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Update: The multiplayer trailer is now live. Check it out here.
Rockstar Games is finally ready to reveal GTA 5's multiplayer, called Grand Theft Auto Online. The company announced this morning that they're going to release the very first gameplay video for GTA Online this Thursday.
The first mention of the title Grand Theft Auto Online was made back in May. When Rockstar announced the Collector's Edition, they said it included classic character skins for multiplayer. Based on the images of the bundle, at least one of these characters will be Niko Bellic. The CE will also unlock a Khamelion electric car for online matches.
All we really know about GTA Online thus far is that, like Max Payne 3, it features player-made organizations called crews. In MP3, crews received bonus XP from working together or fighting rival crews. It's unknown if and how these organizations will be different in GTA Online. We do know that players will be able to import their MP3 crews into GTA Online on launch day, though.
"It's all part of our larger approach to make multiplayer deeper and richer than what's currently available, much more easily accessible to the newcomer and rewarding for the hardcore," Rockstar's Dan Houser said last year.
GTA V's first gameplay trailer provided a brief glimpse at online play. We saw a group of players traveling across Los Santos in cars and aircraft. The footage was merely meant as a tease for this upcoming video, though, so we didn't learn anything new.
Grand Theft Auto IV shipped with a wide range of multiplayer modes. The online offering included deathmatches, races and high-speed chases. I would suspect that many of these modes will make a return in GTA V. Though deathmatch isn't very sexy to write about, it always ends up one of the most-played modes in any shooter. Perhaps we'll also see modes based around the new vehicle types, such as fighter jets.
It seems a bit odd that we won't hear anything about GTA Online until a mere month before release. Everything they've announced to date involves the campaign: the multi-character plot, the massive game world, character swapping and so on. Rockstar's hardly alone in this strategy; Activision regularly waits until late summer or early fall to say anything about a new Call of Duty's online play. I would imagine PR folks have a good reason for this, but it seems peculiar that less time is spent talking about the multiplayer than single-player. Multiplayer is usually what gamers spend the most time with, isn't it?