Multiplayer is accessed from the single-player game via Niko's cell phone and supports up to 16 players. Oh, and the entire world runs at the same time. That's right -- all the pedestrians, traffic and cops are there. The entire city is open to you and your fifteen friends in apparently every mode.
I'm very pleased to see this. Saints Row, a game that plays very similar to the GTA series, chopped the map up for multiplayer and offered a limited mirror to the single player game.
Playing with eight people, we only had one instance of slowdown. And that was when all of us were firing RPGs into a crowd of cops.
Fantastic! Framerate was a big problem with the initial single player section of the game when it was previewed late last year. I love hearing that it has been fixed in both the single and multiplayer parts.
In open areas, things do get a bit more hectic. Especially when vehicles get in the mix. My favorite is holding tight to Davey Clay on the back of a motorcycle. You get a clear view of all enemies and you're free to fire while your partner drives. Headshotting a would-be assassin while popping a wheelie: priceless.
Rockstar is the king. The coop elements of deathmatch sound perfect. I can't wait to cruise through town on a motorcycle while my partner takes out the competition.
You can read the full preview here. Check out Gamespot, Gamesradar and Gametap for more previews.