Grand Theft Auto V is coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in Autumn 2013 (that’s March-May, people). It’s set to be the biggest game yet, with a city greater in scope than Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA IV combined. And populating this vast landscape are three playable characters.
The first is Michael, a thick-set, middle-aged man spied in GTA V’s first trailer. A former bank-robber, he finds himself in a witness protection programme after a deal with the FIB (a fictional version of the FBI, of course). But having lost a considerable fortune, Michael decides robbing banks is preferable to a clean life.
At Michael’s side is Trevor, a madman intent on wanton violence, and Franklin, a young African-American described as being “capable”. Trevor reportedly suffers from drug addiction while Franklin works as a “repo man”, which we assume means he repossess the assets of those in financial strife. Or, it could be a nod to the 2006 Jude Law flick.
In its principal characters GTA V offers a trio of distinct viewpoints. During heists you’ll switch between the three men, each of whom has a particular strength and a preferred method of madness. Similarly, Rockstar has added that you’ll explore the day-to-day lives of these societal misfits, allowing you to step in and out of their shoes at the press of a button. Interestingly, Game Informer magazine reveals that when you’re not controlling a character, “they’re going about their daily business and you may be surprised by the situation they find themselves in should you switch back to check up on them.”
Elsewhere, Rockstar hasn’t simply designed the game on increments — cars will handle better, pedestrians will animate more realistically (owing to motion capture in some instances) and the developers have tantalised the introduction of underwater exploration for the first time too.
A second trailer is set to arrive on 14 November. While you wait for that, and the full game proper, let us know what you think of the news, especially the idea of three playable characters. Will GTA V suffer from an identity crisis? Or will it be the most triumphant iteration yet?