Rockstar is one developer that everyone has their eyes on. If anyone in the group so much as sneezes, the gaming industry turns its head. Much of this scrutiny is the result of the long wait between numbered installments of its flagship “Grand Theft Auto” series.
What is known so far about “GTA 6” is actually quite a bit. Some of the leaks that have popped up over the years teased a return to Vice City – a locale that hasn’t been seen since the titular game back in 2002. Furthermore, outlets and journalists reported on a whole new dynamic for the lead characters, including word of a Latina protagonist — a pretty big deal, since female playable characters haven’t been seen since the original “Grand Theft Auto.”
These reports are looking more and more true now that a massive “Grand Theft Auto 6” leak has given fans a peek at tons of footage from the highly anticipated game, including a first look at its main character. That’s not all, though. The recent leak is absolutely shows off combat, new environments, and plenty of steal-able transportation. It’s a doozy of an info drop. Although Rockstar seemingly won’t release “GTA 6” in 2022 or any time soon, this leak has definitely helped alleviate some of the never-ending wait for some fans. Here are some details you might have missed in the midst of all the leaks.
It’s official, Jason and Lucia are at least two of the new protagonists for “GTA.” Rockstar has played with multiple characters in the story mode for “GTA 5,” but it’s no less exciting to see this approach return.
Confirming this is a small snippet showcasing two figures in a motel. During the sequence, a developer triggers the character switch almost instantaneously, swapping between Jason a the active character with Lucia relaxing on a couch. Lucia then gets up and is now being controlled. Another test is done in which Jason walks out of the motel and the developer switches to Lucia in the interior just as quickly
“GTA 5” saw a lot of switching with Michael, Franklin, and Trevor from opposite sides of the map, but it was rarely this quick. Gamers have yet to see the change in characters over large distances, but this peek seems to reassure gamers that it won’t lead to long load times here.
The two characters already seem to have a sense of style all their own, as well. Lucia is seen with a pink top and jeans whereas Jason sports a backwards cap and shorts. These could be their default looks, allowing players to mix up their outfits as they get further in the game.
“Grand Theft Auto 4” saw the emergence of Rockstar’s smartphone system, where it served mainly as a tool to contact friends or dates, as well as trigger some mission events. “GTA 5” added many additions, like email and website functionality. It looks like these will be making a return in the new game, but it’s unclear just how integral it will be to the story.
In a nightclub scene released as part of the leak, there are multiple notifications off to the side of screen, one of which includes someone named “Billy” as a new contact. Further is a “WhatUp!” message, hinting that there will be some form of social system in the new game, both for real world friends and in-game contacts, much like in ‘GTA 5.”
Additionally, there is a quick mention of Life Invader by an NPC in another leaked clip. Life Invader is the official name of the social media application that spoofs Facebook in “GTA 5,” which our new characters presumably use on the daily. Though it has been multiple console generations since the last “Grand Theft Auto,” it’s nice to see so many elements coming back in full force.
It wouldn’t be “Grand Theft Auto” without some vehicles. One interaction sees Lucia and Jason on the run from the police, during which they quickly stumble into a cop car and book it. Funny enough, when Lucia goes into the cop car she closes the door first before re-opening, which further displays how early this footage is.
Many gamers’ ears perked up at the mention of Vice City, and we get to see plenty of the “GTA” equivalent of Miami Beach in the leaks. For instance, one animation test has Jason swimming in the ocean. “GTA 5” improved swim gameplay by allowing players to dive deeper underwater, so it looks like that’ll be one way players can get around Vice City. Jason can also be shown shooting inside of a boat in what looks to be a vehicle damage test, while another shows the main character sitting in a fan boat. Granted, the fan boat is on land, so there isn’t any movement shown, but the fact that there is some real variety in water vehicles speaks volumes about where the game might lead.
Finally, a returning aspect from “GTA 4” appears to be its subway transportation, as we see Jason getting on and off a Vice City Metro car. It isn’t in full working condition yet, but now it’s assumed there are many ways to get around town without driving yourself.
There’s been a ton of combat shown off here. Whether it’s shooting or hand to hand, fans are gradually understanding the changes being made for “GTA 6.” Some assets are restored, like a slightly tweaked version of the inventory wheel from “GTA 5,” as well as similar cover mechanics during shootouts. When it comes to gunplay, the leak features close-ups of NPCs reloading, which looks more realistic than before. Cops are shown to reload in real time during a confrontation with Lucia. Also of note is a recoil test that shows the devs are working on making combat feel accurate.
What is probably the biggest addition to combat is the ability to go prone. Past Rockstar games only toyed with crouching and crouched movements. Players in “GTA 5” went as far as to create their own prone mods for the game, but now it looks like a legit feature. One animation test shows Jason crawling around in a shed, which seems to illustrate that the new game will have a stronger approach to stealth-based missions.
Fans also get an early look at hand-to-hand fighting, including is a minor sequence of Jason dashing at civilians and throwing out a punch. The animations are definitely unfinished, though, since pedestrians don’t really seem affected by the punch, other than the fact that they immediately run away.
A player’s Wanted Level has always been an identifiable characteristic for “GTA.” Being chased from the authorities represents the thrill and fun of getting away with misdeeds in the series, and this mechanics has seen some subtle modifications over time. The original 3D “GTA” trilogy all incorporated a six star system to depict the difficulty level and sheer strength of oncoming law enforcement. “GTA 5” eventually switched to a 5-star system, which appears to continue into “Grand Theft Auto 6.”
Cop difficulty always ranges between games. Fans have noted how “GTA 4” has some tough cops, particularly when compared to the latest game in the series. As for “GTA 6,” police AI appears to be pretty advanced at this stage of development, since they shoot in open areas and quickly transition to taking cover behind their vehicles. Only time will tell how the new “Grand Theft Auto 6” will go about police difficulty.
Viewers has gotten a taste of a full day in the life of a criminal in “GTA 6.” During the daytime gameplay, Jason can be seen looting money and items from inside cargo crates, while Lucia commits a robbery in the middle of a diner. Many other segments occur during the day like the combat tests, and driving simulations, as well as a few looks at the characters checking out various Vice City landmarks, including a chill outdoor bar.
On the nightlife side of things is the club scene. Jason and Lucia both walk around the nightclub and get a feel for the place, which contains a very different atmosphere and vibe compared to the daytime footage, including more playful and silly NPC interactions.
In the same scene, Lucia walks out of the club and gives players a quick look at the city at night. Natural lighting obviously doesn’t look close to completion, but street lights and lamps are extremely detailed, shining a bit of light on the seedy underground of Vice City. The original “Vice City” played a lot with neon colors in its 80s setting, so it’s likely the game will look even better as production continues.
Surprisingly, voice work sounds very complete. During that nightclub mission with Jason, secondary characters have clear conversations. There isn’t any music in these segments, but the voice lines are crisp, suggesting that at least a few lengthy voice sessions have already occurred. However, when Lucia is in the club, there are some beats in the background every now and then, so sound design hasn’t quite been nailed down yet.
Other pieces of music appear when Lucia is in the outside bar area during the daytime, as well as when Jason hops on a motorcycle. Speaking of which, it looks like Rockstar will be bringing in some new radio stations for the new game, judging by the brief snippets of music heard when Jason is tooling around on the bike.
Some solid effects and chase music are also featured in the leaked footage, particularly during Lucia’s robbery. Bystanders, restaurant workers, and cops have some dialogue, particularly as people start to panic during the holdup.
Although “GTA 6” appears to bring players back to Vice City, it’s looking to be a very different place than when we last saw it. Sure, there are familiar elements, like the neon-infused nightclubs and beachfront walkways. However, it looks like not only has the location been modernized, but Rockstar is taking pains to make sure it looks authentic to real life Florida locations. Aside from the real-life Miami locations spotted in the footage, one interesting tidbit is how the diner in the robbery clip closely resembles a real life Waffle House. In fact, fans took to Twitter to note the similarities.
“GTA” has always drawn from real life when creating its parodic storylines and locations, so this is to be expected in the next installment. The leaks themselves are filled with different environments, including gas stations, subway stations, multiple bars, motels, and tennis courts. It’s incredibly diverse and could even rival the huge map in “GTA 5.”
Making this version of Florida feel even more realistic are some truly hilarious NPC interactions, including an argument between some rednecks in a trailer park. Jason talks with some redneck NPCs. Vice City is already a fleshed out area in its titular entry, but players are already getting an idea of how much it has grown in “GTA 6.”