It's been no secret that Grand Theft Auto V was coming, but it wasn't until Game Informer lifted the lid on the ins and outs of the title last December that we've really been able to get excited by the prospect. It's pretty much guaranteed to be one of the biggest selling games of the year, and it'll certainly court plenty of controversy along the way, but at long last we can start getting our hopes up for Rockstar's latest GTA adventure.
For us, the biggest change to the formula has been the confirmation that the game will follow three protagonists simultaneously, allowing players to switch between them whenever they feel like it during off-mission moments. The three lovely gentlemen we’ll be getting very well acquainted with in the coming months are Michael, a retired bank robber who cut a deal with the FBI, Trevor, a forty-something career criminal who’s as unpredictable and unhinged as they come, and Franklin, a young hustler who works as a repo man. It’s as messed up a crew as we have come to expect from a Grand Theft Auto game, but it’s the way in which Rockstar promises we’ll be using them that really caught our eye.
While few specifics have been announced to date, the prospect of being able to simply switch between characters is enticing enough, but the fact that they’ll be going about their business controlled by the AI while you’re not in control of them makes it all the more intriguing. If your actions as you control each of them determines how they’ll behave when you’re elsewhere, Rockstar could have something really, really special on their hands. Regardless of the specifics though, Rockstar claims that this design choice was made in order to allow for a much more engaging and organic storyline. Rather than trying to craft a character to appeal to everyone, here you’ll have three separate personalities, each with their own quirks, interests and back stories to get to grips with.
Having three separate characters will also come in handy due to the simply breathtaking scale of Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos. According to Rockstar, players can look forward to a game world larger than those of GTV IV, Red Dead Redemption and GTA: San Andreas combined. Even though that includes both interior and exterior locations, it’s massive by anyone’s definition. In true Rockstar fashion, there’s a huge amount of variety throughout the game world, from the inner-city core to airports, a military base, a wilderness reserve, beaches, vineyards and more. Our only lingering fear is that it might turn out to be a little too big – after all, we can’t imagine it’ll be a lot of fun having to get from one side of the map to the other in a hurry.
We’ve never been behind the door in lambasting the GTA series for occasionally dull, repetitive missions, but it looks like that’s something that Rockstar has been keen to address here with GTA V, and creative vice president Dan Houser has gone on record as saying that what the developer “really wanted to focus on in mission design is a huge amount of diversity”, which hopefully translates to far more than just getting to point A, shooting someone or picking someone up, and then driving to point B.
While customization still plays a big part in the game, some of the more out there features from previous titles haven’t been included. Thankfully, you’ll not have to work out, feed your characters or search for love with the ladies, but you will be able to deck each of the boys out in new threads if that’s your kind of thing.
Obviously with this being a Grand Theft Auto game there’s far, far more to it than we could possibly cover in a single page, but we’ll be going into some more depth over the next few months in the run up to the game’s release, so stick around and we’ll make sure you’re kept bang up to date.