Fresh Details Emerge Online
After years of secrecy, building upon on this weeks' unveiling of the latest set of trailers, Rockstar have finally let a select number of journalists see their upcoming epic Grand Theft Auto V in a hands-off preview session, showing off gameplay mechanics that had only previously been mentioned. We’ve corralled all of the info from the various preview articles that have appeared on the internet this afternoon, and you can find it all after the jump.
Let’s begin with how each of the three main protagonists, Michael, Franklin & Trevor, will have their own special abilities. Michael will have his own version of Bullet Time to gain the advantage during gunfights, while Trevor will gain double damage for a brief period of time (and half any incoming damage as well. Meanwhile, Franklin will be able to slow down time during car chases to avoid roadblocks (or, we assume, pull off high-octane manoeuvres.)
This is just the start of how each character will have their own playstyle, as they will each have their own statistics to judge their skills. Strength, stamina, stealth, driving, lung capacity (to name a few) will vary between the three, but will improve as the player uses the character them accordingly. This also includes the special abilities, so if a player frequently relies on Michael’s bullet time-esque ability they will increase the amount of time it can be used for. It all sounds like a hark back to San Andreas, but hopefully without the eating.
Additionally, each character will have their own pastimes which will act as mini-games for players. Whereas Franklin is into extreme sports (so expect sky diving), Michael will be into golf and tennis, ensuring there is a number of distractions for players. Also mentioned was hiking and (weirdly enough) Yoga. Exploration will also be a part of the experience, with one example given of how players can go diving and discover lost troves of booty underwater.
Switching between characters outside of missions will be done by hitting the D-pad, with the transition reportedly similar to zooming in and out on Google Maps. Here players will be able to see each characters stats before plunging back into the game world. In the example shown the press, Rockstar switched from Franklin to Trevor, only to find him on a beach, sounded by dead bodies… wearing only his Y-fronts. The idea is to present players with varied and off-beat scenarios to keep things interesting.
Reports suggest that the main storyline, which will contain eight different heists, will also contain sub-tasks which will be required to prepare for each robbery, but there will be a level of customisation for the player to choose from. This includes selecting weapon loadouts, and hiring the right marksmen and drivers for the job (where the cheaper options will be lousy, but the most skilled will require a fair bit of investment.) Rockstar were unable to confirm if double-crossing hired goons would be a part of the process (so watch this space on that front) but players will be required to organise getaway cars (including their location) and necessary disguises, but that will be dependent on the approach – full on assaults or stealthy both being options for the player.
Combat has seen an upgrade with Rockstar taking several cues from Max Payne 3’s controls, including improved field of view whilst over the shoulder, the ability to run and gun, and improved mechanics for rolling into (and out of ) cover. Targeting controls will come in a number of forms, including a lock-on which will allow players to move the reticule from a selected target. The previews were admittedly hands-off impressions, so we have no idea if it handles well in live play, but reports are looking positive so far.
Unfortunately, Rockstar were remaining tight lipped about the multiplayer, with details to be revealed at another press event in the future, but we did learn some other interesting facts from the previews, such as the playable game world being five times the size of Red Dead Redemption, with realistic wildlife to be found in the hills and woods, and people appearing as you get closer to civilization. Customisation will also be returning, so expect the ability to buy new clothes, get your hair cut, and add tattoos as you wish. Property acquisition will also be making a return to create your own real estate empire, although dynamic activities such as hijacking security or robbing ATM machines will also alternative ways of making money.
And that’s your lot. For now, anyway.
Considering it was only a few days ago I was voicing concern over the lack of detail on the gameplay mechanics, this is a welcome burst of information, but it’s worth pointing out that we have yet to see any of it in action and that everything you have read above is second-hand information. That said, if Rockstar have included the best aspects of their recent efforts of Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, we might be onto something rather special.