Since the release of both GTA IV and Read Dead Redemption sand box fans around the world have been busy exploring the vast cityscapes of Liberty city and the endless outback surrounding New Austin. It’s fair to say that Rockstar are infamously good at sand box games and once again they seem to be going above and beyond with the next instalment of the Grand Theft Auto Series, GTA V. Since the official announcement of the game last year a lot of information has been released on what we can expect from GTA V. So if like me you are waiting in anticipation to explore this generation’s answer to Los Santos, here is some information that may whet your appetite.
Set in Rockstars answer to Los Angeles, GTA V will follow the story of three main characters. In effect the game will be taking the idea from the expansion packs that were added to GTA IV and building upon it. It gets better however as you will be able to swap between all three main protagonists on the fly outside of your missions. Not only that but if these main characters happen to be completing a mission together you will be able to swap between each one. So who are these main characters I hear you ask? Well so far the following info has been released:
A retired bank Robber, Michael was set to live the rest of his days in luxury due to an under the table deal with the FIB’s witness protection programme. His wife however took advantage of this and spent pretty much all of his cash. This forces Michael to get back into the business of bank robbery.
Frequently off his head on drugs Trevor is the sort of guy who is known for his violent outbursts. He has a colourful background as a former pilot for the military and at one time he was in the bank robbing business with Michael. Now he lives his life just scraping by on what society gives him.
Franklin repossesses cars for a living. Working for an Armenian scam artist who sells cars to young drivers who can’t afford them, Franklin repossesses the cars once these kid divers default on their loans. He has a simple life of crime until he bumps into Michael whilst looking for bigger bucks.
Grand theft auto fans will also be pleased to know that each of the three characters has a fully fleshed out story line. Whilst playing through GTA V, each of the characters stories will combine meaning that main missions will sometimes feature more than one of the three characters. Rockstar have also decided that leaving big missions for the end of the game was not something they wanted to do in this new GTA. The new storyline looks set to feature some missions more akin to GTA IV’s ever so popular “Three Leaf Clover” bank heist mission. These missions will feature both the break in and the heist itself. Rockstar also seem to have drawn some inspiration from other games in the market by now deciding to add a musical score to some of the missions. This is something they haven’t done before and should add even more tension to the action.
So what about Los Santos itself? Well imagine the size of New Austin West Elizabeth, and Nuevo Paraiso in Red Dead Redemption. Add the whole of Liberty City from GTA IV and the whole of San Andrease state from GTA San Andrease and you are part of the way there. Rockstar are boasting that this will be the biggest open world sandbox that they have ever created. You’re probably thinking that a lot of that space will be large open areas with next to nothing in them. Have no fear as Rockstar have been piling in an epic amount of content into Los Santos. Not only will you have the whole of the city open to you but you will also have a large forest area to explore which links to a fully scalable Mt. Chilliad. There will also be a region modelled on the Salton Sea, a military base and a massive suburb located just outside of the city. Rockstar have also thrown in a whole ocean floor to explore as well which promises to beat GTA III’s infamous drowning as soon as your feet touch water glitch.
Gameplay wise we are looking at vast improvements. It has been confirmed that the shooting mechanics have been rebuilt, so hopefully we won’t be accidentally shooting civilians in the face during a gunfight as we often did with the old auto lock system. The driving mechanics and melee combat have also been given a re-haul so it will be interesting to see what Rockstar has done with these gameplay elements. Speaking of driving GTA V will support more vehicles than ever before. Some of the more unusual confirmed vehicles include a variety of push bikes such as the BMX’s and Mountain Bikes but as expected you will also be able to get behind the wheel of a huge variety of cars, motocycles, helicopters, planes, all terrain vehicles and even jet skis. Remember earlier when I mentioned Trevor being an ex-miltary pilot? Well it looks like you will be able to start flying around the landmarks of Los Santos pretty early in the game meaning that you won’t have to play 90% of the story just to get your hands on a chopper or fighter jet.
If you are the kind of sand box gamer who likes to reap the benefits from side missions and other leisurely activities, then you’re in luck as there GTA V is promising a massive variety of side mission to choose from. There will also be a whole host of mini games to play which will be to the same standard as the poker mini game in Red Dead Redemption. Other activities in the Los Santos universe include triathlons, jet ski races, tennis, golf games and even yoga.
If you are like me and want to focus on character development and customisation then you will be pleased to hear that Franklin, Michael and Trevor will be fully kitted out with their own skill traits. Unfortunately it won’t be in the same vain as San Andreases RPG style skill customisation, but you will still be able to customise the look of each character with clothing etc.
To me it sounds like GTA V is going to be the biggest and possibly the most in depth Grand Theft Auto game to date. If you haven’t checked it out already the latest trailer can be found below.
Grand Theft Auto V is due for release Spring 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.