The Many Weird and Wonderful Roles You Can Play in Grand Theft Auto V

Here's what happens in Grand Theft Auto V when you get off the beaten path and explore the sandbox at your own pace.

For something that's not technically a role-playing game, Grand Theft Auto V sure looks like a great role-playing game. For starters, it's the first GTA to feature multiple protagonists, essentially giving you the chance to jump between three different characters leading three different lives whenever you want to gain an alternate perspective on the action. Beyond that main narrative, however, is a sandbox full of activities and distractions. With that openness comes the opportunity to carve out your own new role in this world of crime and greed. Here are a few identities you might find yourself assuming as you explore the streets of Los Santos and the sprawling wilderness of Blaine County.

The Rugged Outdoorsman

According to Rockstar, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is five times bigger than that of Red Dead Redemption. But what does that mean exactly? Well, not a lot--at least not until you see it for yourself. Take one look at the game, though, and it'll hit you. This is a massive landscape full of mountains, rivers, and--in a first for the series--wild animals. In some ways, GTAV feels like a return to the Wild West of Red Dead Redemption. The difference, of course, is that you're not exploring this landscape by horseback. You're cruising around in dune buggies, parachuting from a fighter jet, or just zipping down a mountain trail by bicycle. But no matter your vehicle of choice, the rural countryside of Blaine County looks fantastic. It's easy to see that some players will simply want to get lost exploring.

The Underwater Archaeologist

In another first for the series, Grand Theft Auto V will give you the opportunity to don a scuba suit and venture beneath the waves. What's most interesting about this part of the game is that, depending on where you happen to be swimming, diving underwater can feel like exploring some long-forgotten civilization. You'll see the wreckage of sunken ships, submerged oil rigs, and other scattered reminders that Los Santos is a major metropolitan area and that its waterways have probably seen a lot of activity over the years. Just watch out for the sharks.

The Good Samaritan

As you wander the streets of Los Santos and its environs, you'll occasionally stumble upon citizens in need of a helping hand. This is part of Rockstar's effort to offer side missions that are a little bit more tightly woven into the fabric of city life; rather than walking up to a discrete mission icon on your minimap, you'll instead happen upon scenarios out of the blue. It's up to you whether you want to help these folks or simply walk on by.

This is a massive landscape full of mountains, rivers, and wild animals. In some ways, GTAV feels like a return to the Wild West of Red Dead Redemption.
In one such scenario, you might be strolling along the glitzy tourist trap that is Vinewood Boulevard and hear a cry for help. No, it's not some hopeless child separated from his or her parents; it's a dashing celebrity pinned down in an alley who can't escape lest she surrender a photo op to the legions of paparazzi waiting out on the street. So what do you do? Well, if you're the friendly sort, you'll go get her car, pick her up, and outrun the paparazzi as you recklessly speed your way to her home in the Vinewood Hills. And who knows? You might even make a friend that you can return to later in the game. All for simply walking down the sidewalk and keeping your ears open. Plus you get to "accidentally" run over a few paparazzi in the process. Not a bad deal.

The Bad Samaritan

Of course, there's no rule that says you need to be a nice guy when it comes to these "ambient activities," as Rockstar calls them. Part of the appeal of a sandbox game is the ability to do whatever the hell you please. So let's say you're driving along the dusty back roads of Blaine County and you happen to see a hitchhiker looking for a ride. Sure, you could pick him up and drive him to wherever he's going. But where's the fun in that? So why not drive him up to some remote peak, let him out of the car, and introduce him to those friendly coyotes and mountain lions? Or coast your car off a dock and see how good he is at fighting off sharks. Or take him up to some winding cliff-side road and plow your car through the guardrail, looking at your terrified guest as you proclaim, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you had a parachute too. Well, good luck!" just as you deploy your chute and safely float down to the flaming wreckage that was your car. Anyway, you get the idea. You can do some messed-up stuff with these new side missions.

The Fastest and the Most Furious

Remember the modest car customization found in San Andreas? Well, apparently that feature is coming back with a vengeance in GTAV. Rockstar promises that auto shops will not simply be used for a quick change of paint in order to evade the cops. Of course, you can still do that if you want--and even swap out license plates if you're so inclined. But these shops will also be used for customizing your car to high heaven, including performance upgrades as well as cosmetic options such as new spoilers, grilles, and window tints that will let you live out your inner Vin Diesel (or Paul Walker, if you're the boring type).

The Person Who Does Yoga

Yes, you can do yoga in Grand Theft Auto V. Because why the hell not?

And the list goes on. Do you want to be a small-time criminal who goes around knocking over liquor stores and ATMs? Do you want to be a tattooed thug who spends all his spare cash on new ink from the many seedy tattoo parlors that line Vinewood Boulevard? Or do you just want to be a hermit who spends all his free time hunting animals in the wilderness?

These are the choices you'll get to make in Grand Theft Auto V, and that's one of the key ways this sequel is looking to set itself apart from its predecessor. Grand Theft Auto IV was Niko Bellic's story, a game about an immigrant looking to start over in America. Grand Theft Auto V, with its return to the sprawling outdoor terrain of San Andreas, is a much broader game. This is a giant sandbox, and with that scope comes the opportunity to carve out your own cast of characters.

Want to know more about GTAV? Click here to read about the intricate and explosive heist missions that propel the game's narrative.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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596 comments
senjutsu
senjutsu

I really hope they release the game on next gen too... I mean, the PS4 won't even read PS3's game, it will stream it. I don't plan on streaming GTAV at all. I already pre-ordered GTAV, but if the next gen consoles are not wallet destroyers, I'd love to buy it on them instead. Not for better graphics or other things, but simply to be able to unplug my current gen consoles.

warrner11
warrner11

i can only pray that Pay n Spray brings a slew of "interesting" modds for cars....


oil slicks flame exhausts caltrops...

and ejection seat/w chute.



cjsriram4u
cjsriram4u

Rockstar never fails. I hope  Rockstar will not  fail to bring this game on PC......

GTA IN PC ......Its AwEsOmE.

aminal85
aminal85

So happy car modding is back


spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

Rockstar is claiming that GTA V will do for Multiplayer what GTAIII did for sandbox style gaming.  That's a pretty big claim.  I can't wait to see what they have in store.

Afu786
Afu786

Shit...Can't wait...

brok
brok

If it handles anything... and I do mean ANYTHING like GTA IV then I'm out. In fact... I think I'll wait for the reviews. I seriously doubt Rockstar still has what it takes anymore.

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

I don't understand why the Grand Theft Auto series is often stated as the greatest of all time. Played IV, not impressed. 

Now, Sleeping Dogs...that was a good game!

KyleGates
KyleGates

I have a very strong feeling that there will be plenty of publications ready to throw some hate GTA's way.  Perfect scores all the way through?  Not going to happen.

baszzer
baszzer

I've got a very strong feeling GTA V will nail unanimous perfect scores all throughout reviews. It was such a wonder they didn't show anything at E3 considering it was a great opportunity for advertising the game. However, they decided to present it in front of an exclusive press in their own office while their guy do the hand-on of the game. Rockstar is clearly cooking something big for its audience. Just as only written details like this one surface throughout the web, so does our inclination to expect something big rises. No demo videos could be found. No gameplay videos. Only trailers. Fellow enthusiasts BEWARE. We might be struck big time when this gets out. Brace for something hard.

emfan457
emfan457

RDR gave me the opportunity to hunt, now GTAV is giving me the opportunity to hunt like Ned and Uncle Jimbo. "It's coming right for us!" *RPG THE S*** OUT OF IT*

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

Jason mask and outfit? Count me in!

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

I will 100% be buying this on release for my PS3, but if one ever does come out for PC I will probs get that aswell. Always preffer playing on console tho but if it releases for PC then 4 months after that I can pick it up for peanuts then I probs will just to see how it plays on a decent PC but know I'll preffer it on console.

Divedude
Divedude

well, well, starting to sound like GTA and Saints Row got into bed and made a little GTAV.  And if this rocks like it sounds, all the good from both games and not all the bad.  Would like to see a crafted protagonist to have more customization.

jknifeza
jknifeza

sounds awesome mouth watering already!!!

AndreSiqueira
AndreSiqueira

Please let be a Next-Gen version... this game must be played and fully enjoyed in FullHD!

p4kman88
p4kman88

so....can i sell drugs like chinatown and maybe a new feature...being a pimp..

tightwad34
tightwad34

Sounds like they are raising the bar on do anything you want at anytime you want. If this game is even half as good as it appears to be, then it's still going to be one of the best games of the year, and if it's all it's cracked up to be then we are all going to be in for one of the best games of all time, hands down. I am curious if you can run into one of the other playable characters while you aren't controlling them at random and what they would be doing. I have a feeling that's going to happen to pretty much all of us. And I loved the line in the article that says "Plus you get to 'accidentally' run over a few paparazzi in the process. Not a bad deal" That made me LOL. Rockstar, you can keep your name for as long as you wish.

AceBalls
AceBalls

Great series. Love it. One of the best ever. And I'm a PC gamer too.

motorxd
motorxd

can we finally get the lightning gun back?  also a pc release date would be great.

undeadgoon
undeadgoon

all this wont mean shit if they fuck up the controls like they did last time... (fingers crossed they dont )

Blue_Tomato
Blue_Tomato

Size is well and good, but I care more about how detailed the world is. I hope we can not just travel far, but also discover somethings of interest there.

lt_kiji
lt_kiji

From what I've seen of the comments, am I the only one who liked GTA IV? I actually preferred the serious tone of the game.

pcgamer194
pcgamer194

So, it's Just Cause 2 with big cities?

LukeWesty
LukeWesty

Watch Dogs looks great, without a dout. Does it look as good as GTA5, no no no, not in my eyes anyway.

angeloti83
angeloti83

I´m a big gta fan but for some reason 4 didn´t feel quite right... hopefully this one will do much better.

xolivierx
xolivierx

this is cruelty...knowing thre is a GTA game coming up and having to wait for it! It makes me want to replay GTA SanAndreas!

wtfdonkey
wtfdonkey

Well, this game looks plain AWESOME. What is the city called?

splinter10
splinter10

Looking forward to this one. The size their talking bout is really appealing. Also I'm pretty excited to hear their incorporating those random choices from red dead like saving a girl getting raped etc.

netter99
netter99

This will be the best game ever. mark my words!

Dark_Matter1337
Dark_Matter1337

We'll see. San Andreas set the bar pretty high, and hasn't been beat yet....though this does look promising

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

...this is going to take me a 100+ hours to complete. XD

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Lord, please make me not get this game.  I always get bored of the missions and spend more time killing grandmas than playing the actual game.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

I am a huge fan of Rockstar games..everything sounds like a dream game to me. I want it so bad D:

fanirama
fanirama

Cool... Of late the GTA's became boring with GTA IV and its crazy driving mechanics. And the DLCs added some content but the engine was the same. The size was small and the main thing was missing - FUN Factor. 


With games like Just Cause 2 and Saints Row 3 upping the ante on GTA, it is good to see GTA taking a cue from them and bringing the fun back to the game. 

I enjoyed JC2 and SR3 way more than GTAIV + DLC. JC2 is probably my most fav game in this genre.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Shaun is crushing on Vin Diesel but not Paul Walker... ok?

Neo_OnionKnight
Neo_OnionKnight

Katana + Dirt bike = 5 police stars, those fond memories....

tchanah
tchanah

I WANT THIS ON PC :'(

timoteo2k1
timoteo2k1

In RDR I got lost for entire gaming sessions just stalking and hunting, I hope we can hunt and harvest the critters we kill in this one as well.

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

this game is gonna be awesome I sue as hell hope they release it for next gen consoles otherwise I'm gonna miss out on it 

Lebowski__basic
Lebowski__basic

Between GTAV and Watch Dogs, how am I supposed to lead a productive life?

spectreSE7EN
spectreSE7EN

Can't wait to see what's in store for the MP.  There were moments in RDR's open world MP that had me and my buddies laughing our assess off.  With a bigger world to explore with friends, I can only imagine how insane this is going to be.  Can't wait!