03/09/2013

GTA Online - Lost in the Noise

We're just two weeks away from being able to enjoy GTA V in all its glory. But lurking just a month away is the release of an experience which promises to do for online gaming what Grand Theft Auto 3 did for the single player experience. I am talking of course, of GTA Online. 

It seems there has been some confusion since it's announcement about just what GTA Online is, and I am still not 100% on the answer. Is it part of GTA V? is it just online modes with a few added gimmicks? The simple answer to both seems to be a resounding NO. Rockstar are keen to treat GTA Online as a separate entity. And as for what it will offer it goes far beyond a few online modes to keep players busy in between single player gaming.

Online Character checking out his car collection

Even after watching the extensive gameplay video I was still not much clearer on just what GTA Online will offer. So here are some of the key points which the official gameplay video didn't mention;

- GTA Online will feature 'hundreds' of missions.
- Using the creator, players will be able to produce and share their own races, death matches etc.
- These tools will be come more advanced with time and offer more options for players.
- You can buy stocks and shares in businesses and then sabotage the business to improve stock.
- You can play in passive mode which will prevent you killing others and them killing you.
- GTA Online will feature GTA V characters who will introduce missions etc.
- Live police chases from online can be watched through the TV in your in game apartment.
- Payers characters will be based on their parents appearance in a 'sims style' generator tool.

Chilling in players apartment

As exciting as these points are they still don't give GTA Online the credit it deserves, for this I turned to a recent and rare interview from CVG with Rockstar North President Leslie Benzies. In the interview he talks about the features above etc. as you would expect, but towards the end of the interview he makes a few choice comments which would have any respecting GTA fan bursting with excitement. Asked about the future of GTA Online he had a few teasing comment to make;

"One things we've toyed with is to grow this world until it's 'the world"          

"We're just going to add on new things to it, new places all the time."


"We could, if we wanted, simulate the entire world, different countries whatever."

"Whether we do that or not. But we've got a bunch of old stuff that we're toying with using."

You and what army?

Now clearly none of these are promises but they do give you some idea of Rockstar's ambition for GTA Online and even if just a fraction of what was said turns into reality, GTA Online surely becomes an experience like no other, which is for gamers a great leap forward but for GTA fans is surely the holy grail! Just imagine the scenario, you're chilling with some friends in Los Santos and one of you suggests a trip out to do some gambling in Las Venturas, you simply hop on your private jet and off you go! Benzies also went on to say that unlike releases such as GTA IV, V etc. which have a script and an ending, GTA Online does not, he spoke of his desire to try and replicate life in the way it works etc.

So I guess my conclusion to all this is just to try and do my bit to ensure GTA Online is not lost in all the noise of GTA V's release and that it gets the coverage it clearly deserves. I'm sure Rockstar will do their part in getting everyone hyped but wanted to write this article to share my excitement which in many ways is greater than that for GTA V, not necessarily for where GTA Online is, but where it could be! Stay tuned folks i'm fairly sure on October 1st we will witness the release of a groundbreaking multiplayer and gaming revolution.