All your GTA 5 question answered – gameplay details & behind closed doors info from Rockstar

New GTA 5 PS3 screens

There’s never been a Rockstar game as gigantic as Grand Theft Auto 5. Its land mass alone is three-and-a-half times bigger than Red Dead Redemption’s, and the total playable area once you factor in underwater regions is five times the size of John Marston’s cowboy classic. Overall, it’s larger than GTA: San Andreas, GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption combined. That’s a lot of Blaine County to get lost in.

How, then, to cover every detail of a half-hour, behind-closed-doors roam around its peaks and valleys and oceans and cityscapes? That’s where you come in. Before heading to Rockstar’s London HQ to see the game, we invited you to mail, Tweet and Facebook message your questions regarding GTA 5. What follows are the answers to your posers, based upon my time seeing the game and an extended discussion with Rockstar afterwards. Cue Radio Ga Ga…

New GTA 5 screensHow does the character-changing work?

Byron (@ByronButter1986), via Twitter

GTA 5 no longer centres on one protagonist. This time you’re in charge of a three-man band you can switch between at any time. There’s  Franklin, a resident of South Los Santos; career crim Michael, who spends most of his time sheltering in Vinewood’s swanky Von Crastenburg Hotel; and total loonjob Trevor, based in a trailer near the Alamo Sea.

Character-switching is handled by a weapon wheel that sits on the lower right corner of the screen. You hit up on the right stick to control Franklin, right to switch to Trevor, and left to hop into Michael’s shoes. The change isn’t immediate: instead of a loading screen, the camera zooms out until it looks like a Google Earth-style satellite image, then back in again to settle on the character you’re adopting. The closer the characters are, the faster the switch happens – in-mission, it’s close to instantaneous. It’s worth mentioning that – other than in three-man missions – everything you do with a character pertains only to him, be it racking up dollars, buying new threads or improving individual attributes – all characters are rated in nine different areas: stamina, strength, stealth, shooting, flying, driving, mechanic, lung capacity and ‘special’.

New GTA 5 screensCan you outline exactly how a three-person mission works?
Rob Murphy, via email

Sure. A big innovation in GTA 5 is the inclusion of heists: missions that aren’t necessarily part of the main storyline, yet see all three characters working together to pull off a job that, when completed, has them splitting a sizeable reward three ways. The three-person mission I see is similar to one such heist, but forms part of the main storyline.

It’s entitled Blitz Play, and introduced with a cutscene where our three protagonists go over their plans in detail. Michael’s contacts with the FIB have asked him to retrieve something valuable from an armed IAA vehicle, and naturally knocking on the door and politely asking for it back isn’t an option.

Instead, our three men don masks – Trevor looking especially comical as a monkey – and split up. For the first half of the mission, you no longer have the option of switching between characters: the game contextually decides who you control. To begin with, we’re Michael, driving a garbage truck to the waypoint on the map in readiness for the ambush we’re about to perform. Once there, we park across a single-lane road to ensure the IAA vehicle’s route is blocked off.

To begin with, we’re Michael, driving a
garbage truck to the waypoint on
the map in readiness for the
ambush we’re about to perform

The next task is to take control of Franklin and again drive to the specified waypoint, this time in a tow truck, preparing to play a little game of ram-and-take. With that done, control switches to Trevor on higher ground – he’s monitoring the situation with binoculars in order to make sure everything runs in sync.

GTA 5 PS3 gameplay. Subscribe for more PS3 & PS4 videos.

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