This is it. The thing GTA fans have been waiting for nearly 4 years. Craving for. And it is here now. Actual gameplay footage of GTA V!
The gameplay footage is apparently from a PS 3. So, first things first, we have a redesigned HUD.
Rockstar has moved from the previously circular map with health and armor displayed along its circumference to a rectangular map with the two being displayed below it. The third bar is for the characters’ special abilities.
For the first time ever in GTA, we have wildlife which can be hunted and is capable of hunting. Taking a page out of the Red Dead Redemption playbook, when you aren’t planning the ultimate heist in GTA V, you explore the wilderness of Los Santos. However, there are also other animals present in the city as evident with the dog following Franklin.
Melee fighting is shown though it is unclear what additions and refinements have been made to it. A mission in progress finally reveals the character switching mechanic which calls up a character selection wheel showing the three characters. Selecting any one brings up a list displaying his skill levels. Also, there appears to be a fourth segment in the wheel which appears to function as a timer of sorts. A face can be made out behind the text which suggests that it may be possible to switch to a fourth character exclusive to certain missions or situations. Switching while in a mission is pretty instantaneous while switching out of a mission leads to zooming out of your current character and then zooming into the chosen character.
It is once again possible to switch between multiple camera views while driving. Also present is car customisation. Cars too now have quantified stats which will obviously aid in comparison.
There are a number of side activities and each of them appears to very well fleshed out with dedicated HUD elements and mechanics. Shown below is biking.
There are also new ways to earn money with one of them being bounty hunting. The combat mechanics have been refined and the cover system is reminiscent of Max Payne 3. The weapon wheel too has been inspired by it though in typical GTA fashion, it is possible to carry way more weapons than Max can. There are 6 weapon slots along with one for explosives and one for melee. Guns can be modified with upgrades (the screenshot shows the Carbine Rifle with “Extended Clip” and “Grip”).
Rockstar admitted earlier that the driving mechanics have been drawn from the Midnight Club series. The driving is obviously one of the most important gameplay features in the series and it is nice to see it getting even more fine tuned and refined. The environment also appears to be more destructible than before.
The heists will serve as primary missions and each heist seems to have some fixed pre-requisites which need to be completed (evaluating security, photographing interiors, etc.) after which you get to choose your approach. This may either be “Loud” or “Smart” in the mission shown in the footage. The final step is to select your crew which may explain the 4th character in the character selection wheel.
Last but definitely not the least is the economy system. The economy system (or lack thereof) was GTA 4’s weakest aspect and all players ended up with tons of money and not much to spend it on. That at least doesn’t appear to be the case here. Tattooing is here once again. Its also possible to buy stocks now and possible to buy real estate as well. Both of these are accessed from an in-game internet.
All in all, this game is shaping to be one of the best of 2013 (as if anybody ever doubted that) and this year is definitely one of gaming’s finest. I definitely don’t envy anyone who has to choose the GOTY this year. Rockstar hasn’t announced if anymore gameplay footage will be revealed before the game’s release.
No word once again on a PC version but I believe in you Rockstar. I know you’ll do the right thing eventually…
If you missed the trailer in all its glory, head here to give it a watch. Grand Theft Auto V arrives on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17th.