The mighty Grand Theft Auto V continues to thunder towards us, like a great big awesome thing, and now, finally, Rockstar has released a trailer showing actual gameplay so we can get a sense of what the game will involve.
A wide spread of environments, for one thing, as the footage shows everything from swanky upper class boutiques to grungy suburban strip malls, and rundown inner city neighbourhoods to gorgeous mountains and wooded countryside.
As for what you'll be doing in these locations, it seems that variety is once again a Rockstar priority. The trailer shows what seem to be fully featured golf and tennis games lurking within the GTA framework, while even scenes of characters cycling look like they've been taken from a specialist bike racing title than an openworld crime epic.
The crime is still at the heart of the game, however, and the trailer explains how Rockstar has shaken up the way missions are handled. As revealed earlier, the game features three main characters - Michael, Trevor and Franklin - and you're able to switch between them whenever you want. The example shown in the trailer is what looks like an attempted kidnapping from the upper floors of a skyscraper. One character bursts through the window and grabs the hostage, another is flying the helicopter to whisk them to safety, while a third provides sniper cover from a nearby rooftop. You'll be able to perform one of those tasks, or all three, depending on how you feel.
You'll also be able to exercise more control over how missions unfold as well, thanks to the game now letting you plot your crimes in advance and choose how to approach them. A jewellery store robbery is shown playing out as a precise, professional heist using knockout gas and no alarms, and as a Reservoir Dogs style smash and grab as the trio wade in with masks and guns.
It all seems to add up to a genuine leap forward for the sort of free-roaming mischief Grand Theft Auto has popularised, and it also looks absolutely stunning. Amazingly, Rockstar has confirmed that the gameplay on show is taken from the current PlayStation 3 version of the game, not a tricked-out super PC.
Grand Theft Auto V is out on September 17th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. No next gen console versions have been confirmed as of yet.