New details and screenshots of Grand Theft Auto V have come out of the latest round of media previews today.
We’ve gathered some bits from the new demo impressions below. You can read additional coverage through these links: CVG, Destructoid, Edge, Game Informer, GameSpot, GTAV.net, IGN, Kotaku, Polygon, Rev3, USA Today, or Videogamer.
- Rockstar’s goal was to create the ultimate open-world game.
- Los Santos is the biggest world Rockstar has ever created. It is five times bigger than the frontier in Red Dead Redemption and bigger than the worlds of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined.
- The entire map is explorable from the start of the game.
- Los Santos is divided into two major areas: the city and the countryside of Blaine County.
- Blaine County is home to wild animals, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, military bases, beaches, oceans, farmlands, deserts, urban environments, forests, and more.
- South Los Santos is considered the Ganglands.
- Vinewood is the tourist and celebrity spot. Here, you can board tourist buses to see celebrity homes, find film posters plastered on walls, and be cornered by men in comedy costumes.
- The Forest is home to the crazy and paranoid.
- The Deserts are home to meth dealers and biker gangs.
- There are five times as many pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto V.
- Wild animals like deer and mountain lions will inhabit the countryside.
- Animals are not contained in the wild. During one part in the demo, Destructoid saw a deer almost get run over in the hills of Vinewood.
Above and Underwater
- Water has “vastly improved wave technology” more similar to Assassin’s Creed III than previous Grand Theft Auto games, according Game Informer.
- Boats will come equipped with scuba gear—the necessary wetsuit, flippers, and tanks.
- The ocean floor is home to many forms of life, like schools of fish, waving seaweed, and a diverse ocean-floor terrain.
- There will be shipwrecks, submerged oil rigs, and other things to explore underwater.
- You can find useful items in these remains, but NPC scuba divers will also be looking for these.
- Sharks can attack you. If you don’t make any sudden movements or swim too close to it, it’s possible it will disregard you.
- Michael: Once one of the most wanted men in America thanks to his reputation as a highly skilled bank robber, Michael is long retired, living in an informal witness protection program afforded to him by his powerful contacts inside federal agencies. Despite his success, Michael is miserable: he’s in a loveless marriage to his wife Amanda and he’s disconnected from his two spoiled children, Tracey and Jimmy. On the surface, Michael appears to have everything, but instead he’s bored, frustrated and seething. Michael’s only outlets are spending his days drinking whiskey, watching old Vinewood action movies, the occasional visit to his therapist – and ultimately, returning to the life of crime that brought him to this position in the first place. Michael lives in a well-appointed mansion, complete with swimming pool and tennis court in the upscale neighborhood of Rockford Hills.
- Franklin: Young, smart and ambitious, Franklin is comfortable working on either side of the law. Franklin works with his friend, Lamar repossessing cars for an unscrupulous Armenian car dealer by the name of Simeon Yetarian. His work there brings him into a chance encounter with Michael. Franklin is a very able driver and loves his cars. Franklin lives in South Los Santos.
- Trevor: A sociopathic ex-army pilot who’s not without some charm. Trevor and Michael worked together on criminal jobs prior to the events of the game, but that was a long time ago. Trevor now lives in a trailer amongst the meth dealers and biker gangs out by the Alamo Sea, in Blaine County.
- You can switch between characters at any time via a wheel that shows Michael, Franklin, Trevor, and your multiplayer character.
- When switching, the camera zooms out from the character you’ve left to an overhead perspective of the world, then zooms back in on the location of the character you’ve switched to.
- You can’t switch characters while the cops are on your tail.
- There are moments where the game automatically switches characters for you.
- Characters are always doing their own thing when you switch to them. In the demo, when switching from Franklin to Trevor, he had just woken up passed out on a beach, wearing only his underwear, socks, and shoes, blood on his chest, bruises all over his body, and the bodies of the west coast chapter of Grand Theft Auto IV‘s The Lost biker gang scattered across the beach.
Character Stats and Abilities
- Each character has his own strengths and weaknesses in a series of categories: Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving, Mechanic, and Lung Capacity.
- Trevor will always be the best at Flying, while Franklin will always be the best at Driving, but their skills can still be improved.
- Each character has a special ability. Michael can slow down time in a gunfight, Franklin can slow down time while driving, and Trevor can inflict extra damage, take less, and perform a unique melee attack when his special meter is filled.
- There is a “major structural change to the way missions play out,” according to Destructoid, as the game is built around five or six major heists.
- These big heists are million dollar robberies. You need to build up to them, plan them out, and prepare before you execute them.
- Players will choose whether they handle heists using stealth or brute force.
- Heists require a crew—additional characters to act as the wheelman, gunman, technician, and so forth. If the person you’re bringing along is better skilled than others, he’ll require a bigger cut from your eventual earnings. You’ll want him, though, as the less skilled guys lower your chances of success. Using the same crew member in multiple heists will level up their skills.
- The demo showed the heist “Blitz Play,” a smaller, non-main heist where players are tasked with stopping and robbing an armed security truck of its money and bonds. To prepare, players would have had to secure a garbage truck and place a getaway car in an isolated location where they can blow up the truck to destroy any remaining evidence. The player also needs to acquire outfits and masks. You can even decide who wears what.
- GameSpot details the mission: “As Trevor, you’re a lookout, searching for an armored car and letting your cohorts know when it’s approaching. As Michael, you park a truck across the road, forcing the armored car to come to a stop. As Franklin, you then speed down an alleyway in a dump truck and run the armored car down, knocking it over. You then plant a bomb on the rear doors of the truck and blow the thing open.”
- From there, the group is tasked with escaping. As Trevor, you can fire at the cops with a sniper rifle and offer Franklin support, or take down a police helicopter with a rocket launcher. Then you can switch back to Michael to see the rocket hit the target from his perspective.
- Characters can take care of themselves, but they can also die, so you’ll want to watch out for them. There will be visual and audio alerts from other characters when situations become hairy.
- Missions offer dynamic scores to match what’s happening on screen.
- You can free aim, soft lock, or hard lock on targets.
- Run-and-gun is possible.
- Red reticule indicates enemies.
- A new combat roll allows players to evade attacks.
- Moving in and out of cover is a more swift transition.
- The camera offers a better field of vision when zooming in with the gun.
- The six-star police system is now a five-star one.
- Players can choose to hide within the police radius now. Cops won’t magically know where you are as they use a new line-of-sight system.
- Players are equipped with an iFruit smartphone.
- There is a photo app to take pictures, which can be shared online via the Rockstar Social Network.
- The smartphone has other apps, too, like the internet, contacts, social media, a calendar, and a replay missions app.
- Money can be used to customize your character with new clothing, haircuts, and tattoos.
- You can purchase property, including houses, garages, and businesses, which generates a fixed income and perks. Purchase a taxi company, for example, and you’ll get free taxi rides.
Pay ‘n’ Spray and Ammu-Nation
- Both of the iconic Grand Theft Auto shops have returned.
- Ammu-Nation offers the largest selection of weapons ever, including customizable guns that can be equipped with laser sights, scopes, silencers, high capacity magazines, etc.
- Pay ‘n’ Spray offers car modification, including paint jobs, wheels, window tinting, grills, spoilers, suspensions, and engine and brake upgrades. Car handling feels more like it would in a racing game.
Side-Missions and Activities
- Red Dead Redemption‘s “Strangers” side missions will appear in Grand Theft Auto V. On the HUD map, these side quests will appear as a question mark. For example, Michael comes across celebrity singer Lacey Jonas, who is hiding in an alley from paparazzi surrounding her parked car. Michael can get the car, pick up the singer (who doesn’t want to be photographed because she feels “fat”), and drive her off. But the paparazzi will pursue Michael in a van. It’s up to Michael to shake off the cameramen before dropping the star off at her house. Completing these missions will form relationships with the involved persons, and you’ll see them again in the future.
- Activities include base-jumping, off-road ATV races, animal hunting, picking up hitchhikers, hijacking security vans, competing in triathlons, playing golf or tennis, doing yoga, performing stunt jumps, completing flying challenges, and more.
- You can rob ATMs, convenience stores, gas stations, and liquor stores. If a citizen sees you, they might react by filming you, calling the police, or by trying to stop you themselves.
- Gangs return in Grand Theft Auto V. The Ballas are confirmed so far.
- Riding into gang territory won’t lead to automatic attacks anymore. If you bother them by drawing a weapon, they’ll attack you. And they’ll attack police on sight, too, which you can use to your advantage if you’re ever trying to shake the cops.
View the new screenshots at the gallery.