You’ve read the cover story. You’ve watched the trailers. Now, get a closer look at the three men whose stories define Rockstar’s next open-world epic.

If you’ve somehow managed to miss the news, this latest Grand Theft Auto doesn’t have one hero; it has three. What’s more, their sagas are intertwined throughout the entire game. During most of the game you can switch instantly between characters, experiencing the events of GTA V from three very different perspectives. 

To give the game dramatic heft and variety, these characters are vastly different in temperament, background, and skills. By constantly moving from character to character, you’ll learn each one’s motives and experience the world from their point of view. Read on to discover more about each of the protagonists. While most of this information is available in our cover story, we wanted to give you a quick-and-easy summary of the game’s three heroes.


This is the character many assumed was the main character of Grand Theft Auto V. Michael is a middle-aged ex-bank robber, ensconced in his gilded cage in Rockford Hills, GTA’s approximation of Beverly Hills. Judging by his house, he was quite good at his former profession. He’s now living in quiet retirement with his wife Audra, daughter Tracy, and son Jimmy.

A big house, an attractive younger wife, a fast car, and two children – sounds like paradise, right? Sadly, Michael has found the good life lacking. In reality, his wife can barely tolerate him, and spends her time spending his money throughout the city’s finest boutiques. His daughter and son have little time for him. For Rockstar, Michael represents an interesting paradigm: he’s basically “won” the game that so many GTA protagonists have played over the years. He escaped from the criminal life with his fortune and freedom intact. Yet, he’s miserable and bored, trapped in a loveless marriage he can’t leave because he’s basically in witness protection.

From what we’ve seen so far, Michael appears to be thoughtful and calculated, and likely to keep his motives hidden. These traits were likely the ones that allowed him to survive his criminal career.

Like any aging criminal of fiction, his retirement isn’t as permanent as he thinks.

Role In GTA V

We only saw a small portion of a very large game, but we did see enough to draw some conclusions about Michael’s role in GTA V and his place in this tenuous alliance of three career criminals. As an experienced bank robber, he’s skilled in planning the complex heists that make up the structure for the single-player saga. In the cutscenes we saw, Michael appears to be the team’s leader – although neither of his partners is easily led. He’s good with a gun, and though older now, still capable of tackling challenging tasks like rappelling out of a helicopter onto a skyscraper.

He has a long, often troubled relationship with Trevor, and the two bickered frequently in the demo. He appears to hold some affection for Franklin, and seems to see a bit of himself in the young up-and-comer.

Rockstar vice president of creative Dan Houser on Michael:

“When we started with Michael, the idea was an older guy who was very successful getting sucked back into the game. Of all the various stories we've told about bank robbers, thieves, and hit men over the years, this was a story – just as we thought with GTA IV and Niko as an immigrant – that's got a lot of freshness to it.”