GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 16 Jul 2013 13:14

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 29 Jul 2013 17:07

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 29 Jul 2013 17:08

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 13 Aug 2013 15:13

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 13 Aug 2013 17:30

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 13 Aug 2013 17:54

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and in case anyone missed it :geek:

http://www.rockstargames.com/V/lsbc/luxury-air-travel

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 13 Aug 2013 17:57

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:D :shock: :) :geek:
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Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 14 Aug 2013 01:04

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 15 Aug 2013 12:52

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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Re: GTAV Trailer Released, Aircraft!

Postby AADX » 17 Aug 2013 13:02



http://www.computerandvideogames.com/42 ... -in-years/

Ok, here's your headline: You can't play Grand Theft Auto V online at launch. In fact, GTAV doesn't have a multiplayer mode at all. What GTAV does have, is your invitation to GTA Online - and that's what leads us to Rockstar North for a 50 minute demo of, arguably, the most exciting development in GTA history.

GTA Online is something different. Something bigger. Something that changes the way we play GTA forever. The clue is in the wording: GTA Online. GTAV is the launching point, but this is no regular multiplayer mode. GTA Online is an entirely new product - a service, even - and the biggest shake up in the series since GTA III.

Crudely, GTA Online is a persistent online world for 16 active players, with all GTAV's single-player features and more. Looting, co-op heists, deathmatches, races, gang attacks, crew vs crew playlists, sports (like tennis, BASE jumping, golf and more), plus 'ambient' events like armoured van robberies, crate drops, import/export car acquisition, bounties... more. Not to mention the implicit morality and social dynamics, or the really mad stuff like the ability to insure your car or play the stock market. Rockstar uses different language, but to all intents, it's GTA: the MMO Action RPG.

GTA Online is free for anyone who buys GTAV but it doesn't unlock until around two weeks after GTAV's September 17 launch. Many will find this surprising, and others might demand to play GTA online at launch becauseIpaiddforitthanksverymuch, but we suspect you'll be grateful of the delay. GTAV is a sprawling offline game and Rockstar hopes to give people time to explore and learn its mechanics.

Once online, 16 players are active at any one time but you're part of an online universe of hundreds of thousands, if not more - all jostling for Reputation Points (RP), cash and almost limitless material acquisition. Remember the penthouse at the end of the GTAV gameplay trailer? You can buy it, complete with working CCTV, home entertainment and a deluxe garage allowing storage of 10 customised vehicles.

In truth, it's a lot to take in, which might explain why we were invited to the Edinburgh home of Rockstar North, creators of the GTA series, to see GTA Online played in a live 50-minute demo. We also discussed it at length with Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies, who gives fewer interviews than you can count on a Yakuza's fingers.

GTA Online takes some explaining, so we'll start by running you through what we saw. Sat in a demo room at Rockstar North's swish open-plan HQ, we sat in front of a row of four HD TVs. The action focused on a central screen, but played out from multiple angles as new players entered the game.

Good news: GTA Online looks like GTAV. No compromise. As we waited for the action to begin, the streets of Vinewood were buzzing with traffic and neon just like the trailers. Suddenly, a Rockstar developer sat next to us starts chatting into his headset and his on-screen character does the same, lip-synching broadly in time.

"Ready guys? Let's go". The developer's online persona opens his in-game smartphone (with a 3x3 grid of 'apps', although different phones have different layouts...) and taps on 'Contacts'. He scrolls through a list of in-game characters, before settling on his online friends list.

At any time during GTA Online, you can pick up your phone to 'ring' friends in single player and invite them into your world. You can leap into GTA Online at any time during GTAV's solo campaign using the character selection wheel and selecting your online avatar (in the bottom quadrant, next to Michael, Franklin and Trevor).

After a brief chat, the friends agree to meet at a waypoint marker on Vespucci Boulevard. Like traditional single player GTA, you can place markers for meet ups or key locations. A Vapid Dominator pulls up (we can see it winding through the streets on a screen to our left), and he jumps in. "What's this?" one character asks, as Waylon Jennings plays on the radio. The passenger can change channels, acting as in-car DJ.

The duo agrees to hold up a gas station. "Masks on, yeah", one character says, before cycling through the Interaction Menu where you can select glasses, hats, masks etc. The masks are more than cosmetic: ditch it after the hold up, and you'll lose a wanted star. He dons a gorilla mask and bursts into the store. "Put the money in the bag. This is a stick up! Come on! Quicker!" At first we suspect the shouting is for our benefit, but AI characters will react to the urgency in your voice, stuffing money more quickly in the bag.

The police arrive as the duo dash to their getaway car with a two star wanted level. Police cars have a 'cone of detection' visible on the radar and you need to stay out of their sight for a number of seconds - or simply out-distance them - to lose the wanted level. After a heated pursuit, sirens melting into ambient traffic, the duo escapes. Whoever does the job gets the cash and can choose how much to share: a sure-fire source of arguments. "I'll give you a little more, it's OK", he says.

They head to a character's apartment, with a high-end ground floor garage with space for 10 customised cars. Like single player, car modding is extensive, but don't fear losing your cherished vehicles. You can take out insurance and ring for a replacement car if yours get destroyed. Your custom cars show as markers on the map and get impounded if you leave them too long. Simply pay to retrieve them.

The garage looks like a minimalist, gleaming white Apple showroom. You can pay a personal mechanic to fix your cars automatically, or deliver them to any location. As you ogle your motors, you can see their stats for speed, handling etc, before making your choice. We're ready for an impromptu street race through the Vinewood (GTAV's Hollywood) streets at night.

You can set the race marker where you like, and the action unfolds like Midnight Club. At one stage, a car flies past us at a junction being pursued by the police - another human player in trouble, since you exist in the same world. Winning the race nets a modest $80, logging your times to the Social Club and boosting your RP.

"GTA Online looks like GTAV. No compromise. The streets of Vinewood were buzzing with traffic just like the trailers."

If this wasn't enough, Rockstar will constantly add missions and content to GTA Online, plus players can create their own missions using the Creator tools. The long-term aim, as we understand it, is a vibrant self-sustaining community like LBP, but initially the tools will be more limited - like the mission creator in Infamous 2. You'll only be able to make races and death matches at the start, but multi-stage DIY heists should appear at some stage.

The duo head to a glowing blue mission marker (called a 'corona') for the 'Maibatsu Factory Steal' mission. They need to hijack a shipment of bikes from a heavily guarded factory, so call in two online friends to help: "Hey Shaun. Hey Ross. We're going to steal some bikes. We need a lookout, a sniper and some transporters". You can assemble a team from your friends list, or recruit according to specialist skills. For example, some players are better at shooting, driving or flying, while others have access to unique vehicles.

As GTA Online develops, it's sensible to expect the 'Whales' to rise to the top - players with more time and skill with the highest levels of RP and cash. However, it's possible to spread the wealth by sharing cash, weapons and ammo among your team. In turn, they can 'defect' and try to steal your cash so, like life, GTA Online is an exercise in trust and social dynamics.

The four-person team head to the factory, scoping out sentries from afar. The scope for teamwork and co-ordination is impressive. "All clear. Let me know when you're in place", whispers one player. "I've got a guard here", says another, "I'm going in close and personal". He creeps us behind the guard, sinking a knife into his neck - presumably a new close-combat move. We also see some new clambering animations, plus a 'shin slide' down a ladder. GTA Online detects how noisy you are, so you could shout or open fire to distract a guard while a friend sneaks by.

In no time, it all kicks off. "I need covering fire!" a player barks. We see a flurry of sniper and machine gun shots from all angles on multiple screens. In truth, the visuals look a bit less polished than the trailers have led us to believe. Not hugely, but it's noticeable when viewing a guard from distance - they're not as hi-res. To be clear: GTA V and GTA Online look fantastic for PS3 / 360 titles but this is the reality of seeing a game in action, not its manicured trailers.

Eventually, they take out the guards and steal the 'Big Rig' of bikes. The 'transporter' drives the truck while his team follow in cars. "I can see you now. Watch out", calls one player. "We've got an SUV on our tail. Take it out!" The support cars fire at pursuing SUVs as they weave through freeway traffic - the scene has the feel of a Michael Mann movie, only with that unpredictable edge fallible, creative human players provide.

The mission ends as the truck pulls into a dirt road and everyone goes separate ways. You earn $25k and 1250 RP. "Give us a lift into town!" asks one player, as his friend pops down the automated hood on his two-seater Lampadati Felon GP - only to flip his pal the bird and speed off laughing. You'll be able to set custom animations a bit like - whisper it - PlayStation Home. You won't be left stranded, but can call for taxis or your private garage pick up.

We're given a brief glimpse of The Feed. It's like GTA Online's version of twitter, which appears on screen to relay all your emails, texts and messages from Social Club. It's a bit odd that GTA Online doesn't seem to link to actual Twitter - for example, to share an in-game pic taken with your smartphone - but Rockstar seem determined to focus on their Social Club website.

Before the demo's final mission, one player leaves to drop money off at the Maze Bank ATM. If you get killed holding all your cash, a portion will spill onto the streets. It's important to keep cash for your daily activities, and deposit the rest in the bank. Or wager it on races. Or invest in the stock market... as we said, it's complex. You can even attack listed companies and damage their share price. At one extreme, you might need a bodyguard to make drops at the bank.

We're taken to a luxury apartment. There will be loads of property to buy at different prices, according to their views and location. You can use your in-house CCTV to spy on people at your front door, or take showers, surf the net, change clothes and watch the game's many TV channels. We glimpsed a 1930s animal detective show (quite), Moosehead Investigations, before the channel was changed to Weasel News. From the safety of your house, you can watch people within your 16-player game being chased by the cops, just like Police Camera Action.

Even more surreal, you can look out of your window and see the police speed past your house, moments after you've seen them on TV. Hey, perhaps you could call in a chopper and gatecrash the show? The player buzzes the rest of his team up to his room, and they start to plan a heist - a simplified version of GTAV's tentpole missions.

You need to recover a Titan cargo plane from the Los Santos airport on the southern tip of the city. Rockstar's demo team organised into a group of four, stopping off at AmmuNation before the heist. GTAV map aficionados will recognise it as the large AmmuNation store by the Mile High Club skyscraper from the trailers. One player went inside to buy a familiar variety of SMGs, shotguns and assault rifles (they also sell parachutes), as another player landed a chopper on the store's helipad roof - a cute touch.

Within minutes, all four players are in the chopper. "We're going to the airfield and gain some altitude", says the pilot, "Then you guys can jump out". As the chopper hovers over the airfield, the players pick out targets and set a waypoint - yes, you can set them from the air. "Get ready guys. 3... 2... 1... Jump!" shouts the pilot, as the other three parachute into the airport. It's thrilling stuff, with a real feel of team co-ordination.

As the team scrabble to the waypoint, the chopper spots obstacles from above. "I can see the hangar. There's patriot cars either side (of the Titan), lots of guys... wait, there's a truck blocking the path of the plane!" In no time, the team attack and bullets are flying, with AI-controlled Merryweather guards (GTAV's equivalent of military contractors) pouring in left and right. "Two... no, three guys on the left... one from behind" barks the pilot.

Eventually, one player jumps in the Titan and starts to move, while another player frantically runs to keep up, blasting guards as he goes. It's all very frenzied, and in no time all the team are in the Titan... but there's barely any runway left.

"We need to pull up! Pull up", someone cries... and right on queue the Titan roars into the air. It might be staged, but it's a real stomach-rush moment ripped from a Hollywood action movie. You can even see the landing gear being manually retracted. Madness.

The Titan makes its way along the southern tip of Los Santos, heading west past Del Perro Pier and Vespucci Beach. Half way up the west coast, we glimpse a previously unseen industrial complex / small town, before we branch along the Zancudo river and land on the Sandy Shores airstrip south of the Alamo Sea.

$30,000 gained and 2120 RP. We query the route with Leslie Benzies later on and while a Rockstar rep claims they aren't talking about certain locations yet, Leslie laughs and confirms, "You guys really know your shit".

That's it. Except that isn't it. In 50 minutes we've seen only a glimpse of GTA Online - and what it might become. We didn't see any sports events like the shooting range, tennis or golf; nor the extensive customisation options for your vehicles, weapons or characters. The demo focused on co-op events versus AI opposition, so we're yet to see deathmatches or crew vs crew playlists.

The Creator tool offers tantalising longevity, allowing players to create and share their own missions and activities via the Social Club cloud. Other players can beat your target times and scores, then rate your mission. You can even choose which creators you want to follow and curate your favourite missions.

Leslie Benzies claims that Los Santos is only the beginning. The volume of creator tools, missions and items will grow, but at some stage GTA Online will head into new locations. He suggested they were sitting on a lot of content, and it doesn't take a genius to speculate what it might be.

Fancy taking your Los Santos crew for an away day in Liberty City? What about a retro-themed GTA Online spin-off in Vice City, but with deliberately old-school graphics like Far Cry: Blood Dragon? Leslie Benzies confirmed nothing, but suggested that old content was one route... simulating the world and different countries has always been their long-term goal.

Will GTA Online really host 16-player sessions without compromise or messy matchmaking? Rockstar's demo was seamless, but the real world is far from a controlled environment. Will cash-flushed 'Whales' and nihilist morons ruin the experience? Rockstar promise rank-based matchmaking and extensive policing, but that's a tough claim for a game that could potentially rival Call of Duty's levels of popularity.

The floppy-eared, trunk-waving, quadruped in Rockstar's online penthouse, of course, is the advent of next-gen consoles. GTA Online begins life on PS3 and 360 but 12 months from now, the world's gaze will be firmly on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Rockstar isn't blind to this, but given the imminent release of GTAV on current consoles, there's no way it would confirm, or even hint, at its next-gen plans.

At the same time the studio's denying nothing, and Leslie Benzies' responded with textbook diplomacy to our next-gen questions. Bottom line: if GTA Online is a persistent service, it has to appear on PS4/Xbox One in some form, sooner or later.

"The Creator tool offers tantalising longevity, allowing players to create and share their own missions."



A key question is how Rockstar is going to charge for all this, because if you're expecting them to provide a free, ever-expanding, online service *for all time* for the one-off cost of GTAV, well... you don't do you.

Rockstar is saying nothing, but we'd expect it to trial a mixture of microtransactions, plus more substantial 'packs' of new content. You'll certainly be able to play GTA Online for free within two weeks of Sep 17, and there'll be no shortage of things to do.

Indeed, we're not sure that many people are going to wait for the opportunity to fly ten of their friends into a co-op assault on a Los Santos skyscraper, all wielding customised weapons and sporting dayglo sports tracksuits - to imagine one hypothetical, but quite achievable, scenario.

Sure, the headline is that we'll have to wait two weeks for GTA Online, but that's not the story when 2013's biggest game is launching an online universe. A persistent online experience that potentially spans console generations... with dreams of recreating not just Los Santos, but maybe the world, in the cloud.


Why Grand Theft Auto Online is Crazy Enough to Work
August 15, 2013 7:00AM PDT

Shaun McInnis
By Shaun McInnis, Editor

Rockstar is taking an ambitious approach to GTA multiplayer, aiming to strike a balance between open-world mayhem and carefully crafted structure.

I'm watching four members of Rockstar North pull off a heist in Grand Theft Auto Online. This is hardly some two-bit job; it's a carefully orchestrated mission where each player assumes a different role in an effort to infiltrate a secured storage yard and make off with a truck full of high-value merchandise.

It's going well. Two of the players have managed to jump in the truck and endure a white-knuckle freeway chase stretching from the grimy warehouse district of Los Santos to an unassuming patch of farmland in the Blaine County countryside. As they drop off the truck, the other pair of players--the ones who've been tailing along providing invaluable cover fire--pull up beside them in a zippy sports car. Smiles abound as the group revels in its successful heist. Just when it looks like everyone is about to pile together and cruise into the sunset, the player behind the wheel says, "Sorry! I've only got two seats. But I do have this for you." It's here that the driver flips his partners the bird and peels off in a cloud of dust and laughter.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Grand Theft Auto Online in a nutshell. GTA Online is Rockstar's effort to marry the carefully crafted structure of mission-based multiplayer with the unpredictable, anything-goes nature of an open-world experience. It's a delicate balancing act to be sure, but if our first look is anything to go by, Rockstar has already hit its mark.

"GTA Online is Rockstar's effort to marry carefully crafted multiplayer with the anything-goes nature of an open world." First, a bit of context. Grand Theft Auto Online is not a standalone retail product; it's included with copies of GTAV. Some narrative overlap connects GTA Online with the story campaign, including a handful of shared characters. In fact, you can even switch between the two modes by selecting your multiplayer avatar from the very same character wheel used to jump between Michael, Trevor, and Franklin in the main storyline.

But GTA Online is its own beast: building your criminal empire in this part of the game requires navigating through a very different dynamic, with earnings and progression separate from those found in the story campaign. In fact, Rockstar's aim is to spin this off into its own separate entity altogether. That's why GTA Online is being built on a separate development schedule, and why it will release shortly after GTAV on October 1 via a patch to the main game. But don't worry; you'll be able to get yourself suitably hyped up thanks to a countdown timer Rockstar plans to include in the game prior to the patch.

The whole thing takes place within a world that aims to feel far more alive than any of Rockstar's previous multiplayer offerings. Switching over to GTA Online, you're immediately dropped into a world shared by 16 players. No need to match up with other people using some free-roaming lobby--merely jumping into GTA Online is enough to tell the game you're ready to free-roam alongside other players.

Who you get matched up with is where things get fun. Rockstar has designed a free-roam matchmaking system that takes various factors into account, such as prioritizing friends and crewmembers, and ensuring that nearby strangers of the appropriate skill level are used to fill space when the situation calls for it. It's not quite like Destiny or The Division in the sense that new players are swapped in for old ones as you move about the map, but the game does ensure that players can all easily fast travel toward each other when a mission is set to begin, and that players who finish a mission together resume a free-roaming session as part of the same group.

"The whole thing takes place within a world that aims to feel far more alive than any of Rockstar's previous multiplayer offerings." Many of these missions are simply ambient events you can trigger on the fly. Let's say you run into one player and decide to challenge them to a race. You pull open the map, drop a waypoint--user-created events and game modes are a big theme in GTA Online--and the two of you are on your way. But be careful, because you might just pass by a third player with a six-star wanted level fleeing from a swarm of cops. Nothing ruins a street race like colliding head-on into a police cruiser.

Those types of serendipitous encounters are one of the ways Rockstar is hoping to make the world feel more alive and unpredictable, while the potential for adversarial behavior between players is another. Maybe you and some buddies want to throw on a couple masks and hold up a convenience store for a quick bit of cash. Easy money, right? Well, the player who physically receives the money from the cashier gets to decide how it's split between the team. If your buddy stiffs you on your share of the profit, you can either chase him down and steal it for yourself or keep your hands clean by hiring a hitman to take him out--it's your call. The game even tracks who your rivals are and lets you know when they've come online so that you can exact a little vengeance.

As a free-roaming experience, Grand Theft Auto Online is full of all these little opportunities for running into other players and mucking about in the sandbox. (Pro Tip: Deposit your money into your bank account as often as you can. When another player kills you, they can snatch the wallet right from your dead body.) But there's more to it than unorganized chaos. Like GTAV's story campaign, GTA Online features a mission progression where a series of larger and more elaborate heists offer you the chance to pad your bank account and cement your status as a master criminal.

These are missions unique to multiplayer and as such they've been designed for a cooperative style of play. One of the missions Rockstar showed was a large-scale operation requiring a crew of players to sneak into an airport, take out a crew of armed guards, and fly away in a military cargo plane. If that weren't challenging enough, the players also had to fly it clear across the map and successfully land the thing in a ramshackle airstrip out in the middle of nowhere.

Rockstar is taking an ambitious approach to GTA multiplayer, aiming to strike a balance between open-world mayhem and carefully crafted structure.

It's an open-ended mission, which is a theme Rockstar is aiming for with these multiplayer heists. You've got the overarching goal (steal the plane) as well as a few suggestions for which roles might be good to designate beforehand (lookout, sniper, transporter, etc.) and from there it's up to the players to determine the best way to proceed. Do you approach the airport by boat, or parachute in by helicopter? Do you stop off at Ammu-Nation and buy a customized loadout of guns before the job, or rely on the one guy carrying an entire army's worth of weapons to hand over a few of his extra guns for the good of the group? Either way, you'll need to work as a team to get the job done--especially when you consider that you've got a finite pool of shared lives before it's mission over.

Rockstar wants to ensure that the challenge in these heists comes from actually stealing stuff rather than trying to organize a group of friends through some clumsy party lobby system. All you need to do is wander up to a mission marker, invite some willing friends along by pulling open a quick menu, and they'll be instantly teleported over and ready to get going--even if they were just in the single-player story. These pre-mission screens also let you tweak variables such as difficulty level and time of day.

While heists are the centerpiece missions of the game, there are plenty of smaller, more ambient missions out there to take on. This includes things like assaulting a gang hideout, stealing armored cars you happen to run into on the freeway, or just going out for a nice game of golf with your friends.

Seeing the game in action, I was impressed by just how seamless the transition was between free-roaming around the city and assembling a crew to embark on an organized mission. Hardly any time was spent navigating menus or setting things up. It's clear that usability and preserving a sense of flow is a huge priority for the team at Rockstar North. Moreover, the missions seemed to do a great job of giving the players just enough direction without smothering the group dynamic. Each job feels like a sandbox within a sandbox, where players are free to improvise within the larger construct of the mission.

"It's clear that usability and preserving a sense of flow is a huge priority for the team at Rockstar North." While sneaking through airports to spirit away massive airships is all well and good, there is a greater purpose to all of these missions. At the heart of GTA Online's progression system is an economy that allows for some very interesting ways to invest your money. You've got the standard purchase options that any GTA veteran will expect to see, including weapons, vehicles, and a slew of player homes. But GTA Online also allows for some very creative investment options.

Take vehicles, for example. Now that player-owned vehicles occupy a permanent place in the world--they no longer disappear into the ether when you leave them somewhere--you can insure your fleet of cars to make sure all the money you've spent on upgrading them doesn't go to waste should you happen to encounter any wayward rockets. Things are sure to get even more interesting sometime after launch when the stock market is implemented: Instead of protecting cars, you'll be able to engage in a bit of lighthearted market manipulation by investing your money in a car manufacturer and running around town destroying every one of those models you come across. Suddenly that company is going to be pumping out a whole lot of new cars. Nice time to be a stockholder, eh?

Even those familiar investments, like purchasing an apartment, have been reworked and expanded for GTA Online. Say you're hanging out in your high-rise apartment enjoying the view down below. You spot a flurry of red and blue lights in the distance and decide to see what's going on. So you switch on your TV, tune into the news, and suddenly you're watching your friend fleeing from the police in real-time thanks to the news helicopter flying directly above him. Beyond little touches like this, you can use your apartment for more practical uses, as well--like getting your friends together to go over the details of a heist in your planning room or keeping a watchful eye on your 10-car garage using a closed-circuit security camera feed. Hell, you can even take a shower to wash off the blood after a particularly brutal mission. It's borderline ridiculous just how much Rockstar has done with these player-owned properties.

Yet the arc of player progression doesn't end there. With each mission, you'll be racking up a form of experience called RP, or reputation points. The greater your reputation, the more characters you'll meet. The more characters you meet, the more favors you can call on. If you're fleeing from another player, you can call up a buddy to hide your radar blip. If you're looking for work, you can have them send you a list of cars to steal. And if you're truly desperate, you can call up a private security company to quite literally bring in an airstrike.

What's crazy about all this is that you can call in these favors whether you're messing around in free-roam, or competing in an organized deathmatch or race or any of the other match types. Rockstar is aiming to make these systems as universal as possible, blurring the lines between what makes sense in the open-world and what works within the confines of a proper multiplayer mode.

Rockstar is hoping to extend the life of these multiplayer modes by way of user-generated content, giving players the tools to create their own match formats and share those game modes with other players. This system is still very much a work in progress; it will launch sometime after GTA Online with the ability to tweak various rules and parameters in races and deathmatches, but Rockstar wants to expand the suite of tools to allow for far more creative, emergent game modes as time goes on. If they can deliver on this promise with a mission editor that's both powerful and easy to use, it'll be incredible to see what type of content the most creative players out there will be able to come up with.

It's an ambitious goal, but one that's par for the course. Grand Theft Auto Online represents Rockstar's effort to deliver on the multiplayer GTA we've all been dreaming of since the beginning, balancing the unpredictability of an open world with the social framework of a multiplayer progression system. But perhaps more exciting than that is Rockstar's admission that this is going to be a testing ground for new ideas and gameplay systems. They want GTA Online to evolve and change over time, with the freedom to experiment with crazy new features and toolsets--hence the reason it's been given its own title independent from all the expectations of GTAV. But no matter what GTA Online eventually morphs into, one thing's for certain: October 1 can't get here soon enough.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
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