Game Informer's latest issue is now live in digital form, delivering an enormous swathe of brand new Grand Theft Auto V details. We'll freely swap between three distinct characters with their own skills and lives, exploring a map area that's bigger than San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption combined.
Like everyone else on the internet, we've regurgitated the salient facts for your convenience and pleasure.
GTA V stars three main protagonists, none of whom turned out to be the infamous "Albert De Silva." Players will be able to swap between them at "almost any time," with the two other characters independently going about their daily lives while not being controlled. You'll even be able to swap characters mid-mission at pre-determined junctures.
- Michael: A retired bank robber in the witness protection program, this upper class thief will balance a life of crime with his family life (dealing with a sarcastic trophy wife and unruly teenage daughter in the process). With FBI-funded money running out, it's only a matter of time before he returns to old habits. Since he's in witness protection, I suppose that he could be Albert De Silva, but don't hold your breath.
- Trevor: A redneck meth-abusing war veteran who's an old acquaintance of Michael.
- Franklin: a wannabe hustler who targets Michael as his latest mark, only to join the team for a series of heists.
All three characters live in different locales, from Michael's classy Rockford Hills estate to Trevor's rundown desert trailer park in Blaine county. Rockstar believes that the three-character focus, alongside the major differences in geography in each region, will provide a huge amount of variety.
Los Santos, GTA V's setting heavily based on Los Angeles, is going to be absolutely enormous as well as geographically diverse. Apparently it's bigger than San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption put together; including bustling urban environments, arid deserts and the bottom of the ocean (which we'll presumably explore with Scuba gear or submarines). Getting around will require the use of trucks, BMX and mountain bikes, ATVs, helicopters, cars, WaveRunners, dirtbikes and other more traditional vehicles.
Missions will be fleshed out to a greater degree, in the vein of Red Dead Redemption or GTA IV's "Three Leaf Clover." They'll usually revolved around planning and pulling off big heists, then dealing with the resulting aftermath. One mission will see the three protagonists extracting a torture victim from an unknown enemy faction, with each character providing a different perspective. While escaping, players can swap between pilot, gunner and sniper.
Randomised dynamic missions are also set to return (such as hitch-hikers), while side quests have been given much more detail. Base jumping, tennis, full rounds of golf, yoga, triathlons and competitive jet skiing are also on hand for killing downtime."It's better to have one really good mini game than five half-assed ones that aren't fun," states Rockstar's Dan Houser. There won't be any romancing or RPG-style customisation beyond suits and haircuts, however.
Multiplayer will be included, and though Rockstar aren't willing to talk details, we suspect that the three-character setup is ripe with cooperative possibilities.
GTA V is scheduled for a "Spring 2013" launch on PS3 and Xbox 360. Who's excited?
[Many thanks to Game Informer]