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.

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2 Comments on GTA V Preview Rundown: My God, It’s Full Of Stuff

TheDog

On May 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Well, color me bored. First off, 4 was well received by the media, but not so well by the players.(made good money, but the forums I’ve been in, well lets just say lots of people aren’t too kind when speaking about 4). In short, it sucked. Secondly they haven’t even confirmed it for PC. Pretty freakin stupid if you ask me. I’ve seen absolutely nothing to show me any different. Last good game they put out in my opinion was GTA:SA. Haven’t been impressed since.

gasmaskangel

On May 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Well I am intrigued, but there are several questions I’d still like answered.

1.) Will there be a pc port? Rockstar has said in the past that they won’t port it to PC (to my great frustration) because of concerns regarding piracy, this is my primary buying decision as I am a pc gamer first and foremost.

2.) Will the annoying as all hell social aspect of GTA IV return? I cannot stress enough how much I loathed this mechanic and making it so that at least I don’t have to constantly maintain a rapidly expanding list of extraordinarily needy people by taking them to play crappy mini games instead of enjoying the bloody sandbox.

3.) Do helicopters still control like a giant flying butt? And for that matter has Rockstar’s fetish for unnecessary realism made the controls even more irritating? I never got past an early mission in the Ballad of Tony because I had to fly a helicopter and that sucked a stew made of rancid moose testes and worn rac rectums marinated in dog urine.