Ah, Grand Theft Auto, the black sheep of the video game world. A franchise popularized by its leisurely use of violence, sex, and drugs. The controversy caused by the Grand Theft Auto has been used as a red herring by politicians for years to further their agenda of killing everything fun while avoiding the real issues that caused what ever violent act they blame the franchise on.
Get ready for the controversy to be renewed everybody! Grand Theft Auto 5 is roaring towards us like a helicopter made from machine guns.
Characters and Story
Where Grand Theft Auto 4 took place in the "similar in every aspect, but definitely not New York" town of Liberty City, following the down on his luck immigrant Niko, Grand Theft Auto 5 does exactly the opposite. Grand Theft Auto 5 takes us across the country to Los Santos, the sprawling duplicate of Los Angeles. This time we are presented with the gritty, grumpy, and filthy rich retired bank robber Michael.
Whoever said money cannot buy happiness was apparently right.
While Michael lives the high life, with a wife that loves...his money. He cannot help but miss the excitement of his glory days. However, in Grand Theft Auto 5 there is a twist. Whereas in past games you followed the story of one character, this time you follow the story of three. You cannot spend the whole game as Michael or the other two characters. They will come together in several missions that are described as "mega-heists" as well as some of the smaller missions leading up to those, but you will also have to do some solo missions.
While Michael lives the high life in The Hills, the second character Trevor is the exact opposite. Trevor is a bit on the psychotic side. He lives in the trailer park way out in the wilderness of Los Santos (Yes, the city is so big it even comes with its own wild country), Dan Houser, the co-founder and co-write of Grand theft Auto 5 goes all Freudian with his comparison saying, "If Michael is the ego, then Trevor would be the Id."
Michael and Trevor were friends long ago, but a falling out put a major rift between them. What unites them again, one cannot be sure. More than likely it is money, or perhaps Trevors' innate need for making mischief. However, it would be interesting to see if the motivation behind Trevor for working with Michael again was the chance for vengeance. Rockstar has a aptitude for story lines like that.
The third character is Franklin who was born and raised in South Los Santos, "the bad side of town". Franklin is a ex-street gang member who is always looking for new opportunities to make money. Michael serves as a mentor to the young Franklin and refers to him as the son he never had, though Michael does in fact have a son. Franklin works for a group of Armenian mobsters as a repo man at a luxury car dealership. They sell expensive cars to young hotshots at prices they cannot pay, and when the default on their payments, Franklin does the dirty work of repossessing the car.
Franklin also has a handy Rottweiler named Chop that distracts people as he repossess their cars. By 'distracts', you know they mean 'tries to rip apart into a bloody mash'.
The overall story seems to revolve around these three characters doing small missions to lead up to the aforementioned "mega-heists", not much more than that is known. Using the three character system, Rockstar allows us to get three unique perspectives on each mission they do together.
There is one popular example of this where the crew does a mission for the government organization FIB. They are tasked with taking back a hostage from another government organization. During this operation, Michael rappels down the side of a building and retrieves the person of interest, while Franklin watches his back from an adjacent rooftop with a sniper rifle, and Trevor flies their escape helicopter. You can switch between these three perspectives or just stick with one and let the AI control the others. It certainly seems like an interesting concept, but does set up the potential for a lot of glitches if not carefully tested.
One of the things that Rockstar is known for other than a gripping story and violent content is a sprawling landscape. The city in Grand Theft Auto 5, Los Santos, seems to their pride and joy of this game. Los Santos brags to be Rockstar's biggest environment yet, even bigger than their sprawling western expanse in Red Dead Redemption. In fact, some have said that it is as big as San Andreas, Red Dead Redemption, and two Liberty Cities combined. The name Los Santos translates into "The Saints", which is a play on Los Angeles' mean of "The Angels".
The city combines all of the neighborhoods that Los Angeles is known for including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Koreatown, and Downtown districts. The names of these places have been changed so as to not directly mimic Los Angeles, but they are fairly recognizable still. As well as a expansive and bustling city filled with hookers and pedestrians to run over, there is also quite a bit of rural landscape. There are mountains, deserts, farms, and great amounts of various places to explore.
Rockstar said that they wanted their game to feel a bit like going on holiday for gamers. Something where you can get in you car, find a good radio station and just cruise around the country. Alternatively, steal a plane and go sky diving over a mountain! They wanted the world to feel similar to Skyrim where you can see lots of interesting places and meet lots of strange people. The game also includes quite a bit of wild life out in the boondocks, so while driving around at night, you may hit a deer.
Rockstar has also said that there will be hitchhikers and broken down cars along the road, you can stop and help, but be weary you may put yourself into a bad position.
The missions within Grand Theft Auto 5 are now accompanied by and interactive score of music. Rockstar did not want to get rid of radio stations, but fans responded well to the interactive music of previous games like Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption. Naturally, Rockstar did the impossible and just did both! Now there is a way to keep fans happy.
Rockstar has officially released that no characters after Grand Theft Auto 4 will appear in the game. This means no CJ and no Tony. Though characters from Grand Theft Auto 4 may pop in on occasion.
There is no time for romance in Grand Theft Auto 5, no more dates with your ladies, sadly. However, you will still be called by friends to go and do things like go have a drink or play tennis.
Apparently there is a plethora of new radio stations and new television channels inside the game. So if you want to go on that aforementioned holiday inside the game to watch television, I am sure you will be entertained.
Driving obviously above the speed limit gets you a wanted star. High speed crashes with also injure you. Curse Rockstar for slowly incorporating traffic laws into their games. What is next, stopping at red lights?
You can buy new clothes and exercise, but it is not known whether exercising effects your build as it did in San Andreas. Tattoos have not been announced.
You can buy, sell, and use drugs on the underground market. Smoking weed on the street will get you a one star wanted level. You can also sell stolen cars on the underground.
Grand Theft Auto 5 has not recieved an official release date. However, it is slated from Spring 2013. Most sources predict it to come out in May or Mid-June.