Grand Theft Auto Online – Intense Potential
After an entire quarter on the market, Grand Theft Auto Online of developer Rockstar Games is about to make a rousing debut as announced by the publisher Take-Two Interactive. The first online version of the game has plenty of going for it, since the publisher has already shipped 32.5 million copies of Grand Theft Auto V since its debut for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on 17th September. It’s a record launch for a video game and reveals that GTA V has made $1.95 billion at retail sale that too in less than 4 months. The audience for Grand Theft Auto Online is constantly growing and demand is high. The GTA franchise on a world basis has sold 250 million copies by now – a record in its history since it first launched a game in 1997.
Grand Theft Auto Online is the multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V resembling that of its predecessor. It was released on 1st October 2013, 14 days after the game. Though it is playable with only a Grand Theft Auto V disc, it is considered and treated as a stand-alone title, by Rockstar Games.
The game executes the crew system of Rockstar Social Club, this time with two kinds of crews. Private crews are primarily intended to a group of friends to play together and can hold 1,000 people. On the other hand public crews is comparable in many ways to an army and can hold unlimited members, though only 16 can play with each other at a time. Rockstar heavily encourages the use of crews and teamwork as the gamer gets more money in races depending on how many gamers are playing, and also the he gets a 10% bonus to RP for playing with friends and 20% bonus for playing with crew members. Above all, many missions (especially from Martin and Lester) include the use of teamwork for getting success. Customization and personalization is also encouraged by GTA Online crew system with the addition of crew emblems which can be tucked on vehicles and crew colors.
Just like its one-player counterpart, GTA Online is focused heavily on money. When the gamer starts to play, they can have only one personal vehicle which they can modify free of cost, as all others will cost the gamer various prices according to the value of the vehicle. In spite of being able to drive high-end vehicles, the gamer cannot store or modify them, because they are “too hot to modify”. Instead the gamer has to buy them from the Legendary Motorsport website. Apart from vehicles, the gamer can also buy properties, which come in three types – low-end apartments ranging from $80k to $200k, high-end apartments ranging from $205k to $400k and garages ranging from $25k to $100k+.
After creating a character, you are shown various shots of Los Santos and various activities going on there. In the top-right corner, there are helpful tips. A plane flies with the player inside over Vespucci Beach and lands at Los Santos Airport, where Lamar Davis greets the player. Lamar takes the player through Los Santos and brings him to a race starting point, where the player must complete a race against Lamar. Whether he wins or loses is not important.
Next mission is to steal drugs to deliver to Lamar’s friend, Gerald, after which you are told by Lamar to purchase clothes from a nearby discount shop to “better represent-ate yourself”.
After completion of the tutorial, the player can roam San Andreas, whether racing against other players or cruising along or participating in a series of activities like Missions and Deathmatch. The police, however, cannot be disabled, unlike GTA IV.
Players rank up with Reputation Points or RP, which they are able to earn by accomplishing missions and activities or by performing simple tasks like cruising with other players or losing a desired level. Once they reach high enough in level, they are able to call airstrikes and hit helicopters from Merryweather, together with many other bonuses. To start a mission the gamer only has to walk into a particular area to trigger the starting of the mission. Players can also practice their shooting skills by going to the gun range in an Ammu-Nation and can also arm wrestle with other gamers.
Most critics have so far praised GTA Online for its potential, but have criticized for its technical hitches and limited early content. Try the game to see for yourself and enjoy.