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Features in Grand Theft Auto V

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This page lists all of the gameplay features with important and not-so important story details in GTA V that were collected from interviews with Dan Houser - vice president of creativity for Rockstar Games, Les Benzies - the video game producer, and Aaron Garbut - the art director.

The Location

  • Since Rockstar decided to make Los Santos the next location in Grand Theft Auto V, it has been confirmed that the world of Los Santos is bigger than Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Rockstar's famous wild-western open-world game Red Dead Redemption combined, with room to spare and interior and ex, giving the players the largest open-world game in Rockstar history, with a huge and diverse city serving as the epicenter.
  • The locations that are included in the game are beachfronts, wine country, a large wilderness area surrounding a fully explorable Mt. Chiliad, a region based on and modeled after the Salton Sea called the Alamos Sea, a military base, and of course the sprawling suburban hills leading up to the bustling urban center of Los Santos. For fans of San Andreas underwater swimming, bring either a scuba suit or a submarine with you, because swimming underwater is back and now you can even explore the fully detailed ocean floor along the Los Santos coastline.
  • Since Rockstar wanted there world to be a realistic and living breathing one, the wilderness will have a fully functional wildlife ecosystem, including Coyotes.
  • The best news of all is for the first time ever, the full game map is open from the very start of the game. (Mainly because of the three playable characters living in different parts of the game world. Another reason is because Rockstar has stated that they wanted the players to not feel locked in certain parts of this massive game world.

The Characters

The Playable Characters

  • Rockstar has been building off the idea of there being more than one playable character in there open-world games. This led to there being three playable characters in Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Michael is a retired bank robber who is living a life of luxury thanks to a sweetheart deal with the FIB. But when his wife burns through all his money he is forced to get back in the game.
  • Trevor is a frequent drug user who is prone to violent outbursts. A former military pilot, he used to rob banks but now he scrapes to get by living on the fringes of Los Santos society.
  • Franklin is a hustler who works for an Armenian scam artist who sells young kids cars they can’t afford. When they default on the loans, Franklin repossesses the cars. He crosses paths with Michael when looking for a bigger score.
  • Each main character has a few unique hobbies that only they can participate in.
  • Like past GTA games you can't permanently kill your character, so any deaths each of the three experience will be non-permanent.
  • You can walk into any of the main characters houses, and in at least Michael's case, interact with their family.

Main Characters

  • Amanda is Michael's shopaholic wife who can't stand him anymore, since he's been awful to her and his children.
  • Jimmy is Michael's son who is a whiny, lazy, pot smoking 20 year old kid. He has an awful and confused relationship with his father.
  • Tracey is Michael's teenage daughter who also has an awful relationship with her father as well as her mother.
  • Lamar is Franklin's best friend who is a more lunatic and funny version of Franklin's world of being serious and ambitious.
  • Ron is a paranoiac conspiracy theorist living next to Trevor in a neighboring trailer in Blaine County and is also Trevor's best buddy.
  • Like Niko Bellic before them, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor will all have unknown voice actors, due to the heavy volume of voiceover recording sessions, celebrities don’t make sense as options for lead characters.

The Gameplay

Rebuilt Mechanics

  • Rockstar rebuilt most of the mechanics from the ground up, including shooting, melee and driving mechanics.
  • Rockstar has said that they feel like they've really made a leap forward with the Driving mechanics as they were able to run more physics on them. As stated by Rockstar, it will feel more like a racing game, (in a realisic way, not arcade), and hold to the ground better.
  • Rockstar has said that they've evolved the Shooting mechanics on from where they've had it in any of the past games a long way. (Not in just in terms of how it works, but also in terms of the core mechanics of how you play the game).
  • Rockstar has stated that the Melee Combat is better than they've had in the past. But the resources they allocate to it will show how far they can push it. They have also said that the Melee mechanics will never be as big a deal as the shooting - with the way that they make the game - but they do want it to feel really fun and strong.

New And Returning Gameplay Activities

Activities Not Returning

  • GTA V does not allow players to buy real estate, but Rockstar knows players didn’t have much to spend their money on toward the end of GTA IV so it plans to remedy this with the sequel.
  • The dating system is not returning to GTA V, which Rockstar says is due to the nature of the characters.
  • Because Michael, Trevor, and Franklin are fully fleshed-out characters with specific skill traits, Grand Theft Auto V does not have the RPG-style player customization so many people loved in San Andreas.
  • However, you can still customize the look of the characters with different clothing.


  • To encourage players to explore this vast expanse, Rockstar is giving them more vehicles than any other Grand Theft Auto to date, the vehicles returning include a BMX bike, mountain bikes, road bikes, dirt bikes, a huge variety of cars and trucks, helicopters, planes, ATVs, and Jet Skis. You won’t have to wait until the endgame to take to the skies, either. Since Trevor is a former war veteran with flight experience, you just need to find a plane to fly it. But jets (and other planes presumably) will be hard to come by in early parts of the game, but can be gotten if you can get past airport security.
  • Players can switch between the three lead characters at any time when they are off mission.
  • The 'switch menu' is a radial menu similar to 'Red Dead Redemption's' weapon wheel.
  • The players will use the phone to call up the other protagonists to hang out with, but your friends will not call you up for any friend activities as much as GTA IV.
  • Police chases are among the random events that happen in the world.


  • Since the game will feature three protagonists, the story missions feature a healthy variety of styles. Some feature one protagonist, while others have two or all three participants.
  • When a mission features multiple protagonists, players are often given the option of switching between them at will in the middle of the job. Rockstar chose this approach to always keep the player in the action and eliminate the flat spots.
  • Each of the three main characters has a fully fleshed-out story arc, but instead of waiting for the finale to introduce complex missions, Grand Theft Auto V peppers several complicated, multi-tiered heists in the vein of Grand Theft Auto IV’s popular “Three Leaf Clover” mission across the narrative. These missions will including prepping for the heists and the break-ins themselves.
  • Switching protagonist during missions can make the mission play out in many different ways depending on your actions.
  • Several missions will be more freeform then in past GTA games. You'll be allowed a lot more freedom in deciding on how to proceed in completing them.
  • There will be a lot of variety in the missions than there was in IV.
  • For the first time in a GTA game, Rockstar is using a score to bring some tension to the missions.


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