Grand Theft Auto V is a video game blockbuster from Rockstar Games, released for PS3 and PS4. The game is played from either a first-person or third-person view and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. Players control the three lead protagonists throughout single-player and switch between them both during and outside of missions. The story is centred on the heist sequences, and many missions involve shooting and driving gameplay. A "wanted" system governs the aggression of law enforcement response to players who commit crimes. Grand Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer mode, lets up to 30 players explore the open world and engage in cooperative or competitive game matches.
Development began soon after Grand Theft Auto IV's release and was shared between many of Rockstar's studios worldwide. The development team drew influence from many of their previous projects such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, and designed the game around three lead protagonists to innovate on the core structure of its predecessors. Much of the development work constituted the open world's creation, and several team members conducted field research around California to capture footage for the design team. The game's soundtrack features an original score composed by a team of producers who collaborated over several years.
Extensively marketed and widely anticipated, the game broke industry sales records and became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, earning US $800 million in its first day and US $1 billion in its first three days. It received widespread critical acclaim, with praise directed at its multiple protagonist design, open world, presentation and gameplay. It caused controversies related to its depiction of women and a mission featuring torture during a hostage interrogation. Considered one of seventh generation console gaming's most significant titles, it won year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. It has shipped over 65 million copies and is one of the best-selling video games of all time.
Grand Theft Auto V features three playable protagonists, a first for the GTA series: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton and Trevor Philips, with the player able to swap between the three when not on certain missions or wanted by the police. Certain missions involve two or all three protagonists, allowing the player to switch between them to assist in completing the mission. One mission also allows the player to swap to Chop, a Rottweiler dog owned by Lamar Davis but looked after by Franklin. The three protagonists have their own lives and, when not chosen, continue with their daily routines, occasionally resulting in the player continuing the activity. When the player chooses another character, the protagonist "left behind" remains in his location for a short period of time; if the newly controller character returns to the location where the other character was left, the two will interact and can optionally take part in non-mission activities together.
Some storyline missions, side missions and hobbies will only be available to a specific character while random encounters can be encountered and completed by any protagonist. The player can also customise each character beyond their initial appearance through buying clothes, changing hairstyles, getting tattoos and enhancing certain abilities such as stamina, driving skill or flying skill. Each protagonist also has a special ability, which can be triggered during gameplay: Michael can slow down time while on foot, Franklin can slow down time while driving and Trevor can become angry, dealing out more damage and taking little in return.
The game begins in 2004 with an attempted heist on a business in Ludendorff, North Yankton by Michael Townley, Trevor Philips, Bradley Snider and an unnamed getaway driver. They manage to get away from the building with the money, however, the getaway driver and Bradley are killed, while Michael is also shot. Trevor flees the scene, which is filled with the local police and FIB agents, evading them. In between 2004 and 2013 Snider is buried as Michael, who moves to Los Santos to retire from criminal activity, while Trevor eventually finds his way to living in Sandy Shores, Blaine County just north of Los Santos.Michael, having seen his wife Amanda cheating with her tennis coach, chases him to a house before pulling the support beams from underneath it, destroying the house. Martin Madrazo, the home's owner, convinces Michael and Franklin, who had assisted Michael, into paying for the house to be rebuilt. The two form a crew and rob a jewelery store, taking enough money to repay Madrazo. In Blaine County, at the same time, Trevor Philips begins to expand his criminal empire by destroying The Lost Brotherhood's Los Santos chapter while also attempting to form links with the Triads, although this proves unsuccessful, which includes destroying a rival meth lab owned by the O'Neil Brothers. News of the jewellery store heist appears on news programs and a phrase used during the heist reminds Trevor of his lost friend Michael. He sends Wade Hebert to Los Santos to discover the whereabouts of Michael and eventually tracks him down. The two confront each other but work together to stop Michael's daughter Tracey from appearing on a reality television show.Michael and Trevor, having planned to perform one last heist, go their separate ways with Trevor promising to return and kill Michael. Michael and Franklin, however, continue to work together by perform a terrorist attack on the FIB building, with the promise of being set free from their work with the FIB corrupt agents. They, however, double cross the group and plan another meeting, which is subsequently raided by FIB agents after having received information from Andreas Sanchez. Steve Haines escapes and leaves his partner Dave Norton behind. Norton, however, also escapes with help from Michael and Trevor, who agree to put their differences aside to work on one last heist.Michael, Franklin and Trevor prepare for and then execute the heist, getting away with a vast sum of gold, which is later melted down and sold by Lester Crest. The crew gets its agreed share and the relationship between Michael, Franklin and Trevor ends. However, unknown to Michael and Trevor, Franklin had been contacted by the FIB to kill Trevor and by Devin Weston, a businessman and billionaire the trio had stolen cars for, to kill Michael.
The player, as Franklin, then has three choices: to kill Trevor for the FIB, to kill Michael for Devin Weston or to save both:
- Killing Michael: If the player kills Michael, then he and Franklin will drive to a secluded spot before Michael is pushed off a water tower. Franklin can then either let him fall to his death or attempt to save him, causing Michael to headbutt him and fall to his death.
- Killing Trevor: If the player kills Trevor, then Michael and Franklin will chase him to an oil plant where Trevor will crash his car into an oil tank, covering him with oil, which Franklin lights on fire.
- Saving both: If the player decides to save both Michael and Trevor then the three work together one final time to attack FIB agents and Merryweather mercenaries before agreeing to split up and kill their various enemies. Michael agrees to kill Stretch, who had tried to get Franklin and Lamar killed on numerous occasions, Franklin agrees to kill Triad boss Wei Cheng, who had almost had a business relationship with Trevor and who had almost killed Michael, while Trevor is left to kill Steve Haines. Afterwards Trevor kidnaps Devin Weston and locks him in the boot Devin's car, which is driven to a secluded location and pushed into the Pacific Ocean by the trio. With Trevor and Michael reconciling, the three agree to remain friends, but end their relationships professionally.