GTA Online launches — swap your real social life for a virtual one

Already exhausted everything GTA V has to offer?

Seriously? Wow. I’m impressed. Anyway, now, Rockstar is giving you even more ways to interact with the world of San Andreas — GTA Online, the multiplayer component of GTA V, is live and available to download on PS3 and Xbox 360.

The update brings a wealth of content to the game, with the much touted crew system allowing players and their friends to form a crew which they can then customize with matching outfits, vehicles, and a base to work from before tackling a vast quantity of jobs created by Rockstar, ranging from bank heists to deathmatches to races with other players. Rockstar will be continuously adding new jobs and tasks to perform in GTA Online, but has also given it a user-customizable editor, allowing crews to plan their own heists and plot their own races and deathmatches before tackling them as a crew or inviting other players to jump in with them.

User-customizable jobs will launch later this fall, but Rockstar promises sufficient content to tide you over until you can start planning your own online romps. In the meantime, character and crew customization is available to help satisfy any burning desires to create a unique experience. Character creation alone is incredibly deep — choose a gender, select a mother and father with particular character traits, select lifestyle variables that determine your appearance and stats, set a sleep cycle, party hard or live healthily, balance honest work with illegal activities and more. Crews can be altered with colors, emblems, vehicle decals, weapon unlocks, pads to hang out in and more to come in the future.

The full list of what’s available at launch is available at Rockstar’s website, but you may want to be patient if you’re planning on jumping into GTA Online right away. With more than 16 million copies reporting to have been sold, there will be a lot of users eager to get online in Los Santos. Connectivity issues are already floating around support forums, so if you can to wait you may want to give it a day or two to allow things to settle down.

Otherwise, get your PS3 or Xbox 360, get the update, get online and get ready to say goodbye to your real-world friends.

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Rhuaridh Marr is one of Metro Weekly's contributing editors and covers cars, technology, gaming and world news. He is usually found with a game controller in one hand and a smartphone in the other and can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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