I’m not sure if I even need to say more, but I will because it’s so cool. Whether indicative of the final product or not (recent trends have reminded us to always be wary of marketing), this gameplay trailer from Rockstar Games’ upcoming open world shenanigan-palooza Grand Theft Auto V shows off a lot of…stuff. Planes, boats, cars, and motorcycles go alongside skydiving, cycling, golfing, and hunting. You can go scuba diving underwater and, apparently, purchase medicinal marijuana.
Things get really interesting around 1:30 when they show what appears to be part of a mission in which the three protagonists—Michael, Trevor, and Franklin—attempt to rescue/abduct a fellow from the middle of a skyscraper. It shows off rappelling down the side of the building and busting into a room as Michael and then switching to Franklin a few hundred yards away in another building, ready to snipe the people in the room.
When you switch, time slows and you see a quadrant selector come up with the three characters’ faces along with their stats like stamina, shooting, and strength. The fourth quadrant is some sort of counter thing that tracks days. What do the days mean? No idea. But when you switch outside of missions, you do a cool zoom out/zoom in, 90s techno-babble “ENHANCE!” thing and drop in on another character that could be doing anything, like riding a bike or escaping the cops in the desert. It occurs to me that there will be a set amount of scripted things that could happen and then the rest will be generic driving or walking transitions, but who knows!
Aesthetically, the map and meters are now a block in the lower left instead of a ring, but the mechanics also appear to have improved. Namely, it looks like aiming isn’t slow as frozen molasses that is also stuck in molasses. There’s a section at 3:08 where Franklin is shooting up some sort of mill and the video shows off, like, totally competent shooting, which is way more than GTA IV, GTA: San Adreas, GTA: Vice City, or GTA III could say. And the driving looks super tuned up in the bit towards the end when they’re weaving in and out of traffic. Hopefully this helps when you start planning and executing your shoot ’em up and daring escape bank heists.
And boy does it look great. The nighttime driving sequence immediately following that is especially noteworthy, what with all the lighting effects going on. And when you see from the top of a mountain and can look for miles and miles in any direction, I got hints of the joy when I climbed to the top of the mountain in San Andreas and jumped. Also, the entire feel of the grittiness and diversity of Southern California is wholly intact.
Of course, this is just a trailer, but even so, it is as overflowing with things as the game purportedly is. You can trade stocks, buy property, customize cars, and play online with what looks like a lot of people. It’s a miracle of modern science that Rockstar managed to cram it all in just five minutes of video let alone an entire disc when the game ships. So are you guys excited or what? Look for Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17th.