New information about Rockstar’s highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V has emerged in Game Informer’s latest cover story. According to Eurogamer, one of the biggest new features GTA V will have is the ability to switch between three characters on the fly. Another major feature of the upcoming open-world game is that the world will be bigger than the worlds of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Red Dead Redemption, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined.

The playable characters are Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Michael is a retired bank robber in his early forties who lives in a posh estate with his spiteful wife, bratty teenage daughter and 20 year old son. He is in the witness protection program, but manages to live a luxurious life due to a deal with the FIB. He is forced to return to a life of crime because his wife's spending habits are making his money run dry. Trevor is an ex-military pilot who is prone to fits of rage. He resides in a desert region that is full of bikers and drug addicts. He is an old friend of Michael and joins him for another heist. Franklin is a hustler in his mid twenties working for an Armenian car dealership as a repo man. He comes in contact with Michael after targeting him for a hustle.

Grand Theft Auto V is set to come out in spring 2013

Tons of new information has been revealed

While players will be free to switch between any of the characters during free-roam, players will only get to change characters at certain points in missions. An example given was a mission where the three characters have to extract a target from being interrogated and tortured. Trevor flies the helicopter, Michael rappels down the side of the building from the chopper, and Franklin acts as a sniper from a rooftop across the way.  The player initially plays Michael until he bursts in through the window and takes a human shield, at which point the player is given the choice of either continuing to play as Michael or lending support as Franklin by sniping enemies from afar.

The biggest concession to the three character system is you won't be able to gain or lose weight like you could in San Andreas, or romance different people like in GTA IV. “We weren't sure it would work, and we're doing a lots of other new stuff,” said vice president of creative Dan Houser. “It just felt like it was going to be overly complex.” It is also possible that the level of character customisation won’t be as deep as it was in San Andreas.

When asked why the game world was so big, Houser explained that LA is geographically the largest city in the world and that the company has only scratched the surface of the city in the past. “We felt we hadn't done that with San Andreas – which was these very small, sketchlike cities,” Houser explained. “The geography you could get outside Los Angeles is spectacular,” added Houser. “The contrast between desert/rural Southern California, inland from LA and just a bit north, compared to LA, gives you a great microcosm of red state/ blue state theme – different vibes culturally as much as geographically. I think that was something we really felt would be good about this location.”

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