Finally, after weeks of supposed leaks and tidbits about Rockstar’s long awaited fifth Grand Theft Auto installment, Game Informer has unveiled many of the game’s actual details in December’s issue. Among these details is Rockstar’s decision to give the game three fully fleshed out protagonists and throw them into one of the largest open-world playgrounds of all time. While it seems like an ambitious project, and it is, according to Game Informer this is the natural progression of where the Rockstar team has been heading since GTA IV. This new Los Angeles Inspired city, Los Santos, isn’t just big, it’s varied. Combining the deeply urban elements from GTA IV and the more rural themes from Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar hopes to make Los Santos not just a big city, but a living breathing city as well.
As this will most likely be the last hurrah for GTA in this generation, Rockstar knows they have an opportunity here to make a good impression for the next generation. They are hoping that their last GTA city might be their best, as they will really try to replicate the variety of the Los Angeles area with their virtual city of Los Santos. According to Rockstar, “Los Santos is bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined, with room to spare.” That’s a lot of open-world playground.
They have also added three completely separate protagonists that can be played simultaneously at any time. Players will be able to switch back and forth between these protagonists as they choose, allowing players to navigate different areas of the city more quickly by not limiting them to do it all with one character. Each protagonist will live out their lives on their own when they’re not being controlled by the player. The Rockstar team hopes that by having the characters constantly interacting with the city it will make both the city and the characters feel more alive.
While the team at Rockstar has done much to make their vast world as dynamic as possibly by adding dynamic missions and some sort of economy, I’m surprised that all three of the game’s protagonists are male. Well I guess I shouldn’t say I’m surprised, and that’s not to say that there aren’t some great female characters in the game, but was there really no room in this enormous world with multiple protagonists for a female lead? With all of the boundaries that Rockstar seems to be pushing with this game, one would think that someone would have said “hey, let’s make one of these characters a girl.”
GTA has traditionally been a game marketed towards a male audience, and it looks like it’s still going to be. While the game may be able to attract a diverse audience with an incredibly vast and open world, well-written and robust characters, and the gameplay to bring it all together, I feel like they’ve missed an opportunity to give female players a strong female lead they can identify with. I mean if a game as large as this, a game with three protagonists, doesn’t have room for a female lead, who does?
Hopefully we’ll be hearing more about the game as we approach its tentative spring release. I might not be happy with every single detail of what I’ve heard so far regarding the story, but gameplay wise it’s looking like we might get another truly immersive open-world experience from Rockstar.