Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grand Theft Auto V (Preview II)

Spring 2013
PS3, Xbox 360

Developed by Rockstar North

Published by Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto V is the best way to end a console generation.

An entire year has passed since the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V. Today we got the second. I have watched it several times including the shot-by-shot study session with the analytic folks responsible for IGN's Rewind Theater and I am immensely and thoroughly impressed. The presentation is pristine, the writing on par with Rockstar products of late (Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 for example), and most importantly, it looks like it is going to be a blast!

December cover for GameInformer, first look at the three protagonists.
There has been so much news for GTA V as of late that even attempting a preview at this point is overwhelming. With the GameInformer cover story (art above), word that it would be the first in the series with a full orchestrated score (of course this is addition to the  music on the radio), and explanations as to why they did not hold it over for next gen. Gamers, expect the industry's spotlight to remain focused on this game for the next several months until its colossal release.

Jets are back baby! Grand Theft Auto V (2012)
We are returning to Los Santos this time around (the city we start out in in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) but will also have access to the surrounding countryside. In fact, Rockstar announced that the world in Grand Theft Auto V is bigger than those of GTA IVRed Dead , and GTA: San Andreas combined. Combined! Some are concerned that it is going to be too big for it's own good. Such a thought never enters my thinking, but it is a point worth bringing up. Dan Houser (co-founder of Rockstar) revealed plain and simple that the map was this big to better support the flying the player would inevitable be doing. And how about that scene in the new trailer where Trevor, it looks like, takes a jeep out of a plane only to eject himself and free-fall... This could be the most fun of its kind since Just Cause 2!

Left to right: Franklin, Trevor and Michael: the three playable protagonists. Grand Theft Auto V (2012)
Possibly the highlight of this trailer, recent demo discussions and news is that you will play as three different characters throughout the campaign. Sometimes they will be together, sometimes each doing their own thing. Each are distinct in their situations and skills. You can get a glimpse of them above, but watch the trailer for more. Michael seems to be the main character, a middle-aged man who has come to Los Santos to stay out of trouble, but obviously that is not what happens. While watching the trailer I got a strong Breaking Bad vibe from the scenarios our characters got themselves into and the relationships between them. That's not a good bad influence to have. Off the top of my head I cannot think of another game that has done something quite like this character system, certainly not on this large a scale. This is something they first explored in Grand Theft Auto IV with Episodes from Liberty City. And not to give too much away but your campaign was not limited to the main character in either Red Dead Redemption or L.A. Noire, the latter being published by Rockstar. I am eager to see the character-switching in action.

Don't worry, helicopters return to. Also, take in the view of "Vinewood" Hills. Grand Theft Auto V (2012)
Finally, we are all terribly curious as to what the game's multiplayer is going to entail. Both GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption brought something new to open-world multiplayer, these are experiences I still throw in to my system today. No doubt Rockstar is going to deliver the high quality gameplay series preview they've become known for to both inform and further intice us, though it's not like they need to... This is hands down the game I am most anticipating from this point forward folks. Likewise you can anticipate to hear more about Grand Theft Auto V before and after its Spring 2013 release! Next year will likely be the finale for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, games like this are pushing the systems for all they can muster. I cannot think of a better way to close the curtains.

Oh, and just for the fun of it, here's the Adam Sessler discussing the trailer.

Words by J.S. Lewis

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