While Rockstar Games holds no monopoly on enormous gaming worlds, its Grand Theft Auto franchise has practically become the magnum opus of open-world titles. As a result, Grand Theft Auto V has some lofty expectations hanging over its September 17th release date. Of course, the GTA formula is as tried-and-true as they come, so there’s little to fear. However, the still-warm reveal of the game’s first gameplay footage, while quelling the concerns of many and further enticing many more, left a major question of the series unaccounted for: What about underwater elements? Sure, a diving mechanic was (briefly) showcased, but the reward and importance of the prospect was unexplained entirely.
Swimming has been a part of the franchise for several titles, but proper underwater content has been sorely absent. This has only been highlighted by the tantalizing details regarding the immense scope of the next world, which beg the “What can I do” question more than ever. In response to this growing curiosity, a new preview from Take 2’s official Russian site has detailed the finer aspects of GTA V, including the importance of deep-sea delving (and robbing).
As GTA V co-writer Dan Houser explained in an earlier interview with theguardian, the game’s single-player campaign revolves around six large heists, with a medley of side-missions and exploration thrown between them. This structure was designed to give the game an objective—to reign in the often-chaotic nature of the franchise—all while encouraging the free-roaming that makes the games so enjoyable. Staying true to that mentality, the new preview confirms (through a moderately butchered Russian translation), “full-submarine missions will not [be available], but many robberies are linked to it.”
Grand Theft Auto V will not only answer the cry for underwater exploration, it seems, but add a unique vehicle to the mix as well. In addition, “if unsuccessfully attacked,” regardless of how or where the police alert is raised, “you can lie on the bottom in the truest sense of the words.” Hiding underwater will be an effective way to stay incognito when the heat is raised after a flashy heist or getaway. In addition to this new mechanic, players now have a breath meter that limits their time underwater. However, this limitation can be bypassed with the game’s new scuba gear (seen below), which will allow players to plunder the coasts to their heart’s content.
And plunder they will—GTA V’s oceans are home to a wealth of valuable goodies. “Special equipment can be found in sunken ships, aircraft, containers or vehicles” while searching beneath the waves. “There are sunken oil rigs, and even a twelve-story factory.” The preview continues, confirming that “it is possible [that] you will even find turtles, which are known to us since the previous [game].”
Taking a page out of Far Cry 3’s book, ocean exploration isn’t all fun and games; the ever-popular ocean predator is once again lying in wait. Like the “puma, coyotes, [or] wolves” of the game, sharks are a uniquely dangerous enemy. “Chances of survival are almost zero because [in] the water you cannot use your usual rifle, but an ordinary knife does not help in a fight with such a serious opponent.” Scuba suit or no, as it stands now, sharks sound downright unstoppable. However, underwater combat may see expansion through harpoon guns or the like—an addition which would surely make for some hysterical surface-side shenanigans as well.
With other titles like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag adding water-based content as well, it’s refreshing to see GTA, an icon of the open-world genre, account for the trend so thoroughly. On top of parachuting, hunting, improved customization of cars, guns and weapons, and too much more to list, players now have submarine escapes and scuba diving to look forward to. And, apparently, everyone is going to be eaten by sharks. Awesome.