They don’t take shortcuts at Rockstar.
Back in June, when the company first announced PC and next-generation console versions of Grand Theft Auto V, industry watchers suspected that it wouldn’t be a simple 1080p upscale. And when the launch was subsequently delayed, those suspicions were confirmed. Now its clear what was going on.
On PC, PS4 and Xbox One, Grand Theft Auto V is going to offer a first-person view option. According to gaming site CVG, which has seen and played the game in the new mode, the targeting, movement and driving engines have all been altered accordingly, and extra weapon animations have been added. You can walk along the pavement, look down and see the body of your character; you can pull out a phone and check the display right in front of you. You can take selfies with abandon.
It is, of course, a pretty clever way of convincing owners of the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions to upgrade. Experiencing those parachuting bank heists or motorcycle chase sequences in first-person may be too scintillating a prospect for fans – especially when the additional physics and lighting effects are factored in. As we discovered back in September, the new update will also include new wildlife, weapons, vehicles and activities, as well as more densely crowded roads and pavements. First-person is available in GTA Online, too.
The mode is also highly configurable. From CVG:
First-person options are bogglingly extensive, with options for Assisted Aim, Semi-Assisted Aim, Free Aim and much, much more. You can set first-person targeting with third-person cover, or third-person targeting with first-person driving... the choice is huge. First-person (FP) street brawls feel more hilariously, violently wrong than ever.
In its own report on the upgrade, IGN mentions the newly designed vehicle interiors – different models get different dashboards and working speedometers. You can duck down in the seat when being shot at. “Hop on a bike or jump into a helicopter, and your character puts on a helmet or a set of goggles that authentically restricts your view and muffles the ambient noise of the world.”
Certainly, this isn’t the first game to offer a switch between third- and first-person options – Skyrim and Fallout 3 do it too. But its fresh implementation puts GTA V a cut above other next-gen re-releases like Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs. It will be interesting to see how forthcoming story DLC will utilise the new view – apparently GTA Online will allow users to create first-person only challenges; that will doubtless be expanded in the future.
Of course, for PC owners, this will all be part of their initial experience of the game when it launches there on 27 January (the console release is 18 November). The big question is how many of the title’s current 35 million owners will upgrade on their new machines. It’s a question that publishers of brand new PS4 and Xbox One titles will be nervously asking themselves this winter.
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