The online portion of Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto Online, will be launched a few days after the single player game becomes available in North America and Europe.
As Rockstar Games has stressed multiple times, GTA Online isn’t something that’s being included just for the sake of it: the team wanted to do something like this ever since Grand Theft Auto III so there are quite a few good ideas at the base the project.
Today some more details on Grand Theft Auto Online have emerged thanks to a preview published on the latest issue of Game Informer. From the many new details, it looks like Grand Theft Auto Online is going to be as huge as Grand Theft Auto V.
Here are some of the details that have emerged today:
- Character progression has a “flow” but there isn’t an “overarching narrative that culminates in a definitive conclusion”
- The aim of GTA Online is to do whatever it takes to get more money in the bank and accrue assets such as cars and real estate
- Characters appear in cutscenes when interacting with other characters in the world as they would in the single-player but doesn’t speak
- Female characters can be used in GTA Online
- Almost all activities from the campaign are available in GTA online: “heists, missions, robberies, assaulting gang hideouts, hijacking armored vehicles, races” as well as “tennis, golf and base jumping”
- According to Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies threre’s over 500 missions. Some can be completed solo, but others are complicated and require a team.
- GTA Online takes place after the main story, familiar faces will make appearances
- By currying favour of characters you can be introduced to more people and delve deeper into the criminal world
- Franklin’s friend Lamar may introduce you to a car dealer named Simeon Yetarian, who wants you to steal cars for him
- Biker gangs my support you during missions if you’re friendly with them
- A tech-savvy character you’ve befriended may hide you on the radar during multiplayer
- Security firms that have taken a liking to you may be used to deliver airstrikes
- Rockstar uses a “dynamic” system to populate GTA Online, starting with your friends and crew members, then similarly skilled players in the same part of the world.
- GTA Online has been created to be “as customisable as possible” in terms of who you play with: “there are options to let the game decide who to play with… or you can hand pick every player in the game”.
- The game analyses your playing style as you play and surfaces missions that appeal more to your style.
- There’s a crew ranking system and a personal rank
- The fourth GTA Online player is fresh off a plane in Los Santos, character creation involves choosing your mum, dad and grandparents and you’re given a character. Then players then choose a lifestyle, make choices about the things the character does (partying, couch potato, criminal, athletics nut).
- Starting skills are based on the chosen lifestyles, but can be upgraded, as can the look of the character
- Players riding shotgun in cars can also control radio station, set waypoints, use a cinematic camera, or attack others
- Holding the select button (on a PS3) pulls up a menu where outfits and gestures can be changed
- Phone camera’s can be used to take a selfie
- During a liquor store robbery the player can shout at the cashier to hurry up through a mic and the character will respond
- Escaping cops involves keeping yourself out of the police’s vision cone
- After each GTA Online mission cash rewards and Reputation Points are awarded. The crew leader decides who keeps the loot.
- A leader can choose to hog the spoils but, obviously, other players might not take that very well
- Invites are received through the character’s phone and accepting seamlessly transports the player to the activity
- Players can customise the way a vehicle handles at shops found around the city
- In missions involving bigger teams a lobby window opens up. From this the roles such as sniper, look-out and transporter can be assigned. The crew leader can tweak settings such as time of day, weather, difficulty and how many lives they have to complete the mission.
- Everyone is given priorities suited to their role when missions begin
- When you have enough cash to purchase a “high end residency” you gain the ability to set up heists like the ones in the solo campaign.
- These missions involve multiple phases, including a set-up phase. In the mission shown prep involved buying guns from Ammu-Nation and procuring a helicopter. The tasks can be split between players.
- Passive mode can be activated if you want to enjoy Online without being troubled by other players, this is automatically deactivated when you fire your gun however.
- Players can kill you and take your cash, so you are encouraged to put money in the bank and use ATMs.
- Purchases can still be made using the money even if it’s in the bank
- If you are robbed, you can put a bounty on a players head for revenge
- Each house you pruchase has space for storing cars. Modest appartments have space for two, but high-end homes can store ten.
- Garage areas can be treated like showrooms. You can walk around and admire your cars and hire a mechanic to keep them in good condition. You can also insure them to avoid big payouts should you damage them badly.
- You can invite friends to your home and drink, call strippers, watch Rockstar’s custom created TV shows (or your friends in high-speed chases).
- Missions are controlled through Rockstar’s Social Club, which means the developer tweak them regularly.
Grand Theft Auto V will launch on September 17th in North America and Europe. Grand Theft Auto Online will launch two weeks after the main game.