Rockstar seem to be going for a slow burn with information about Grand Theft Auto V, with a well oiled PR machine slowly drip feeding us information about the game. In fact mere hours before I started writing this article a new set of screen shots were revealed, this time featuring sharks, submarines and fighter jets.[videoyoutube]While most games will try to show you something new with each information dump, Rockstar have been doing a fantastic job of showing us the sheer variety the game has to offer. We’ve seen the expected cars, but also bicycles, jets, prop-planes, boats, helicopters, and some nice indications of the game’s plot. Simply put, they’re doing enough to get fans excited without showing all their cards.
Of course some of you may have let the game completely pass you by, so I’ll give you a quick overview of what we know so far. The game is set in Los Santos, one of the three cities that featured in GTA: San Andreas, although we’ve seen some country side, so it’s not all going to be down town. If you don’t know, Los Santos is a fairly transparent rendition of Los Angeles, much as Liberty City is a pastiche of New York.
Rockstar have stated that GTA V will be their biggest open world game to date, with a playable area apparently larger than Red Dead Redemption, GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV combined. That’s quite a claim, but Rockstar haven’t stopped there. Those submarines and sharks I mentioned earlier? Well apparently you’ll be able to explore a fully detailed ocean floor, a level of detail that seems almost ridiculous.
It’s not just a geographical expansion though, Rockstar have also been working on the systems that help populate the world. Although you can’t buy property in the game, something I really enjoyed in Vice City, Rockstar have said that the game will feature some kind of economic system, and that you’ll get different reactions out of non-player characters in different areas of the game. As you can now give people the middle finger, Rockstar have suggested trying it in different areas of the world to see the varying reactions you get.[drop]However, perhaps the most interesting change is the fact that you can now switch between one of three protagonists. The game stars Michael, Trevor and Franklin, all criminals obviously, and it seems that they’ll be taking on missions together. In a mission they’ll often take different roles, and you can switch between them depending on what you fancy doing. You can also move between them when you’re just out exploring the world, although they’ll continue about their daily business even when you’re not controlling them.
As you’d expect the game’s three protagonists have different backgrounds, and Dan Houser says that none of them is anything like previous protagonists from the series. For me the most interesting is Michael, a former bank robber living off the proceeds of his life of crime. Obviously he’ll get drawn back into the criminal world over the course of the game, but seeing someone who could almost be a victorious character from another GTA title seems very interesting to me.
I’ll be honest, this is the first GTA game that’s really interested me in a while. GTA IV didn’t really grab me for some reason, but the fifth numbered title in the series has me paying attention. If you’re equally interested, then you can expect the game sometime in Q2 of 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, with a potential PC or Wii U release also being considered.