Grand Theft Auto Online

As promised, Rockstar Games has pulled back the curtain on Grand Theft Auto V’s multiplayer mode. The online component – set to launch on 1st October – will see you collaborating and competing with other players in a connected world, all in order to earn reputation and rise through the ranks. The developer considers this the start of a multiplayer journey, which will evolve over time.

And you’ll play a part in the progression. Much like in LittleBigPlanet, you’ll be able to create custom deathmatch maps and races within the Los Santos sandbox. You’ll then be able to share these with friends and the wider community, with the best creations elevating to the top. The studio will also be adding to the number of activities over time, with new characters and content promised after launch.

Rockstar considers Grand Theft Auto Online the start of a multiplayer journey

It’s an incredibly ambitious system, but one that will essentially ensure that the game has a never-ending supply of content. “It'll be Grand Theft Auto Online; it's not part of Grand Theft Auto V,” Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies told CVG. “Obviously it's set in the Grand Theft Auto V engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing."

Your multiplayer journey will start by selecting a fourth protagonist from the character selection wheel. Two weeks after the open world adventure’s launch, a patch will open up access to the online mode. This will suck you into the online environment, where you’ll create a new hero and be introduced into the experience.

Once you’ve completed the tutorials, it’s down to you to do whatever you want. You’ll be interacting with 16 other players, and you’ll be able to collaborate or compete against friends or strangers. You’ll be able to partake in heists, play leisurely rounds of golf, or just drive around the world on your own if you prefer. It’s up to you.

It’s a system that will ensure the game has a never-ending supply of content

Everything that you do, though, will reward you with fame and cash, which can then be splurged on apartments, garages, and new clothes. It sounds a little bit like PlayStation Home, just with less players and much, much more to do. There are “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of missions, according to Benzies.

But the complexity doesn’t stop there. You’ll be able to insure your cars should someone shoot them out, draw money out of the bank which you’ll drop if you get taken down, and purchase stocks which you can fiddle with your crew. And if all of that sounds a little bit too much like life in the fast-lane, a passive mode will allow you to enjoy the experience without getting sniped.

It’s pretty much the online component that we’ve always dreamed of. The game’s due out on 17th September, with Grand Theft Auto Online set to launch two weeks later. Check out the trailer below – which is running on the PS3, we’re told – for the first footage of the multiplayer in action. Then feel free to scribble your thoughts in the comments section.