Grand Theft Auto VGrand Theft Auto V is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 17 September 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. It is the fifteenth title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008. As one of the last titles to be released for the seventh generation of video game consoles, Grand Theft Auto V was highly anticipated preceding its release.
Grand Theft Auto V is played from a third-person perspective in an open world environment, allowing the player to interact with the game world at their leisure. The game is set mainly within the fictional state of San Andreas and affords the player the ability to freely roam the world's countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos . The single-player story is told through three player-controlled protagonists whom the player switches between, and it follows their efforts to plan and execute six large heists to accrue wealth for themselves. An online multiplayer mode is included with the game, allowing up to 16 players to engage in both co-operative and competitive gameplay in a re-creation of the single-player setting.
The developers envisioned Grand Theft Auto V as a spiritual successor to many of their previous projects, such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. Development began shortly following the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, with a focus on innovating the core mechanic of the series by giving the player control of three protagonists. Upon its release, the game was acclaimed by many reviewers who praised its story missions, presentation, and open-ended gameplay. Its depiction of violent themes, including Trevor's psychopathy and use of torture, and treatment of women polarised commentators. A commercial success, Grand Theft Auto V broke industry sales records by earning US$800 million in the first 24 hours of its release, and US$1 billion within its first three days, making it the fastest selling entertainment product in history.
Grand Theft Auto V PlotNine years after a botched robbery in Ludendorff, North Yankton that left two of his accomplices dead and forced a third into hiding, former bank robber Michael Townley is living under witness protection with his family in Los Santos, San Andreas, adopting the pseudonym Michael De Santa. Franklin Clinton, who works as a repo man for a car dealership alongside his friend Lamar Davis, is asked to reclaim a car from Michael's teenage son, Jimmy, who is overdue on his loan payment. Correctly deducing that his son is about to become a victim of credit fraud, Michael confronts Franklin and orders him to crash the car through the dealership. Franklin is fired, but he and Michael become friends. When Michael discovers his wife Amanda in bed with her tennis coach, he and Franklin chase the man to a mansion, which Michael destroys out of anger. However, the mansion belongs to Mexican drug lord Martin Madrazo, who demands compensation. They acquiesce, paying their debt with Madrazo using money earned from a jewellery shop heist. Trevor Philips, the only other survivor of the Ludendorff robbery, hears about the heist and, realising that the perpetrator could be no other than Michael himself, reunites with his former partner after tracking him down to Los Santos.
The personal lives of the protagonists begin to spiral out of control. Trevor's unexpected reappearance triggers reckless and erratic behaviour from Michael, which prompts his family to leave. Michael's attempts to make something of himself bring him into conflict with Devin Weston, a self-made billionaire venture capitalist and corporate raider who develops a grudge against him and vows revenge. Franklin is disturbed by the way Lamar falls under the influence of Harold "Stretch" Joseph, a gangster who defected to a rival gang in prison and who repeatedly attempts to kill Lamar to prove himself to his new brethren. Trevor's efforts to consolidate his control over the methamphetamine market in Blaine County see him waging war against the San Andreas chapter of The Lost outlaw motorcycle club, a number of Latin American street gangs, rival meth dealers, government-sponsored mercenaries and a Triad led by Wei Chang, one of the most senior figures in the Chinese criminal underworld.
Michael is forced by FIB agents Dave Norton and Steve Haines to perform a series of operations with Franklin and Trevor with the objective of undermining a rival agency, the IAA. Under Haines' direction, they attack an armoured convoy carrying funds intended for the IAA and raid a bank containing the payroll for all of the corrupt police and public officials in Los Santos, but Michael and Trevor are forced to temporarily hide in Blaine County after they perform a job for Madrazo and demanding compensation, Trevor kidnaps his wife. As Haines comes under increasing scrutiny for his methods, he forces them to infiltrate the FIB headquarters and erase any evidence being used against him from their servers. Michael takes the opportunity to wipe any data on his own activities in the process, destroying Haines' leverage over him. After Trevor returns Madrazo's wife, the trio start making plans for their most daring feat ever: raiding the gold bullion reserve from the Union Depository.
After returning to Los Santos, Michael makes amends with his family and they start living together again. Trevor, however, discovers that a former accomplice of them was killed during the Ludendorff heist and is not in prison as he was led to believe, but was buried at the grave that was meant for Michael instead. Trevor feels betrayed by Michael, which causes friction within the group and threatens to undermine their plans for the Union Depository. When Michael and Norton are caught in a Mexican stand-off between the FIB, IAA and private security firm Merryweather, Trevor aids in their escape claiming that only he has the right of killing Michael. Despite not forgiving Michael, Trevor agrees to part ways with him after they perform the Union Depository heist as planned.
The trio carry out the Union Depository heist, which is a success, but Franklin ends up being pressured by Haines to kill Trevor and by Weston to kill Michael. Franklin has three options: to kill Trevor, kill Michael, or let them live and face their enemies. Should Franklin kill either Michael or Trevor, he ceases contact with the survivor and returns to his old life. Alternatively, if he kills neither, the trio joins forces to withstand an onslaught from the FIB and Merryweather before going on to kill Haines, Stretch, Wei and Weston. With all their enemies disposed, the three agree to cease working together, but remain friends.
Grand Theft Auto V GameplayGrand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game played from a third-person perspective in an open world environment. The player uses melee attacks, firearms, weapons, and explosives to fight enemies, and can run, jump, swim, or use vehicles to navigate the game's world. In combat, auto aim and a cover system can be used as assistance against enemies. If the player's health is low, it will gradually regenerate to its half-way point. A perpetual objective for the player is to complete missions to progress through the story, but much like other open world games, these missions can be completed at the player's leisure. If the player commits illegal acts while playing, the game's law enforcement agencies may respond, which is represented by a "Wanted" meter in the head-up display (HUD). On the meter, stars are displayed to indicate the player's current "Wanted" level; for example, at the maximum five-star "Wanted" level the efforts by law enforcement to incapacitate the player become very aggressive. Should the player escape the immediate area in which they are wanted, law enforcement officers will search for the player. At this point, the line of sight of officers displays on the mini-map; when line of sight is broken and the player is hidden, the "Wanted" meter enters a cooldown mode and eventually recedes.
The single-player mode of Grand Theft Auto V is played through three player-controlled protagonists: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, criminals whose stories interconnect as they complete missions. While interacting with the game world, the player may switch between them at will, by means of a directional compass on the HUD. Franklin corresponds to the north point, Michael to the west, Trevor to the east, and the player's multiplayer avatar to the south. During missions, the game may switch the player's character automatically as necessary in order to complete certain objectives. A character's avatar will flash red if they are in danger and need assistance either manually or through covering fire from another, and flash white if that character has a strategic advantage or position which may aid the player's success in the mission. Though the player completes missions as any of the three protagonists, the more difficult heist missions may require aid from AI-controlled accomplices who have unique skill sets such as computer hacking or driving, and they will take a cut from the mission's cash reward upon completion. If an accomplice survives a successful heist, they may be re-used in later missions with improvements to their unique skills. Employing different strategies toward the completion of a heist mission is also encouraged by the game; for example, in a holdup mission the player may subdue civilians with an agent if stealth is favoured, or storm the venue with guns drawn.
SettingThe open world of Grand Theft Auto V is set mainly in the fictional state of San Andreas, which is modelled on Southern California. San Andreas was also used as the setting for an earlier entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which included three cities separated by open countryside. The world of Grand Theft Auto V, however, includes only one city, Los Santos. By focusing their efforts on one city instead of three, the team were able to produce Los Santos in higher quality and at greater scale. For both games, Los Angeles was used as the model for Los Santos, but the team felt that the ambition of having three cities in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was too great and that the game did not emulate the cities as well as they had hoped. Houser elaborated that "to do a proper version of L.A., the game has to give you a sense of that sprawl — if not completely replicate it", and dividing the budget and manpower between multiple cities would have detracted from capturing "what L.A. is". Garbut felt that in the PlayStation 2 era the team did not have the technical capabilities to capture Los Angeles properly, resulting in the San Andreas rendition of Los Santos feeling like a "backdrop or a game level with pedestrians randomly milling about". Therefore, the team disregarded San Andreas as a jumping-off point for Grand Theft Auto V, as they had moved on to a new generation of consoles since the former and wanted to build the city from scratch. As Garbut explained, with the move to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 hardware, "our processes and the fidelity of the world evolved so much from San Andreas" that using it as a model would have been redundant.
Los Angeles was extensively researched for the game. The team organised field research trips with tour guides and architectural historians and captured around 250,000 photos and hours of video footage during these visits. "We spoke to FBI agents that have been undercover, experts in the Mafia, street gangsters who know the slang – we even went to see a proper prison", said Houser, pointing out the research and creation of the game world as the most demanding aspect of the game's production. The team viewed Google Maps and Street View projections of Los Angeles, and the field research team then used the coordinates to capture the photo and video footage, which was then used to design the layout of Los Santos. The team also studied virtual globe models of the city, census data and documentaries to recreate the geographical and demographic spread of Los Angeles. Reproducing Los Angeles as a play space required condensing the city's spread into an area that the player could comfortably traverse, "captur the essence of what's really there in a city, but in a far smaller area", as Houser explained. As The New Yorker's Sam Sweet elaborated, " exhaustive field work wasn't conducted to document a living space. Rather, it was collected to create an extremely realistic version of a Los Angeles that doesn't actually exist. The map of Los Santos is familiar but its contents are condensed".
Along with their attempt to realise a modern Los Angeles, the team also created an open recreation of Southern California which includes a vast countryside surrounding Los Santos. A goal for the team was to balance making a world of great scale without creating an open, empty space. Therefore, they focused on condensing the open countryside of Southern California into a playing space that is as diverse as it is detailed. The game world is 49 square miles (130 km2) in area, about an eightieth of Los Angeles County. It is greater in scale than Rockstar's previous open world games; Garbut suggested that it is large enough to fit the game maps of San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption (2010) inside of it. In order to accommodate the size of the world, the team overhauled the RAGE, allowing the game to render greater draw distances than in earlier entries of the series. The large, open space also necessitated the reintroduction of fixed-wing aircraft, which had been absent in Grand Theft Auto IV due to the relatively small scale of the world limiting the effectiveness of flying. "We wanted somewhere big fly properly", Houser explained. In addition, populating the open world with wildlife was another demand the large space made for. As Benzies explained, "because of the scale of the map and the different kinds of areas involved, a countryside without animals would feel quite hollow".
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