Grand Theft Auto Online
|Protagonists||GTA Online Protagonist|
Grand Theft Auto series
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 a stand-alone title by Rockstar Games and is treated as such by the developer. It will be available in the PC release.
Grand Theft Auto Online, more commonly known as GTA Online, consists of open world sessions based in the same map as GTA V. Sessions are limited to 16 players on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and expanded to 30 players (with 2 extra spaces for viewers) on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC)
Players may travel around and interact with the map at will and can take part in many gameplay activities, including assaults on local gangs, robbing armored trucks, and challenging other players to Impromptu Races. Several of these open world activities are unique to the multiplayer mode of the game, while others are shared with GTA V. Players can also purchase property, vehicles, clothing, aircraft, masks and weapons for their character.
Aside from the free roam aspect, GTA Online also includes several localized, more traditional multiplayer game modes known as Jobs that are played in separate sessions independent from the larger open world; players partaking in these jobs will not be visible to and cannot interact with players occupying the open world, even if they inhabit the same location at the same time. These jobs include deathmatches, races, sports activities and horde-like survival games. Lastly, players can also undertake co-operative missions for various crime boss characters, most of whom also make appearances in GTA V's story. The number of players involved and the size of the area available to them in these game modes varies depending on the activity and mode itself.
As players progress and increase the rank of their character, more items and jobs will be unlocked for them to purchase and play. Also included in GTA Online is the Content Creator, a development tool that allows players to create and publish their own races, deathmatches, and other competitive gamemodes.
Additional rewards are given, such as free weapons and double RP, if the player is connected to Rockstar's Social Club.
- Free Mode
- Race (including standard, GTA and Rally modes)
Introduction and Tutorial
When players first select to play GTA Online they are taken through a character creation stage where they can modify their character's appearance and basic characteristics. The game then begins with the player's newly created character arriving at Los Santos International Airport aboard a commercial flight. Upon leaving the airport, the player is met by Lamar Davis, who drives the player into the city.
Lamar serves as a guide through the initial tutorial portion of the game, introducing the player to the basic gameplay mechanics of the Online world. After completing a street race and taking part in a brief mission - disrupting a drug deal - Lamar introduces the player character to Gerald, the first of GTA Online's mission-giving bosses. At this point, players are granted access to the entire San Andreas map, and are immediately tasked by Lamar with purchasing some new clothing, and then holding up a convenience store. With these tasks completed, the player is contacted by Simeon Yetarian, who guides the player through the process of stealing a car and turning it into a personal vehicle (by fitting it with a tracker and purchasing insurance at a Los Santos Customs mod shop, both of which are free on this occasion). Following the completion of these mandatory activities, the player is introduced to one more job, an LTS, after which the tutorial is complete and players are free to explore the Online map as they wish.
Completing virtually any activity in GTA Online rewards players with both money, used for in-game purchases, and Reputation Points (RP). As players gain RP and increase their rank, new items such as weapons, hair styles, clothes and vehicle mods will be unlocked for purchase, while new missions and jobs, such as Parachuting, will become available to play. Many high rank missions offer far greater monetary and RP rewards than low rank missions. At higher ranks additional gameplay abilities will also become available through contacts on the player's mobile phone, such as asking Lester Crest to remove a wanted level, set a bounty on other players or calling Merryweather to conduct an airstrike.
When the player dies in GTA Online, Cris Formage appears in a vision telling the player that he is reviving them. He appears only once; the first time the player dies.
Jobs in GTA Online can either be accessed from the open world, in the form of a highlighted marker that the player simply walks into to activate the corresponding job, or selected through a list in the pause menu. Players can either host the jobs themselves, in many cases allowing them to modify the parameters for the session, or simply elect to join a job already in progress. The player may also receive invites from friends and other players via their phone. During almost any game mode, players can bet on themselves or other players in order to gain bigger payouts at the end of the job.
Although several activities from GTA V are available Online, such as purchasing clothing and sports, there are numerous differences in the gameplay mechanics involved. For instance, police will never attempt to arrest the player Online, instead shooting to kill even at one star wanted levels. The severity of wanted levels changes depending on the players' actions, with an automatic three star wanted level for killing a police officer, or a four star wanted level for trespassing at Fort Zancudo, where tanks and fighter jets will be scrambled.
Many of the characters featured in GTA V re-appear in Online in the form of mission-giving bosses, with the notable exception of Michael and Franklin (although Trevor does appear in such a role). Several other boss characters are unique to Online, such as Gerald. Chronologically, GTA Online is set before the events of the single player game; for example, Martin Madrazo is often found at his house in Vinewood Hills, which is destroyed early in GTA V by Michael, while Trevor is still based solely in Sandy Shores. Conversely, the player character in GTA Online is briefly mentioned by Lester at the start of the mission Casing the Jewel Store in GTA V, although he dismisses them as "too unpredictable".
If a player is seen to be creating a negative effect on the Online world they can acrue Bad Sport points. When enough of these are awarded the player will be moved into a separate pool of players all of which have been deemed Bad Sports. The player will also be given a dunce hat and will be unable to play with other non-bad sport players for a certain time. Players can be given these points by destroying other players' personal vehicles as well as quitting or being kicked out of jobs.
In GTA Online, players create their own customized characters through the use of a character creation tool. Unlike many other games where players can create their own character, physical appearance is not user-defined, but derived from the pre-set parent and grandparent characters that players choose. With the Collectors Edition of the game, several bonus characters from other Rockstar titles make 'cameo' appearances as possible parents in the character creation tool — GTA IV protagonist Niko Bellic can be selected as a parent, along with Claude and Misty from GTA III. Furthermore, if the player has a Rockstar Games Social Club account, John Marston, the protagonist from Rockstar-made Red Dead Redemption, becomes a potential father option.
The enhanced version of GTA Online for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, features a much bigger and in-depth variety of customization options and player who have transferred their characters from the previous gen, will have the chance to customize their character again.
Once confirmed, the player's appearance cannot be modified, although characters can be further customized in-game by purchasing clothing, tattoos, haircuts and masks from shops around Los Santos; such items can be continually changed or removed as many times as the player desires. As well as appearance, players can also select their character's typical daily activities, which will affect his/her initial skills. Players can currently create two characters (three other character slots are locked and cannot be accessed at this time) if they so choose, and any money stored in a bank account will be shared across all characters (although money in the character's pocket and RP do not carry over). The player can also selected differents actions to be performed by their characters, they can be used during Free Roam and before and after any of the competitive matchs.
When speaking into a microphone, the players character's mouth will move. However, they are generally regarded as mute by non-playable characters. For instance, Trevor often refers to the player as, "My favourite mute." Based on a quote from Brucie Kibbutz, it is implied that if the player calls someone then exits the call, he/she doesn't say anything, but rather simply breathes heavily into the phone.
Money and Lifestyle
See also: Safehouses in GTA Online
Money along with RP is the core basis for the GTA Online economy. Players can purchase 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 also required to launch jobs.
Money is earned through most activities in the game: Performing missions, convenience store robberies, selling cars, surviving/killing bounties, completing heists, and more. Rockstar also offers players the option to purchase in game cash using real life money in the form of Shark Cards.
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 Free Mode, race modes and in missions. Although the player is able to steal cars and turn them into personal vehicles, high end vehicles must be purchased through Legendary Motorsport website.
Properties 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 10-car garage, the most expensive apartment is the Eclipse Towers Apartment 3 at $500,000, 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 has since added $400,000-$500,000 apartments, all of which have a redesigned interior. Since The High Life Update, players are able to own up to two properties, and since the Festive Surprise players can now own a third property.
The game implements the Rockstar Games Social Club's crew system 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 are much larger and can have unlimited members. 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 approximately 500 jobs in GTA Online and that is updated along with title updates such as the Beach Bum or The Business Update packs. Jobs 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 with modded personal vehicles. They can also create their own race tracks and deathmatches using the Content Creator.
Missions are received from various characters most of which are present in GTA V. Trevor Philips is the only of the three central characters to appear in Online however Lester, Martin Madrazo, Lamar Davis and Ron also make appearances.
In mission lobbies you can scroll through a list of players in the current lobby, or invite friends to join. While scrolling, a menu shows up showcasing the highlighted players Driving, Shooting, Flying, Sneaking, and Stamina skills.
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. However, high-end vehicles which have a retail value over $100,000 can be stolen and driven in-game but cannot be made into Personal Vehicles, nor can they be sold or modified at Los Santos Customs.
- If the player remains idle for fifteen minutes they will be kicked from the online session. An on-screen message after two minutes of inactivity will warn players of this. The timer will beep for the final 10 seconds before the player is kicked out.
- Grand Theft Auto Online introduced a new feature called Passive Mode, which allows the player to roam around on foot without being killed by another player. Players in Passive Mode cannot be targeted by another player, though the Passive player cannot use their own weapons. If a player is killed whilst they are in Passive Mode, the other player has to pay the Passive player's hospital bills. Passive Mode is deactivated once the player enters a vehicle.
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 Content Update — Content update containing two new weapons (the Broken Bottle and the SNS Pistol), three new cars (the BF Bifta, the Canis Kalahari and the Bravado Paradise) and a boat (the Pegassi Speeder), as well as additional beach-themed clothing, tattoos, hairstyles and jobs. The weapons and vehicles are also available in GTA V's story mode. The update was released on November 19th, 2013.
- Content Creator — Content update introducing a job editor, allowing players to create their own deathmatches and races. The update was released on December 10th, 2013.
- Holiday Gifts — Time-limited content with a Christmas theme, including Christmas-themed clothing. Snowfall was also present across San Andreas on Christmas Day. All content from this update was removed when the update period expired.
- Valentine's Day Massacre Special — Time-limited content with a classic gangster theme, including a new weapon (the Gusenberg Sweeper) and a new car (the Albany Roosevelt), as well as additional gangster-themed clothing, hairstyles and actions. The weapon and vehicle were also available in GTA V's story mode. Content became unavailable when the update period expired, but is still available to those who purchased it before this. The update was released on February 13th, 2014.
- The Business Update — Content update containing two new weapons (the Heavy Pistol and the Special Carbine), three new cars (the Albany Alpha, the Dinka Jester and the Grotti Turismo R) and a new plane (the Buckingham Vestra), as well as additional formal clothing, hairstyles and tattoos. The weapons and vehicles are also available in GTA V's story mode. The update was released on March 4th, 2014.
- Capture — Content update introducing GTA's take on the classic Capture the Flag mode.
- The High Life Update — Content update containing a new weapon (the Bullpup Rifle), three new cars (the Enus Huntley S, the Dewbauchee Massacro and the Pegassi Zentorno) and a new motorcycle (the Dinka Thrust), as well as additional high-end clothing, apartments, jobs and contact missions. Players will also have the ability to own two properties simultaneously. The weapons and vehicles are also available in GTA V's story mode. The update was released on May 13th, 2014.
- I'm Not a Hipster Update — Content update containing two new weapons (the Vintage Pistol and the Antique Cavalry Dagger), seven new cars (the Lampadati Pigalle, the Vapid Blade, the Declasse Rhapsody, the Vulcar Warrener, the Benefactor Glendale, the Benefactor Panto and the Benefactor Dubsta 6x6), 12 new jobs and a host of other adjustments, game tuning and exploit fixes. The update was released on June 17th, 2014.
- Independence Day Special — Time-limited content with a July 4th theme, including two new weapons (the Musket and the Firework Launcher), a new vehicle (the Vapid Liberator) and a new motorcycle (the Western Sovereign), as well as additional USA-themed clothing, hairstyle, face-paint and rural safehouses. The weapons and vehicles are also available in GTA V's story mode. Content became unavailable when the update period expired, but is still available to those who purchased it before this. The update was released on July 1st, 2014.
- The San Andreas Flight School Update — Content update containing a new car (the Invetero Coquette Classic), a new helicopter (the Buckingham Swift) and two new planes (the Western Company Besra and the Buckingham Miljet). The update also introduces the Flight School to GTA Online and adds new patriotic parachutes based on the flags of various countries. The ability to buy a second, reserve parachute has been added. Payouts from contact missions were reduced. The update was released on August 19th, 2014.
- The Last Team Standing Update — Content update containing two new weapons (the Marksman Rifle and the Heavy Shotgun), one new car (the Lampadati Furore GT) and two new motorcycles (the Shitzu Hakuchou and the Liberty City Cycles Innovation), as well as new clothing and jobs. Last Team Standing mode was also added to the Content Creator. The update was released on October 2nd, 2014.
- Festive Surprise — Content update with a Christmas theme, including two new weapons (Proximity Mines and the Homing Rocket Launcher) and four new vehicles (the Bravado Rat-Truck, the Vapid Slamvan, and race car versions of the Dewbauchee Massacro and Dinka Jester), as well as Christmas-themed clothing some of which is time-limited. The update also allowed players to purchase a third property. The update was released on December 18th, 2014.
- Heists Update - Content update which added heists and new vehicles. The update was released on March 10th. 2015
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 criticizing 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 criticizing 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."
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The multiplayer killfeed uses a variety of messages to indicate the death of players in gameplay, which follow a basic "Player1 <term> Player2" format.
|Cause(s) of death||Term(s)|
|Falling, shot by cop, killed by NPC, killed by own explosives, crashed in wrecked helicopter||died, committed suicide|
|Suicide (Kill yourself option in Interaction Menu)||took the easy way out|
|Baseball Bat, Crowbar||melee killed / whacked / beat down / murdered / battered|
|Assault Rifle, Carbine Rifle, Advanced Rifle, Special Carbine, Bullpup Rifle||ended / rifled / shot down / floored|
|SMG , Micro SMG||riddled / drilled / submachine gunned / ruined|
|Sticky Bomb, Grenade||bombed|
|Minigun||ripped apart / torn apart / wiped out|
|Pump Shotgun, Sawed-Off Shotgun , Bullpup Shotgun||pulverised / shotgunned|
|Sniper Rifle, Heavy Sniper, Marksman Rifle||sniped / picked off / scoped|
|Pistol, Heavy Pistol, AP Pistol||pistoled / blasted / plugged|
|MG, Combat MG||machine gunned|
|Vehicles||flattened / chopped up (helicopter/plane propellers)|
- When the player is on the plane arriving in Los Santos during the introduction, other players' characters can be seen in the plane as well.
- Land animals do not appear in GTA Online, only sea creatures and birds appear.
- 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.
- Grand Theft Auto Online serves as a prequel to Grand Theft Auto V due to the fact the game came out after the story mode and takes place before it as well. Prominent examples showing Online is a prequel, mainly occur in the Heist Update, as Trevor doesn't seem to know who the O'Neil brothers are, the Protagonist has to help Chef set up his meth lab in the shop, Trevor starts his rivalry with the Lost MC by having the Protagonist steal their supply (although Trevor for some reason doesn't know where the Lost camp is in the main game), The Vagos are still situated in Sandy Shores and Simeon is still running his business in Los Santos.
- ↑ 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