Day 3: Grand Theft Online
April 22nd, 2008
On Wednesday it was our last full day with Rockstar, so while they were getting everything set up in the penthouse for our multiplayer action, we went out to Central Park and had an interesting few hours taking pictures and videos of pigeons. Unlike yesterday with the PS3's, today we're all using Xbox 360's for the multiplayer. No idea why, just Rockstar seem to prefer it, possibly due to the fact all of the 360's came with headsets for communication. They did say the PS3's were easier to set up originally which is why we used them for Single Player. One major thing I noticed between the two consoles is that the PS3 has sharper graphics and much better shadows. It may just be down to the 360 version running off the development hard drive, but the shadows were quite jaggy and flickered a lot. Other than that though, everything looked roughly the same on both, and the controls may be slightly easier on the 360, but that kind of thing doesn't make any difference at all anyway.
On the way back from Central Park, we decided we wanted the driver to stop at Rockstar's main offices. We then proceeded to infiltrate the building, but we were thwarted by the insane security guard who baffled us with his cunning linguistic skills. He uttered something along the lines of "you no have appointment, you no go een, okay?". Casey (Zidane from GTAGaming) called one of our contacts inside their main offices, but he said they were too busy and that we should basically fuck off back to the hotel and leave them alone. Not in those exact words obviously, but we knew what they meant ;).
At 7 ish we went upstairs to the penthouse and started multiplayer. First was deathmatch, which Chris (TheGTAPlace.com) won. I failed miserably at it and I'm still struggling to understand how I can empty 40 times as many bullets into someone without them dying, then for them to kill me in two or three with the same weapon. I think you need to tap shoot rather than hold it though, but I'm not 100% sure. We then did a regular Race which I absolutely ripped to shreds. It was insanely funny watching everyone else crash all over the place, but I finished a good 2 minutes ahead of whoever came second, which frankly was embarrassing for everyone else. GTA Race was next and that was a LOT of fun. Huge car pile up on the first corner and everyone ended up running around on foot or on scooters trying to catch up to the super cars. That gametype is so fun. If you fuck up the first corner you've basically lost, so you can spend the next 5 minutes setting up a massive roadblock and watch the carnage ensue.
We did Cops N' Crooks for a bit too. All of the reviews have said this is the best gametype, and it was pretty fun, but we seemed to enjoy doing various set ups on GTA Race, such as all firetrucks, or all ice cream vans only. I think those kind of games are only going to happen when there's 12 guys in the same room together though, because you can limit the vehicles to a certain class, but not force people to use the same vehicle. Just make sure you play with friends and chat over XBL letting them all know to use a specific vehicle.
Cops N' Crooks was over a bit too quick for us. By the time we found a vehicle near our spawn, the cops had already pretty much mowed the boss down. I of course, a loyal henchman of his, ran the hell away to avoid myself getting killed. Screw the boss, it's every man for himself! Deal Breaker was another fun gametype which is based on Gone In 60 Seconds. You've gotta find a car, steal it, and take it to the lockup. Whoever steals the most wins, but some cars are full of drugs, so steal them for a 10x bonus!
Myself and Chris played Free Mode, and a few other guys decided to join. It literally is single player, messing around in the city, but you can see your mate flying a helicopter into your head, or pushing you off the Empire State Building. Leading the police on a 6 wanted star chase past the other guys in the hopes that they get massacred. Get 16 players on that and the fun will literally never end.
If you miss the old GTA games however, fear not. A few of the old glitches are still here. There are some places where your feet will disappear into the ground, or where you'll fall through a wall and teleport onto the road etc. The AI can sometimes get a little stupid too, for example when I called a taxi from Roman, the driver just kept ramming it into a wall, so I had to kill him through the windscreen and then steal it off him. Not really ideal, but it works.
Any multiplayer game with Rocket Launchers only as the weapon is absolutely immense. Bodies flying everywhere, shit getting blown up constantly, it's just so much fun. Make sure you try that if you fail badly at shooting with normal guns, as I appear to.
One of the funniest things we saw when playing Multiplayer was a small roadblock that Zidane set up at the finish line to one of the races. Random pedestrian cars crashed into them, then more racers hit them and got stuck, and more peds and so on. By the end of the race there was a 20 car pile up and no one could get through to the finish. That's the thing with GTA online, you can literally make the game do whatever you want. This multiplayer will not get old, and if it does, you're doing it wrong. I'll also take this opportunity to mention how awesome it is blasting someone in the face with a shotgun through their windscreen when they're parked in traffic. The whole window gets full of blood and it just looks great. Murder has never been so fun.
After we'd finished playing multiplayer for a few hours, we went onto the roof of the penthouse. A few of us even went into the hot tub which was nice and warm. Kyle, Jordan, myself, Chessey and Mark from Rockstar were all in there, meanwhile I forced Casey (Zidane) to be my drink slave, getting me can after can of red bull. Good job kiddo!
We eventually got kicked out of the penthouse at 4:30 AM because Chessey wanted to sleep for an hour before she had to catch a plane, so I went back to my room and watched some shitty TV again for a few hours. I go home tomorrow... That sucks!