GTA 5: 64 Facts You Didn't Know

Samuel Roberts


Now we've played it, so here are the quick, bite-size facts on GTA 5's gameplay.

Published on May 1, 2013

We've played GTA 5. We've got some fleshed out thoughts on Rockstar's sequel to read through but if you want the quick lowdown on GTA 5, here are 64 facts about the game you (probably) (hopefully) (maybe) didn't know…


•    It will be split into two major areas – Los Santos (the city) and Blaine County (the countryside).

•    None of the world will be sealed off at the start of the game. You can explore it all straight away.

•    Land mass is three and a half times the size of Red Dead Redemption.

•    Including underwater areas, the total playable area is five times the size of Red Dead Redemption.

•    The underwater areas look dense and busy. The ocean bed is littered with downed chunks of ships and liners, plus other divers exploring the wreckage. And yes, there are sharks swimming about.

•    NPCs take part in activities appropriate to the areas they’re in (such as the divers). You’ll notice people fishing next to rivers in Blaine County, for example. Slightly less related – you’ll also see drug addicts passed out on the beach.

•    There’s a 24-hour day/night cycle and weather system.

•    Vinewood is GTA 5’s equivalent of Hollywood (complete with an in-game version of the Chinese Theatre) and you can take part in an open-top tour bus in that particular area.


•    There are plenty of distractions to take part in. Side missions include hijacking security vans and picking up hitchhikers.

•    Sports events include yoga, golf, tennis, triathlons and bike races.

•    Challenges include stunt jumps and flying challenges.

•    You can also acquire property – player housing returns and you can also buy garages, marinas and businesses.


•    The recession has long been talked about as being a driving point of the plot and it’s now been confirmed. The three main characters – Franklin, Trevor and Michael – driven by the chance to set themselves up for life in uncertain economic times by pulling off heists.

•    ‘Cheap reality TV’ will also factor into the plot and the humour of the game.

•    The Lost will be back. At one point, Trevor gets in a fight with the Western branch of the GTA IV gang.


•    Franklin was doing legal work for a car dealership run by Simeon Yetarian but is just as comfortable committing crime. His day job is what brings him to meet Michael.

•    Trevor is an ex-army pilot, ‘driven by the chance of a cheap high and the next big score’. He used to work criminal jobs with Michael before the events of GTA 5 kick off.

•    Michael is retired but miserable, distant from his family and only finding joy in bottles of whiskey and old action Vinewood action movies. His boredom drives him back to the life of crime he abandoned.

•    You can customise each character. Confirmed so far – tattoos, haircuts and clothing. You’ll notice tattoo parlours dotted around Los Santos.

•    You can also level up their skills, San Andreas style. One skill we noticed that could be levelled up was stealth.

•    The three main characters will have different special abilities. Michael has a bullet-time variant, Trevor can do double damage (and also has a unique melee attack) while Franklin can steer around corners in slow-mo.

•    The special abilities are a limited resource, so they have to be used strategically.


•    You can switch between characters at almost any point in the game. You bring up a character wheel to switch between characters.

•    It uses a Google Street View-style system. The map zooms out in stages, crosses across the map to the character you want to play as, then zooms back in with a slight pause when arriving at the new character. It takes a few seconds to switch between characters out in the open world.

•    Character switching during missions, however, is instant.

•    Character switching during missions can take place during a cutscene, or during gameplay – either triggered automatically or manually by the player. It will vary from mission to mission.


•    At the equivalent of Chinese Theater, there’s a street performer dressed as superhero ‘Impotent Rage’.

•    Another is dressed as ‘Republican Space Ranger’, who looks a lot like Master Chief.

•    Overall, the tone is less serious than GTA IV.


•    Water physics have redone so boats bounce off and crash through waves.

•    Some boats will come with scuba gear. The Zodiac Rib, which we saw in the demo, is one such example.

•    Planes will come with parachutes.

•    Helicopters will return.

•    Car customisation includes paintjobs, wheels, window tints, grills, spoilers.

•    You can also play with the way vehicles handle and feel, changing the suspension, engine and brakes.

•    GTA 5 will have the largest selection of vehicles seen in a GTA game.


•    Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg is one of the songs on GTA 5’s soundtrack.

•    Glamorous by Fergie is another track we heard.

•    There was a third, a country song that played where Trevor was in the boat, that we didn’t recognise.

•    The original score comes into play whenever you’re away from a radio. Think how the music worked in Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire.

•    The underwater sections have their own ‘theme’.

•    Heists also have their own music, which become tighter and more frantic as the tension builds.


•    Actress in GTA’s universe, Lacey Jones, is being harassed by the press. Michael chats to her when he leaves the Von Crustenburg hotel, not recognising who she is, and offers to drive her home. This particular mission sees you escaping the pursuing press, who are after Jones.

•    Michael earns for completing this mission but the real money comes from completing the many heists on offer.

•    You can customise your gear before a heist. For example, Trevor can wear a mask that’s a monkey head smoking a cigarette. Other masks include a clown mask and Jason Vorhees hockey mask.

•    You can hire crew members for some heists, although you’ll have to share a cut of the spoils with them.

•    If you stick with the same crew members, they will level up their skills as they take on more heists.

•    You can also choose a getaway spot and where to plant your vehicle before the heist.

•    Some missions see all three characters teaming up – one example we’re shown is called Blitz Play, when Michael gets a tip from FIB about an armoured van being transported and the trio team up to take it out. This isn't one of the main heist missions but rather, something Rockstar picked to show the many different aspects of a GTA 5 mission.

•    Character switching is a big part of heist missions. Michael tells Trevor to look for the car, at which point it switches to Trevor looking through binoculars at the car. Michael drives a rubbish truck in from of the vehicle, then Franklin rams the armoured van with a tow truck.

•    This brute force approach of heists inevitably alerts the police but heists can also be carried out in a stealth-like manner.


•    The stars system for police returns. We haven’t seen what the different ratings do but we can say that at four stars, police snipers are called in.

•    Auto-aim isn’t as rigid at GTA IV but like Max Payne 3, there will be variable targeting options, including free aim, soft lock and hard lock.

•    You can run and gun while maining control of the reticle.

•    Weapons wheel selection from Red Dead Redemption is used here.

•    Also similar to Red Dead Redemption is that the reticle will switch from white to red to identify an enemy and a tiny X will appear over the reticle when the target is killed.

•    This will have the largest selection of weapons from any GTA game.

•    Weapons we’ve seen – sniper rifles, machine guns and sticky bombs.

•    Weapon costumisation includes silencers, scopes, extended mags and laser sights.


•    New phone looks like an Android handset, with internet built-in.

•    You can snap pictures using your phone and upload it to Rockstar Social Club.

•    Pamela Drake is one of the NPCs in Vinewood, who will tell her story to anyone who will listen.

•    Deer will roam around Blaine County.

•    The internet cafes in GTA 5 are called Tw@.



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