Today's previews and screenshots have now started to surface. You can see all the new shots by scrolling to the bottom of this post, and below that are links to all the articles our summary of new information is sourced from (mainly CVG).
Summary of new information in today's previews
Features / Gameplay
- Car modding makes a return! Pay 'n' Spray's now double up as mod shops and offer the ability to swap out license plates, as well as provide performance upgrades and cosmetic options such as new spoilers, grilles, and window tints. Suspension and brake upgrades can also be carried out.
- Weapons can be customised with laser sights, scopes, silencers, and high capacity magazines.
- Property purchasing makes a return from Vice City - houses, garages and businesses can all be purchased as additional sources of revenue. Different characters will purchase different types of business.
- Player customisation includes haircuts, tattoos and of course clothes
- The in-game phone, iFruit, can be used to take pictures and upload them to Social Club or your own social media page.
- The iFruit is a smartphone and even has its own apps: internet, contacts, social media, calendar, and a replay missions app. There are three more Rockstar hasn't yet detailed.
- Activities you can do include stunt jumps, flying challenges, yoga, golf, tennis and bike races. You can also pick up hitch-hikers.
- Side-missions also make a return. One example is where Michael must escort a starlet away from the paparazzi and back to her home in the hills.
- It is possible to rob ATMs and liquor stores, presumably in a way similar to Vice City.
- You can hunt the wildlife if you want to
- You can combat roll in and out of cover. There is also a "combat jog".
- You have a better view of oncoming targets thanks to a wider, Gears of War-styled field of vision
- You can run and gun fluidly while retaining control of the aiming reticule
- The reticule changes from white to red when targeted at an enemy, and flashes an X when the enemy is dead
Map / Environment
- Rockstar say the land mass in GTAV is three and a half times the size of Red Dead Redemption, with the total play area becoming five times as big once you factor in the ocean
- Wildlife spotted included deer and mountain lions
- Fully explorable ocean includes "circling sharks, deep underwater ridges, schools of fish, a barnacle-encrusted wreck and shafts of sunlight shimmering through the water"
- You can even dive for treasure (NPCs will do this too) but there are no waypoints, you'll have to explore yourself
- The ocean has amazing wave physics, especially noticeable when boats speed past you
- Some boats will include gear such as wetsuit, flippers and tanks for diving
- The population of GTAV will be 5 times that of GTA IV
- The geographic span of the map is massive. It contains mountains, rivers, lakes, military bases, farmland, desert, dense urban environments and more.
- The game has a "crazy level of detail": You can board buses for a tour of celebrity homes, there are humourous film posters are on walls, men in costumes will accost you outside the Cathay Theatre, one character was Impotent Rage (like a "crappy version of Superman") and Space Ranger.
Characters and Skills
- Each character has a unique set of attributes: Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving, Mechanic, Lung Capacity
- In addition to the above, each character has a "Special". Special meters drain after use, and recharge slowly in the aftermath
- Franklin: adrenalin junkie and can slow down time while driving
- Michael: his own version of bullet time
- Trevor: frenzy mode, where he's does double damage, takes half damage, and has a unique melee attack
- The stealth skill suggests that you can use a stealth based approach to heists to draw minimal attention and perhaps walk away with a larger reward
- The character selection wheel is split into four triangles: Franklin, Trevor, Michael, and your own multiplayer avtaar
- Each character moves in a slightly different way, reflecting their different builds and styles
- Google Earth style transitions between characters are very stylish. The screen fills with static and the camera suddenly moves from your character, to above him, to very high above him, and then in reverse to the character you are transitioning to. It is quicker if the player you are switching to is nearer.
- Character switching can be done during cutscenes, manually, or automatically when AI takes control for you.
- Although you can choose to switch when you want, in-game dialogue will suggest moments when it would be a good time to switch.
- The relationship between single and multiplayer is much closer. You can quickly drop in and out of multipayer simply by pressing Down on the D-pad - Rockstar said more will be revealed on multiplayer in the future
- Trevor has an ongoing feud with The Lost.
- Michael has an obsession with classic films and comes up with heists based on them, which are in turn based on real world movies.
- The demo showed a mission entitled 'Blitz Play' - Michael organises a heist similar to the one he's seen in the GTA version of real life film Heat.
- Mini heists are used as preparation. Players must secure vehicles, outfits, masks, getaway vehicles, and even a crew. Locations will also be needed for dumping evidence.
- These smaller heists build up to a bigger heist. They'll require the right crew and players will have to decide between cheaping out and getting less skilled people, or paying more for highly skilled crew members that could result in a larger cut in the end.
- Crew members, who include gunmen, wheelmen, technician etc. who survive the heist will continue through to the next one and receive a skill boost
- Each of the three characters has their own job to do, it's up to you how much you want to do with each one.
- If you die the game reloads to the last checkpoint, even if the other two characters are still alive
In the big ones, there can be no mistakes: you need the right weapons and gear; you need to choose the right approach, whether it's brute force, or stealth, and plan out your tactics via a pre-mission corkboard; and you need to have hired the right crew for the right job - that's crew in addition to Michael, Franklin and Trevor. Choose to pay less and you get less qualified personnel; pay more, and you get more reliable drivers, gunmen and technicians - but they take a bigger cut. It's a balance, and it's through missions like 'Blitz Play' that you find your best approach.
If you have an hour to kill, we recommend checking out CVG's preview on YouTube, it's basically more or less the same information that we've summarised here, but in greater detail. Press play and leave it running in the background.
The following publications have written previews of what they saw in the demo Rockstar showed them in the last few days:
- CVG article and Video
- GameInformer - 1, 2, 3 and 4
- IGN UK and second article
- Rev3Games video preview
- The Telegraph
- USA Today
Many non-English publications also have reviews, below is a comprehensive listing of them sorted by language.