GTA fans, the time has come.
Game Informer has blown the lid off of Grand Theft Auto 5, revealing a tonne of previously unknown details about Rockstar's hugely anticipated crime game.
We know you're desperate to learn the facts, so while we type up something in more detail, we thought we'd summarise everything there is to know from Game Informer's preview in the list below.
- GTA 5 "evolves nearly every mechanic" found in previous games in the series.
- Features the biggest open world in the series' history - GTA 5's world is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA IV combined.
- Three playable characters who you can switch between "at nearly any time".
- Each character has their own specific abilities and story arc, with all three stories intertwined.
- Camera zooms out to a "Google Earth-style" perspective when switching characters.
- Character 1 - Michael, an ex-bank robber in his early 40s who retired after making a deal with the FIB. He has two teenage children and hates his wife Amanda. He's also the narrator of the original GTA 5 trailer.
- Character 2 - Trevor, a former war veteran and a "drugged out psychopath". An experienced pilot.
- Character 3 - Franklin, a repo man in his mid 20s described as a "young and ambitious hustler".
- Certain characters from GTA IV and Episodes From Liberty City will also make an appearance. Rockstar's Dan Houser says we'll never see characters from the PS2 era, though. "The five PS2 games are one universe, and this is the high definition universe, so they don't co-exist," he says.
- No major actors cast as any of the main characters.
- Focus on making more diverse missions.
- Heists and bank robberies are a big theme to the game.
- Characters will work together during missions, and you can switch between characters mid-mission to fulfill different roles. For example, during a chase sequence you can pilot the getaway helicopter as Trevor, snipe pursuing pilots as Franklin, or fire an assault rifle as Michael.
- Missions will have a "very different tone depending on who's on them, how many people are on them, and how much we're using switches", says Houser.
- Even when you're not controlling them, each character will still go about their own business across Los Santos. "You may be surprised by the situations they find themselves in should you switch back to check up on them," says Game Informer.
- Big advances to lighting and shader model. Greater draw distance.
- Improved vehicle handling and physics - "The cars hold to the ground better... It feels more like a racing game," Houser says.
- More vehicles than in any GTA to date, including BMXs, mountain bikes, road bikes, dirt bikes, cars, trucks, helicopters, planes, ATVs and Jet Skis, but vehicle manufacturers are still fictional.
- Fighter jets appear to be in. One screenshot shows a fighter equipped with missiles, as a helicopter explodes in the background.
- Improved shooting and melee combat. Melee combat "never going to be as big a deal as shooting," though, warns Houser.
- Pedestrians are fully mo-capped and more interactive.
- You can rappel down buildings, although it's not confirmed whether this is specific to certain missions.
- Los Santos is described as a "huge and diverse city", combining the best of Red Dead Redemption's "large open expanses" with GTA IV's "densely packed urban environment".
- Areas in the game world include beachfronts, mountains, the wilderness, a "Salton Sea" region, a military base and the suburbs.
- GTA: San Andreas was about gang culture. GTA 5 is about capturing the "contemporary culture of LA".
- There will be a "vibrant and fun" economy, but you won't be able to buy property.
- A variety of different side missions and "more sophisticated" minigames, including yoga, triathlons, Jet Skiing, base-jumping, tennis and golf. There's a full golf course in the game. You can go scuba diving along the coastline of Los Santos, or go to the gym on the seafront.
- Each character will have unique hobbies, including "one or two key minigame activities per character".
- San Andreas' RPG-like player customization is still absent, but you can customize the clothing of each character.
- GTA IV's romance feature has been removed.
- Like in GTA IV, players can make friends and hang out with certain NPCs, including Michael's wife Amanda and son Jimmy, Franklin's "crazy friend" Lamar, and Trevor's mate Ron.
- GTA IV's mobile phone returns, but a lot of its features have been altered. You can use it to access the internet.
- Dynamic missions - hidden missions dotted around the game world. "Going off-road in the desert, you may come across two parked cars and a sea of dead bodies around them... Investigate if you want."
And don't forget, Take-Two has already promised "a lot of interesting stuff" for GTA 5's DLC.
Source: Game Informer