GTA V Preview Rundown: My God, It’s Full Of Stuff
2.) A Bigger More Interactive World
Yeahyeahyeah, we all know that Rockstar keeps crowing about how this is going to be their biggest open world yet. That may end up being true, but they said the same thing about GTA IV, and I’m sure all of you remember how much fun it was driving around and not being able to do very much at all. More like GTA: Tulsa 1996 if you ask me.
Point: Big is good, but there’d better be plenty of stuff to do in it. Fortunately, it turns out there will be, and not just time-consuming playdates with friends or trips to the local comedy show. If things turn out as reports suggest, GTA V is shaping up to be one hell of a sandbox.
Some confirmed activities include stunt jumps, flying challenges, yoga, golf, tennis and bike races. Further, property ownership, previously confirmed, includes houses, garages and businesses that give you extra money for buying them. It’s a feature included in San Andres and improved upon in Vice City Stories and I, for one, am glad to hear it’s coming back.
There is a vast natural world to play in. Building off of Red Dead Redemption, GTA V is packed with natural diversity. BY all accounts, the ocean sections of the map are packed with marine life (including sharks!) and flora. Meanwhile, the terrestrial outdoors is as varied as Southern California itself, from mountainous snowy sections to desert, with, supposedly, appropriate wild animals. One report even suggests that hunting may be an optional activity.
And speaking of the ocean, the game has several treasures hidden at various underwater points (no word if these treasures also exist on land). You can seek them out during your off-time, and will actually be competing against NPCs doing the same thing. To help you, boats will have scuba equipment, and you’ll be able to dive into the water with fairly realistic animations. Now the only question is, can you kill underwater? Please say yes.
While this is already apparent from the trailers, all reports out of the demo swear LA and Southern California are eerily captured. Architecture and geography are close to the real thing, and local oddities, like the people who dress up like superheroes and charge tourists for photographs in Hollywood, are parodied. You can even take a bus tour of celebrity homes.
One of the only inaccuracies, so to speak, coming out of last week’s demo concerns public transportation. It has been confirmed that PT is returning from GTA IV, but where Liberty City had trains, Los Santos will have buses. Make a note that in real life, Los Angeles has a kick-ass light rail system (so long are you’re not trying to make it to Beverly Hills or the Ocean).
Rockstar promises five times more pedestrians than were found in GTA IV, and NPCs are as interactive as they’ve ever been, building off of San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption to help flesh out the world. Dynamic missions like those found in RDR and GTA IV are back and more diverse, and there are also more mundane interactions like picking up hitchhikers, and mini-missions like protecting celebrities from paparazzi.
If you don’t want to work for or with NPCs, you can commit petty crimes like convenient store hold-ups and ATM robbery. Should this provoke police interest, you’ll be able to escalate up to a 5-star wanted level, but now you can hide in the wanted zone, with police officers’ line of site indicated on the HUD. In missions or just fighting off pesky cops, combat promises to be more dynamic, with combat rolls being added to the standard cover-based shooting.
Finally, to help you keep track of everything, players can access an in-game smartphone that is, as expected, an Apple parody called iFruit. In addition to some unrevealed features, it will allow access to an in-universe Internet we assume is similar to that at the cyber cafes in GTA IV, as well as a calendar, contacts and social media. You’ll also be able to replay missions through it.