Two days ago Rockstar dropped a Gameplay Trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, and while it showed off some amazing things as far as features and gameplay, we didn’t get a lot of detail on many of the changes. Since then, fans have been clamoring for more detailed info. Readers fret not, we’ve got some new deets on just what to expect with GTA V’s new combat and cover systems.


For starters, combat control now has three different modes to choose from, traditional GTA, assisted aiming, and free aim. Traditional GTA is reminiscent of GTA’s previous soft lock option, providing assisted aiming and the ability to use the right stick to flick left and right between targets. The other two are pretty self-explanatory, free aim, is all on you, and assisted aiming is assisted without the option to switch targets. You’ll want to be careful when taking aim however, unlike the old days when you could just lock on and fire till you fragged your target, the lock-on will time out after a time.


Rockstar seems to like doing things in three’s this time around, because in addition to three aiming modes, and three protagonists, they’re also throwing three combat wild cards at us as well. Taking a cue from role-playing games new and old, each of the playable characters will have a special ability that is unique to their skills. Michael, the bank robber turned family man will sport Max Payne’s bullet-time, slow-mo action while Franklyn, the CJ replacement, will be able to slow time while behind the wheel, providing easier navigation while being chased down by the fuzz. I’m guessing that Trevor, the… er… um, good ol’ boy, will act as the games tank since his special power is a “rage fit”. It could be fun, while he’s running around in his tantrum, he deals out double damage while taking a bit less upon himself. He also has some sort of unique melee attack.


To help keep players immersed in the game during shootouts, Rockstar brought in part of the Max Payne 3 team to help tweak the camera perspectives and came out with a new over-the-shoulder aim view to help give a clearer view of targets. Targets you’ll want to have an eye on as they’ll be hurling heaps of dynamic damage your way, which will now be specific to weapon type. With Dynamic damage, comes a new health system as well. Player characters can now regenerate up to 50 fifty percent of their health without med packs, but will still need to hunt for them for the last half of the health bar.


To help keep your character delving out mayhem, Rockstar has implemented an entirely new duck and cover system, bringing in elements from GTA IV, Red Dead and Max Payne 3. According to Phil Hooker, the games combat designer, while designing the new cover system, the team focused highly on how best to accomplish “smoothly running out of a car whilst firing a gun…” and ensuring that “… players are able to use their car as cover, getting out and staying low without exposing themselves.” The claim is that after spending some time ducking behind your during a shootout, you’ll be able to quickly re-enter the car and speed away without over exposing yourself to a bloody death. It’s a tactic GTA players have been using for years so I can’t wait to see how the new implementation makes a difference.


With these new additions to combat play, this new GTA certainly appears as though it will provide the most cathartic fun out of the whole series. Not a huge surprise as they’ve done so with every iteration thus far. Grand Theft Auto V will launch on Xbox 360 and PS3 on September 17, so make sure you’ve got your Creds ready, I know I do.

Jordan Goodson

Jordan Goodson, the geek in the darkness, guiding his readers through the vast catacombs of tech and science. He journeys the interwebs searching for any and all relevant data to be absorbed and shared.