New GTA V Info: Medical Pot, Online Shopping, Crazy Politics, etc.
With just over a month to go before the game launches and the entire world shuts down, Rockstar has decided to unload an entire trailer truck’s worth of new details about Grand Theft Auto V. And not once, but twice in the same week.
First up is an info dump released this morning in the form of a tourism website for Southern Los Santos. Promising a look at “where the American dream went when it retired, and took up silly hobbies…”, it actually reveals quite a lot about the game, plot details aside, of course. You can lose yourself for hours on this site, but a few details stand out:
1) Auto customization, already confirmed, is beginning to look like a major component of non-plot related gameplay. Perhaps we’ll get our wish and see something as robust and convenient as the Saints Row system after all.
2) Clothes shopping and hairstyle changing is going to be much more varied than the paltry offerings of GTA IV. We’ve already seen the confirmed return of SubUrban from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but now we know the city is going to have different shopping districts based on real live cultural enclaves. Beverly Hills analogue Rockford Hills is namechecked once again, and we also learn there’s going to be some version of LA hipster enclaves like Echo Park and Silver Lake1 called Hawick.
3) There has been some discussion of this, but we’re now seeing just how complex the in-game economy is compared to previous entries. Both air craft and automobiles can be purchased online, stock trading and real estate investment are things, and it looks like some form of banking will happen.
4) The ability to alter your mind on fun2 chemical substances looks like it’s making a return from GTA IV. Two words: medical marijuana. (Yes, that is Franklin smoking a very fat herbal jazz cigarette.)
5) Much like how the salad days of the war on terror created the backdrop of GTA IV, GTA V will feature California’s absurd politics with an ongoing Gubernatorial race. Unfortunately, the commercials featured here lack any of the bite and subtlety of previous GTA political parodies, (and both candidates seem like straw men completely removed from what their real life parties actually tend to produce3), but hopefully it’s in service to something that pays off later.
This kind of thing has become standard for Rockstar: show off the giant, complex world it has created, which has the effect of providing tons of details without spoiling the actual plot. And of course, it succeeds because we’re all chomping at the bit for just a teensy, tiny glimpse. Personally, I’m kind of amused by the way they’ve staggered this week’s infodumps: tomorrow is the end of the Saints Row IV embargo, and Thursday will see the first look at GTA V online. Which means that Saints Row IV’s first day of open discussion is now bookended by news about its biggest competition. Your move, Volition.
There’s plenty more to see, even if most of it has already been revealed. Check out the whole thing here.
In the meantime, have a look at some of the latest GTA V screen shots and enjoy the next month.
1) Fun fact! Silver Lake hasn’t been cool for almost a decade. It’s exactly like Williamsburg in that once upon a time it actually was cheap and cool and kind of rough but now is impossibly expensive and full of the same people who live in Beverly Hills but have better wardrobes.
2) Obviously DRUGS ARE BAD kids. BAD! If I yell loudly enough you might even believe me.
3) Check out the state’s crazy ballot initiative system for a good perspective on just why things are so weird here.