GTA Online: an independent multiplayer game of persistent shared worlds and “constant” updates from Rockstar

gta_online_announced

It would behoove you to behold the latest GTA V trailer – not only because it is your duty as a student of videogames, but because it turns out not to be about GTA V at all. Instead, we’re looking at an entirely separate proposition: GTA Online.

GTA Online will be free to owners of GTA V, and promises to transplant the heart of that game to a persistent online version of Los Santos. Players will be free to flit between a host of both “structured and unstructured” goings-on therein, and to develop their own maps to sit alongside the content Rockstar will be churning out post-release.

GTA Online will be made up of 16-player sessions, each part of an overarching system home to hundreds of thousands in pursuit of cash and Reputation Points. At any time, you can use your in-game phone to call friends in single player and invite them into your world.

The structured stuff looks quite familiar – story-driven cutscenes and heavily-scripted missions featuring heavy-duty weapons, albeit in co-op. Nothing else is, though. The unstructured stuff will include group parachuting sessions and races in planes, cars and boats, as well as player-planned heists and liquor store robberies. In a victory for human greed, whoever grabs the cash in a heist will get to divvy it up between participants however they choose.

Cash will be splashed mainly on customisation options – for outfits, weapons, haircuts and even vehicles (quickly replaceable with identical copies if players take out ‘insurance’). But players will also be able to buy property and invite others to explore it.

Everything you do will help push forward an overarching mission arc and bring more rewards. Oh – and you’re not likely to run out of those either.

“Rockstar will be constantly developing new content for you to enjoy,” say the developers. “But you’ll also be able to design your own races and deathmatches using the content creator. Then you can share them with friends and the world.”

Rockstar have plans to allow players to create their own multi-stage heists in the future.

This is all very much in the future, of course, especially for us on PC. But I don’t feel too forward in suggesting that the culmination of all of our dreams for the seriesmight be worth the wait.

What do you lot make of GTA Online?

Thanks to CVG, whose mammoth preview comes highly recommended.