Grand Theft Auto 5 is already the fastest selling videogame of all time in the UK, having beaten Call of Duty Black Ops’ record of 2m copies in five days by 250,000 units.
Having made over $1 billion in just three days and garnering critical acclaim across the board, it is hard to believe that a major compononent of the game is still an unknown quantity.
GTA Online launches October 1st and Rockstar have just announced a slew of features, expected issues as well as confirming some of the things they have left out.
From launch, GTA Online will support 16 players in the open world of San Andreas. The list of features for the open world in GTA Online appears to mirror what is available in the single player – so you can rob a gas station, go sky diving, cause major carnage for the LSPD and dogfight over Los Santos in between drivebys.
There are jobs and missions, playable solo or as a team. It has previously been reported that GTA online will have as many as 500 missions at launch and as such, GTA Online will have as much, if not more content than GTA 5’s single player portion.
Sports and races are present and accounted for, again, with or without friends. Tournament play will also be supported.
GTA Online will include a reputation based leveling system. The player will earn reputation as they complete missions, carry out crimes etc and once accrued, reputation will provide access to new features, weapons and missions as well as bragging rights amongst members of your crew.
Money will also be a key feature of online play, with in-game currency being spent on everything from clothes to weapons and fast vehicles.
Controversially, Rockstar have confirmed that microtransactions exist in the game which will allow players to spend real money on in-game currency. Spending £1.99 for a Red Shark Cash Card will get you $100,000 whilst a Great White Shark Cash Card will get you $1.25 million for £13.49. Rockstar have stressed that nothing is behind a paywall and that with weapons and upgrades being tied to the ranking up system, players cannot simply pay their way to the best weapons and jump into PVP with a large advantage.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of microtransactions being in GTA Online is the fact that money can be taken from defeated players in PVP – holding up another player online and taking cash that they have paid for with REAL money would bring a real edge to online play that would no doubt result in elation or angry tirades directed at Rockstar depending on which side of the altercation you were on.
Rockstar have also confirmed a number of features that, whilst not available at launch, will be free updates once completed.
These include the Content Creator, allowing players to add their own deathmatches and races, a Capture the Flag mode and most intriguingly, heists. Complex co-operative heists are promised and, with a suitable team, could be among the highlights of GTA Online once they are added to the game.
Rockstar have been frank by admitting that there will be growing pains for GTA online and have opened a support email address and GTA Online forum on their Social Club for fans to direct their feedback and issues.
You can send emails to GTAOnline@rockstargames.com or vist the GTA Online Forums at http://socialclub.rockstargames.com/
Whilst it is expected that a game that is sure to have as many simulataneous players as GTA Online will have some teething problems, whether these will be game breaking or mild annoyances is yet to be seen.
We at TwinStickGaming look forward to October 1st to play the multiplayer and find out.
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