Since the release of the official trailer for GTA 5, Rockstar really has been quite discreet in terms of discussing possible developments for the game. However, more and more information is leaking by the day and using it we can slowly (but surely) start to get an idea of what the next release of GTA will be like.
First of all, we know by now that the game will take us back to San Andreas, which is great news for fans of what many/most? consider to be the best GTA game made – GTA: San Andreas.
We also know that the action will take place in the city of Los Santos, which is essentially a replica of the city of Los Angeles. And we already know that Rockstar’s has some experience working with the Los Angeles landscape, as it was the setting of the L.A. Noire, a game set in mid 20th century Los Angeles.
According to various sites, players will also have the option to play as multiple characters in GTA V, which would be a great addition to the game. PSP versions of GTA that were released after GTA 3 and Vice City all allow players to play as multiple characters, so this means the option to do so in GTA 5 is certainly not out of the question.
Plus, people who’ve bought GTA IV and the two downloadable episodes had the option to play as Luis Lopez, Nicco Belic or Johnny Klebitz, which are further hints that you could be able to live more than one life in the next version of GTA. Each player had its own very distinct storyline and missions, and the feature would be a great way to add longevity to GTA 5.
Leslie Benzies, one of the producers of the series, has said that there will be more emphasis on the character’s physiology in GTA 5. He stated that what made San Andreas such a unique game was not the action or the ability to explore such a rich and diverse environment, but the changes in the character’s physiology. For instance, your character would become fatter and less agile if he ate too much and would become stronger when he went to the gym.
According to Benzies, this is what made the gaming experience so engulfing in GTA San Andreas and it is why the team decided to really push the idea to the forefront and expand on the concept. This could be a good thing for GTA V as long as the realism factor doesn’t affect the gameplay too much.
In GTA San Andreas, maintaining your character was pretty simple. All you had to do is go to the gym, press a few buttons and you were done. But in this version, it is expected you will have to train each part of your character’s body, do things such as cardio to maintain your stamina and even wipe off the equipment when you’re finished! If this is done properly, it could add a whole new dimension to the game.
It is also rumored that in the next version of GTA you will have to carefully train your character if you want him to develop a certain set of skills. For instance, if you fail to develop your character’s legs, but build a huge upper body, your character won’t be able to move as well. If you work too much on your lower body, but fail to develop your biceps and triceps, your character will not be as good at hand to hand combat.
You will apparently be able to develop very specific portions of your body and even have growth hormones and steroids injected to gain greater strength. You’ll be able to use a wide variety of training machines such as treadmills and stairmasters and do exercises such as dead lifts, squats, etc. And not only will you have to do these exercises, you will have to do them with the proper form and check your nutrition as well (that’s the rumor anyway…).
Additional talked-about features include having to check on your character’s health and monitor things such as blood sugar, cholesterol levels, sperm count (!), and even your character’s body odor and hair length. You will also have to monitor your character’s use of prescription drugs, blood alcohol levels and many other things. It’s safe to say that all this should really put emphasis on your character’s physiology and health in GTA 5.
If even a small portion of the rumors above are correct, the whole GTA gaming experience should be a lot more realistic this time around. It has been said that characters would have to do things such as switch parts on their vehicles and fill them up when they’re empty. Again, these could all be great additions to the game, as long as these changes do not become annoying after a while.
Such features will also open the door to many minigames, Benzies has said. You’ll have to brush your character’s teeth, shower regularly and change its contact lenses once in a while. You will also have to monitor your character’s exposure to the sun and apply sun lotion when necessary. Some might argue that it will interrupt the natural flow of the game, but Benzies has said it will only make the game more engulfing and create a more immersive gaming experience.
Rockstar really seems to want to push the whole realism agenda with this one, and we all hope that it will be for the best. If that translates into a more realistic environment as well, I think we’re all in for a treat once GTA 5 comes out. A more diverse and interactive environment is exactly what the franchise needs if it wants to compete with a game like Saint’s Row, which is capitalizing on multiple side-games and a much bigger and detailed field.
All in all, GTA 5 promises to be a truly groundbreaking title in the series, and Rockstar said that the decision to number it was not done haphazardly. Much like San Andreas was a huge paradigm shift for the series, they wanted GTA 5 to be a landmark in the series. We can only wait and see if Rockstar will be able to deliver and bring the GTA series back to the top of the genre once again.