GTA V: A tale of two citizens
What dual protagonists could mean for GTA V
In yesterday's video, we said Rockstar could release the next batch of Grand Theft Auto V screenshots at "literally any time". And though "literally any time" includes "tomorrow" by definition, the GTA V developers still knocked us for six by dropping new screens today rather than lapsing for several weeks into characteristic Rockstar silence. Whatever next? Gameplay footage?
Where those three dusty old screenshots, how we hate them, focused on vehicles set to feature in the game, these three spiffy new screenshots show us leisure activities: tennis, dirt bikes and parachuting. That's great news. We can't wait to skydive and serve aces in the Vinewood Hills.
Take a closer look at the parachutist, though, and you'll spy a character who is not the middle-aged white guy from the original trailer and the cockpit of that fighter jet, apparently the game's protagonist. It's a black guy and, if you'll indulge some wild speculation (here and for the rest of the article), he might be the same chap we saw running from the cops in the trailer.
If the guy dangling from the parachute is a playable character, it would prove right the long-running rumours of multiple protagonists. Since you've agreed to indulge us, let's say he is. What could two protagonists mean for Grand Theft Auto V?
1. Intertwined Stories
You might say Rockstar already dabbled in multiple protagonists with GTA IV, if you bundle it together with the two expansion packs, The Lost and The Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Both of the expansions were fronted by new playable characters, but had stories that discreetly overlapped with that of Niko Bellic, star of the game proper.
Rockstar could take a similar approach for dual protagonists in GTA V, intertwining the stories of Mr Fighter Jet and Mr Parachute, passing the narrative baton between missions or chapters. Hopping between characters might make immersion trickier but, on the other hand, gives you two different perspectives on a theme. Speaking of which:
2. Two Perspectives
Between the GTA V logo, which is styled after a banknote, and the trailer, which contrasts poverty (homelessness) and wealth (high-rise development), the green stuff is probably at the heart of Grand Theft Auto V. No surprises there. Money has always made the world of GTA go round.
With two lead characters, though, this Grand Theft Auto could tell a tale not of rags to riches but of rags and riches - with our besuited, middle-aged hero at one end of the spectrum, and hero number two, with the tattoos and the police chopper in pursuit, at the other. It's a guess. And here's one more:
The wilder rumours of multiple playable characters hinted at full-on co-operative play. With two characters, GTA V could evolve co-op from a sideshow, as in its predecessor, to a main event, with two players working through a campaign together.
Rockstar has already said multiplayer will be a huge part of Grand Theft Auto V, and co-op modes are increasingly fashionable in the face of all-conquering CoD competitive multiplayer. If a game-long, story-based co-op mode is what Rockstar wants for its next Grand Theft Auto, more than one protagonist is the way to go.
So runs our speculation. The next three screenshots, again due literally any time, might shed further light.
Update: And here they are! The final screenshots of the set of 10 appear to depict the second protagonist clambering on a truck, piloting a biplane and driving a car. Rockstar has tweeted it will be back with "more to see" in a few weeks.
Makes sense or nonsense? Dare we dream of a co-op story mode or are we barking up the wrong tree? Hit us up in the comments with your own GTA guesswork.