online world for 16 players that begins by sharing gameplay features, geography and mechanics with Grand Theft Auto V, but will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto community"

GTA Online sounds and looks like an MMO. The trailer opens up promising a living, persistent online world that dynamically changes and will be continually supported post launch by Rockstar. Throughout the short video we can see instances of new characters (with voiced dialogue) offering missions to be taken to earn currency.

Currency in GTA Online allows you to customise your created character, buying clothes and accessories as you would in a usual single player experience. Earn enough currency and you'll be able to buy property (with the ability to show it off to your friends) opening up the possibilities for co-op hideouts. Or, if you'd like, you can buy vehicles (cars, boats and aircraft) to customise and race.

What would you need a hideout for? Well, GTA Online's open world allows you to join up with friends to take on bank heists and armed robbery, with each of you working together to get away with the loot.

Not in the mood to rob a bank? Well you can compete with friends in the various side games GTA V boasts, including tennis and golf, or in classic online death match modes.

GTA Online also comes packed with a content creator allowing you to create custom races (setting a course in the huge world map) and death matches (altering the allowed map space and weapon/vehicle spawns).

It looks as if Rockstar has learned from their online offerings in GTA, Max Payne and Red Dead Redemption to create a refined and cohesive open world experience. GTA 4 allowed players to connect and take part in missions together in Liberty City. Red Dead Redemption blew open the doors and allowed players to interact and play in a huge open world cooperatively, competitively or both at the same time. Max Payne 3 introduced tight third person shooter controls and systems that were previously lacking in Rockstar games. GTA Online is the culmination of Rockstar's work this generation.

I just can't believe how robust it is considering the size of the single player portion of the game. Rockstar North President Leslie Benzies stressed that it's "a different entity, a separate thing, and it'll grow on its own. It'll be GTA Online; it's not part of GTA V. Obviously it's set in the GTA V engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing." 

GTA V releases on the 17th September 2013 here in Europe with, as noted above, GTA Online coming around two weeks later.