Big news! Game Informer has released a TON of exciting new information about Grand Theft Auto 5.
Here's the main points.
- GTA 5 features three main protagonists; Michael, Trevor and Franklin.
- Michael is an ex-bank robber in his early 40's, who retired after making a deal with the FIB. He has two children in their teens and hates his wife Amanda, who spends his money. This is the reason why he is forced back into the game. You may recognise him as the man in the trailer who everyone thought was a matured Timmy Vercetti.
- Trevor, also in his early 40's, is a war-veteran, experienced pilot and "drugged out psychopath". He used to work on heists with Michael back in the day. His personality is described as "maniacal".
- Franklin is the youngest of the three, in his mid 20's, and works for an American Luxury car dealer. They sell cars to people who cannot afford them, and when they can't pay up, Franklin is sent in as a Repo man. He is described as a "young and ambitious hustler", and he runs into Michael whilst looking for a hustle.
- The game world is the biggest in Grand Theft Auto history. It is said to be bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA 4 combined. Los Santos is a "huge and diverse city", with Red Dead Redemption's large open areas, and GTA 4's densely packed urban environment.
- The world includes beachfronts, mountains, the wilderness, a "Salton Sea" region, a military base and the suburbs.
- The missions are much more diverse, and the characters affect the tone of them. In some missions, all three protagonists come together, and so you are given more freedom over how you want to play, being able to switch between characters mid-mission. For example, in one mission, you can chose between piloting the getaway chopper as Trevor, sniping pursuing pilots as Franklin, or using an assault rifle to gun down enemies as Michael.
- Switching between characters isn't mission specific either. You can switch between the three main protagonists at will at any time with just the press of a button. The camera will pull out into a "Google-Earth style" perspective and then zoom back into the chosen character. When not being controlled, the characters will go about their daily lives, and so they can be found in some surprising situations.
- The tech has been greatly improved. Improvements include greater draw distance, largely improved lighting and shader models, and improved car handling and physics. Rockstar say the GTA 5 "evolves nearly every mechanic" found in the previous game.
- The cars are said to "hold ground better". Dan Houser, head writer and vice president of Rockstar, says that the improved handling makes GTA 5 "feel more like a racing game".
- Whereas San Andreas focused on gang culture, GTA 5 is about capturing the "contemporary culture of LA". This extends to the pedestrians found in the game world, all fully mo-capped, and how they interact with the character. If you were to annoy them, their reaction would be relative to where they are (so a pedestrian in a run down part of the world will react differently to a pedestrian from a wealthy part).
- Gun and melee combat has been improved, though most of these improvements are towards shooting as Houser says melee combat is "never going to be as big a deal as shooting".
- Real-Estate cannot be purchased, but the economy is said to be "vibrant and fun". The characters do not change physically, as in San Andreas, but clothes can be customized.
- Dating is gone, but certain NPCs can become friends and can hang out with the character. Each character can hang out with different people. For example, Michael can hang out with his son Jimmy, Trevor can hang out with his friend Ron, and Franklin can hang out with his "crazy friend" Lumar. The mobile phone makes a return, though its features have been altered, and it can now use the internet.
- Each character has unique hobbies, including "one or two key minigame activities per character".
- Mini games are "more sophisticated". You can do yoga, take part in triathlons, perform base-jumps, go jet-skiing, and play golf (featuring a full golf course). You can even go scuba diving along the coastline of Los Santos, or go to the gym on the seafront.
- GTA 5 has more vehicles than any other GTA to date, including mountain bikes, BMXs, dirt bikes, road bikes, cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, ATVs and Jet Skis.
- Side missions are much more detailed, including dynamic missions from Red Dead Redemption. For example, "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."
- No major actors have been cast, as Rockstar felt this would be a distraction.
- Heists and bank robberies are a big part of the game, a big plus if you enjoyed GTA 4's 'Three Leafed Clover' mission (who didn't?).
- Each character has their own story line, and they all intertwine.
- If you were hoping to see CJ, then you're out of luck. "The five PS2 games are one universe, and this is the high-definition universe, so they don't co-exist". This does however, mean that you will see characters from GTA 4 and Episodes From Liberty City.
Grand Theft Auto 5 looks like it's going to be one of the biggest games of 2013, and I can quite easily say that I cannot wait. The game is due for release in Spring, with a new trailer being released in 4 days - November 14th. Here's the first trailer in case you were living under a rock and missed it.