Rockstar has revealed the hope behind Grand Theft Auto Online is “to create an entire Grand Theft Auto world that consists of everything we’ve done or are going to do then let the player freely move between them.”
That’s what Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies told the latest issue of Game Informer, lending credence to the notion that other famous GTA locales like Liberty City will one day be available in GTA Online.
Benzies also revealed that the studio has been throwing around the concept of Grand Theft Auto Online since it started working on GTA 3, explaining, “We’ve always wanted to create a world with the complexity of a single-player Grand Theft Auto game with the addition of real players. We wanted a world where people could spend years without getting bored of playing the same content over and over.
“I think we’ve managed to achieve something very close to our dream.”
Elsewhere in the six-page spread, a number of new details about the online component of Grand Theft Auto V are revealed. For starters, over 500 missions will be available in GTA Online when it launches, some of which can be completed solo while others will require you to team up. All of them take prior to the start of the single-player game, meaning some familiar faces will make an appearance. If you make friends with the right people you’ll also be granted bonuses (for example, biker gangs may offer mission support or a hacker can hide you on the radar in multiplayer matches).
GTA Online will be populated by your friends and crew members first, before shifting to include players of a similar skill level from your geographic region. The option is there, however, to fully handpick everyone you play with. When you start your online adventure, you’ll have to choose your character’s parents, lifestyle and preferences, all of which determine your starting statistics, which can be upgraded. You’ll also be able to select a female avatar.
Pretty much all activities from the single-player campaign will be available online including “heists, missions, robberies, assaulting gang hideouts, hijacking armored vehicles, races” along with “tennis, golf and base jumping”. In terms of the ones on offer, they’ll change regularly as they’re controlled via Rockstar’s Social Club. After you’ve completed a task, your crew leader will decide who keeps the loot while you’re guaranteed to receive Reputation Points and cash rewards.
The point of the game is to amass heaps of cash and buy assets such as cars and houses; houses will have space for storing cars, with cheap ones offering two garage spaces compared to expensive penthouses holding ten. You’ll want to visit ATMs often too, as rival players can kill you and take any cash you have on you at the time. If you’re unlucky enough to be robbed though, you can put a bounty on the perpetrator’s head in a bid to get some revenge.
Grand Theft Auto V is due out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17, with Grand Theft Auto Online scheduled to launch two weeks later on October 1.