The lights are on
The RPG-style character customization
in GTA: San Andreas was so popular that when Rockstar announced this
feature would be left out of GTA IV, a vocal minority made its
displeasure widely known. For the return trip to Los Santos, this fan-favorite feature returns in a new way. While you won't be ballooning
Michael up several pants sizes by gorging on snacks from the
convenience store or turning Franklin into Ray Lewis by pumping iron,
you can leave your mark by improving several of their skills.
Given their diverse backgrounds and
experiences, Michael, Trevor, and Franklin start off with unique
skill levels in each of the different upgradable categories.
Currently, the game includes strength, shooting, stealth, flying,
driving, and lung capacity, but Rockstar says these are still subject
to change. Rather than giving players experience points that they can
allocate to the various categories, the characters improve their
skills by performing these tasks. Flying planes may be difficult with
Michael at first, but the more he does it, the better he gets.
Dedicated players can max out each of the characters' abilities.
Those with an eye for fashion can also
customize the look of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor by giving them
new haircuts, buying new clothes, and getting tattoos.
Pimp Your Ride
The customization doesn't end with
character progression. The Pay & Spray businesses that used to
serve as a quick way to fix up your car and get a new paintjob are
now full custom shops. Rockstar says players can tweak both
performance and aesthetics at a level on par with Midnight Club: Los
Under the hood, you can tune the
engine, improve the suspension, buy new brakes, and make other tweaks
to how the car handles. Trick your engine out too much and you can
overtune it, so be careful.
If you'd rather focus on style over
substance, concentrate on altering the paint job, wheels, window
tinting, grill, and spoiler. You can even customize your license
This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun
Considering the amount of time you
spend in shootouts, it was only natural that Rockstar would
eventually implement a deeper weapon-customization option for gun
nuts who like to debate the finer qualities of the red-dot sight
versus the reflex sight.
With the ability to mix and match
scopes, silencers, laser sights, flashlights, and extended mags for
your favorite weapons, you may want to sign up for a customer rewards
program at Ammu-nation in Grand Theft Auto V.
Making Money To Spend Money
During our cover visit, Rockstar
intimated that money would play a central role in Grand Theft Auto V.
We knew pulling off heists could result in big payoffs, but details
were still sketchy regarding what we could spend that money on. Now
we have a better idea. In addition to dropping serious cash on all
the weapon, car, and character customization options, players can
invest heavily in toys, real estate, and businesses.
Rockstar originally told us we wouldn't
be able to buy new properties for the three main characters, but has
since reversed course. Make enough cash and you can blow it on new
houses, garages, marinas, helipads (a prerequisite for owning a
chopper), and even businesses. Several of these investments have
perks. For instance, if you throw your money behind a taxi business,
you won't have to spend a dime on cabs ever again.
To read more about GTA V, watch the character trailers released just last week, read our new features on the open world and heists, and check out our coverage hub.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
So this is what they held the game back for? Well played rockstar. If the haircut and tattoo choice is large enough, and you can at least make them I little more muscular looking all the wait will be worth it!