Grand Theft Auto V: Protagonists, gameplay, setting, and more revealed

  • Posted November 8th, 2012 at 22:09 EDT by Kyle Prahl

The wait for Grand Theft Auto V will stretch into next spring, but US magazine publication Game Informer has unleashed a slew of exclusive details on Rockstar Games' open-world epic in their December issue. While not yet available in print, the digital version of this issue is being pored over by fans hungry for everything from protagonist info to the size of the world, and the feature did not disappoint.

The story was summarized over at CVG, and we've got a clear picture of how Grand Theft Auto V is shaping up. As the Game Informer cover reveal confirmed earlier this morning, GTA V will star three main protagonists that each play a central role in the game's overarching narrative. These leading men are named Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, and each comes from a vastly different background. Michael is a middle-aged retiree with two kids living a life of luxury with massive wealth accumulated over years of successful bank robberies. When his wife starts burning through his fortune, he must return to the life he left behind in the new city of Los Santos. Trevor is a similarly hardened career criminal and former military pilot in his early forties. Violent tendencies and drug addiction make Trevor something of a loose cannon, but once upon a time, he and Michael shared at least one bank heist together. Finally, there's Franklin, a young hustler who makes a living by selling luxury cars to people who can't afford them and then playing repo man when they default on their payments.

Perhaps the biggest change to the Grand Theft Auto formula is GTA V's divided focus between three main characters, but their thematic differences promise to accentuate gameplay. You can switch control to a different character at any time through a quick-select menu that will take you into the sky, Google Earth-style, and drop you down into someone else's shoes, wherever they may be. That means that the three main characters will go about their lives even when you aren't in control - drop in on Michael late in the evening, and you might find him in his Vinewood home, cooking dinner for his family. Switch back to Trevor, and you might be dead-smack in the middle of a beer-drinking contest with the biker thugs of the desert. Each character also brings gameplay advantages to the mix; Trevor's former life as a military pilot gives him access to jets and other aircraft early on, while Michael's wealth guarantees you won't exactly be living paycheck to paycheck. Unique skill-sets further differentiate the three; the gang can (and will) team up for missions throughout the story, and when they do, you might see one man taking the wheel of a getaway car while another opts to shoot from the passenger seat and the third provides sniper fire from a nearby rooftop. During missions like these, you can switch control to any character at any time, just like while free-roaming.

Further details about Los Santos and the game at large are a plenty. Rockstar claims that the map size of Grand Theft Auto V is bigger than the areas of Red Dead Redemption, GTA: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined. This area includes the city of Los Santos - easily Rockstar's biggest creation yet - and the surrounding mountains, countryside, and hamlets. Even some degree of the ocean is explorable, with the ocean floor fully rendered and waiting to be charted. This world will be chock-full of things to do; like in Red Dead Redemption, dynamic missions featuring muggings, car breakdowns, hitchhikers, cash van robberies, and the like will pop up periodically. The friendship system of Grand Theft Auto IV also returns, and while that won't included romances this time around, you will be able to partake in all manner of mini-games and side activities, including beachfront workouts, golf, tennis, dirtbiking, yoga, base jumping, and many more. Some of these side attractions are thanks to the sheer size and diversity of Grand Theft Auto V's game world, which guarantees that no neighborhood, district, or country mile will be without something to do.

Gameplay mechanics have also been refined and tweaked to offer a smoother experience compared to 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV, which debuted Rockstar's current-gen third-person-shooting to mixed reception. Shooting has apparently evolved greatly in terms ... (continued on next page) ----

Kyle Prahl is a PSU senior editor and a Communications student at the University of Minnesota. If you care about PlayStation or the life of a pale Midwesterner, you should follow him on Twitter.
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  • Related game: Grand Theft Auto V

    Release date (US):
    September 17th, 2013
    Rockstar North
    Action - Third Person
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