Grand Theft Auto V, the upcoming open world game from Rockstar, keeps players in the middle of the action during its missions because it allows them to jump between the main characters, at least according to the studio's chief writer, Dan Houser.
GTA V received plenty of official details last week, and without a doubt one of the most interesting tidbits of info was the fact that the game has not one but three main protagonists and that the players can jump between them anytime they want.
This not only staves off boredom, but it also helps during missions, as Rockstar wants to keep players in the middle of the action.
"We want to move from having one character in a mission to having two of three. This makes the missions feel distinct in that they feel very high action but they will have a very different tone depending on who’s on them, how many people are on them and how much we’re using switches to make it feel different," said Rockstar's Dan House in the latest issue of Game Informer, via OPM.
According to the writer, having one character usually means that he'll be forced to do everything during a mission and players will accompany him everywhere.
"We have a design issue that all games have – the games are at some level about doing stuff, you being in charge of the mechanic. When you are only one character, it means they always have to be driving is when the driving is fun, shooting when the shooting is fun, flying when the flying is fun and parachuting when the parachuting is fun."
This isn't always fun but, with GTA V's three protagonists, players can jump to whichever character they like or whoever is doing the most interesting things during a mission.
"It can lead to things being a little ridiculous – having a lot of time spent climbing ladders, or a lot of segues from moment to moment that can end up slightly contrived," Houser added, about the single protagonist issue.
"With [multiple simultaneous protagonists] we can get past that and also cut out a lot of the transitional moments to just always put you in the action."
GTA V is betting big on this new mechanic, so let's hope it actually succeeds in delivering an experience that feels right even if you're magically jumping from character to character.