Grand Theft Auto 5 lets you play as three different characters. While Rockstar faced some design challenges implementing the feature, producer Leslie Benzies says that it will make the game far more convenient for players.
"To make [character switching] as seamless as possible we've had to overcome many problems," Benzies told IGN. "Off-mission, players aren't forced to switch characters, they make the choice themselves - so it is important to ensure each character brings a unique aspect to the game. The player needs to want to switch between them and see each of their stories develop. If each character doesn't have this appeal the player would find a favorite and try to only play as them, missing out on the bigger picture."
By having multiple characters, many of the annoyances inherent to the franchise can be taken care of, such as the long drives between missions. The player can switch characters any time, even when not on a mission, and the characters generally occupy different parts of the map. This means that you can switch to a new character while the old one takes care of the busywork.
"One character might have an ambient activity that takes them out in to the countryside; if the player decides that they want to do something different they can switch to another character and be back in the city ready to start their next mission," Benzies said. "Having three characters allows players to explore the whole map without having to worry about the long drive back to their next objective."
The second trailer for the game is set to be released tomorrow. It's due out next spring.