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Grand Theft Auto V Reader Q&A

Last week, we asked fans to submit questions regarding Grand Theft Auto V. We received over 500 submissions, and I did my best to answer the most common questions.

Several of the questions you posed have no answers yet. We didn’t discuss the cover system, shooting mechanics, safe houses, car handling, game installation, health system, map, number of missions, hunting wildlife, radio stations, downloadable content, and multiplayer because we had no meaningful information to share.

Here are the questions in no particular order:

Can you play as one of the three characters throughout the whole game, or do you have to switch? Could I play it three times through and have a different perspective of the story each time?

You cannot play the entire game with just one character. Think of the narrative like a movie with several lead characters. Sometimes you’re only watching one of them, and other times they are all in the same scene. This is basically how Grand Theft Auto V is modeled. Sometimes you have to do a solo mission with Trevor, Michael, or Franklin to advance the story. Other times you will have two or three of the leads working together on a mission. When you are in those missions, however, many times you will have a choice of who you control.

Will my friend be able to control one of the three protagonists during campaign play or is all co-op separate from the story?

Rockstar told us explicitly that there is no co-op in the campaign. We can’t speak to whether or not a standalone cooperative mode exists.

While being able to play as three different characters and viewing a mission from three different angles, will you have to choose what character you play as at the beginning of the mission or will the transition happen organically throughout the missions?

In the mission we saw, the player started as Trevor flying the helicopter to the IAA headquarters, and was forced to switch to Michael to rappel down the skyscraper. Once he crashed through the window and grabbed the target, the player was offered the opportunity to either stay as Michael or switch to Franklin, who was positioned with a sniper rifle in an adjacent building. After Michael got back in the helicopter, the player had the option to either fly the chopper as Trevor or shoot at the pursuers as Michael or Franklin. That’s how Rockstar chose to build this mission, but the system affords them the ability to set up missions however they want.

What happens when you kill a protagonist you're not playing with?

Because all of these characters play integral roles in the narrative, Rockstar isn’t going to let you just off them on a whim.

Does Michael have like a house that you can walk into and find your children lounging around and can you interact with them?

Yes, you can walk into the house and interact with your family.

How far will the customization go in regards to weaponry, cars, and characters?

Rockstar didn’t speak to us about weapon or car customization, but Dan Houser did mention that players could buy new clothes for the protagonists.

Who will you play in single-player when you free roam?

You can play as whichever character you prefer. I recommend checking out all of them rather than sticking with just one, because each of them has unique side activities.

The article says that each character has his own location, like Trevor is from Blaine County. Does that mean that each character is limited to playing in just that area?

Each character lives in a different part of Los Santos, but their movements are by no means restricted. You could hop in a plane and fly anywhere.

Do you think personally that the switching works and still gives you that connection to the character?

Given Rockstar’s sterling reputation for creating compelling characters, I’m not worried about feeling disconnected just because there are three protagonists. Episodes of Liberty City worked fantastically, did it not? Michael, Franklin, and Trevor each bring something different to the table, and I hope allowing players to explore the city with these different perspectives is going to keep the game fresh. And since you're playing as a combination of all three – not just one, or all three all the time – you're learning about these characters as you go. Meeting a shared acquaintance as one guy might give you more info about one of the other guys you play as, for instance.

I would like to know more about the dogs. How can we interact with animals? Will we have our own dog?

None of the characters interacted with animals in the demo so we can’t speak to that functionality just yet, but we know that Franklin has a dog, call Chop.

How does the movement of characters work? Is it still the same or have they changed something?

GTA V uses the same Natural Motion Euphoria animation engine that powered GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption, and Max Payne 3.

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