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GTA V: “Sunsets, Seas, Skies and So On” Screenshot Analysis

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Thanks to the Metal Gear Solid V excitement I neglected the new screenshots that Rockstar released at the time, 10 of them in fact. So now I will give them the tender loving care they deserve. Without further ado…


Let’s start with this one, pretty stormy isn’t it? Three things strike me straight away when I look at this, firstly there is the really cool looking bolt of lightning going on in the back and secondly there is the waves. The third thing is the building way in the back, the one in front of the bolt of lightning, if you look close enough you can see the bolt of lightning THROUGH the building which suggests to me, windows and not just painted on windows, an actual interior. Will lightning play a bigger role? Can your plane be hit by lightning? I personally doubt it but who knows? As for the waves, they look great, compare them to the waves in GTA IV, which is the same engine, and it really shows that Rockstar have become very deft handed with their engine. Next up…


Nothing too remarkable to say about this at face value but if you look closer this image is all about that soft lighting and just look at the skyscraper on the right, the way it’s bouncing light back. A very peaceful picture with nice use of colour, a good change from IV. Draw distance seems to have improved quite a bit as I don’t believe you’d see the same level of detail on these buildings as you would in IV from the same distance. Next up…


Where do I begin? Well firstly the scuba gear is awesome, and R* have confirmed that the ocean floor is mapped and explorable so who knows what kind of things we’ll be finding down there, with scuba gear and an air tank, we’ll be able to do it much better. Just thinking of possible underwater missions has me excited, stealthily enter a ship/submarine anyone? Now all we need is harpoons and we may see underwater shootouts, even online. Then we have that lighting again and it all looks very natural and pretty. Lastly, and this is for the Bigfoot type people, in the top left corner there is an ominous looking shadow? Jaws? Cthulu? Fish poo? Who knows?


From the depths of the ocean to the dizzying heights of the sky (is this Bioshock?). So three things to look at here, a sky, a plane and a skydiver. Nothing interesting about that sky but looking closely at the plane you can see that it’s cargo door is open which suggests that this gentleman has leaped from it. Similar to the scuba diver, it’s hard to say who this is for sure because he is wearing a helmet, is that a motorcycle helmet though? Anyone know if it’s normal for skydivers to wear helmets like these? Because I like to think that he drove his bike out that back of that plane and then bailed off the bike.


Boom! San Andreas nostalgia anyone? Black guy with a mini gun? Well, I felt nostalgia. So this screenshot hides an interesting feature that I’ll get to in a sec, but firstly the mini gun. All I can say about it though is that I’ve noticed that it has green plastic (?) on it and I’ve noticed this same material on a handgun that Trevor was holding in another screen. I think that may have a significance, as in customisation. Take note of Franklyn’s bandana, this looks like something that has been carried over from Red Dead Redemption where you could commit crime while wearing the bandana and it wouldn’t affect you moral standing. Now for the interesting part, fire! It looks as though Franky here has blown up the car and that the flames have spread to a nearby tree, fire seems to be a big thing for GTA V (Trevor is fond of gasoline) so it seems that fire is something that can naturally spread, a first for the series.


Bit of an action shot here, some speculate that this is a mission but to me it just looks like your run of the mill 3 star wanted level cop chase. There seems to be some kind of amphitheater in the background as well as a nice view of the city at night.


I think this area has already been shown off and there isn’t a huge amount to say about it other than the nice draw distance and it makes you wonder just how big this map really is, we know it’s bigger than RDR, SA and IV combined but to see it with your own eyes is different. Check out them woods on the left, prime real estate for a certain blurry and hairy individual.


Here we have Trevor, surprisingly, wearing a helmet and being chased by some dudes hanging of the sides of their cars. Firstly, as many have pointed out, where are the brakes on Trevor’s bike? Secondly look at the guy hanging off the side of the car, he is completely blacked out, in a way that doesn’t match the lighting, in other words, Rockstar shaded him in because they don’t want you seeing who he is, but why? Maybe he is being chased by a faction that Rockstar don’t want to reveal just yet, maybe we are looking at some kind of multiplayer mode, we could guess all day but it’s still interesting. Thirdly, the environment, we’ve gone from city, to ocean, to sky, to forest and now to desert, complete with cactus. Look in the background, he looks like he is miles from any major settlement, this map will be HUGE.


Here we have a screen that is different to any other screen we have seen so far due to odd use of filtering. This screen doesn’t look like a GTA game, it looks like a Burnout or NFS title. There is an interesting theory to this one, cell phones will feature in GTA and R* have said that you will be able to browse the web on them and do what you would expect a smart phone to do, so, with that in mind…Instagram anyone? Take a photo, add a filter, pretend you’re artistic and share with your friends. It’s possible, then again maybe they just wanted a filter here all of a sudden. Also WINDMILLS! Looks like we have entered windmill land, another huge area of map. This leads us to our last image…


Here we have Michael leaning on his car, if I had to guess I’d say this is part of a cutscene but that’s not important, what’s important here is the detail and colour. The sky looks pretty and blue (unlike IV), the red brick building really pops and feels vibrant. Then there is the lighting again which looks like a huge leap from IV and don’t forget the car. Look at the reflections on the car, it appears to be accurately reflecting the building to the left and the pole on the right, as far as I can remember GTA IV did not have that level of detail.

Rockstar have confirmed that all these screens were taken from current gen consoles, is that a hint that next gen versions are in the pipe line? Could be, or it could be that they are just trying to dispel confusion. GTA V looks great and will be huge when it hits September 17th.

Written By, Daniel

Author/Editor at and host of The Gaming Agenda Podcast. "Generic-User-Name is a real up and comer, one to keep an eye on" ~Generic-User-Name