Grand Theft Auto V Preview
Of all the video game franchises that define generations, none has done so as succinctly as Grand Theft Auto. Though the series has been around in some form for almost two decades, it was Grand Theft Auto III that was originally released for the Sony PlayStation 2 that put the franchise on the map in a big way. The game was released to massive critical and commercial success in the fall of 2001.
Two “side releases,” dubbed Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas followed quickly thereafter to even more success. Grand Theft Auto IV was one of the titles that defined the current generation of consoles with releases on both the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Publisher Rockstar Games is looking to reinvent the wheel yet again with the release of Grand Theft Auto V for current generation systems in the fall of 2013.
Little is known about the story for Grand Theft Auto V except that it involves three separate characters whose stories all interconnect at various points. These characters represent a departure from past entries as every other game has only featured one main protagonist that the player could control throughout various combat missions. The game takes place in Los Santos, which was an area of the virtual world last seen in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Controlling the three separate characters involves the use of a feature very similar to Google’s own Google Maps service. Whenever the player wants to switch from one character to another, they can zoom out and view the entirety of the in-game world on a single screen. The player can then select the location of the character that they wish to play as and instantly transport themselves to that area.
Biggest virtual world yet
One element of the game that will be especially notable to players and fans of the series is that it features the biggest in-game virtual world in any Rockstar title to date. Official documentation provided by Rockstar developers notes that the Grand Theft Auto V world of Los Santos is larger than the worlds featured in games like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV combined.
Transportation to and from various points in Los Santos is handled via a wide variety of different vehicles. In addition to the cars, trucks, motorcycles and helicopters that were present in previous iterations, Grand Theft Auto V also adds all-terrain vehicles, jet skis and even planes to a player’s transportation options.
In between missions, players can engage in a number of different activities that are completely new to the franchise. Competing in triathlons, going jet skiing, base-jumping and even playing a game of tennis against non-player characters are just a few of the many ways that you can pass the time in Los Santos.
The multiplayer functionality of Grand Theft Auto V operates similarly to that of another Rockstar title, Max Payne 3. You can put together “crews” of your friends and undertake missions together. As a player, you can be a member of up to five different crews at a single time, allowing you to really connect with all of your friends in a unique and special way. Rockstar has assured fans that the entirety of the massive in-game world will be available in the multiplayer version of the game, unlike past entries where only certain areas were available while others were completely blocked off while online.
Grand Theft Auto V was originally slated to be released during the first or second quarter of 2013. In January 2013, however, Rockstar announced that the game needed extra development time and would miss that original projected release timeframe. The game will now make its way to both the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 on September 17, 2013.
Much like with Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption, the release of content for Grand Theft Auto V is expected to continue well beyond the initial release of the game. Downloadable content like new vehicles, additional weapons and even entirely new game modes will be released on an ongoing basis as the game ages.
Additional game modes and missions have also been confirmed. Expansion titles, similar in concept to The Ballad of Gay Tony and other Grand Theft Auto IV expansion games, have also been hinted at by the development team during press conferences. The release of these types of additional content and more are a great way to keep players enthused about another trip into the world of Grand Theft Auto.