Every single core GTA release since Grand Theft Auto III on PlayStation 2 has been released to massive sales and tremendous critical praise. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City built upon the concepts of GTA III in brilliant ways, whereas San Andreas completely destroyed expectations with its large world and near perfect game design. GTA IV brought Grand Theft Auto to a new generation, but Grand Theft Auto V is looking to give current-gen what could possibly be one of the greatest gaming experiences ever.
I called GTA V my most anticipated game of 2013, and I would keep it at #1 if I had to go back and rewrite the list. This is after a bombastic E3 that revealed huge games coming out for eighth generation systems PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That is how hyped I am for Grand Theft Auto V, and knowing the folks at Rockstar, I won’t be let down.
I realize that there are people out there that aren’t completely excited for Grand Theft Auto V. And that is an ailment that needs to be remedied immediately. These are just five of many reasons to be psyched for GTA V.
But before we get to all that, here is the latest trailer for Grand Theft Auto V as a little refresher of what is in store:
1. Largest open world…ever?
Grand Theft Auto basically put the open world genre on the map with its large, open city to explore as introduced in Grand Theft Auto III. Then Vice City came along with an even bigger world, but San Andreas completely changed the game with an absolutely huge map to explore with no loading times. Grand Theft Auto IV’s map was gargantuan as well, especially when all the explorable interior areas are taken into account.
Grand Theft Auto V’s version of San Andreas? Well, let’s just say that it hopes to blow away the expectations. According to Rockstar, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is larger than the one featured in San Andreas, Liberty City in GTA IV, and the entire map of Red Dead Redemption (comprised of huge chunks of southern United States and Mexico) combined. In other words, it’s big. Really, really big.
Plus, the ocean floor can be explored now! That’s right, for the first time in the series, players can don scuba gear and explore the depths of the ocean, where they will find secrets and hidden treasures. GTA sure has come a long way from having protagonists that would die the instant they touched the water, hasn’t it?
2. Innovative new storytelling
I’ll get more into this feature from a gameplay standpoint in a bit, but first I want to talk about the storytelling capabilities that one of GTA V’s most talked about features is going to bring to the table. In GTA V, players are able to switch between one of the three protagonists on the fly with just the press of a button. Reports from those that have played live demos and have seen the game in action indicate that this is a seamless and lightning fast process.
Being able to switch between characters instantly is going to allow for creative and brand new ways to experience a video game storyline. Think of it kind of like a television show. TV shows typically follow multiple characters, jumping between them to see the story from all different angles, with their own group of people they interact with.
Grand Theft Auto V’s three protagonists, Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, all work together on various heists throughout the game. This is when their stories intersect. However, they have lives outside of the main story, with their own group of friends and enemies, and their own plotlines to follow. It will be incredibly interesting to follow the lives of these three different characters in this brand new way to experience a video game story.
3. Three protagonists – all unique
Grand Theft Auto V is, of course, a video game, so while switching between the three protagonists is going to be great for story purposes, it ultimately means little unless it also has an effect on gameplay. Thankfully, each of the three characters is going to play differently, with different missions based on their personalities and how they react to people and situations.
The three different characters all have their own unique special ability. Michael is able to use Bullet Time like Max Payne to have a better advantage during firefights. Meanwhile, Franklin, the vehicle aficionado of the game, is able to slow down time while driving a car to make chases easier to navigate. Trevor is able to activate a “rage” mode that makes him take less damage and also makes it so he does extra damage to enemies and can perform execution-style finishing attacks.
4. Most vehicles…ever?
Thanks to its namesake, Grand Theft Auto is directly associated with vehicles. Vehicles have always played a huge role in the series, with hijacking cars being one of the hallmark gameplay elements of the series. San Andreas featured a ton of different vehicle types, whereas GTA IV made it so a few previously drivable vehicles could no longer be controlled. Fans were disappointed in this, and Rockstar has heard them loud and clear. According to them, Grand Theft Auto V features the most vehicles in any Grand Theft Auto game made yet.
Amongst the vehicle types are cars, ranging from clunkers to luxury wheels, as well as trucks, jeeps, vans, and other variants. Bikes are making a return, both in the form of motorcycles as well as pedal bikes that were popular in the original San Andreas game. GTA V will also see the return of planes that can be directly flown, a feature that was cut in GTA IV. In addition, other flying vehicles such as helicopters will also be controllable in GTA V.
More unique vehicles, such as boats, jet skis, and ATVs, will all be in GTA V as well. Keep in mind that all of these mentioned vehicle types will contain multiple vehicles within their categories. Personally, I can’t wait to take the jet ski on the waters of Los Santos and drive the four-wheelers in the off-road forests that make up the GTA V countryside.
5. Multiplayer evolved
Rockstar hasn’t elaborated much on the multiplayer aspect of Grand Theft Auto V, but they have promised it to be “something really special” in the realm of open world multiplayer. I personally hope that GTA V brings back offline multiplayer as well in some form, but I will settle for an incredible online multiplayer offering.
Players that thoroughly played the multiplayer in Max Payne 3 will be able to bring over their multiplayer settings and clans (or “Crews” as Rockstar calls them) to Grand Theft Auto V with the new and improved Rockstar Social Club, which has the ultimate goal of bridging the multiplayer functionality of all of Rockstar’s games moving forward after Max Payne 3.
Grand Theft Auto IV’s multiplayer wasn’t for everyone, but I had a lot of fun with it. Rockstar is never ones to just bring more of the same, however, so I can’t wait to see what the developers at Rockstar do next with GTA multiplayer, and what kind of co-op functionality the game will have as well.
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Grand Theft Auto V is making sure that the seventh generation of gaming consoles is going out with a bang. Before putting away the PS3 and 360 in favor of PS4 and Xbox One, many gamers will be dumping hours upon hours into what is likely to be the biggest game released in years. Grand Theft Auto V is expected to shatter sales records and review scores.