Grand Theft Auto Online
|Protagonists||GTA Online Protagonist|
Similar to its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto V features a multiplayer mode, dubbed Grand Theft Auto Online. Grand Theft Auto Online was released on October 1, 2013, 14 days after the actual game. Although, it is playable only with a Grand Theft Auto V disc, Grand Theft Auto Online is considered and treated by Rockstar Games as a stand-alone title.
Grand Theft Auto Online conists of 16 player open world sessions using the same map as GTA V. Players may travel and interact with the map at will with many gameplay options available including gang attacks, armoured trucks and impromptu races. The player can also purchase property and vehicles as well as clothes, aircraft, masks and weapons.
There are several game modes also available that are played in seperate sessions depending on number of players and mode. Also included in Online is a content creation tool which allows players to make their own races, deathmatches and most recently Captures.
Introduction and Tutorial
After showing various scenes and activities taking place in Lost Santos the newly created player is shown in a plane coming into land suggesting that the online character is a new resident to the city. After arriving at Los Santos International Airport, and the player is greeted by Lamar Davis outside the entrance.
When players first select to play Online they are taken through a player creation stage where they can modify their apperace. After a short introduction section the player is then taken through a tutorial which introduces the player to the Online world mechanics. After completing a race and a mission they are given access to the entire Los Santos map. However, they must still complete tasks including purchasing clothing, holding up a convenience store and stealing a car in order to turn it into a personal vehicle (by fitting a tracker and insurance). The player is then introduced to one more mission mode, an LTS. From this point on the player has free will to play and act as they wish.
Players rank up with RP, or Reputation Points, which are earned by completing almost any activity in the game including game modes and freemode activities like loosing wanted levels or holding up convinience stores. The RP system allows a players to rank up and unlock new items such as weapons, hair styles and clothes as well as contact missions and modes such as Parachuting. At higher levels players can call airstrikes and attack helicopters from Merryweather, along with several other bonuses.
Missions are represented by triggers on the map, in the job list and in the start menu map. To trigger a mode players simply walk into the job while in freemode or select it from the relevant list. There is also the option to join jobs at random. The player may also receive invites from friends or contacts via the phone. During almost every game mode players can bet on themselves or other players in order to gain bigger pay outs at the end of the job.
Although much of the activities in Grand Theft Auto V are available such as purchases and sports there are many differences between the gameplay mechanics. For instance police do not attempt to arrest the player but instead shoot to kill even with a one star wanted levels. The severity of wanted levels change depending on the players actions with an automatic three star wanted level attained by taking out a cop and a four star wanted level by entering military airspace at Fort Zancudo where tanks and fighter jets are scrambled.
Many of the characters featured in the story mode re-appear with the exception of Michael and Franklin along with some unique to Online, like Gerald. As Online is set before the events of single player some characters also act differently, in the case of Ron Jakowski appearing more sane, or live in different areas such as Martin Madrazo visiting his girlfriend in Rockford Hills, but sometimes getting calls from Patricia Madrazo as to where he is.
In GTA Online, characters can be customized with players able to buy their own clothing from stores around Los Santos. They can also buy tattoos, haircuts, and piercings. With the Collectors Edition of the game, additional characters from other Rockstar titles are available in the character creation tool. Another GTA protagonist known to be featured in the edition is Niko Bellic, and they can be picked as the characters father. Claude and Misty from GTA III are also available to use as parent genes. If the player has a Rockstar Social Club account, then John Marston, the protagonist from another Rockstar-made game Red Dead Redemption, will be available as a father. Players can use a slider bar to pick who their character looks like, either more like their father or mother. Additionally, you'll customize your characters daily activities - everything from family time to illegal activities, then from being an athlete to being a couch potato. All of this will have an impact on the players character's initial appearance, and his/her initial skills.
The player actually is noted to talk, as they assume the role of your voice. That is, when speaking into the mic, the character moves their mouth as if they were actually speaking. Based on a quote from Brucie Kibbutz, it is heavily implied that if the player calls someone then exits the call, he/she doesn't say anything, rather just heavily breathing into the phone.
Destroying vehicles belonging to other players and leaving missions and game modes constantly will result in a warning concerning "Bad Sport." Continuous destruction against players' vehicles will eventually earn the player the "Bad Sport" title. They will be penalized and will earn a Dunce Cap that cannot be removed until they are forgiven. They will also be placed into a lobby with other Bad Sports. For the ones who are modding and hacking the game will be given the "Cheater" title and will be placed in the Cheater Pool, along with other cheaters for an indefinite amount of time.
Money & Life
See also: Safehouses in GTA Online
Like in single player, money is the core basis for GTA Online. Players can purchse almost any item in game including apartments, garages, clothes, cars, aircraft and more. With regular updates to Online these options will continue to change and evolve over time.
Money is earned through most activities in the game: Performing missions, convenience store robberies, selling cars and more - with Heists soon to be added. Rockstar also offers players to options to purchase in game cash via their store using real life money.
Using their cash players can purchase garages and apartments that allows players to store purchased vehicles. These cars known as personal vehicles can then be used in freemode, race modes and in missions. Adding a tracker and insurance on the vehicle guarantees you will never lose them and, if they get destroyed, you can get a perfect copy from Mors Mutual. Additonally, a player can find helicopters and planes throughout the map.
When the player begins the game, they will only have one personal vehicle they can modify for free, as all others will cost the player different prices based on the value of the vehicle. Despite being able to drive high-end vehicles, the player cannot modify or store them, as they are 'too hot to modify', instead, the player must purchase them from the Legendary Motorsport website. In addition to vehicles, the player can also purchase properties, these come in four classes - Garages, ranging from $25k-$100k+, Low-end apartments, ranging from $80k-$120k, Mid-range apartments, varying from $125,000-$150,000, and High-end apartments, ranging from $205k-$400k. High-end apartments include a planning room to plan heists in addition to a 10-car garage, the most expensive apartment is the Eclipse Towers Apartment 31 at $400,000, although it is worth noting that all $205k+ apartments have the same interior, and it is the view and location that add the most value. Rockstar have not ruled out the possibilities of extra properties being added in DLC, such as penthouses, villas and mansions.
The game implements the Rockstar Social Club's crew system, this time with two types of crews. Private crews are mainly aimed at a group of friends or associates to play online together and can hold as many as 1,000 people. Public crews, on the other hand, can be compared in many ways to an army and can have unlimited members, although only 16 will be able to play with each other at once. The use of crews and teamwork is heavily encouraged by Rockstar, as the player receives more money in races depending on how many players are in the game, also, the player receives a 10% bonus to RP for playing with friends and 20% for playing with crew members. On top of this, many missions (particularly from Lester and Martin) involve the use of teamwork to succeed. The crew system in GTA Online also encourages customization and personalization, with the addition of crew emblems that can be placed on vehicles and crew colors.
There are approximatley 500 jobs in GTA Online and that Rockstar will be constantly adding more to keep GTA Online fresh, long after gamers have worked their way through GTA V. Missions can be encountered in many ways, including stumbling on them on the map, calling or receiving a phone call from an NPC, or choosing one of the menu. Races can be entered as game modes, where the player can compete using vehicles from their own garages. They can also create their own race tracks and deathmatches, using the Content Creator which is currently in beta version.
Like in single player, the player can perform heists with friends, which will be a bit bigger than they are in single player, with one that is known of containing around 20 steps. Heists are expected to be released some time in 2014 although no dates have been set.
Most missions in GTA Online are oddly similar, or make references, to those in the campaign. One such mission from Ron has the player steal a Cargobob from Fort Zancudo, an act Trevor Philips would later repeat. Also, Martin Madrazo has the player kill a woman who looks strikingly similar to the one who "green lit" the attack on Michael De Santa.
In missions you can scroll through a list of players in the current lobby, or invite friends to join. While scrollng, a menu shows up showcasing the highlighted players Driving, Shooting, Flying, Sneaking, and Stamina skills.
After missions where you've had a good old blood bath, you can wash the blood off yourself in the shower in your apartment. It is also possible to sing into a headset while taking a shower to earn RP.
Many new things can be done with vehicles in GTA Online. As stated before, cars can be locked to prevent them being stolen, and the player can also buy car insurance just in case their car is stolen during free roam, destroyed, or lost. Once a player has insurance, the car can get destroyed an infinite number of times without ever needing to renew the insurance.
Social ClubLike in Max Payne 3, players can form Crews using the Rockstar Games Social Club. As a reward for signing up to the Social Club, you can go to the Ammu-Nation, go to buy a weapon, go to the right side of the wall and a free Sawed-off Shotgun will be available to acquire, also if you access Legendary Motorsport you can buy the Elegy RH8 from the website for free. Players can be in up to 5 crews at one time and perform Heists and other activities together. When players form Crews in GTA Online they can be identified via the crew colour, which would cover half of the outside of their white marker, there is a new Hierarchy system to set ranks amongst players.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
- Beach Bum - Free content update containing new weapons, vehicles, clothes, tattoos, hairstyles and jobs. The weapons and vehicles are also available for GTA V story mode.
- Content Creator - Allows players to create their own deathmatches and races.
- Capture - GTA's Take on the classic Capture the Flag mode.
- Valentine's Day Massacre Special - Free content update containing a new weapon, new vehicles, new clothing, new actions and more. The Weapon is also available in story mode.
- The Business Update - A free content update containing two new weapons, four new vehicles, new clothing, and more. The Weapons and Vehicles will also be available in Story Mode.
- The High Life Update - A free content update containing a new weapon, four new vehicles, more high end apartments, and garages, and the ability to own two properties simultaneously.
Grand Theft Auto Online received mixed-to-positive critical reception. The game currently holds 77/100 on Metacritic, based on seven reviews, and 76-78/100 on GameRankings based on four reviews as well.  Most critics so far have praised the game for its potential, but criticized its technical problems and limited early content.
GRYOnline.pl awarded Online with a positive 7.5/10, declaring that "the fun is tremendous", but saying that the game's potential is "not fully realized". GameSpot's Carolyn Petit gave Online a 7/10, praising the freedom, but criticising the game's technical problems, concluding "the unpredictable human element is both an asset and a liability, and the technical problems that have plagued it are far too significant to be ignored. But when it clicks, as it often does, there's nothing quite like GTA Online". Destructoid's Chris Carter also gave the game a 7/10, calling it "one most fun online games [he has] ever played", while criticising the game's messy launch and glitches. Carter concluded that "one day GTA Online will reach its true potential with a massive map creation tool and more playable content than pretty much every genre outside of MMOs -- of this [he has] no doubt, given how deep Rockstar's coffers are. But for now, it's best to tread lightly until all of the kinks are worked out."
- In the intro when the player is on the plane arriving in Los Santos, other players' characters can be seen in the plane as well.
- Although GTA Online takes place before the events of GTA V, some Internet pages mention events that happen during the story, and the Fame or Shame finale can be seen on TV. The Meltdown film can be also be viewed in some theaters as well. This is a developer oversight.
- Rewards are given, such as free weapons, double RP, and achievements, if you are linked to Rockstar's Social Club.
- High end cars that can only be bought on the Internet that have a retail value over 100k can be stolen in-game but they cannot be made into Personal Vehicles or be sold nor modified, due to the fact that it would allow players to earn a lot of money fast, which would lessen the importance of earning money.
- Players currently cannot own multiple properties (e.g. an apartment and a garage) at the same time.
- The High Life Update will now allow players to own multiple properties to store more vehicles inside and/or to hang out at two different locations.
- If the player leaves their online character (or leaves the controller), after two minutes, the player will be warned by the game that they will be kicked in 13 more minutes if they remain idle.
- When in Passive Mode:
- You can still be run over by players, and players can kill you if you are in a car, because you can run them over, even if you're in Passive Mode.
- You cannot pick a fight with the cops. If the cops somehow chase you in Passive Mode, you cannot take a weapon to kill them and escape.
- You cannot take out any weapon, nor participate in a fist fight.
- As of patch 1.10, however, the player who kills another player in Passive Mode will now have to pay their "hospital fee." This fee is usually only a small charge such as $50. Hospital fees also exist in singleplayer although the fee is 100x larger.
- Paying other players' hospital fees is similar to how the player has to pay larger fees if another protagonist or family member is killed in singleplayer.
- After the player robs a store in GTA Online, the store is closed for a fair amount of time. This takes effect on all players in the session. The store doors will lock as soon as the last player exits the store.
- Also, when the player sees someone else running out of the store right after they robbed it, the player can kill the player and take the bag. This, however, gets the police on their tail. The police will not go after the other robber, because they don't have the money that actually belongs to the store.
- Animals do not appear in GTA Online, with the exception of fish underwater.
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/grand-theft-auto-online/critic-reviews
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/733724-grand-theft-auto-online/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gry-online.pl/S020.asp?ID=9297
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/grand-theft-auto-online-review/1900-6415473/
- ↑ http://www.destructoid.com/review-grand-theft-auto-online-262832.phtml