GTA V: our summary of the Game Informer reveal

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The wait is finally over, GTA fans…

Yesterday afternoon, Game Informer lifted the lid on Grand Theft Auto V, and a Pandora’s Box-shaming amount of official information regarding setting, plot, characters, gameplay, mechanics, missions, physics and more spilled onto the web.

Subscribers to GI magazine will get to read all about it in December’s issue, which contains an 18-page feature on Rockstar Games’ follow-up to GTA IV. However, because Thursday’s reveal is possibly the most talked-about topic in videogames news right now, we’ve summarised everything we’ve learned to appease your impatience.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin:

  • GTA V’s Los Santos is the largest open-world playground in Rockstar history, consisting of beachfronts, mountains, suburbs, towns and wildernesses.
  • The developer’s Vice President of Creativity Dan Houser claims it is bigger than Red Dead Redemption’s, San Andreas’ and Grand Theft Auto IV’s worlds combined.
  • There are three protagonists to play as: Michael, Trevor and Franklin.
    • Michael is a retired bank robber in his early 40s, living lavishly after cutting a deal with the FIB. He’s in a witness protection program, is unhappily married, and is father to two children he cannot relate to. With his wife sucking all his money, he needs to get back in the game. By the by, it was Michael that narrated the GTA V teaser trailer.
    • Trevor, also in his early 40s, is a former war veteran and pilot living in Blaine County, a barren region populated by people from the fringes of society. He’s a drug user and criminal, governed by his desires and prone to violent outbursts. He has been deemed “maniacal” by Houser.
    • Franklin is a repo man in his mid-20s, a young and ambitious hustler working for an Armenian car dealership that sells luxury cars to those who can’t afford them.
  • No major celebrities or actors have been cast as the main characters.
  • Players can switch between protagonists at will via a quick menu, which causes the camera to zoom out and locate the selected character in a Google Earth-esque fashion.
  • Each character has their own story arc, personality and motivations, but their lives are intertwined. The trio will work together during missions, and you are able to switch between them on the fly to perform actions associated with their individual skill sets.
  • Whichever two characters you are not controlling will go about their daily business until you assume their role again, meaning you might find them in some surprising situations when you do.
  • Familiar faces from GTA IV and Episodes from Liberty City will appear throughout the campaign, but will be not be playable.
  • There will be a “vibrant and fun” economy, although you won’t be able to buy property.
  • Pedestrians have been simulated using motion-capture technology, and will be more interactive with their surroundings
  • Vehicle handling and physics have improved significantly. All modes of transport should hold to the ground better, and feel more responsive.
  • Confirmed vehicles include BMXs, mountain bikes, motorcycles, dirt bikes, cars, trucks, helicopters, planes, fighter jets, ATVs and jet skis.
  • There will be a huge variety of side missions and sophisticated mini-games on offer, including triathlons, water sports, base-jumping, tennis, 18-hole golf, scuba diving and yoga. Furthermore, each character will have hobbies and activities unique to them.
  • Players can make friends and hang out with certain NPCs, including Jimmy, Michael’s pot-smoking, misunderstood son, Ron, conspiracy theorist and Trevor’s paranoiac best friend, and Lamar, a companion of Franklin’s who is funny and crazy in equal measure.
  • The mobile phone menu interface from GTA IV will return, but many of its features have been altered.
  • Similar to RDR, there will be optional missions dotted around the game world that might involve assisting broken-down motorists, conducting impromptu heists or, if being a nice guy’s your thing, catching muggers.

 *Faints*

GTA V will release in spring 2013, and is available to pre-order from these selected retailers.