Just recived my digital Game Informer Issue.
They did a hands-on on GTA Online.
- Character progression has a "flow" but there isn't an "overarching narrative that culminates in a definitive conclusion"
- The aim of GTA Online is to do whatever it takes to get more money in the bank and accrue assets such as cars and real estate
- Characters appear in cutscenes when interacting with other characters in the world as they would in the single-player but doesn't speak
- Female characters can be used in GTA Online
- Almost all activities from the campaign are available in GTA online: "heists, missions, robberies, assaulting gang hideouts, hijacking armored vehicles, races" as well as "tennis, golf and base jumping"
- According to Rockstar North president The Benz threre's over 500 missions. Some can be completed solo, but others are complicated and require a team.
- GTA Online takes place after the main story, familiar faces will make appearances
- By currying favour of characters you can be introduced to more people and delve deeper into the criminal world
- Franklin's friend Lamar may introduce you to a car dealer named Simeon Yetarian, who wants you to steal cars for him
- Biker gangs my support you during missions if you're friendly with them
- A tech-savvy character you've befriended may hide you on the radar during multiplayer
- Security firms that have taken a liking to you may be used to deliver airstrikes
- Rockstar uses a "dynamic" system to populate GTA Online, starting with your friends and crew members, then similarly skilled players in the same part of the world.
- GTA Online has been created to be "as customisable as possible" in terms of who you play with: "there are options to let the game decide who to play with... or you can hand pick every player in the game".
- The game analyses your playing style as you play and surfaces missions that appeal more to your style.
- There's a crew ranking system and a personal rank
- The fourth GTA Online player is fresh off a plane in Los Santos, character creation involves choosing your mum, dad and grandparents and you're given a character. Then players then choose a lifestyle, make choices about the things the character does (partying, couch potato, criminal, athletics nut).
- Starting skills are based on the chosen lifestyles, but can be upgraded, as can the look of the character
- Players riding shotgun in cars can also control radio station, set waypoints, use a cinematic camera, or attack others
- Holding the select button (on a PS3) pulls up a menu where outfits and gestures can be changed
- Phone camera's can be used to take a selfie
- During a liquor store robbery the player can shout at the cashier to hurry up through a mic and the character will respond
- Escaping cops involves keeping yourself out of the police's vision cone
- After each GTA Online mission cash rewards and Reputation Points are awarded. The crew leader decides who keeps the loot.
- A leader can choose to hog the spoils but, obviously, other players might not take that very well
- Invites are received through the character's phone and accepting seamlessly transports the player to the activity
- Players can customise the way a vehicle handles at shops found around the city
- In missions involving bigger teams a lobby window opens up. From this the roles such as sniper, look-out and transporter can be assigned. The crew leader can tweak settings such as time of day, weather, difficulty and how many lives they have to complete the mission.
- Everyone is given priorities suited to their role when missions begin
- When you have enough cash to purchase a "high end residency" you gain the ability to set up heists like the ones in the solo campaign.
- These missions involve multiple phases, including a set-up phase. In the mission shown prep involved buying guns from Ammu-Nation and procuring a helicopter. The tasks can be split between players.
- Passive mode can be activated if you want to enjoy Online without being troubled by other players, this is automatically deactivated when you fire your gun however.
- Players can kill you and take your cash, so you are encouraged to put money in the bank and use ATMs.
- Purchases can still be made using the money even if it's in the bank
- If you are robbed, you can put a bounty on a players head for revenge
- Each house you pruchase has space for storing cars. Modest appartments have space for two, but high-end homes can store ten.
- Garage areas can be treated like showrooms. You can walk around and admire your cars and hire a mechanic to keep them in good condition. You can also insure them to avoid big payouts should you damage them badly.
- You can invite friends to your home and drink, call strippers, watch Rockstar's custom created TV shows (or your friends in high-speed chases).
- Missions are controlled through Rockstar's Social Club, which means the developer tweak them regularly.
Sorry for the long post!