Finally, we have seen what Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer has to offer. After Call of Duty: Ghosts impressed with its multiplayer showcase this week, Rockstar had a lot to live up to, but they blew the doors off the joint. Grand Theft Auto V’s multiplayer looks like the ultimate multiplayer component for an open world title. It’s the perfect combination of all the online multiplayer modes Rockstar has created before, and it looks absolutely, positively, incredible.
Instead of going the route of having an on-stage presentation like Activision did for Call of Duty: Ghosts, Rockstar simply released this short, three minute or so video on their RockstarGames YouTube channel. Despite only being three minutes, there is a ton of information to glean from this video, so check it out:
Living online world
This is a phrase we’ve been hearing a lot lately in the industry. But when we’ve heard it, it’s almost always been in reference to next-generation games like Destiny or Tom Clancy’s The Division. Grand Theft Auto Online takes San Andreas and brings it online as a constantly changing and adapting world.
This online world will change based on player actions, but it will also change as Rockstar updates the game over the next year or so. Rockstar plans on supporting Grand Theft Auto Online consistently, apparently already working on new DLC content specifically geared for the GTA Online experience.
Multiplayer with a story
Previous iterations of Grand Theft Auto, specifically Grand Theft Auto IV and its expansion packs, supported a form of online multiplayer. Compared to Grand Theft Auto V, the multiplayer in those games really pale in comparison. GTA V seems to not only offer a ton of activities to do, but there also seems to be an entirely separate storyline with it that stars your own multiplayer character.
The multiplayer character has just arrived via plane, but he is quickly thrust into the seedy underbelly of the world. Multiplayer specific characters will be met, including an amusing fellow in a wheelchair as well as the more traditional gang members we’re used to seeing from this region of the GTA world.
The plot will continue along and players will be introduced to new characters, get new missions, and earn new rewards as they continue to play. Since this is Grand Theft Auto Online, all of this can be experienced as part of the persistent online co-op the game offers, or you can even choose to play it all solo if you wish.
“F” is for Friends who do stuff together
Obviously, the point of GTA Online in Grand Theft Auto V is to get people to play together in multiplayer and co-op. Because of that, there are plenty of multiplayer activities to take part in, as demonstrated by Rockstar in the video.
Various mini-games will be available, which Rockstar is calling “structured” activities. We saw a few examples in the video, such as the ability to do arm wrestling contests. Other activities include races that expand from the streets to the air with planes and the sea with speedboats. Players will also be able to compete together in tennis and golf, and I assume various other mini-games as well.
“Unstructured” activities are included as well. Of course, these activities pretty much mean do whatever your imagination can come up with in the game. The example shown by Rockstar in the video saw a group of people playing online together riding motorbikes off a cliff, then all simultaneously pulling their parachutes to land safely.
What is it good for?
The entirety of the GTA Online experience can be played solo, for the most part. For those that want to get more out of the experience and actually play online with other people, however, Rockstar is making it easier than ever to start groups. They are bringing back their “Crew” mode as seen in their other gaming offerings this generation such as the multiplayer of Max Payne 3.
Crews are similar to clans, and clans will stick together throughout GTA Online, sharing the persistent world. As part of a Crew, everything starts to become more organized, making it easier to perform more challenging actions.
Players that are in Crews can work together to perform elaborate heists that look pulled straight from the single-player story missions. Not only that, but they can go smaller time and simply choose to rob a store together. Other online game modes, such as deathmatch and other “classic” game modes as described by Rockstar, can be played with a Crew as well. In the video, Rockstar didn’t exactly say how many people can be a part of a Crew, but we do know that online 16 players can share one version of the GTA V Online world at a time.
Earn money, break bank
All of these heists and missions have a point behind them, and that point is to build your reputation and earn cash. Cash is mainly spent on customization features. Players are able to customize various aspects of their multiplayer character, including their clothing and other aspects of their appearance as well. Weapons can be purchased and vehicles can also be purchased and customized.
There is even an option to buy and own real estate. When they have enough money, players can buy their own apartment and invite their online friends over to hang out. Knowing Rockstar, there will probably be plenty of mini-games to enjoy in the apartments to keep everyone busy.
Garages can also be purchased to store those customized cars. The garage shown in the video was huge, bigger than any garage that I’ve seen in any Grand Theft Auto game to date, filled with a really shocking amount of high quality vehicles.
Speaking of vehicles, plane flying is back in GTA V. Not only will you be able to steal planes off of the runway, but it appears you can purchase them as well. It seemed like in the video that the player bought their own personal jet. I have no idea where a jet would be stored, but it’s awesome that you can own your own personal aircraft this time around.
Another thing I noticed about planes is that the player was using a computer, went online, and seemingly bought a plane using the website. However, another possibility is that they bought a plane ticket, because after clicking on that page, it just showed the plane flying over the city normally. Maybe Rockstar has included new locations to travel to that can only be reached via plane ticket? Who knows, but being able to travel to different cities would be incredibly cool.
If all of that wasn’t enough to make GTA V the probable Game of the Year, if not the Decade, Rockstar has thrown even more icing on the proverbial cake. Players will be able to customize their own races and their own deathmatches with the robust Content Creator for the first time in GTA history.
Players can upload their created matches and races as well as download ones created by others. It seems that GTA V will forever be in my Xbox 360 come its launch in just a month’s time.
What did you think?
Grand Theft Auto Online honestly blew me away. The multiplayer looks like a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. GTA V is a shoe-in for Game of the Year now, offering not only what is destined to be a hugely innovative and absolutely engrossing single-player experience like always, but also a multiplayer experience that really has no rival in the open world space.
My only remaining question is, is there any offline multiplayer options? I appreciate the incredible strides they’re making in the online space, but one of the most entertaining things in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the secret, hidden simultaneous co-op that could be found and played with. Tearing up the streets in co-op in that game was infinitely entertaining, and while I am sure I will spend plenty of time with the online component, having an offline mode to go along with it wouldn’t hurt at all, even if it was just a goofy distraction.
So, what did you think of Grand Theft Auto V’s online multiplayer reveal? Are you even more excited for the game now? Sound off in the comments below!
Grand Theft Auto V releases on September 17th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Who needs next-gen when you have GTA V?