Today, Rockstar have treated a large portion of the worldwide gaming community to the first gameplay footage from this year’s upcoming title Grand Theft Auto V. And guess what guys and girls? It looks ridiculously amazing.
For as long as I can remember, Rockstar have always been one of the leading publishers and developers that seek to (and often successfully do) create benchmarks in the gaming industry. Take their 2011 venture with developer Team Bondi as an example: LA Noire was one of the most memorable and successful examples of facial realism in gaming, courtesy of Depth Analysis’ MotionScan technology, and was a major element in the gameplay mechanics. Now, in the form of 3 protagonists fitting into one narrative, we have Rockstar trying to create yet another benchmark in the sandbox genre which they have dominated for so many years. This bold, gameplay changing step from a developer which has made its name solely through creating narratives that are structured around a single character – excluding the story driven, forced character switches in LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption – has been exhibited in all its glory in this gameplay footage trailer. Watch and enjoy.
Do you remember me saying that it looks ridiculously amazing? The fluidity of the switch between characters looks like a certain game-changer in this genre, especially when you consider the sheer scope it gives to the variety of choices you now have during missions and even in-game downtime. There will obviously be the option to slug it out during missions with one character for those of us that prefer continuity, but I get the feeling that every GTA V player will enjoy the ability to mix things up during action packed gaming moments. Speaking of action packed, did anyone else get Max Payne 3 flashbacks during that shootout scene with Franklin?
For those of you with a keen eye for subtleties – although not much is subtle when you’re talking in GTA V terms – the gameplay footage also showed an occasional glimpse of certain character development elements in the game. If you’d rather find out for yourself whilst playing the game then skip the next line. If not, the ones that each character will have are Special, Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving and Lung Capacity. I’m assuming that each character will have their own strengths and weaknesses to begin with, i.e. Franklin has Strength, Trevor has Flying and Michael has Stealth, and then over time you can build on each skill with the occasional spot of fighter jet flying or a cheeky trip to the gym. This feels a lot like we’re returning to the days of GTA: San Andreas, not only because of the location but because of the gameplay elements that made it so popular. And did any of you guys notice the one second return of GTA IV’s very own Republican Space Rangers?
Finally, I shall reserve a special mention for the 10 or so seconds of GTA Online that Rockstar teased us with at the end of the video. If there’s potentially going to be something to distract me from how good the main story of GTA V looks, it has to be GTA Online. That was a serious “Jesus H. Christ” moment.
For more news on GTA V, click here.