Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), originally scheduled for release in Spring 2013 but recently delayed until September 2013, takes the franchise back to the city of Los Santos previously seen in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Unlike prior games in the series which focus on telling the story of a single player controlled character, GTA V features three central characters that the player is able to actively switch between at nearly any time during gameplay.
Rockstar Games states that this will be their largest open world game to date, boasting a total area greater than those of GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined. At a preview event in Spring 2013, reps said that the map in GTA V will be "five times bigger than Red Dead Redemption".
For the first time in the franchise the player won't be restricted from certain areas in the game from the start, but instead let the player travel and explore at their own free will.
Gameplay will be similar to that of previous installments in the franchise. Players will control one of three characters in a free-roaming open-world environment. GTA V will place a higher emphasis on heist missions, in which players can switch between the various protagonists on the fly, potentially allowing them to take control of a car or provide covering fire as they see fit. Players can also switch between the protagonists between missions at any time.
Many of the game elements found in GTA IV will return, such as fake TV shows, minigames, clothing customization, and leisure activities, which now include tennis, yoga and base jumping. Dynamic missions have been introduced - similar to the random encounters of Red Dead Redemption, players may come across certain situations as they travel the world that they can choose whether or not to investigate.
The customary bevy of vehicles and weapons will be available.
GTA V splits its story between three playable characters, each representing a different side of Los Santos. Each character will have their own missions and side stories, as well as their own daily routines when not controlled by the player. The story progresses as the player completes missions with all three, which can allow the player to have insight into the events even when their current character does not.
The three playable protagonists of the game are a retired bank robber named Michael, a violent career criminal named Trevor, and a young repo man named Franklin. Each character will represent a different personality and angle of the world of crime in Los Santos.
Michael is a successful former bank robber in his early 40's, who decided to retire by making a deal with the authorities, and settled down with his family. Now, his marriage is in ruins and he is incapable of connecting with either of his two teenage children. Michael seeks to ditch his lush life in Rockford Hills and get back in the game.
Trevor is a violent drug addict, in his early 40's. He has worked with Michael in the past, and is firmly entrenched in a life of crime. He has experience as a former military pilot and is currently living in Blaine County. He is the 'loose cannon' of the group.
Franklin works as a repo man for a luxury car dealership in South Los Santos. He is an ambitious hustler in his mid 20's who seeks fortune and only knows how to attain it on the streets. Franklin is fit and much more capable than Michael and Trevor.
Preliminary reports describe Grand Theft Auto V's graphics engine as a modified version of the Rage engine used in Grand Theft Auto IV. The engine was extensively modified for Red Dead Redemption after GTA IV and further refinements are reported to be made for GTA V and Max Payne 3.
Rockstar Games announced the game will support online multiplayer, but there are no details as of the press release. It is known, however, that the game will support bringing over gangs created in Max Payne 3.