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Grand Theft Auto V

Putting Your Personal Stamp On Grand Theft Auto V

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 Angeles.

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 plate.

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 learn more about GTA V, watch the character trailers, read our new features on the open worldheists, and combat, plus check out our coverage hub.

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  • I'm so glad that the car customization is back along with some new buddies. I'm just salivating now because I love all of those things. ^_^
  • Well at least there is some things to make your game personal to you.

  • Now we won't have thousands of dollars just sitting in our virtual pockets.
  • I can't wait. I personally loved how cars handled in GTA IV. It made chases more dramatic than they had been in previous entries.
  • Intimated? I've never heard that word in my life. I guess you learn something new everyday.
  • Okay this is already sounding a thousand times better than GTA IV
  • Mod
    How do you even fit all of this stuff on a disc?!?! This game is going to be crazy. I hope someone ends up modding this. Remember the Superman on San Andreas mod?
  • I know this is a minor complaint Rockstar, but I think calling Lung Capacity something else - Cardio, maybe - would be a little more elegant.
  • What about hydraulics? I started playing San Andreas for the fist time yesterday and I love the hydraulics!

  • I believe this is why the game was delayed. Rockstar heard their fans and delivered.
  • Oh sweet jesus give me this game now please. Ugh. 3 and half months!!!???? No. NO. No. No. I guess I will try to keep myself occupied with Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends, when they get here.
  • I'm wondering if the jet pack will return. If it does, the places I will go!!! :)
  • This is exactly what I wanted to hear, I am so glad that Rockstar has decided to implement all these customization features. I am however a little worried that the individual character skills could be annoying if you find yourself handicapped because a particular skill is not leveled up with one character as opposed to your others. Going from one guy who is a great pilot to another who sucks could be a little bothersome. Let's hope this is not the case.
  • There goes my fall school semester. Thnx Rockstar!

  • "Toys" ie six foot long *** attached to a chainsaw engine and handle in the sex shop on the ceiling.

  • "Toys" ie six foot long *** attached to a chainsaw engine and handle in the sex shop on the ceiling.

  • Man, this game looks hecka good!!

  • ZOMG yesss

  • I think I need a towel...

  • Well I do like the sound of the custom shops. In terms of customising cars, Midnight Club has always been up there as probably the best game to do that. Look like they have finally decided to put another of their successful franchises into the mix. And I like the idea of investing in businesses too, maybe you can generate extra cash through them. Wonder if there will be loose easter eggs relating to Midnight Club LA...
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