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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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  • Well finally Rockstar takes a page from Saint's Row. I like when my open world insanity games get a dab of RPG on'm.
  • damn this sounds good. subtle changes to big ass changes is alright with me. cant wait for this!

  • Oh cookie sookie now. This will be a fun game!!!!

  • This game is just asking for my 2 week vacation, isn't it?

  • that was a really good blog i cant wait to try the game on my ps3

  • This is the game that should've came after San Andreas.  It's like gta 4 was some kind of freak accident.

  • Basically, they took the like of Max Payne 3, Red Dead and Midnight Club and implemented all of those ideas into the GTA V soup so now we're about to devour something epic that R* has been cooking up! XD

  • As long as there are things to spend money on.  That was one of the most disappointing things about GTA IV.  There was just not enough things to spend money on.  Eventually it just made me wonder what was the point in making it?

  • I am glad they are bringing back the business aspect of Vice City! Man did I miss that.

    Gun customization?!?! Sold.

    Car customization? I am not one to make a tacky car, but I am glad they put it in there. I will do it like the Ryan Gosling film "Drive". I'll trick out the engine, but make the outside look like a normal, plain Jane sedan.

  • This is going to be so epic.

  • Oh my god. This sounds amazing.

  • Everything is sounding great and Rockstar really seems to be putting their all into GTA V. I'm glad they have changed their mind about being able to buy property and invest in businesses too. I was kinda bummed when they first announced that feature wasn't going to be in GTA V.

  • So what are the chances that you can play the three characters simultaneously with 2 of your friends? Playing as all 3 guys in the story mode would make this game as good as it can get in my opinion. Co-op still needs to be a part of games that I'm going to sink over 100 hours of gametime playing...make me forget I'm even playing the game by allowing me to enjoy the main story with 2 of my best friends.
  • September can't get here fast enough

  • This will compete with San Andreas for title of "Best GTA Ever."

  • So can I change the hairstyle of franklin or michael?
  • May, June, July, August, September? Wake me up when September comes.

  • There's no doubt in my mind it's going to be a GOTY contender.

  • I like that they are bringing back the minor 'rpg elements' to GTA V and adding so many customization options. It looks to me like it will be a more personal game for each player.

  • I sure hope they have a tow truck service you can call in the game. I just know I'll mod a car and wreck it, drive it off a cliff or into the ocean 20 mins later.