Look, what i've seen can't be unseen. I will share with you the things I now know, which can never be erased from my memory, for I just can't hold it in any longer. Asides from a few of my family, I tried not to share this info with but 3 or 4 close friends. But I just....must...maaaann...Let me introduce myself. My name is Brendan. a Graphic Designs major at Full Sail Academy in Orlando, Florida. I'm on my 3rd year and am an abid gamer. Originally born in Miami, I moved away for college to purssue game design. Got a transfer to NJIT (New Jersey Institue of Technology) on internship for accredited service hours due to an once and a lifetime chance.
Now The information I share with you aren't another set of pathetic attempts at rumors, 'leaks' or insider talk thats been running rampid on the web, but rather, actual facts I can physically confirm.
To make long story short, in 2007, about a few months after the actual trailer reveal for IV, I often thought to myself how nice it would be to if someone were to intern for Rockstar. Thats has to be sweet, you just sit back and watch one of your favourite games being made right in front of you. So thinking to myself, maybe if i applied for an internship (in time before the release of IV), I would not only get the position, I'd also find out all there is to know of about IV in the process with maybe a free advance copy for my time at the offices. So that summer I applied for the position, but sadly and appropriately so, not a response to be had from Rockstar. Realisticly, that was to be expected. And so I let the time
pass and eventually forgot about the plan. Fast foward to about late February/early March 2011. Long forgotten, I check my e-mail just to be unexpectedly struck by utter awe. BAM, an intership acceptance letter requesting immediate availibility for a 12-month contractual agreement as a personal office assistant. Nothing more was needed to be said to pursuade me. I was off to the Manhattan offices in New York.
Blah Blah Blah....3 months pass......Blah Blah Blah...After months of 'fetch' work (the usually sort this, sort that, get coffee, before actually geting to learn and observe advanced design, texturing, technical protocol and production) I finally became "cool" with some of the guys down at Rockstar NY. No I didn't meet The Houser or anyone like that; but I did chummy it up with some of the assisting animators and programmers. Then my subtle plan was put in motion.....
I eagerly sat behind desks waiting any paperwork branded with the initials GTA somewhere on the page. If anything did pop up, I'd put it to the side for later reading or a quick skim through if was an email or there was no time. Most of the time it would just be over-heard conversation amongst employees about what they heard or were told about the game. At the luckiest of times. I got to see NON-FUNCTIONAL gamplay as the programmers were tinkering with things (equests from Rockstar North with certain things in the game (i suppose). Most of the time
the guys are designing some new textures and worlds all day for other games). Rockstar has had GTA V in production since late 2008 and is close to completion. I'd say about 87% done and what they have cooking feels great. Again long story short, for a whole year i lived in New Jesery ,managed the jungle that is Manhattan, was part of the making of GTA V and now I've been back home for three weeks now and the excitement from what i've seen over the past year is mind blowing and have to tell someone and as an intern, i was unpaid therefore, my contract was not a NDA in regaurds to info leaks. SO HERE I AM PASS ON THE KNOWLEDGE!
Am I to be believed? If you choose and I frankly don't care. You are no way inclined to accept what i say at all. That's fine. I'm only here to share what i've seen. I'm doing you a favor. As an intern, I've seen more than I even wanted to see, let alone learn about. As a result i'm now suicidely excited for gaming as an industry. Not only because of GTA V, but as well as confirmation of Red Dead Rebellion (Yes; it's part 3), a new Bully and Wild Metal 2.
Now on to the featured presentation:
No; I DID NOT SEE ANY FUNCTIONING GAMEPLAY; Answering that question first before there is a flood of that kind of stuff. I also no; i do not know anything reguarding story other than the all-around vague premise that most people at the offices would know (even though they will deny it).
I've seen the holy grail that is her, the map of GTA V and Yes; Los Santos is the only city. Fortunately, Los Santos is only being used as the focal point in a new southern California twist. The new map is comprised of 5 'main' populaces within the 1 County of Los Santos. As a result Los Santos has grown greatly, becoming a City-County, which will be split into 3 "provinces", in classic GTA fashion:
The Greater Naranja Area
Greater Los Santos
All of which are accompanied alongside smaller surrounding unincorparated areas. Some of which are within close by proximity. Others out in the outskirts of the county.
All but the City of Los Santos itself will be making a more scaled-down appearance within the County: Santa Ana (aptly re-named Santa Monica), San Diego (San Dignos),Carlsbad (Wadsworth), Chula Vista (Chola Springs), and Anaheim (renamed Alemana, something along those lines, i think i misspelled it though) have been scaled-down drasticly to fit in and around Los Santos. Trust me, it looks believable, and better yet, natural. The Greater Los Santos Area is in fact HUGE and the largest area of the three. Within Greater Los Santos are The San Ventura
Mountain Range, Bone Valley, Larry Andreasen Bridge, Lawernce Island, and Santos National Park.
Los Santos will be the most diverse in terms of neighborhoods, arts/culture, and geography. The San Ventura mountain range is to the northeast which is a play off of the Santa Monica Moutains and San Gabriel Mountains. Lush eviroments and vivid forest back-drop really does just on how far GTA has come from a top-down video game to the critically acclaimed art that it is today. But to me, the true display of how much Rockstar cares about the fans was adding 'Chilliad Peak'. A nice little nod to Mount Chiliad, which no longer exsists as a 'stand-alone', but as a peak within the mountain range itself. Whether there something to do other than scale the peak itself is undetermined by someone like me.
Alemana, Santa Monica and East Shore/South Central Los Santos make up the smallest province in the game, named The Greater Naranja Area. It's a really suburban area with beautiful mansions to the south/southeast-ish (looks similar to the Westdyke area in Alderney), the central portion is more modernized with the more urban areas to the north. Beaches to the west with "Charlie Harper" type of real estate bordering the shores. Since i've never been to California ever, thats the best description i can give.
The southern most points in Los Santos County are known as Los Puerta. Incorporating this area is Wadsworth, Chola Springs, and San Dignos. To the south is blocked off by unpassable mountains with a fence along the range. Though clearly a reference to the Mexican-American border, sorry folks, no Mexico. Closest thing to Mexico is pprobably the architecture in this area with old pueblo towns, pedestrians horse back in the distant outskirts, cactal flora, and the all-around "borderlands" atmoshpere. But other than that, no Mexico.
A few of the Los Santos district names have returned, such as Jefferson, Vinewood, Mullholland, and Idlewood. But for the most part, many of the other areas have been renamed. East Shore (East Beach/Long Beach [also could be Laguana Beach to be honest, I don't know]), San Clair (Richman/Bel-Air??), Vesspucci Beach (Verona/Venice Beach). Rockstar has included a virtual rendention of the Staple Center. They are currently on the fences whether to make it 'interactive' (with mini-games I'd suppose), Also Ganton is back. Grove Street is not. At least not the cul-de-sac. Grove Street Family gang does return, or atleast pedestrains that look like the gang members return. Whether they play a pivotal role, once again something somebody like me wouldn't know.
The map is in fact larger than 3 Libery Citys' smushed together as one area, surrounded by 2 Red Dead maps as countryside (atleast it seems so to me). Two airports, one private airfield, and a military base make up the central tranport hubs for the city. 2 smaller 'airstrips" also are scattered in the coutryside.
Main Character/Summerized Plot:
***THIS IS MY SUMMARY AND NOT WORD FOR WORD THE SCRIPT OR STORY BY ANY MEANS. THIS IS JUST A SUMMARY BASED OFF WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM SITTING AMOGST ANIMATORS, PROGRAMMERS, AND PAPERWORK AT THE DESKS***
If you've watched the reveal trailer, the gentlemen in the scene letting down the convertibles top is indeed the main character. His name is Adrian, just a normal guy, dangerously enticed by the sight of 'easy' money. He is cut throat character, "takes-no-sh*t" kind of attitude. Adrian has pretty much been in the criminal underworld since his late teen years. No stranger to the risk needed to become the guy on top, Adrian made good use with the money, the woman, and the minor fame which have been good to him keeping him at such accliamed success. Seeming untouchable, Adrian is on top until he's approached by an older gentlemen, Albert (man with the suit from the trailer), who views Adrian's wealth as opportunity to expand his own "intrests". This why he mutters "... but you know how it is" in the reveal trailer. Adrian accepts and the craziest ride gamers will ever experience begins.
Along the story it seems you meet 'strangers' in the streets for side-story/missions and money gaining (ala Red Dead Redemption) but Albert will be the person you gain missions from that either unlocks or progresses the story. I try to think of him as your Billy from Lost and the Damned or Gay Tony from the Ballad. He'll be the main reason for the mayhem in the storyline so it seems. Also choices will return from IV, however, this time their going to be more impactful (i hope) as talks of multiple endings were definitley in the air. As to how many....your guess is as good as mine.
One thing for sure is the new 'Your Crew' (thats the name im giving it, as there is know name really) aspect of the game with your character. In an effort to build more of a bond with the character and story, you can now forms a 'crew' of 'henchmen' with a lot of the strangers you meet. For instances when meeting some of the 'strangers' in the street, some of them will try and offer there specialties and services to you aside from the mission/task of the player. Qucikc scenerio, one stranger you meet could be a black market arms dealers who is stocked with the finest rare and/or expensive weapons, yet, aslo a highly skilled rifleman. If recruited, you can now use him as a gun man/van when arsenal is needed or as a sniper cover shooter during intense missions. You can also maybe decline just because you dont like the cut of his jib. With every different stranger you met (each with different perks, bonuses and personalities) you have the option to 'recruit' them as a member ofyour crew making every players in-game crews different from each other giving way to many differnet uniques styles of play for every individual to exploit during completion of every mission. The robbery scene in the trailer was an example of this. This offers a way to create varied teams such as: Stealth squads, Run'n'Gun teams, even a calm collected 'mobster-type' family with your crew as hired muscle to rough people up. Once assembled, your crew can then be called upon for a mission, as back-up, or just to hang out, engage in activities and free roam.
Your character can be customised but the characters in your crew can not. The clothing in GTA V have been vastly improved. Every article of clothing the pedestrians wear will also be available to your character from the beginging. Also Health stats may return. Talks of working out and body building are have been underway. Body Building will not require you to eat, nor will eating affect your working out. Eating is still optional but only as a health pick-up. Over eating will not make you fat, but a lack of working out will diminish your physical physique. As a result, stregnth and stamina will return and provide certain 'perks' that carry-over into the gameplay.
Side-Quests/New and Cool Things:
Activities and side missions are making a return from GTA IV but only strip clubs/drinking, drug trade, fight club, base-jumping and racing are carrying over. The rest are brand new and quite interesting. Surfing is probably going to be the one that blows peoples minds. Card games, dice, Hang-gliding, rockclimbing, car shows, off-roading, hiking, and 'legal' gambling just to name a few. By release i wouldn't be suprised if more will be addind
Burglary will be making a come back. Newly refined, GTA V's buglary missions now operate as two types, Robberies or Heists. When going alone to rob a home or store, all money earned goes to the player upon every successful robbery.Now when doing the same with a 'crew', all proceeding are split with all participating party members. This makes for an intersting bit of gameplay. The more people with you the easier heisting a place will be, but the more people with you the less money you gain. This forces you to either 'hit' larger and more difficult places for more cash or downsize and go it alone with more risk.
Flight School and the Driver's Course are back. Shooting ranges have now been added as a school to improve weapon stats. As for Boating School, sorry, no cigar.
Girlfriends will return but with a much more engaging twist. A range of new things to do with them have been added to interupt the monotinous proceedings GTA IV provided. One added feature is you can break-up with them (mainly to end the annoyance of repeated phone calls). All women Adrian dates will have their own unique benifits similar to GTA IV, this time with more variety of attribute boots to unlock. This gives the player more reason to "pick and choose' girls, keeping them or dumping them at will, as maybe her unique skill(s) is of no use to you any longer.
Adrenaline Pills are back. Only it works like bullet time minus the diving and jumping. Good for evading six star wanted levels as, once injested, it slows down time a bit and giving Adrian adequete time to either escape or get the last shots off. I know...I know. I felt the same way. Hopefully it will work or there will be some sort of tweak to it by release.
Yes; Assets are attainable for ways to aquire money. That is all......
Most ironic tid bit, SAFEHOUSES now all have (that's right you guessed it) SAFES!. This is for the player to hold various items such as money, jewelery, and drugs. Guns will still be 'laying around' for easy access but rare weapons can be placed within the safe too.
Drugs have returned in the form of a fully realised rendition of The Chinatown Wars' trade system. Adrian will now have a seperate screen that houses certain items like in Chinatown Wars and that of John Marston. While you can go out and SELL drugs per say, you can bartar with strangers who will approach you with propositions. If the stranger is asking for $200 of acid and you have said product in hand then you can make a quick buck and keep strolling, but let's say you left the acid in the safe and only have weed on you, you can either decline to trade and keep moving or hold him up at gun point for his cash and make a break for it (or shoot him, eh, Tomato Tamoto). Drug Suppliers will be scattered all over the map and have icons displaying thier locations and product. Also with enough money grow farms, meth/acid/heroine labs, and crackhouses can all be purchased making you the supplier of your own needs.
Adrian can get drunk. Adrian does not smoke weed, but however, he can and will be put in situations where he is exposed to it with a potential to get high. For instance, driving in a car with the passenger smoking weed with the windows up results in you getting high. Another case, is maybe tossing molotovs in a field of marijuana and standing in the smoke, once again getting Adrian buzzed. There are many scenerios where the main character can BECOME high as opposed to the player trying to GET high. Other hard drugs are still forbidden to use but are able to be sold within the black market.
Pedestrians no longer drop money on the floor when knocked out or killed, but rather can now be be pick-pocketed as in Red Dead Redemption. Just as before an 'X' will mark dead pedestrians that have yet to be looted for what they've left behind. They can also sometimes leave behind items other than money........
When i say lots and lots of guns. I mean, LOTS AND LOTS OF GUNS. ATLEAST, 48-50 DIFFERENT WEAPONS. I'm not going to lie to you guys, alot of the guns are copy & pasted. Especially weapons from The Episodes and upcoming Max Payne. Only good thing is some of the Red Dead Redemptiion guns will also make an appearnce as rare weapons either found by desert dwellers, antique shops and black market dealers all throught the game.
Dual weilding weapons are back along with varied loadouts (only limieted to Pistol, Uzi's, and sawed-off shotgun).
Weapon Skills have returned and have been greatly (and smoothly) improved. Alot of aspects of the shooting mechanics is accounted for as your experience and XP are increased in a particular gun class. Using a certain weapon over and over increses experience and lowers the effects of recoil, improve aiming speed and reloading times.
Golf clubs, tools (think Vice City), knifes, bats (aluminum and wooden), shovels, pick-axe, machetes, and have all also returned as melee weapons
Brooms, chairs, lamps, boxes traffic cones and barricades are now objects you can pick-up and throw, just as the bricks and bottles on the ground in GTA IV were.
You can now aim and shoot while climbing on ladders or hanging on ledges, ropes, and vehicles. Minor touch that makes all the difference. Crazy....
Last I left, strong opinion of whether or not to change the weapon select in GTA to the weapon wheel Max Payne is using. So far HUD is the same as in GTA IV. Rockstar is trying to go with the GTA1-ness of it. Oh and by the way, Vice City is next and is going to be called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They figure we (the fans) will call it Vice City HD anyway and will just know the difference between the two amongst ourselves. eh. I could care less as it will be present day Miami And South Broward, as it was GTA 1. They've already begun sketch art and story ideas. They want to make it a prequel story to the HD era, and the older gentlemen, Albert, will be the main character.
Human sheilds have been introduced and are now a present option in the game.
Though Ammu-Nation returns, weapons are not customisable at all, however, already customised guns can be purchased and 'found' throughout Los Santos. Bullet choice is now an option this time around. When purchasing a gun you can now choose betwwen what type of bullets you'd like in your gun. All guns found/picked up will have standard ammo until variant bullets are purchased. Rockstar is carrying over the "every bullet gets rendered feature" from Max Payne 3, so different types of bullets can now be incorporated with different guns to produce a more devastatingly deadly combination.
As for the aiming, I don't know. It's the same as Max Payne 3 to me. The movements, the cover system, even the 'adrenaline rush' perk seems/looks the same as bullet time to me. And i explained how i felt about that. Haven't any actual 'free-play' shooting, only animations being tested for. Most likely GTA will be more fluid than Max Payne when release time comes around.
The Wanted Level System has remained the same as well as the HUD. AI has improved though (as expected). Police on foot will now tackle fleeing suspects and use flanking and stealthier tactics to draw out the player when hiding. Other than that all the same. Military will not return, but, tactical APC's and extra body armor will be used at six stars by the authorities.
Here is a departments i can promise you. as a fan myself, we all will be pleased with. First off, every vehicle in GTA IV and The Episodes of Liberty City will be returning. What makes it all that so sweet is every vehicle will include their 1984, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2008, and 2012 renditions. Even some of the new vehicles will receive this same treatment, such as the Dewbauchee Zagato GT (red convertible in trailer), the Grotti T2 Widow (black convertible in trailer), Pfister Hannover (Porche Panamera), and the Dinka S-EX (Acura NSX) [get it? Dinka S-EX = 'Think of SEX'].
Vehicles that will also be making an appearence will be the Pegassi BF Injection (now modeled after T-Rex 14RR), Cheetah, and the Maibatsu Monstrosity (Now a Ford F-650 on monster wheels),
Yes; The convertible tops are interactive, along with headlights and a few other forms of vehicular modifications.
Pedal Bicycles are back. BMX's, beach-cruisers, two seaters and the whole sha-bang! Be excited.....your not ready....
Los Santos Public tranportation will be greatly improve since its last go around. Trains, subway systems, busses with scheduled routes and taxis will all be present to aid players in transporting across the vast map. The subway carts will be manuverable this go around (meaning you can walk around in the carts and climb on top or around). Also, the carts themselves, unlike their GTA IV counterparts,. The Brown Streak is back.....
Aircarfts are flyable and range from passenger planes and private jets to vintage bi-pods and VTOL's. Unfortunately, the blimp seen in the trailer is non-functionig. It's just to add atmosphere as all the blimp does is cirle downtown Los Santos repeatedly. It can however be landed on and shot at, though efforts would be pointless as it is indestructible.
Returning are a selection of novelty vehicles such as: The Caddy, Journey, Baggage Handler, Kart, Quad, and Vortex are returning aswell.
Trans-Fender is back and the customisation will be in-depth, from what i've seen and heard, and will allow customisation to motorbikes as well. yet sadly this aspect of the game is not complete as of yet. I'm sure we can all expect it to be better than San Andreas' selections.
Money will be harder to get this time around yet easily attained with a multitude of things to do to attain it. Everything will be scaled to a near realistic scale in terms of realistic payout amounts, pricing on clothing, food, realty and housing, vehicles, venues, tolls, and business buy-in. For example, the Enus Cognoscenti XLR (based on the Maybach Exelero) will cost a cool 1.2 million dollars and be only availavle online through Auto Eroticar's website. Pricey, but worth it. A safehouse will range from $150 one-time save motels to million dollars homes and anywhere in between. This time around, a safehouse's (whether house, loft, flat, or condo) price range will vary depending on location and be tallied as a whole years worth of rent, example. an apartment with worth 1,000 dollars rent monthly will be 12,000 dollars to buy in-game and so on.
The drug trade, as mentioned before, will play a big role on how money can be made.
During certain missions (mainly the robberies and heists) 'special' objects can be obtained. These items store in your (sort of) satchel and can be used to trade or sell for other items or cold-hard cash. A good example is jewelery. Jewelry that has been solen or lifted can now either be worn, stored in your safe, or sold back for cash. For this reason PawnStar Shops have been added to the game. Here, any goods on your person can be sold (and bought back at times) for cash.
Debate of whether or not to re-do Rampages resulted in non-inclusion of the event. However, Taxi missions, Emergeny vehicle missions, and Assinations have returned.
More to come soon as i've already type and eyeful......
But to sum it all up....GTA V will be the "be all, end all" in the GTA series, and probably gaming for this generation period. In my one year of expeirnce for Rockstar i've come to appreciate that little $60 dollar disc alot more than before I knew how hard a company works to bring you quality. If Rockstar keeps heading in the direction there going....The future might have no choice but to view video games more as art then entertainment.
Reply and feel free to ask questions.... PEACE