GTA V Preview Rundown: My God, It’s Full Of Stuff
Face it, readers. No matter how practiced your cynical detachment, you are cutting off all contact with friends and loved ones for at least the three-week period starting Sept. 17. Denying it is like denying that you’re currently reading this article wearing nothing but a frayed bathrobe covered in Triscuit crumbs.
That’s the date Grand Theft Auto V launches, or as it’s known inside Rockstar HQ, the day Dan Hauser can finally gold-plate his entire body. With mere months to go, marketing activity is ratcheting up nicely, culminating last week with the release of three character-focused trailers, followed by the details of a press demo held recently in New York, at which Rockstar treated certain members of the media to an extended look at Grand Theft Auto V.
We missed the demo, but once the embargo broke a San Andreas-sized amount of information about the game spilled out. The short version? It’s shaping up to be as big and crazy as long-time series fans have hoped. The long version? Way too long to summarize here. It’s enough to obliterate what remained of our restrained interest like TNT affixed to a bank vault door.
Because we care, we’ve taken the time to compile the essential information now available. Suffice to say if even a quarter of what Rockstar promises comes to pass, a million diapers will be soiled come September.
So what do we know?
1.) RPG Elements Are Stronger Than Anticipated
Rockstar has already confirmed the return of light RPG elements, but now we’re finally getting a look at just how light they are. And they’re kind of impressive. The game doesn’t go as far as the Saints Row series in terms of leveling up and customization, but it’s almost the equal of San Andreas.
First, players will be able to change character haircuts and clothing, and purchase tattoos. That’s a welcome change from GTA IV’s rather limited customization, but better, you’ll also get to level up like you did in San Andreas. The game tracks certain skill categories — Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving, Mechanic, Lung Capacity — and players will level up in the form of improving the more they perform tasks using those skills.
Each character will have a natural affinity for one of these particular skills from the start. For example, Trevor will always be better at flying while Franklin will always be a better driver. Each character will also have a unique skill they can activate for a temporary period of time: Michael gets Max Payne-style bullet time when shooting, Trevor gets a berserker mode in which he deals more damage but takes less, and Franklin can slow down time for a Fast and Furious-style aesthetic when driving. These abilities are charged, so once used, you’ll have to wait before using them again.
Weapons modding has also been included. Scopes, suppressors, high-capacity magazines and laser sights are optional add-ons to your arsenal. Finally, just as we predicted last week, vehicle modding returns from San Andreas, only this time you can get it done at any Pay N Spray. In short, you’ll be able to make something close to a unique character every time you play. Fans of fat CJ can rejoice. Mostly.