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Grand Theft Auto V, commonly shortened to GTA V, is an open world action and adventure video game developed by Rockstar North in the United Kingdom and published by Rockstar Games. The game is the first major title in the Grand Theft Auto series since Grand Theft Auto IV.
Grand Theft Auto V "evolves nearly every mechanic" found in previous games in the series. Grand Theft Auto V's world is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV combined. Areas in the game world include beach fronts, mountains, the wilderness, a "Salton Sea" region, a military base and the suburbs. The ocean floor is fully detailed and can be explored.
Grand Theft Auto V's single-player story is told through three player-controlled protagonists. They are Michael, Trevor and Franklin, criminals whose stories interconnect as they complete missions together. During story missions, the player can switch between the protagonists as they work together to accomplish an objective; in one such mission, Michael rappels down the side of a building, Franklin provides covering fire with a sniper rifle, and Trevor controls the getaway helicopter.
Outside of missions, the player is free to swap between the protagonists and explore the game's open world, which includes a fully-fledged ecosystem. The camera zooms out to a "Google Earth-style" perspective when switching characters and then drops into wherever the chosen character is. Even when the player is not controlling them, each character will still go about their own business across Los Santos. As any of the protagonists, the player can engage in activities such as yoga, triathlons, Jet Skiing, base-jumping, tennis, golf, scuba diving or go to the gym. Each character will have unique hobbies, which can be completed with the protagonists' friends, but the dating system from Grand Theft Auto IV does not return. San Andreas' role-playing game-like player customisation is also absent, but the player can customise the clothing of each character. Characters can "flip off" people, "something Rockstar recommends you do in varied circumstances to see different reactions from people". Depending on the area, people react differently.
The mobile phone introduced in Grand Theft Auto IV returns, but many of its features have been altered. The mobile phone is mainly used for activities and can also be used to access the in-game internet. There will be a "vibrant and fun" economy system, but the player will not be able to buy property as in Vice City and Vice City Stories. Shooting has evolved "a long way" in terms of feel and mechanics, and the melee combat is improved over that of previous Grand Theft Auto titles.
Grand Theft Auto V features more vehicles than in any Grand Theft Auto title to date, including a huge variety of cars, trucks, bikes, helicopters, planes, ATVs and jet skis. The cars will feel less "boat-like" than in Grand Theft Auto VI, they will "hold on better to the ground" and the driving mechanic will feel "more like a racing game".
In May 2013, Rockstar released a new demo to the press that shows each main character having a special ability which can be activated, Michael can slow down time in gunfights (similar to Max Payne's bullet time and Red Dead Redemption's Dead Eye), Franklin can slow down time while driving and Trevor can go into a violent rage where he can take less damage, or do extra damage to enemies and can perform a unique melee attack when activated. The demo also included role-playing game elements—such as the ability to gain experience in specific skills such as flying, driving, stamina and strength—similar to a gameplay mechanic employed in San Andreas.
The multi-player aspect of Grand Theft Auto V, titled Grand Theft Auto Online, features "Crews" similar to that implemented in Max Payne 3. The new Social Club functionality will connect play across multiple titles, starting with Max Payne 3 and GTA V. By playing both games' multi-player, crews that the player set up in one will be carried over to the other. Grand Theft Auto V lets players form private crews with friends, or join public crews. Players can be a member of up to five at the same time, and completing tasks as a crew will gain experience points for the player. In late 2012, Rockstar said that "refining open-world multi-player into something really special" had been a huge focus in the development of Grand Theft Auto V.
In September 2009 during an earnings call, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick answered a listener's question about the next Grand Theft Auto. He replied, "We're not going to announce it, we're not going to announce when we are going to announce it, and we are not going to announce a strategy about announcing it or about when we are going to announce it either, or about the announcement strategy surrounding the announcement of the strategy."
In a November 2009 interview with The Times, Grand Theft Auto producer Dan Houser discussed his work, including the future of the series. Houser stated that he planned to co-write a script that reached about one thousand pages in length. In the same interview, Houser explained the company's basic workflow of creating new games in the series, which involves coming up with the city first, and then the lead character later.
In July 2010, Rockstar North posted seven job ads related to a new title. The firm looked to fill positions including environment artists, physics programmers and character animators. The job ad for the latter asking for those with "professional experience developing a third person action game". It was unknown if Rockstar was hiring for GTA V, or the firm was bulking up its Agent team.
In June 2011, sources allegedly close to the developer told GameSpot that the title is "well under way", with final touches like mini-games already being applied, and a 2012 release "pretty likely". "It's the big one," they also said of the game, noting that Grand Theft Auto V' scale is vast.
Dan Houser said that though Grand Theft Auto V will introduce a musical score for missions inspired by previous Rockstar titles Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, the series' traditional radio stations will remain. The immense size of Los Santos was necessary to accommodate flying.Dan Houser said that he argued against a new installment leaving the series' traditional US setting. The idea to include three main protagonists in Grand Theft Auto V came from the interweaving plots of GTA IV's Episodes from Liberty City expansions.Houser argued that all of the best games come out at the end of each generation, stating that the time has been spent getting the most out of current tech.Rockstar North head Leslie Benzies stated that "we hope that Grand Theft Auto V will do for multiplayer open world games what GTA III did for open world single-player games."
On 30 October 2012, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick suggested that Rockstar has "a lot of interesting stuff" planned for Grand Theft Auto V's downloadable content (DLC), but that it was "way too early" to begin discussing it.