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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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  • You guys need to stop with the new GTA V info. It sounds amazing already and the anticipation is killing me

  • Glad to see properties will be returning but I'm concerned about the whole haircut idea. It will feel weird giving Trevor a pink mohawk since he's balding and everything.

  • this sounds great

  • i cant wait

  • I miss those RPG elements from San Andreas. Nice to see they're coming back in a way.

  • "Rather than giving players experience points that they can allocate to the various categories, the characters improve their skills by performing these tasks."

    In other words, the 'learn by doing' model we saw back in San Andreas; I'm cool with that.

    The expanded car customization option makes me wonder whether Rockstar will take a page from Saints Row when it comes to keeping all these rides (that is, retrievable at any time from your garage or a Pay 'N Spray).

    Weapon customization that sounds like it took a page from the Army of Two handbook?  Yes please... and if the silencers work like they did in SA, does this mean we have options for stealth takedowns too?  Disclosure: the knife and suppressed 9mm were my favorite weapons back in SA.

    It's nice too that we can once again invest in real estate and businesses.  After all, scoring a huge load of cash is all well and good, but it doesn't do you that much good if it's just sitting under the proverbial mattress.

    Now, I've got to ask this about the clothes: will certain outfits have gameplay benefits?  Take, for example, the police uniform in Vice City, which let you wander certain otherwise-restricted areas without fuss so long as you didn't start trouble... something oddly dropped in San Andreas.

  • GTA V will be amazing

  • I have never played one of these games but it seems they are giving you the chance to really make your characters and their equipment yours. That is a pretty cool idea moving forward with other games I would like to see.
  • So basically this will be a classier Saint's Row? I'm in :)
  • I'm so hyped for this game! Can't wait!!

  • This all just sounds...amazing.

  • ''performance and aesthetics at a level on par with Midnight Club: Los Angeles.'' HELL. F**KING. YES.

  • So will this have cheat codes?

  • This is for fighting.  This is for fun.

  • Yeah car tuning is back! Just being able to change the look was cool but now we can pimp out the specs too? And gun customizations?!

    This game is going to be truly epic...please let us have multi-car garages this time around and multiple houses too, along with at least one place with an aircraft hangar and maybe some personal docks for boats!

  • Is this month about GTAV?
  • Do you have to spend under $15,000 in a week so not to get caught by the IRS?

  • I am so glad they are adding all this customization. I love having the ability to add suppressors, sights, and extended mags to my weapons. Cannot wait.

  • Wow, those were basically all the things I wanted to hear, car customization, weapon customization, property, now if they just add poker and blackjack I'll be set! I'll be playing this for a loooong time, atleast until fallout 4 comes out!

  • I wish more companies would do that.