The December issue of US magazine Game Informer contains a mammoth 18 page feature on Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V so, over a year after the first teaser trailer grabbed our attention, juicy gameplay details from the long awaited sequel are finally out in the open.
Top of the list, and a first for the series, is the use of three lead characters: Michael, Trevor and Franklin. Each will have their own particular set of skills (much like Liam Neeson, then...), and their own network of friends and allies. You'll be able to switch between them pretty much at will, and when not under your control they'll go about their business all over Los Santos.
That setting has changed a lot since it was last seen in GTA: San Andreas back in 2004. The city is now the largest map ever created for a Rockstar game - and that includes the sprawling frontier landscapes of Red Dead Redemption. There will be wilderness areas on the outskirts, a military base and the option to explore the sea bed. Random missions will pop up as you explore, including encounters with hitchhikers, muggers and dead bodies. Taking part in heists will be a core part of the gameplay.
Driving, melee combat and shooting controls have all been vastly improved, and missions are promised to be more complex and interesting than simply travelling from one shoot-out to another. For your amusement, optional activities include base jumping, tennis, yoga, athletics, jet skiing and fully featured 18-hole golf courses.
It all sounds pretty amazing, and we won't have too long to wait. Grand Theft Auto V is due for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in Spring 2013.