Rockstar Games (Parent Company: Take-Two Interactive)
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
October 1, 2013
ERSB: M (17+)
AU: R (18+)
NZ: R (18+)
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. Switching to GTA: Online from GTA V is very responsive and transitions smoothly. This can be done by selecting your multiplayer avatar via the character selection menu. Grand Theft Auto Online takes the fundamental Grand Theft Auto concepts of freedom, ambient activity and mission-based gameplay and makes them available to multiple players in an incredibly detailed and responsive online world. To add even more to the great immersion that is already placed inside of the world of GTA: Online, Rockstar has created something called "The Feed" which is a twitter-like program that appears on screen to relay all your emails, texts and messages from Social Club. There are also many different types of races in GTA: Online which include: lap racing, classic GTA racing, ralley racing and more. You will have mission playlists if you choose to enter them -- or you can just jump into "Free Roam" mode and there will be everything from 2-player missions on up to full-blown 16-player quests.
In Grand Theft Auto Online, players have the freedom to explore alone or with friends. Players can also work cooperatively to complete missions and even band together to participate in activities such as: 2-player missions or full-blown 16-player quests and even ambient events to compete in traditional game modes with the entire community. Players can also go to several tennis courts around Los Santos to play tennis and even going around Los Santos to go to the 18-hole golf course. The golf mini-game can accomodate [up to] a foursome. There are movies to watch at theaters, and in Online up to 16 players can pack a theater. There is also a "Make it Rain" button to use at the strip club. You will also be able to touch the girls during private dances, but if you get caught three times you will be tossed out on the street.
Other players will have the option to recruit players to go on their heists and players will typically compare each other with their rankings, if you're in need of some help within the heists then all you need to do is invite your friends by ringing them from the "Contacts" menu from the player's smartphone and they will be teleported to you automatically where you need help. Something new that Rockstar has implemented into the game is the ability to manipulate the reactions of AI. This is done through a very clever mechanic which listens to the frequency of your voice and based on it the AI will react to different situations so, for example, if you want AI to put money into a bag at a speed faster than they would normally do so, you'd shout into the mic and say something like "quicker, put the money in the bag" and they will move faster -- at the same time the player's character in-game will move its mouth almost seamlessly. You can also hire drivers, spies and more for your heists and jobs. If you're on a job and you get some loot, the crew leader decides who will get it.
At the end of a heist, be careful however that the person that took the money doesn't run away with it or rip you off -- if the player rips you off then you can track and kill or hire a hitman to wipe the betrayer out and get the money you rightfully deserve. GTA: Online will also feature a mission table that evaluates your performance on a heist or other job.
GTA: Online allows players to make their own improptu modes based on, currently, Deathmatch and Race (cars now have a real racing feel to them), there is also something called "quick race" where you can just mark the start and finish line. The Content Creator will allow players to create and share their own missions and activities via the Social Club cloud. Content creators can also set target times for other players to beat. Players can also rate your content and can even choose which creators they want to follow and curate during their favourite missions.
In GTA: Online, your ranking will be based off of shooting, driving, parachuting and flying skills. People can access their data through Social Club and via their iPhones or iPads. There is a mode called "passive mode" which means that people can't shoot you, if you fire your gun however passive mode will be deactivated. A "Bad Sport" stat will be given for bad behaviour such as blowing up another player's car, and if it's done persistently you will be punished. If your multiplayer character in Max Payne 3 had a high level, it will be carried over to GTA: Online for more bonuses that you will unlock. Matchmaking is based off of ranking, so it prioritizes your friends' rankings, crewmembers' rankings and even strangers so that when you need people, you know who to get. GTA: Online tracks who your rivals are and lets you know when they've come online so you can get some revenge on them. You're also best off depositing your money into your bank account as often as you can through an ATM machine -- you can also use debit cards. When another player kills you, they can snatch the wallet right from your dead body and the money will most-likely never be recovered. You can also improve your stats whether this being gun skills, stamina and more.
Players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance and altering their apperance by accessing it through the character selection wheel, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles with convertible rooftops and having the option to put tracking devices on them, purchasing personal property (but only able to own one at a time) and customising it with expensive wood, TVs, accessories and more as well as taking part in missions and jobs to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. It's also worthy to note that within any apartments you own, you shall also find a planning board much like the planning board in single player for heists. The player can also select things such as masks and glasses from the inventory menu.
There will be loads of property to buy at different prices, according to their views and location. You can use your in-house CCTV to spy on people at your front door, or take showers, surf the net, change clothes and watch the game's many TV channels. You will also have the ability to buy extras such as insurance on your cars and personal mechanics.
The world of Grand Theft Auto Online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic Grand Theft Auto game world. Access to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with every retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V.