Simon Says: GTA Online Could Be Great But Could Be a Disappointing Distraction

With the trailer for Grand Theft Auto Online being revealed yesterday, I watched the unveiling of the mode which had promised so much from the last trailer which Rockstar released in early July. While being very impressed with the trailer, it also made me slightly hesitant as the more that Rockstar put into the game, the more, I fear, could potentially go wrong with GTA Online.

GTA Online trailer can be seen here.

With recent Rockstar titles, we have enjoyed excellent multiplayer modes. Red Dead Redemption had unique functions which allowed you to ride around in an online world with your horse, or donkey at earlier stages, and act like a real cowboy. While Red Dead Redemption will always be remembered for its excellent single player campaign, the way in which the game implemented neat changes to typical multiplayer modes was exquisite. Shootouts would happen prior to the matches to see who would have the upper hand when the game began. It was a simple feature but added to the atmosphere and the setting which Red Dead Redemption thrived in.

Last year saw the release of Max Payne 3, also from Rockstar. While the multiplayer functions in Max Payne 3 were far simpler compared to that of Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3 did have one unique feature. Crews were featured in Max Payne 3 for the online modes and this was confirmed to be used in GTA V also, to the extent that crews created in Max Payne 3 can be continued in GTA Online. Crews basically meant that you would mainly play in the same team as your fellow crew members but, as well as this, you would have crew-specific objectives to gain and these would multiply XP more than usual.

With these features being implemented into two of Rockstar’s recent multiplayer games, it looks as though they have all the bases covered for GTA Online. For a project such as GTA Online, I can think of no one better to take on such a vast project than Rockstar. I understand that this must be the reason as to why the game had been delayed from earlier this year and I’m sure it will be a great multiplayer mode. But, could it be too much for even the mighty Rockstar to deliver? I don’t know.

While you can’t keep everyone happy, I think that there will be enough content in the online mode to keep a lot of people happy. While this may be the case, I have seen a few comments from people online saying how they want to see more from the multiplayer. As well as gamers being impressed, some have been looking to see more from the trailer. Some of these things which have been mentioned include taking over gang territories and looking after them with your crew as well as taking over the city with the stock exchange. While these two suggestions may seem ideal for GTA, it suits the single-player much more than multiplayer.

With so much being promised to be accessible in GTA Online, a lot of people have suggested that the feature may be available on next-gen as the future consoles come closer to being released. I sincerely hope that this is the case as so many people will be moving away from Xbox 360 and PS3 with the Xbox One and PS4 in sight. As someone who will be keeping his current-gen consoles, I will be playing GTA V and GTA Online (probably) even after the release of the PS4 and Xbox One. I’m sure many gamers will be happy enough with their current consoles and that may seem why GTA Online in the current generation is such a good idea.

GTA Online has now been built up to be this massive, selling point for GTA V which would have already sold millions even without multiplayer due to the loyal fans. Its my worry though that a lot of focus has now been taken off the wonderful single-player campaign to make room for the GTA Online functions that some people may not finish GTA V’s campaign, similar to GTA IV. While the story is not high on the list of things to accomplish during a GTA game, it is still a wonderful experience and the missions are often very well done. If people just buy the game for the multiplayer, then I fear that the game may just be judged on the multiplayer itself similar to Battlefield or Call of Duty as that’s what the mode will eventually be competing against come November.

It is a funny time for gaming as we have seen such a successful year, with Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us as well as great success for the Nintendo 3DS. Now we are entering a new generation and before that happens, we have something which may well be the biggest and best game we have seen on PS3 and Xbox 360. It seems that with everything that has been promised from Rockstar and the hype which inevitably comes with the series from the previous successes, I think some people may be disappointed, although I sincerely hope they aren’t.

This looks like it will give the tired, boring multiplayer scene some much needed shock therapy. While team deathmatch is in GTA Online, it is not really a part of the unique selling point. I’m mainly looking forward to taking on bank jobs with my friends as well as creating a real team atmosphere with the crew function. Until you have seen some solid gameplay, however, it could be tricky to manage or difficult to utilize the menus. I’m picking at small ‘maybes’ here, but there is a chance and I hope I’m wrong. The old saying goes that when things change, they end up staying the same.

While I am impressed with the GTA Online trailer and full of optimism for the game mode, I am also a little sceptical. With such a vast project ahead for Rockstar, I hope they will be able to fill the huge environment with activities and fresh gameplay modes. Rockstar has the history to back up such an ambitious project and I sincerely hope that it will meet the gaming community’s expectations. Grand Theft Auto is always such a unique experience and I’m sure the return to Los Santos will be memorable, hopefully for the multiplayer if not at least for the single-player.


the author

23, Scotland, Great Britain, Enjoys Football (Soccer), Basketball and Running, Manchester United are the team for me!