This week's new Grand Theft Auto V trailer sure was a doozy, wasn't it? Within that four minutes and 50 seconds of footage was everything from fighter jets to to investment banking. Yes, GTAV is shaping up to be a pretty massive game. So massive, in fact, that the trailer didn't even cover it all. So what better time than now to cover everything that's happening with Rockstar's latest crime simulator. Ready? Let's dive in…
About The Protagonists
They've got unique abilities. You probably know that Franklin, Michael, and Trevor each come with their own background and personalities. But did you know they've each got their own special powers in combat? Michael, being the cool and experienced bank robber that he is, has the ability to slow down time in a shootout. As the wildman of the bunch, Trevor can trigger a sort of berserker mode where he can go to town on enemies with extra-powerful melee attacks. And finally, Franklin can tap into his not-entirely-legal history with cars to slow down time while driving.
They've got their own lives. Remember that part in the trailer where the camera zoomed high above the map and dropped in on Michael returning from a bike ride with his son? Or Trevor while he was fully engaged in a fight with the cops? That's because these characters all lead their own lives while they're left to their own devices. So when you decide to switch back to them, you'll find them tangled up in a variety of situations meant to give you more insight into their characters.
You can talk about them behind their backs. One of the interesting things about roaming around in a world that all three characters inhabit is that you can take the first character, go find the second, and wind up talking about the third one behind his back. Something tells us Michael and Franklin are going to do a lot of venting about Trevor's eccentricities, to put it mildly.
About Heists and Combat
You'll need to get strategic. GTAV's heists are what Rockstar calls the "narrative spine" of the game, a series of bigger and more dangerous jobs spread throughout the length of the game's main storyline. These heists can get pretty complex, requiring you to plan out your approach from start to finish. This means anything from buying your own disguises at clothing stores to placing the getaway car in the best possible location to hiring goons to fill out your crew. Complicating things is the fact that more skilled mercs will require a bigger percentage from the final tally. Further complicating things is the fact that only those helping hands left standing at the end of a heist will get paid, so you can use your imagination there.
Gunplay is more mobile. According to Rockstar, one of its biggest combat goals is to ensure that players can freely run around while still fully engaged in combat. You fire with the right trigger while moving around and aiming with the analog sticks--the same as a first-person shooter. The game detects when you're engaged in a fight and switches your movement speed from the default walking pace to what Rockstar has dubbed a "combat jog." Yes, a combat jog. If that's not the greatest bit of video game jargon ever, we don't know what is.
Cover is still important. Don't take the above to mean that cover has been completely ditched. It's still very much a factor, but Rockstar wants to make sure that it's more of an option and less of a necessity. But most of all, Rockstar wants to make the transition in and out of cover more natural. As one example, you can now hop in and out of your car and hunker down beside it all without exposing yourself to surrounding gunfire. It's that sort of fluidity that they're aiming for.
Weapons are customizable. Adding more depth to the way you approach each heist is your ability to customize your arsenal of guns. Want to stay quiet? Buy a silencer. Want to keep your distance? Buy a high-powered scope. Want to look like kind of a weirdo? Buy a flashy new paint job. It's your call.
About the World
The world has a soundtrack. Music has always been a hallmark of the GTA series thanks to the wonderful and often ridiculous assortment of in-game radio stations. But GTAV will be the first game in the series to provide a soundtrack to the outside world. There's a very subtle, ambient score that accompanies you throughout your adventures in the game. It'll provide a hint of sonic texture when you're just walking around, then build up to a frantic crescendo during a big shootout. It reminds us of the score HEALTH provided for Max Payne 3 in the way the music just kind of blends into the gameplay. Who knows? It might even be the same band providing the music this time around. Rockstar hasn't confirmed one way or the other.
There are plenty of ways to get around. Besides the standard assortments of cars, helicopters, and boats that you would expect out of a Grand Theft Auto game, this latest game boasts fighter jets, ATVs, jet skis, scuba gear, parachutes, submarines, and--as fans of San Andreas will be thrilled to hear--bicycles. You haven't lived until you've used a bike as your getaway vehicle. Well, you won't live if you try it either.
Those cars are customizable. In GTAV, Pay and Sprays have been ditched in favor of more fully featured auto shops in the form of LS Customs. These shops let you add cosmetic options like window tinting and body kits as well as functional enhancements like bulletproof wheels and vehicle armor. You can also tune your performance and handling by tweaking your car's suspension, brakes, and more. No word on being able to add wings or a periscope, but we have our fingers crossed
There are missions all around you. As you explore the gameworld, you'll happen upon ambient missions that have nothing to do with the main story or characters. This might mean picking up a hitchhiker out in the middle of nowhere, or helping a starlet escape the paparazzi on Vinewood Boulevard. And that's in addition to all the assorted outdoor activities featured in the new trailer, such as bike races, golf, and hunting.
You can buy more than just safe houses. So what happens once you've completed a few big heists and suddenly you've got money to burn? You invest it. You can buy assorted businesses throughout the city that not only provide a steady income, but also everyday benefits like free cab rides throughout Los Santos if you've purchased a taxi company. But if you're into more high-stakes investments, there's always the stock trading system as well. Buy low, sell high, and rob the joint when Black Friday hits.
It's big. Now for everyone's favorite metric for the quality of a game: cold, hard numbers. In terms of size, Rockstar claims that the world of GTAV is three and a half times as big as that of Red Dead Redemption, or five times as big if you count the underwater exploration areas accessible while scuba diving. That size will require a pretty hefty mandatory installation, however. That's nothing new for PlayStation 3 owners, but Xbox 360 owners should be aware that GTAV will require an 8GB install using one of its two game discs. After that, Rockstar says you'll be able to play the single-player game as well as Grand Theft Auto Online without switching discs. Oh yeah, about that multiplayer…
It's got multiplayer. Yep. There's multiplayer, and it's called Grand Theft Auto Online. That's about all we know for the time being. But you can be sure we'll update you once we know more. In the mean time, have a look at GameSpot's previous Grand Theft Auto V coverage.'