Rockstar Games has published the first official gameplay video showing Grand Theft Auto Online. This online multiplayer game is based upon the "personality and refined mechanics of Grand Theft Auto V" and will be available for free to all GTA V owners. Grand Theft Auto Online will be launched on 1st October 2013, as reported previously GTA V will be launched on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on 17th September. Details of the PC version of the game and its release schedule are yet to emerge.
The trailer for Grand Theft Auto Online says that the purpose of the game is "to bring the heart of the Grand Theft Auto experience to a living online world". In order to do this successfully Rockstar has ensured there is "a huge range of both structured and unstructured activities for you to do". Fictional city region Los Santos offers a great many opportunities for both earning and spending your money, doing fun stuff and getting into trouble.
Rockstar informs us that players are free to act alone, make friends and enemies "or band together and form a crew" - which must be a more media-friendly way of saying "join a criminal _gang_". As well as the core criminal activities of bank jobs, robberies and gun fights the game offers more civilised and leisurely activities like golf, tennis and motocross riding.
Your game character appearance can be changed to your pleasing with various hairstyles, clothes, vehicles and favourite weapons. The voice over suggests that as you build up wealth you can even buy an apartment for hanging out and partying with friends in the game. Motoring enthusiasts will be pleased that you can also invest in vehicles and compete in races on land, air and sea - or simply cruise around showing off.
While GTA Online will deliver "progress", new missions and "almost limitless opportunities" at launch it is promised that "Rockstar will be constantly developing more content for you to enjoy". The new game also allows gamers to be content creators and share with friends or the world.
To recap the video concludes; "Grand Theft Auto Online brings the freedom of the GTA experience to multiple payers in a dynamic shared world."
As mentioned above Rockstar have yet to even confirm that GTA V will come to PC gamers. Meanwhile netizens have built up a petition, signed by 315,000 people, asking for GTA V on PC. Earlier in the week Chris Evenden, senior director of investor relations for Nvidia, told investors that GTA5 for PC was "coming this fall" but later admitted that he had no actual knowledge that this would happen and he was just "expressing enthusiasm for the games industry in general." Apparently Nvidia "deeply regret the error".