Grand Theft Auto Online promises massive multiplayer sandbox


— 11:52 AM on August 15, 2013

Looks like it's Multiplayer Trailer Day here at TR. On the heels of the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal, Rockstar has released a gameplay trailer for Grand Theft Auto Online. Behold GTA V's multiplayer sandbox:

GTA Online promises a "persistent and continually expanding world," that will be fueled by Rockstar "constantly developing new content." It looks like players will enjoy much of the same freedom they do in the single-player game, this time with friends. Players will be able to team up for cooperative missions and engage in adversarial deathmatches. There will be plenty of racing, too. And arm wrestling, tennis, golf, and probably a bunch of other little mini-games.

Character customization options abound, and they're paid for with in-game currency. You can pad your wallet by playing, and I suspect Rockstar will let folks trade real dollars for virtual ones. Interestingly, CVG reports that killed players will drop any cash they're carrying. In-game banks will be available to keep your hard-earned cheddar safe, though. GTA Online will also offer a "passive mode" to let players explore the world without getting killed—or doing any shooting themselves.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature is the "content creator," which will allow players to map out their own races and deathmatches. Although it doesn't look like players will have a way to shape the game world with custom models or maps, they'll be able to arrange weapons and items, and their creations can be shared with others.

Grand Theft Auto Online is scheduled to unlock October 1, two weeks after GTA V comes out for current-gen consoles. Rockstar reportedly wants people to familiarize themselves with the single-player experience before dipping into multiplayer mayhem. Although access to GTA Online is bundled with the single-player game, the multiplayer component is being treated as a separate entity that will evolve on its own. I wonder whether folks will be able to buy into the online component without springing for GTA V.

Unfortunately, there's still no official word on whether Grand Theft Auto V or its online sibling will be available for the PC. After seeing the multiplayer trailer, I'll be very disappointed if PC gamers don't get a taste.

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