The Grand Theft Auto title has been creating anticipation in gamers all over the world. The fun part about this game is that it doesn’t limit you to quests and missions; rather, it lets you play on your own and do anything you want in the game until you’re ready to get on with the story. Among GTA V’s biggest selling points are the game features and the map (it’s said to be larger than the maps of GTA San Andreas, GTA IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined.

THE MAP

Grand Theft Auto V is set in the fictional city of Los Santos, which was based on the Downtown Los Angeles. Below is what the whole map of GTA V looks like.

You start the game by playing on the lower left side of the map, which is the city of Los Santos. Huge map equals more missions to complete! Discussing every area in the map would take ages and would destroy the overall thrill and surprise for the player. We’ll leave the exploring to you.

FEATURES AND GAMEPLAY

Rockstar’s GTA is known for its wide range of features that allow the players to explore the game outside the missions. The following are the new features that Rockstar has infused in GTA V’s gameplay.

DRIVING

Driving vehicles in GTA V has greatly improved, by Rockstar incorporating more complex physics in their vehicles. Cars can hold to the ground better than in the other GTA titles, which mean better maneuverability and steadier driving.

SHOOTING

In terms of the feel of the mechanics, shooting was greatly improved in GTA V and made larger. Melee has also been improved, but nothing beats the better shooting physics this time.

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WEAPON SELECTION

Selecting a weapon in GTA V has changed, and now includes the Weapon Wheel — a feature that’s been introduce in GTA: Chinatown wars. Instead of having to scroll through a player’s inventory of weapons, players can now choose weapons by bringing up a wheel on which the weapons are displayed. The Character and Radio Wheels are similar in look and feel, but the Weapon Wheel looks to be cooler and now allows players to hold more than one class of weapon. For example, players in GTA IV are unable to hold a Micro-SMG and an MP5 at the same time. In GTA V, they can.

WEAPON WHEEL

So the Weapon Wheel is something to look forward to in GTA V. It has eight different slots, which correspond to the eight different weapon categories in the game.

  • Top Slot – handguns (AP pistol, handgun, etc.)
  • Top Left Slot – thrown explosives (grenades, jerry cans, etc.)
  • Left Slot – heavy weapons (minigun, grenade launcher, etc.)
  • Bottom Left Slot – shotguns (musket, pump action shotgun, etc.)
  • Bottom Slot – unarmed (this is for the melee weapons such as bats, hammer, etc.)
  • Bottom Right Slot – sniper rifles (heavy sniper rifle, marksman rifle, etc.)
  • Right Slot – assault rifles (carbine rifle, compact rifle, etc.)
  • Top Right Slot – submachine guns (SMGs) and light machine guns (LMGs)

CHARACTER SWAPPING

In GTA V, you’ll have three protagonists, and you’ll get the chance to play each one of their stories. The awesome part about this is that while you’re playing one character, the other two are living out their daily lives. This means getting surprises every time you switch back into another playable character. This can be done anytime throughout the game. If a character has a wanted level, character swapping is disabled. This is also true for when a character is currently in a mission. The other time character swapping is disabled is during a mission when Michael and Trevor enters Los Santos after the Minor Turbulence mission, and before the Monkey Business mission since they are being hunted by a gang leader.

CHARACTER WHEEL

The Character Wheel is similar to the Weapon Wheel, only difference is that it switches between characters instead of weapons. The wheel is divided into four sections — one for Michael, one for Trevor, one for Franklin, and a blank one for the Online Player. You’ll notice a number located below each character, which tells how many missions are currently available for that character. As mentioned previously, switching between the different characters may come as a surprise, as the characters may sometimes be found in comical situations such as having a wanted level (mostly with Trevor) and being inebriated.

For GTA Online Characters, players would usually find their characters either in their apartment or their last location before they switched to the main characters. Players can access the Settings menu to change this. Most missions in the Story mode would show the Character Wheel flashing. If the slot of the character flashes white, you’ll need to switch to that character to progress with a mission, or it may simply mean that the character is available to play or that you’ve just arrived at a destination. If it’s red, the character is currently in danger and the player needs to switch to that character to eliminate the treat, or direct your current character to help the one in danger. A buzzing sound usually comes whenever alerts appear in the Character Wheel.

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FIRST PERSON VIEW

An exclusive feature in the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 versions is the first person view mode where you get a first-hand view of the game through the eyes of the protagonist you are currently playing. You’ll see detailed interiors of cars, and even small details that you wouldn’t see when in third person view. Shooting in first person mode gives some sort of an FPS gaming-like feel.

NEW ACTIVITIES

During off-mission days, players can still have fun by engaging their characters into activities such as yoga, tennis, triathlons, jet skiing, golf, parachute jumps, scuba diving, and many more. The good thing is that each activity improves a character’s stats. For example, Michael boosts his running stats by joining triathlons or running races.

RANDOM EVENTS

Another new feature in GTA V is that random events in the map may happen while the player is exploring around the map. For example, those red dots that appear on the map may mean an emergency and you might be able to help. Other times, it may just mean that you’re being targeted by robbers, in which case you can leave and go on your way, or you chase them down.

MOBILE PHONE

The mobile phone isn’t new for those who played GTA IV, but GTA V’s mobile phone can only call contacts, quick save, and surf the web in-game.

GIVING THE MIDDLE FINGER

Giving people the middle finger while driving is a new feature players can have fun with in GTA V. Rockstar recommends doing this in different locations in Los Santos and have fun seeing the different reactions of the people around you.

PEDESTRIANS

There will be instances when you’ll find that the pedestrians you see at the East Los Santos bus stops are the same ones in Rockford Hills, working on the rich people’s gardens and lawns. Other mechanics that help improve the environment and overall look of the city include sprinklers coming on in the morning in Morningwood and in other rich locations.

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