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Grand Theft Auto V Box Art

Rockstar North
Rockstar Games (Parent Company: Take-Two Interactive)
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Up to 16 players
Release Date:
September 17, 2013
Two discs for Xbox 360 (first disc is for install; 8GB, and second is play), One disc for PS3 for install and play.
ERSB: M (17+); PEGI: (18+); AU: R (18+); NZ: R (18+)


Los Santos: a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the Western world, now struggling to stay afloat in an era of economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV. Amidst the turmoil, three very different criminals plot their own chances of survival and success: Franklin, a former street gangster, now looking for real opportunities and serious money; Michael, a professional ex-con whose retirement is a lot less rosy than he hoped it would be; and Trevor, a violent maniac driven by the chance of a cheap high and the next big score. Running out of options, the crew risks everything in a series of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.

The Unveiling of GTA V

GTA V protagonist
Michael, one of the three protagonists

Grand Theft Auto V was announced by Rockstar Games on October 25, 2011, a few days after the tenth anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III. Every web page on Rockstar's network (even the old Vice City and San Andreas pages from 2002-2004) was replaced with a GTAV logo and a release date for the game's first trailer. The page also promoted the Twitter hashtag #GTAV.

The one-and-a-half-minute-long trailer revealed that the game is set in the city of Los Santos - Rockstar's take on Los Angeles, California. Soon after, Grand Theft Auto V was officially announced in a Take-Two Interactive press statement. In the statement, Rockstar confirmed that "Grand Theft Auto V heads to the city of Los Santos and surrounding hills, countryside and beaches in the largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created." Rockstar also asserted that GTA V is "a bold new direction in open-world freedom, storytelling, mission-based gameplay and online multiplayer [..] focusing on the pursuit of the almighty dollar in a re-imagined, present-day Southern California."

A Bold New Direction

Grand Theft Auto V is the first GTA since the original Grand Theft Auto where the player takes control of multiple characters. A unique switching system allows the player to switch between characters almost instantly and at any time when off-mission. A number of missions will involve all three protagonists allowing you to switch between them to play different parts of the mission. Therefore you could, for example, switch between playing as a helicopter pilot, a sniper and the man on the ground, meaning that you're always in the action.

Release Date

Initially, Grand Theft Auto V was scheduled for release in Spring of 2013 (beginning of March to the end of May). On January 31, 2013, Rockstar posted on the Newswire stating that Grand Theft Auto V would no longer be scheduled for a Spring 2013 release as the game "simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require." The new scheduled release date for Grand Theft Auto V is September 17, 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


The new GTA is being developed for the current generation of consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A PC version will likely be developed in addition to this, but may be released later. Grand Theft Auto was born on the PC in 1997, but in recent years Rockstar has focused more attention on the consoles. The PC versions of Grand Theft Auto typically arrive 8 months after the console versions.

The best thing about the PC versions is the capability they offer to modify in-game content, thereby enhancing the life spans of the games. Despite being released nearly a decade ago, the PC version of GTA: San Andreas remains immensely popular due to the fan-created car mods, weapons mods, multiplayer and mission mods. Hopefully this continues with GTAV.


  • Random character encounters throughout the map, much like those in GTAIV - but this time there's a greater variety and they're fully motion captured.
  • Dynamic missions, similar to Red Dead's "Random World Events". Examples include characters with broken down cars, a hitch hiker, or two parked cars with dead bodies around them - which you can investigate to initiate dynamic missions.
  • Dynamic "state machines" were coded in the game, allowing non-playable characters to go about their daily lifes. For example, you may see gardeners and cleaners waiting at the bus stop in the morning, and then find them tending the gardens and houses in the game's fictional Beverly Hills later on in the day.
  • About the economy, Dan Houser says: "You will be able to spend money to buy interesting and fun things like expensive toys. We are still working on the economy but it will be a strong element in the game and players will be eager to make money to spend money. Something along the lines of "I went through all of this to make all this money and now I'm going to spend it on this crazy item."
  • Dynamic music during missions (similar to Rockstar's other game, L.A. Noire).
  • Big focus on multiplayer with a lot of content to keep players busy.
  • Alamo Sea is the name of the Salton Sea-like area.
  • Radial menu to select the 3 protagonists.
  • Switching in missions partially scripted - meaning, at times character switching will happen automatically.
  • In final part of a mission in the demo, the player can decide which character to use.
  • There are multiple different endings in the storyline which depend on the choices you made throughout the game.
  • The game map is open from beginning, with the exception of some protected areas.
  • A certain amount of money will be needed to gain access to some missions.
  • There is a functioning ecosystem teeming with wildlife including animals like dogs, seagulls, fish and sharks.
  • You can buy property; houses, garages, businesses and marinas can all be purchased for extra revenue sources.
  • You can pick up hitchikers, do stunt jumps and flying challenges, take part in yoga, golf, tennis, bike races, base jumping, scuba diving, jet skiing and triathlons.
  • iFruit, the game's new phone, can be used to snap pictures and upload them to Rockstar's Social Club.
  • The phone also has apps. In addition to the camera there is internet, contacts, social media, a calendar, and a replay missions app. There are three more Rockstar hasn't yet revealed.
  • A combat roll has been introduced for moving between cover.
  • Liquor store and ATM robberies is possible.
  • Citizens will react to what you do, and if they see you robbing someone they could alert the police, film you, or even try to take you down themselves.
  • Hunting animals.
  • Each character has different animation. Strength stat has a bearing on melee capability.
  • 3 protag will feel natural and will not feel like a balancing act, allowing the game to feel more natural. (if Franklin and Michael are in a car, you can drive as Michael, switch to Franklin, and Michael will continue driving).
  • The game will feature stocks which means that the player has the ability to buy stocks to gain money from Los Santos's thriving economy using BAWSAQ and putting it into banks.
  • You can also smoke medicinal marijuana.
  • Purchase aircrafts and private jets at "Elitas Travel."
  • GTA V features a world full of socioeconomic mix. Every area is populated with a variety of pedestrians that R* has researched for the pedestrians to fit into their right location.
  • The world features towns, farms, campsites, trailer parks, settlements and many other ordinations outside of Los Santos.
  • R* has researched the exact pedestrian populations for a variety of locations within California for the realism of GTA V to be even more realistic than ever before, and this goes for vehicles too.
  • This is a first for GTA, snow is coming to GTA in North Yanktown.


  • The main weapon wheel is broken down into a series of subcategories; after scrolling with the stick to the weapon type you want, left and right on the D-pad will cycle between additional individual weapons.
  • The wheel will store all of the weapons you collect and you will never lose them, even if they run out of ammo or you get busted. It's estimated that players can hold about 14 weapons.
  • You can throw weapons to the other protagonists.
  • Sniper Rifles can be upgraded with a Thermo Scope which can be activated on the run.
  • Miniguns destroy vehicle almost instantly.
  • The ability to fire whilst prone and rolling around returns from Max Payne 3 at a mission with Trevor.
  • There are Ammu-Nation stores which are open at night.
  • Players can have a shooting scope of 360 degrees so that they can strategically decide what they need to do.
  • You can adjust the power, rate of fire and gauge levels of the weapons.
  • AI constantly changes their position to get a better shot at you.


  • Character appearances can be customized. Specifically, tattoos, haircuts and clothing can be modified.
  • Vehicles can also be customised. Customizations include paintjobs, wheels, window tints, grills, spoilers, along with robust performance upgrades to suspension, engine, brakes, and more that make meaningful changes to the way vehicles feel and handle.
  • Weapon customization - Silencers, scopes, extended mags, laser sights, and more.
  • Wide range of weapon modifications available in Ammunation such as clips, grips, tints and other attachments.
  • Some missions request you to customise vehicles in a certain way, the rest is up for experimentation.
  • Vehicle customisation taken a lot further than in GTA SA.
  • Pay & Spray not in game - replaced by Los Santos Customs stores that are located throughout the map.
  • More than 1000 vehicle modifications available, both cosmetic and performance.
  • You can take a photo of your finished vehicle and upload it to Social Club.
  • Car horns can be customized.
  • "Over 1,000 car customization options" (Bulletproof tires, armor, etc.).
  • Customized guns will broaden range of options during missions. (Stealthy vs. loud, Scope, etc.).
  • You can also customise your pet dog i.e. Chop with collars and leads. Your dog can also get lost.
  • Customise your vehicle at "Los Santos Customs."


  • Each character is rated in a series of skill categories: Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving, Mechanic, Lung Capacity.
  • Specials are governed by a meter - it drains after use and recharges slowly.
  • Other skill categories are shared and can be improved by completing missions, side missions, activities and more.
  • Shooting stat will affect steadiness of aim, amount of ammo you can carry, aim stability, etc. (You can go to the shooting range to increase stat. Also goes up if you kill an enemy. You are rewarded for better kills like head shots).


  • 'Mini heists' are used to teach the player about preparation. Players must secure vehicles, outfits, masks, the getaway vehicle.
  • These build up to a bigger heist where the execution must be flawless. They'll require the right crew (which you can recruit) and players will have to decide on the cheap option, which results in less skilled people, or paying more for skilled crew members that will take a larger cut of the money.
  • These additional characters will be able to specialize in different areas such as wheelman, gunman, technician, and so on.
  • Hiring the same crew members across several heists (assuming they survive) will allow their skills to improve.
  • There will be visual and audio alerts from your other characters so you're not completely caught off guard in case things get hairy.
  • You can attack targets by stealth or brute force. This will affect the content of the heist.
  • After-action report that tallies your total cash haul, each surviving member's cut, and any profit you managed to earn.

Refinements to Combat

  • Weapon selection has been overhauled: You now select your weapons from a weapon wheel.
  • Fluidly run and gun from the hip while still maintaining complete control of the reticule.
  • 'Combat jog' that allows you to move at high speeds with your weapon out, but not raised.
  • Camera pulled back when zoomed in over the shoulder to open up players' field of vision.
  • Combat roll to move strategically from cover and evade incoming fire.
  • Reticule switches from white to red to identity an enemy.
  • Tiny 'X' flashes over the reticule when targeted enemy is killed.
  • Variable targeting options including free aim, soft lock, and hard lock (similar to Max Payne 3).
  • Smoother transitions when moving in and out of cover.
  • Overhaul of gun play to open up new styles of shooting while playing.
  • In addition to left and right aiming and triggering, there is run and shoot.
  • When engaged in combat, character's default speed switches to combat jog for improved mobility.
  • Gun play still GTA-based at core, but have used other studios to bring aspects of RDR and MP3 over.
  • Overhaul of aiming system to make game more immersive, split into 3 modes with hard lock removed: assisted, traditional and free aim.
  • Car can be used as cover by getting out and staying low to avoid exposure.
  • Each character's personality is reflected in their movements and use of weapons: Trevor's aggressiveness, Franklin's swagger and Michael's efficiency.
  • Guns will be with you throughout the whole game.
  • You can't directly "weaponize" your car, but there are a lot of little options. (Car leaking petrol and light em up, sticky bombs).
  • "Hits are much more satisfying."
  • Moved from static fights to free focus. Quickly switch your focus to other enemies. No longer need to lock on to enemies, although you can lock on if you wish.
  • Expect really cool destruction/carnage/damage.
  • Combat AI much more advance with more knowledge of environment.
  • Enemies will behave different by who they are (SWAT is organized, gang members are more "gung ho").
  • AI constantly changes their position to get a better shot at you.
  • Players can have a shooting scope of 360 degrees so that they can strategically decide what they need to do.
  • The ability to fire whilst prone and rolling around returns from Max Payne 3 at a mission with Trevor.


  • The character selection wheel is split into four triangles: Franklin, Trevor, Michael, and your multiplayer character.
  • Some boats will include gear such as wetsuit, flippers and tanks for diving.
  • GTAV rewards exploration, there's no signposting underwater, so you'll have to find the treasure the hard way.
  • Dives won't offer massive payoffs, but will "help grease the wheels."
  • There are subtle differences in the way each character moves to reflect their personalities; Michael is slower and deliberate.
  • Rockstar says there will be five times as many pedestrians in GTAV as there were in Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • There's a "crazy level of detail": Tourist buses can be boarded for a tour of celebrity homes, film posters are plastered on the walls, men in comedy costumes try to corner you outside the Cathay Theatre, including the Superman-like Impotent Rage and Master Chief riff, Space Ranger.
  • You can switch between Franklin, Trevor and Michael during a cutscene, manually, or automatically when the AI takes control for you.
  • Each character has a job to do, how much you switch yourself in or let the computer do, is entirely up to you.
  • If you die the game reloads to the last checkpoint, even if two other characters are alive.
  • Although it's up to the player when they switch, dialogue will suggest ideal moments. For example, when Michael and Franklin are being overwhelmed by snipers, Michael might ask for Trevor's help.
  • There is a wider field of vision, and players can run-and-gun.
  • There are some restrictions to character switching, such as how you can't abandon a character while you have a Wanted Level. Lose the heat first! The character selection meter will let you know when you can swap out.
  • Car will turn up in an impound if left in the street. Must pay a fine to retrieve it.
  • Not all three protagonists will be available from the start. R* wants to give the player the opportunity to explore the world and to get to know each protagonist. Michael, Franklin and Trevor are also not new to the city, they've been in the city prior to the events in GTA V.
  • Game is "much faster" than the previous GTAs meaning that you'll be expected to engage into high-octane missions from the start.
  • Go shopping at various places such as Brawls, CaCa, Bob Mulet (hairdresser), and Pon-Son-Bys.
  • Most of the "Shopping & Glamour" places are based in Rockford Hills (based off of the real-life "Beverly Hills").
  • Flying under bridges achievements will return from GTAIV. There are exactly 50 bridges to fly under.
  • The city features cracked roads, graffiti, shopfronts and billboards. Every shopfront in the game is unique.
  • Night time is more realistic and is a big improvement from IVs "darkness". At a certain part of Blaine County the only real source of light were Trevor's vehicle headlamps.
  • Destructible environments have been upped in this game which means that you can use them to your advantage in missions; you can use: gas cylinders, motor cars, fuel tanks and more.
  • Animals yelp when hit by a vehicle.
  • Neon signs actually have a buzzing noise.
  • Helicopter wreckage can be found from high above in the sky.
  • Although map is open from the start, it still has a huge element of discovery.
  • Grove Street will be making a return.
  • GTAV feels like a "best of R* experience" because of the elements from all of R*'s greatest games.
  • Normal walking is quite slow.
  • The weather system is different, featuring virtual sunrays.
  • Water physics are fantastic feturing realistic waves that foam back and forth.
  • The framerate is consistent and there seems to be no stuttering when switching between characters to complete a mission.


  • There are four different in-vehicle views in addition to cinematic mode. However the cockpit view will not be included.
  • Trains are drivable.
  • if a saved vehicle is abandoned or destroyed, it can be recovered (for a fee) at the local impound lot.
  • Each vehicle type has a unique type of handling, for example the pick-up truck doesn't stick to the road as well as a supercar.
  • You can turn a car's engine on and off.
  • Pedestrians react differently to carjackings now, such as speeding off when aimed or shot at with a weapon.
  • Drivers flip you off after collisions.
  • Car crashes usually leave trails of fuel, which can in turn be used to blow them up.
  • Chopper controls are extremely alike to GTAIV, and landing them is more straightforward.
  • Engine realism such as engine stuttering and black smoke shooting out was noted.
  • Car explosions and aftermath much more realistic than IV's.
  • Hearses are NOT good for escaping cops.
  • For racing, Rockstar has relied on Midnight Club: Los Angeles's gameplay mechanics for the driving in V.

It's also worth noting that the "wanted system" is still present but there will be only 5 stars instead of 6. You can still try to escape the circular zone (featured in GTA IV) that flashes on the mini-map when cops come after the three protagonists. This time players will still be able to hide inside of the circular zone and escape the cops, the cops now have a line-of-sight system where they will need to find you to get you and they will no longer automatically know where you are -- if there is a helicopter in the sky then the cops will also be able to see you clearly and the cops will use hand signals and the player can see what the cops are planning. Every officer and police car has its own search circle to add even more to the difficulty of the GTA games. If you blow up a car you will receive a 1 star wanted level, if you fly over the Los Santos prison you will receive a 2 star wanted level and if you decide to go into the water whilst you have a wanted level the police will chase after you.

The Grand Theft Auto Series

Grand Theft Auto V is the fourteenth game in the series and, if it can replicate the success of its predecessors, there should be many more to come in future. The GTA series began in 1997, at which time its developer, Rockstar North, was known as DMA Design. The table below lists all of the Grand Theft Auto releases to date.

Title Setting Release Date
Grand Theft Auto Liberty City, San Andreas, Vice City October 1997
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 London (1969) April 1999
Grand Theft Auto 2 Futuristic October 1999
Grand Theft Auto III Liberty City (2001) October 2001
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Vice City (1986) October 2002
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas San Andreas (1990-1992) October 2004
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Liberty City (1998) October 2005
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Vice City (1984) October 2006
Grand Theft Auto IV Liberty City (2008-2010) April 2008
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Liberty City (2009) March 2009
Grand Theft Auto V Los Santos (Present Day) September 17, 2013