Unlike other big gaming franchises where there seems to be a new entry every holiday season, it’s been a long wait between Grand Theft Auto games. Rockstar has done a terrific job keeping Grand Theft Auto V under wraps, but now they’ve made some big reveals about the highly-anticipated sequel. The most noteworthy announcement is that GTA V has three protagonists, and you can switch between them “at nearly any time.” There’s also some unsurprising reveals like how the world of “Los Santos” (GTA V’s Los Angeles) will be bigger than Red Dead Redemption, GTA: San Andreas, and GTA IV combined. While these are neat details, I’m still wondering if the game will be fun. For all of its care and attention, GTA IV could be incredibly infuriating for stupid reasons like nicking a cop car forcing you to spend 15 minutes ducking the fuzz. Also, failing a mission meant having to drive back to the start of the mission so you could drive all the way back to where the mission actually takes place (e.g. the bank heist mission, “Three Leaf Clover”).
Hit the jump for more details on Grand Theft Auto V and lots of new images. A new trailer for the game arrives on Wednesday; click here for the first trailer. GTA V hits stores in Q1 or Q2 2013.
- Three playable characters who you can switch between “at nearly any time”.
- Each character has their own specific abilities and story arc, with all three stories intertwined.
- Character 1 – Michael, an ex-bank robber in his early 40s who retired after making a deal with the FIB. He has two teenage children and hates his wife Amanda. He’s also the narrator of the original GTA 5 trailer.
- Character 2 – Trevor, a former war veteran and a “drugged out psychopath”. An experienced pilot.
- Character 3 – Franklin, a repo man in his mid 20s described as a “young and ambitious hustler”.
- Certain characters from GTA IV and Episodes From Liberty City will also make an appearance. Rockstar’s Dan Houser says we’ll never see characters from the PS2 era, though. “The five PS2 games are one universe, and this is the high definition universe, so they don’t co-exist,” he says.
- Heists and bank robberies are a big theme to the game.
- Characters will work together during missions, and you can switch between characters mid-mission to fulfill different roles. For example, during a chase sequence you can pilot the getaway helicopter as Trevor, snipe pursuing pilots as Franklin, or fire an assault rifle as Michael.
- Features the biggest open world in the series’ history – GTA 5’s world is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA IV combined. [I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing; I ended up warping constantly in GTA IV]
- Areas in the game world include beachfronts, mountains, the wilderness, a “Salton Sea” region, a military base and the suburbs.
- GTA: San Andreas was about gang culture. GTA 5 is about capturing the “contemporary culture of LA”.
- A variety of different side missions and “more sophisticated” minigames, including yoga, triathlons, Jet Skiing, base-jumping, tennis and golf. There’s a full golf course in the game. You can go scuba diving along the coastline of Los Santos, or go to the gym on the seafront.
- San Andreas’ RPG-like player customization is still absent, but you can customize the clothing of each character. [No details on how far this customization goes; you could technically “customize” Niko in GTA IV by giving him one of three different outfits]
- GTA IV’s romance feature has been removed. [Sorry kids! No hot coffee!]
- Like in GTA IV, players can make friends and hang out with certain NPCs, including Michael’s wife Amanda and son Jimmy, Franklin’s “crazy friend” Lamar, and Trevor’s mate Ron. [No word yet if all of these people will be needy ass-holes who pester you constantly asking if you want to hang out]
- Dynamic missions – hidden missions dotted around the game world. “Going off-road in the desert, you may come across two parked cars and a sea of dead bodies around them… Investigate if you want.”
Here are new images from GTA V from the latest issue of Game Informer [via All Games Beta]: