Will GTA IV become the most played game on LIVE?

Currently, the top played games on Xbox LIVE are Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3. Soon both of those games could be trumped by a little known game called Grand Theft Auto IV. Now I’m not saying that hundreds of thousands of people aren’t going to continue playing CoD4 and Halo 3 on a daily religious basis but, if GTA’s sales on the last generation of consoles is any indication on what’s in store eight days from now, Rockstar’s first major attempt at online multiplayer in a GTA game could be the next big thing in online play.

I’m not saying this just because this is a GTA game and is guaranteed to be one of the best selling games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for the rest of these consoles lives. I’m saying this because Rockstar appears to be putting some pretty serious effort into the online portion of the game. For those of you who may not have read the hands-on previews that have popped up in the past couple of weeks (1UP, IGN, CVG, GS), let me give you a little breakdown of what GTA IV will offer up in its online play.

GTA IV will support up to 16 players on both Xbox LIVE and PLAYSTATION Network. There will be 15 modes for online play, including standard Deathmatch, not so standard racing, Cops ‘N’ Crooks (one team of police officers must stop the other team of criminals from escaping), and Mafia (players try to complete an objective before their opponents). The game will allow you to chat with all your teammates in the game with a headset, you can even use the in-game cellphone to call individual players for a more private chat.

So, come April 29th, don’t be surprised if many on your friends list want to play GTA IV’s multiplayer instead of joining you in a deathmatch on CoD4 or Halo 3.

[See also: Grand Theft Auto IV gallery]