Goodness gracious, Grand Theft Auto Online sounds like quite the thing. While Grand Theft Auto IV's multiplayer presented quite a sizable playground for nos-fueled deathmatch antics, it was just that: a playground, and nothing more. Grand Theft Auto Online's Los Santos, meanwhile, looks like it's trying very, very hard to be an actual place - replete with its own characters, missions, silly side activities (synchronized rainbow parachuting, anyone?), and beefed up progression. Also, Rockstar plans to continually expand what almost certainly constitutes the most crime-ridden city on Fictional Earth long after launch.
It's coming part and parcel with Grand Theft Auto V, and it sounds pretty much like the whole of GTA V but with more group-oriented missions and alternate stories. Here's the skinny, straight from Rockstar's crime-ridden underbelly:
"Grand Theft Auto Online is a dynamic and persistent online world for 16 players that begins by sharing gameplay features, geography and mechanics with Grand Theft Auto 5, but will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the grand theft auto community."
"Players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles, purchasing personal property, and taking part in missions, jobs and activities to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. The world of grand theft auto online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic GTA game world."
There are also race and deathmatch level editors, so you can make your own fun when stealing other people's won't suffice.
I think I might be more interested in this than the rest of GTA V, to be honest. Then again, my kind of semi-persistent action-oriented open world is Just Cause 2's multiplayer mod, so I might be cruising (on the roof of a plane with three Humvees tethered to the back of it) for disappointment. I suppose we'll see.
Grand Theft Auto V will almost certainly come to PC eventually. Whether that's this year - as an errant and eventually refuted comment from Nvidia suggests - or in some harrowing, far-flung, and (blech) crime-free future is anyone's guess. Rockstar works in mysterious ways. And by that, I mean ones that don't make a lot of sense to humans with brains and not boiling cauldrons of crazy between their ears.
BUT ANYWAY. What do you think of GTA Online?