GTA:V Need I Say More?!

With the second Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) trailer finally upon us (well almost) I figured its about time we took a run down of the things we here at GameSyncUK are looking forward to. So in no particular order my top 10 things I’m looking forward to seeing in Grand Theft Auto V:

1 – Friends Phone Calls do not return.
As antisocial as it sounds, I wished I could kill off all those friends in GTAIV. Every time you load the game once it had been completed you’d have to go into the phone and turn off the calls just so you could get some peace whilst driving round Liberty City. In GTAV Rockstar have streamlined the phones use down to a few thing, one of which seems to be browsing the internet. But according to Game Informer you are your own best friend so hopeful ‘friends’ wont keep bugging you whilst your driving around the city.

2 – Casual Encounters and Dynamic Missions
In GTAIV you could interact with a few people now and then but most people would just be going about their NPC business. GTAV aims to change that by adding more encounters with fully motion captured actions and a little more interactivity than before. There will also be dynamic missions that were introduced in Red Dead Redemption. The map was huge so when you passed a broken down stagecoach at the side of a dirt trail or a man who had his horse stolen it was a welcome break from the boring rides between missions. In GTAV they will be brought back only with a modern twist, instead of a stagecoach at the side of a trail it could be a broken down car at the side of the road, or a hitchhiker. Even in the cities beating heart there will be missions and opportunities that just pop up,maybe helping catch purse snatchers (a nod to the old horse thefts in Red Dead?) or a cash van going about its business, if you want a quick boost to your bank account then why not rob it?

3 – Biggest World In Series History
Los Santos is huge, and I mean huge. It is the largest open world in Rockstar history. If you add up the interiors and exteriors in GTAV’s world then the map is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto IV and San Andreas combined with room to spare!! If you’ve ever travelled from one end of the Red Dead map to the other you know how long that takes, even on the train between towns. Then you think back to San Andreas and how long it took to get from Las Venturas to San Fierro, this truly is an epic game world. Mt. Chilliad returns large wilderness around it, a military base, beachfronts, vineyards, suburban hills and of course the huge Los Santos city itself. Also diving does return. The seafloor is full of detail and has been crafted with the same care as the land itself.

4 – Draw Distance Greatly Improved
GTAIV had some pretty impressive draw distances, being able to hover above downtown Liberty City and seeing the airport at one side and Alderney to the other was great, with GTAV that is being topped thanks to the RAGE engines upgrades. Aaron Garbut, an art director at Rockstar North, says ‘’We used to ‘only’ render 1.5km at most in IV, now we render the most distant mountains at the other end of the world many, many miles away. You can even see the little lights on the street or on buildings drawn right into the distance.’’ I’m hoping this means ill be able to do what was a hard task in GTAIV, spear a person when jumping from a helicopter. With GTAIV you would either have to be really close to the ground for there to be a person stood there or you’d hope for the best and then they would disappear when you got close, the same applied to the cars when trying to jump onto them, it turned into an orchestrated effort on a private online game with one person stood by some cars so they wouldn’t disappear and the other on a building jumping off. Hopefully this will streamline that down to a single player experience. If it doesn’t at least it will give me a nicer view as I hurtle towards the ground. All this detail does leave me worried about if games consoles will be able to cope with extended playing, like my 12hour straight GTA launch marathons which tend to amass around 60 hours of gameplay over the course of 3 days.

5 – ‘’Entertainment inside the entertainment’’
Bowling, comedy clubs, strip clubs, internet cafes, TV, darts and pool were all available in GTAIV, but Rockstar aren’t happy with distracting us with just a few things. In GTAV they aim to outdo themselves again by adding even more off mission activities to stop us actually playing the game we waited so long to get our hands on. There are a lot of side activities that all the characters can participate in like base jumping, triathlons and a full golf game. But there will be some exclusive activities specific to each character. You will also be able to change clothes, hopefully this means San Andreas style change clothes with a huge choice and not the GTA III era clothes changes of just a few outfits or GTAIV’s of a couple of shirts and pants to choose from. Rockstar do say that their will be much more to spend those hard earned dollars on so it wont stack up at the end of the game, in my mind that supports my hopes for a wide range of clothing. Dan Houser also stated to game Informer that there will be some ‘’funny new stuff that’s pretty odd to do in a game.’’ So here’s hoping its not an interactive cinema because I don’t think I could sit for 90minutes with the GTAV disk in my console when I knew there was destruction to be created.

6 – Multiple Protagonists
Yes that’s right, not one, not two but three fully voiced fresh out of the box protagonists to cause havoc with. Interweaved story lines, many crossover events in the form of bank heists. The idea for three lead characters came from a need to surpass what they had already achieved in GTAIV with Niko and Red Dead Redemption with John Marston. As apposed to the ‘play 3 levels as this person, play 2 as him’ as has become the norm in games such as Call Of Duty, GTAV will give you the option of who you want to play as, being able to switch between them at any time when your off mission (and occasionally switching during missions.) Each character will be unique and have their own back story and life. When you aren’t controlling a character they are going about their own life in Los Santos. When switching between the characters the game zooms out to a reveal the game world, Crank style then drops you to whichever character you’ve selected. So the people you will be:
Michael – An early 40’s retired bank robber who struck a deal with the FIB. He’s the guy in the first trailer (who I may have said earlier I didn’t like because he seemed too old to be a protagonist). Wife, children, Rockford Hills high end home and suit. Need I say more?
Trevor – Early 40’s only this time has that grungy criminal underworld meets Redneck Island look. This is more like what I expect from a GTA game, its about starting from nothing and building up. A bank robber back in the day (with Michael) balding (Bruce Willis style) ‘Cut Here’ tattoo across his neck with dotted line. Did I mention he is a former military pilot? My kind of protagonist.
Franklin – A repo man from South Los Santos (a bit like CJ) in his mid 20’s. Every time I see him he reminds me (and JamesMC) of Froy from Operation Repo. I have a feeling he is going to be the agile one of the group who’s constantly running from the law or gang members.

7 – Vehicle Handling Improved
Having rebuilt a lot of the mechanics of the game, Rockstar Games have paid close attention to driving. During the interview with Game Informer Dan Houser is quoted as saying ‘’It feels more like a racing game.’’ Which if by racing games he means things like the new Need For Speed Most Wanted then I’m excited. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the handling in GTA: IV but again in the same interview Houser states ‘’We thought they were big and boat like in GTA: IV’’ so if GTAV improves on the GTA: IV handling then I can see a lot of high speed accidents to test out just how accurate the crashes are. The range of vehicles has been bumped up too. With the normal trucks, cars and motorcycles there will be BMX/mountain bikes, helicopters, planes, ATV’s, jet skies and parachutes. The game will feature one of the largest selections of vehicles in GTA history. I’m sure there will be some things they are keeping for release, like that airship you can clearly see in the first trailer, if you can’t fly it I’m sure you can at least stand on it with some precise helicopter piloting.

8 – Ammu-Nation Returns
During the demo for Game Informer they drive past an  Ammu-Nation store. After not being in GTAIV it will be nice to be able to walk into a high street store and walk out with more firepower than a small country again instead of having to go into back street gun dealers. Also a return of the Ammu-Nation adverts will brighten up any radio station or billboard.

9 – GTA:IV Cameos
Dan Houser also confirmed in Game Informer that in GTAV there would be some familiar faces from GTAIV and the Episodes would appear in GTAV. Just don’t hold your breath if your expecting to bump into Niko on sunning himself in Los Santos. Also no characters from GTAIII to GTA San Andreas will appear in GTAV or the future games in this era of GTA. Dan Houser is quoted as saying ‘’The five PS2 games are one universe, and this is the high definition universe, so they don’t co-exist’’ and goes on to say ‘’They would be like mythical characters in this world who never existed.’’ Although maybe Bigfoot will appear in either his rock formation form or his Red Dead Redemption form… I doubt it though.

10 – More Interactive Environments?
During the demo for Game Informer, the play-tester pulls into a parking lot as Trevor, grabs a can of gasoline from a wall, pours it around a parked car and a trail away from it and then ignites it with his lighter. The flame sets the tires on fire, then chassis, reaches the gas tank and after a slow burn to cause a huge explosion. The point of me reciting all this, that gas can. It wasn’t in his magic backpack of guns that all GTA characters have, it was sat on a wall. So if there are interactive items laying around the game world, that opens up a whole new line of gameplay. You could create a puddle of gas in the middle of the high street then light it and watch the flames approach an unsuspecting crowd. (I’m not sick or twisted, that’s what GTA games are about, doing things you can’t and wouldn’t want to in the real world.)

Oh and you can also randomly flip off people as your going about your business and get different reactions depending on who you do it to.

I’m sure with this we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of Grand Theft Auto V but with a new trailer being released in a matter of hours we are no doubt about to learn a whole lot more about the forthcoming installment in the frankly epic series from Rockstar Games. Who would have thought in about 15 years we would have come from a basic but brilliant top down open world adventure with conga-ing Elvis impersonators to a full HD living breathing city bigger than any other Rockstar game?

The second trailer will be released at 11AM EST. (4PM GMT )

Grand Theft Auto V will be released in Spring 2013 and is available to preorder now.

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