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 a stand-alone title by Rockstar Games and is treated as such by the developer.
Grand Theft Auto Online consists of 16 player open world sessions based in the same map as GTA V. 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 street 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 a content creation tool that allows players to create and publish their own races, deathmatches and, most recently, capture games.
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 or calling Merryweather to conduct an airstrike.
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 Rockford 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 affect on the Online world they can acrue Bad Sport points. When enough of these are awarded the player will be moved into a seperate 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 be destroying other players personal vehicles as well as quiting 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 Social Club account, John Marston, the protagonist from Rockstar-made Red Dead Redemption, becomes a potential father option.
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 create several characters 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).
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 & Life
See also: Safehouses in GTA Online
Money along with RP is the core basis for the GTA Online economy. 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 also required to launch jobs.
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. 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 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 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 approximatley 500 jobs in GTA Online and that are updated along with title updates such as the Beach Bum or Business 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 which is currently in beta version.
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 howewver Lester, Martin Madrazo, Lamar Davis and Ron also make appearances.
In mission lobbys 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.
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 Content Update — Free content update containing two new weapons (the Broken Bottle and the SNS Pistol), three new vehicles (the BF Bifta, the Canis Kalahari and the Bravado Paradise) and a new 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.
- Content Creator — Free content update introducing a job editor, allowing players to create their own deathmatches and races.
- Capture — Free content update introducing GTA's take on the classic Capture the Flag mode.
- 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 vehicle (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 Business Update - Free content update containing two new weapons (the Heavy Pistol and the Special Carbine), three new vehicles (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 High Life Update - Free content update containing a new weapon (the Bullpup Rifle), three new vehicles (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.
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