Grand Theft Auto has captured the heart of many console gangsters since its original top-down release way back in 1998, the ability to totally disregard the law in almost every way possible seems to appeal to every generation of gamer in countries around the world. The series has come a long way, now offering fully mapped virtual cities, civilians that live their own lives, and enough guns and ammo to take a small country to war.
Arguably the most successful GTA title was San Andreas, offering depths of customization and interaction never before seen in the franchise, the game even spawned a highly successful online player mod, SAMP. Since then the series still remains popular but has never quite gripped gamers since GTA SA was released. Grand Theft Auto 4, by most accounts, was a great game but it was linear when compared to San Andreas and left many gamers confused as to why they removed so many of the features that made SA as good as it was.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is now pushed back and scheduled for release on September 17th for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A next generation port was not ruled out. However, they are no current plans to make GTA V a launch title on the eighth generation consoles. Rockstar explains the new delay from their expected March release by the need of more polishing, mainly due to the gigantic proportions of the game.
"... the only reason we've delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be," says Rockstar. There has been strong rumors going around as to other reasons that might explain the delay, but the company denies everything and issued a statement reassuring fans, "... trust us, it will be worth the extra time. GTA V is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish." Finally, we also learned that we can expect the official box art to be a bit delayed as well.
So the time frame seems to be finally set for the long-awaited game, although this delay was pretty unexpected (most of Rockstar's major titles have historically hit the shelves during spring time, including Grand Theft Auto 4). GTA V will now most likely compete with other big titles on this new date, starting with Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which is scheduled for release August 20th and also got the same delay treatment as it was supposed to come out this spring as well.
Welcome to GTA V
Official details on the next installment were practically non-existent until the start of November when Rockstar released the first teaser video for Grand Theft Auto V. The internet exploded with gamers demanding more information. Was this going to be another linear GTA title or would Rockstar push the boundaries and give fans exactly what they're after? The video itself doesn't really give too much away, it seems to be a brief introduction to some of the characters and features but there wasn't enough footage to confirm anything groundbreaking.
If you're from Los Angeles you'll instantly notice they really nailed the feel for the city from Skid Row to Venice Beach. There has been a number of leaks that have released more information that has gamers everywhere biting their nails with anticipation. Below is a list on some of the leaked information so far.
Players will take control of three central characters in GTA V: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. They can be switched to whenever the player feels like it even during missions. This allows for a much more tactical and planned “feel” to the story missions where a single player could take on three roles. For example, from a gameplay video showing off this capability, one player could be robbing a bank, switch to a man on the outside to provide covering sniper fire, and then switch to a man on the roof with a helicopter for the escape. Alternatively, the player can plan a stealth approach and rob a bank without ever firing a shot.
In order for this process to work smoothly, Rockstar has added distinct AI to all three central characters so that they will behave somewhat realistically during these storyline missions. This means players do not have to hold the AI’s hand while robbing a bank and then have to switch to provide sniper fire or an escape helicopter. Pushing the AI in the right direction like moving a man into a sniper position will prompt the AI to behave accordingly.
This also means that whenever the player is not out completing a storyline mission, the two characters not being controlled will actually go on about their lives and will not stay frozen in one place. From a sandbox perspective, a player could cycle through all three characters and be at different points in the map doing different activities every single time. This provides players with a sense of a living, breathing world that does not rely on player action to make things happen.
The mobile phone from Grand Theft Auto IV returns with some alterations to its core systems. For example, there will be a “Google Earth”-like feature that shows all three characters on the map for easy access to information without committing to switching to that character. Players can also access the in-game internet from their phone as well as track various missions/personal quests.
Each of the three central characters in GTA V will have special abilities as well as RPG-like upgrade elements. Michael can slow down time in gunfights similar to the “bullet time” effect in Max Payne and “dead eye” in Red Dead Redemption, Franklin can slow down time while driving, and Trevor can activate a rage ability that grants him double damage to enemies and half damage to himself. All three characters can improve various traits like strength, boating skills, stamina, etc.
Multiplayer in GTA V comes in the form of Grand Theft Auto Online, which features a “Crew” option similar to Max Payne 3 where players and their friends can play against other crews for domination of the map. A social feature in both games allows friends from either to find and connect with each across either game for easier matchmaking. Currently, only five players can join together in a crew and complete missions for experience.
Although news has been scarce on the exact nature of multiplayer including how many players can exist in one shared world, there is no doubt players can expect massive numbers and even greater destruction.
The World Is Alive
One thing that many people felt was wrong with GTA IV was the lack of civilian activities. There was no shortage of cannon fodder walking the streets, but for the most part they lacked purpose and the only really interesting thing they did was buy a hot dog. In GTA:V players can expect NPC's to truly live out their own lives in realistic fashion.
While exploring the woods players can expect to see civilian campers, hikers in various places, teenagers getting drunk by a campfire and even stunts on dirt bikes. Closer to the cities players will see NPCs flirting with each other, being chased by cops, working out at the gym and even moving house. Waking up and leaving your home to see NPCs washing their cars, filling up their trunks and going on a camping trip is sure to create immersion unlike any of its predecessors. Animals have also been confirmed but it is not yet known if you can barbecue a cow with a flame thrower or attach a grenade to a kitty cat and throwing it in a passing convertible before walking away. Anyway...
One of the biggest gripes with GTA IV was the lack of customization compared to San Andreas, this prompted many gamers to express their concerns, in posts usually full of insults to Rockstar but they still had a valid point and it appears Rockstar was listening. Car customization returns in all its glory, players can mod cars out to their hearts content adding body parts and decals, you can also learn to repair your own car to avoid having to find a pay n spray.
Another confirmed feature is the use of a real-time fuel gauge, which allows players to keep their car fuelled up if they don't want to find themselves stranded at the side of the road. Although not really customization related, another awesome feature confirmed is the use of fuel tracks. Players are able to puncture the gas tank on a car, which then leaves a trail of gas on the road. One smart shot with a gun can then ignite the trail, which obviously results in a rather large explosion and a lot of panicking passers-by.
Character customization has also returned and similar to San Andreas, players will be able to choose from a huge selection of clothes and head to the gym to buff out their character. It is unknown whether you can choose to stuff yourself fat with Cluckin' Bell burgers but we would expect to see that if the gym system is back. If they really want to make it authentic, adding a Popeye's or a Roscoes Chicken & Waffles would do it.
Los Santos (Aka Los Angeles)
The main city is Los Santos and it has been said that the city is at least 4 times the size of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto: IV. A magazine leaked that a journey from the center of town to the wilderness via car took them over 15 minutes to get there. It was also mentioned that the surrounding areas are far more alive than previous titles, farms were full of activity with farmers and workers, oil rigs could house as many as 100 working NPC's and every single location seemed to have NPCs performing some kind of job or task, instead of just aimlessly walking around in the middle of nowhere.
Another reoccurring complaint with GTA:IV was the lack of extra content or bonus missions. Sure you could take your friends bowling or for a game of darts but when compared to growing your own business in San Andreas, it felt lackluster and a bit of an afterthought. They've done away with the likes of darts and bowling and have introduced a far more exciting array of extra activities. Players can play basketball, go ab-sailing, rock climbing or base jumping and even enter a triathlon. They have said there is more to come but this is already a far more exciting alternative to going for a date at a burger bar.
Is that It?
There are tons of other little leaks around the internet that give us the impression Grand Theft Auto: V is setting up to to be the best in the series so far. New shooting mechanics have said to totally revive the game, offering prone and crouching positions, various objects to hide behind, a large selection of guns that can be made at home, the option to use civilians as human shields, an extensive improvement to the law enforcement A.I and more. One thing is for sure, Rockstar have listened to the complaints of their fans and have said that GTA V is their most ambitious project to date. So what do you think of the details leaked so far? Are you excited? Are you hoping they announce something in particular? Leave a comment and we'll do our best to give you any fresh information as soon as it hits the presses.
Industry analyst Arvind Bhatia has made a bold claim -- that the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions of GTA V will sell a combined two million copies in one month when it launches later this year. The analyst says sales will likely keep increasing once more gamers take a look at the graphical updates the new version of GTA V will provide.
Update - August 2014
New rumors are highlighting the fact that Grand Theft Auto V may in fact be receiving single player DLC, and that DLC is going to be exclusive to the PlayStation 4.
Clever users on the official GTA forums have been digging around the game's source code, finding source code that may point to DLC involving both zombies and casinos.
Rockstar is no stranger to zombies; as you'll recall, Red Dead Redemption hosted a zombie-themed DLC, so could we see something similar in Grand Theft Auto V? Will the DLC truly be exclusive, or just a timed exclusive? Either way, it will be a big feather in Sony's cap and a blow to the competition.
Update - July 2014
Rumors are pegging the release date as November 14th, 2014, if a handful of UK retailers are to be believed. Obviously, this would make the release date in the United States November 11th, 2014.
This makes sense, as Rockstar would be getting the game out right before the holiday season rush, as the company is surely banking on GTA V doing amazing numbers on the PS4!
Update - E3 - June 2014
GTA V confirmed for the PS4. Finally! PS4 fans go wild. Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4 will definitely take complete advantage of the power of new generation system to deliver the ultimate open-world experience.
Rockstar has released a YouTube video comparing the graphics of the PS3 version of GTA V to the PS4 version. What do you think of the upgraded graphics?
Update - May 2014
Adding more fuel to the rumor fire, GTA V publisher Take Two is going to be making an E3 appearance with big news in tow. Could this be Grand Theft Auto V on the PS4? All signs are pointing to "Yessssssss!"
Take Two @ E3
Update - March 2014
One rumor that is picking up traction is that we should expect a Grand Theft Auto V PS4 announcement by E3, and that the game will be Rockstar's big 2014 release.
The reason for this is that according to some participants of the Destination PlayStation event, Rockstar had something to show but cancelled at the last minute. Why the cancellation? So Rockstar can have the spotlight all to itself at E3.
To add fuel to this rumor, several retailers have erroneously put up PS4 preorders for Grand Theft Auto V, such as Portuguese retailer Worten along with Amazon Spain, Germany and France. But were these preorders put up by accident, or were they just put up early? Why would retailers create pages for the PS4 version of GTA V unless it actually existed?
We'll know in just a few short months, as E3 starts June 10th, 2014.
Update - January, 2014
Could Grand Theft Auto V be arriving on the PS4 sooner rather than later? According to TheSixthAxis, Amazon certainly thinks so. Blair Inglis, writer for the popular publication, asked an Amazon employee when the game would be released for the PC, and their responses were interesting, stating that the PC version would be available in the United States on March 12, 2014 (Gamespot has also reported that a bug log full of PC version references was recently leaked). And when asked about the game releasing on next-gen consoles? The Amazon employee had this to say:
”I am sorry, but for PS4 and Xbox One there is no update yet, please check back by the first week of January. We might have the update by then please.”
$$$ Update - November, 2013
GTA V online players great ready for a big cash bonus. Rockstar is planning on filling your GTA bank accounts with $500,000 in the form of two deposits. The first deposit will happen the week of November 4th, 2013 with the 1.05 update. The Beach Bum pack comes later in November with some cool content creator tools. There are some requirements for this cash bonus so see the link below.
Update by - Collin Mak
Insert Date: 8/4/2013