How Will Mission Structure and Story Flow Come Together?
We've heard quite a lot about the heists themselves, and how you choose your crews and approach certain robberies. But we haven't really been told anything about how the result of those heists affect the rest of the game. Can you fail heists, and if so, what's the punishment?
Even if you're successful, what then? Can you take on harder missions early, skipping out certain other elements of the story tree? The heists probably punctuate smaller missions, which we presume will be similar to those in past games. That said, whether your performance on those missions affect heists is an area no one knows much, if anything about.
How Will The Vehicles Handle?
Way back in July, we wrote about how GTA 4's handling model should be tweaked, but not changed wholeheartedly. With that in mind, watching the subsequent trailers worried us a little - in this scene from the gameplay trailer the car seems to have less weight than before, being thrown in and out of traffic with ease.
It could, of course, just be that particular car, and/or the need for Rockstar to create a cool-looking sequence. But with no hands-on, it's difficult to know whether we're still looking at a difficult-to-learn yet satisfying skill, or a more arcadey style closer to the PS2 games. We hope it's the former.
What Form Will The DLC Take?
OK, we're a little ahead of ourselves here. Well, a lot ahead of ourselves: the game's not even out yet. But still, we can't help wondering about what Rockstar's plans are post-launch. GTA 4's two subsequent episodes, boasting different characters and storylines in the same city, were a trial run for GTA 5's three-man gameplay, and absolutely excellent in their own right.
What, then, will GTA 5's DLC offer? At a push, we'd love to see the other two areas that didn't make the cut from GTA: San Andreas. Who wouldn't want to go cruising around San Fierro and Las Venturas again? That said, GTA Online will probably be the post-launch focus, so such lofty goals may be just dreams for now.
Which Is The Lead Development Platform?
It's fair to say that both of Rockstar's last two open world games, Red Dead Redemption and GTA 4, haven't fared as well on PS3 as on Xbox 360. So it was somewhat of a surprise to see the official gameplay demo show PS3 button prompts, which - yes - would suggest that is the version Rockstar is most comfortable showing off.
There's no way of knowing, of course, whether PS3 is the 'lead' platform or not, but it does suggest that this GTA will be in far better shape on Sony's console than the one that went before it. Given the franchise's history with the Japanese company (if you're young enough not to know GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas were, at one time, exclusive to the PlayStation we hate you), there's no reason why this couldn't be the case.
How Do Personal Relationships Work?
GTA 4's relationship mechanics are widely mocked now, but you could see what Rockstar was shooting for. Attempting to moor Niko into the world in a way that didn't involve violence was a good start, but with three characters GTA 5's out-of-mission relationships should be very interesting; especially as the other two you're not playing as are free to wander when not controlled.
Will we be able to do more than go bowling? Will dating return? What will the extent of random encounters be, if any? And how much, in terms of progression, is tied to what you do outside missions?
If nothing else, the sheer amount of choice in GTA 5 will, probably, blow what was offered in 4 out the water.
In What Way Does Multiplayer Cross over Into Single-Player?
Rockstar, rightly so, is making a big deal of GTA 5's multiplayer, going as far as to release trailers solely dedicated to how it may all play out. What is up for debate at the moment is how it all ties together with the single-player.
Promotional materials already out in the wild show that the single-player's character select wheel has a fourth, blanked out spot, reserved for your online avatar. Is it case of being able to jump into the world at the touch of a button, and do you carry across weapons or skills you've acquired in the main campaign?
GTA Online is already an ambitious take on what many of us are used to, and given how popular persistent gaming seems to be becoming, there could be far more under the hood than currently we know.
Will It Come Out On Next-Gen?
It's fair to say that of all the questions that can be asked about GTA 5, 'is it coming out on next-gen?' is the most popular. Talked about for months by hungry fans desperate to see the behemoth running on Xbox One or PS4 hardware, slip-ups and confused words have all just resulted in speculation being fuelled even further.
In reality, it all probably comes down to how Rockstar handles the PC version. Often releasing a PC-port at some point after a console release (which for many is the iteration to get), there's every chance the developer decides to take this effort and work, should it exist, and transfer that across to Microsoft's and Sony's new machines.
A release early next year would surely only bring joy, and system sales, into the gaming stratosphere.
How Will The Wanted Levels Play Out?
Given that the GTA franchise as a whole often focuses on a similar model when it comes to being chased down by the police, it would take a brave individual to think the series would take a completely new tact here. With that said, GTA 5's world is so much bigger and varied than what has been introduced before escaping the fuzz may be far more entertaining, and difficult, than it ever has been in the past.
What happens when you max out all your stars? Just how much pressure can be put down by the cops while you're on the run? Do they shoot you down if you jump in a plane? Getting 'busted' is one thing, but the chases on hand in GTA 5 may be responsible for some of the most entertaining moments throughout the entire game.
Could Past Characters Return?
While Rockstar has said characters from the PS2 era of GTA games won't appear in 5, it seems highly likely that some familiar faces will return.
Numerous screenshots, and an early demo, showed people wearing Lost & Damned jackets, and Niko's likeness confirmed in GTA Online is yet more evidence that the brains responsible for Red Dead Redemption have no problem in the odd cameo here and there. Could Playboy X or Dwayne, depending on who you left alive, turn up unexpectedly? Unlikely given Rockstar hasn't announced any GTA 4 save crossover, but never assume anything where Grand Theft Auto is concerned.
Will Your Actions Have Serious Consequences?
There is a lot to do in GTA 5's world. The sheer amount of activities available to the player is enough to make other games scratch their head in bewilderment, but how that affects your specific Grand Theft Auto universe is anyone's guess.
For example, if you decide to rob a store, do your actions result in that store closing down? If you take over a run of businesses, will such power then influence how the world both reacts and responds to you? Lofty goals by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not like GTA hasn't raised the bar before...