GTA 5′s online secrets: the multiplayer & potential DLC discussed
Since GTA 5′s announcement there’s been a slight whiff of… something. Nothing specific, just the idea that somehow there would be a bit of a ‘ta-da!’, a surprise; a twist no one was expecting. Okay, so the original press release did say it would be “radical reinvention of the Grand Theft Auto universe” which is kind of a clue, but the question is: what? Will the series be getting an online or multiplayer shake up?
There are possibly hints all over the GTA 5 trailer. For starters there appear to be a cast of multiple GTA 5 characters. The four candidates all seem to be important for some reason: they share screen time, seem to acknowledge each other and get chased by the police. It all points to them being more than just NPCs wandering into shot. Plus at least two of the GTA 5 cast are working together in a heist.
The easy option then is that GTA 5 will feature online co-op: you control a crime gang and people can drop in and out of missions replacing AI team mates as you play. That seems a little too obvious though. Plus it would make it hard to maintain a clear and coherent experience for all the people playing. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly RockStar vice president Dan Houser has said, “people love narrative, and removing strong narrative removes a lot of their guidance through the game.” That would, realistically, rule out a co-op backbone to GTA 5′s main campaign. Traditionally co-op provides a thinner story and simpler objectives, and risk diluting the ‘hero factor’ as not everyone can be the star. Those co-op missions in GTA 4 were good but hardly dripping with atmosphere.
It’s possible there could be co-op side missions but it’s more likely GTA 5 will involve an expanded multiplayer component, leaving the single player narrative untouched. In an IGN interview Houser talked about Max Payne 3′s online crew system. These crews are an extra layer of social connectivity in Max Payne 3 that lets you join up with other players using RockStar’s Social Club system. Not only does it make it easier to play with friends but there are benefits to playing and completing objectives together
While talking about Max Payne 3 Houser also said, ”multiplayer is an ever-more important part of all our games moving forward”. He then went on to mention that the crews you make in Max Payne 3 will be available in GTA 5 “from day one” and that, ”it’s all part of our larger approach to make multiplayer deeper and richer than what’s currently available”. So an expanded, more social multiplayer mode seems like a strong option.
GTA 4 already has competitive modes as well as co-op missions, so how can GTA 5 build on that? Perhaps the best clue as to what we could expect from GTA 5′s multiplayer mode is Red Dead Redemption’s free roam mode. Rather than a traditional online lobby this lets you enter an online open world space where you can travel around freely, meet other players and form posses. From there you can mess about about a bit, join a game, try some co-op – whatever you fancy.