How character switching makes Grand Theft Auto 5 more convenient

Grand Theft Auto V producer Leslie Benzies goes into more detail about how the character switching mechanic will impact the game.

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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.

Editor-In-Chief

From The Chatty

  • reply
    November 13, 2012 1:15 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, How character switching makes Grand Theft Auto 5 more convenient.

    Grand Theft Auto V producer Leslie Benzies goes into more detail about how the character switching mechanic will impact the game.

    • reply
      November 13, 2012 1:18 PM

      ... why not a fast travel network?...

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        November 13, 2012 1:37 PM

        That wouldn't be realistic at all.

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        November 13, 2012 2:49 PM

        The taxis served as fast travel in GTA4. Set a waypoint on the map, then tell the cab to skip to that destination. Doubt that will change much in 5.

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      November 13, 2012 1:22 PM

      Can't wait for that new trailer. PUMPING. SO. HARD.

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      November 13, 2012 1:43 PM

      Have they announced how many awesome mini games are going to be in this one? I can't wait to play darts and go on dates!!!!!!!!

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        November 13, 2012 1:54 PM

        you get to go to a shacknews cyber cafe to sit around and play on your phones

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        November 13, 2012 2:09 PM

        It was truly horrible the amount of completely optional minigame content GTA IV offered. Worse than Hitler, really.

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          November 13, 2012 2:10 PM

          That was one of the reasons I never bothered to finish it.

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            November 13, 2012 2:11 PM

            Now that I'm thinking about it, I think the most fun I have ever had with a GTA game was when I played the very first one. Something about their 3D engine always bothered me and detracted from the later games.

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        November 13, 2012 2:13 PM

        "The dating system is not returning to GTA V, which Rockstar says is due to the nature of the characters."

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          November 13, 2012 2:15 PM

          I bet it has nothing to do with the fact that it was a fucking terrible idea in the first place.

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            November 13, 2012 2:15 PM

            Didn't bother me. They weren't mandatory.

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              November 13, 2012 2:16 PM

              Some were mandatory, that one dude would stop picking you up if you ignored his shitty phone calls for too long. "Hey lets go spend 10 minutes playing darts or you can drive yourself to the other side of the city next time". Fuck that.

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            November 13, 2012 2:15 PM

            At any rate, I'm glad they removed it

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          November 13, 2012 2:15 PM

          How about because it was fucking stupid and annoying.

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        November 13, 2012 2:16 PM

        Pretty sure it was mentioned that shit is still in the game, however it won't be forced on you like it was in GTA4.

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          November 13, 2012 2:17 PM

          The dating in GTA V from what GI said is more organic. If you decide to actually persue someone that's on you. Same with off-missions.

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        November 13, 2012 2:42 PM

        they're gonna need something big to top AC3's "bowling with George Washington" minigame

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      November 13, 2012 1:55 PM

      The guys at Game Informer got to see it in action and said it was very very impressive. Basically when each of your 3 characters are doing their thing you can switch at any time. When you leave one character, they will go on about their business and do things while you embody someone else.

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        November 13, 2012 1:58 PM

        From what GI said, Rockstar will also be giving people all the cool shit up front. One of the main characters will already have access to a bunch of flying vehicles while another access to a variety of street vehicles. The underwater thing sounds awesome too.

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        November 13, 2012 2:12 PM

        Is there a two-minute load screen when you switch characters?

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          November 13, 2012 2:13 PM

          They said it was instant.

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            November 13, 2012 2:19 PM

            Wow, that sounds really impressive in a world that huge.

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              November 13, 2012 2:22 PM

              Instant is probably the wrong word. All I've read says the game zooms out to a google maps type overview then finds the other character and zooms into him. So it's seamless with no load screens but it's not going to be an instantaneous swap (unless they are in the same area?).

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                November 13, 2012 2:41 PM

                Sorry, google earth

                Guessing it will be as fast as the engine allows (probably way faster than any jet in the game), likely with far away characters taking the longest to pan over and hop into. Should only be a matter of seconds at the worst, hopefully.

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        November 13, 2012 6:17 PM

        Does this mean you could go find your other character and kill them?

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          November 14, 2012 1:42 AM

          ooo interesting... im sure you wont be able to kill them (unless that's maybe an end-game story decision) but it would be cool to be able to find them outside of a scripted mission sequence

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      November 14, 2012 3:22 AM

      Do 4-player co-op bank heists already. It's the logical next step.

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      November 14, 2012 7:27 AM

      "Hey Bob, remember how you massacred 161 pedestrians yesterday?"

      "What??! No! I have.... no memory of yesterday. FUCK MAN! Oh well, let's continue with our ambient activities without worrying the police coming."

    • reply
      November 14, 2012 7:27 AM

      "Hey Bob, remember how you massacred 161 pedestrians yesterday?"

      "What??! No! I have.... no memory of yesterday. FUCK MAN! Oh well, let's continue with our ambient activities without worrying the police coming."