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Arguably the most dated aspect of Grand Theft Auto IV is its shooting. However, Rockstar is making several changes in GTA V to ensure that the combat is what modern shooter fans will expect.
In past GTA games, you needed to aim down the sights or lock onto a target in order to shoot them. GTA V, though, will also give players the option to fire on the run. You're not going to be as accurate as you would be while stationary but at least you can stay mobile.
"The additional freedom is great for the kind of chaotic shootouts that emerge when you're out in the open world causing havoc and quickly find yourself heavily outgunned and boxed in," associate technical director and combat designer Phil Hooker told Game Informer.
The "hard lock" targeting of GTA IV has been removed. Hooker says, correctly, that it was too disorienting and allowed players to shoot enemies without actually finding them. Players will now have three different aiming modes to choose from. Assisted aiming will give players a larger targeting area and also help them pick out the mostdangerous enemies. Traditional GTA aiming is a "soft lock" system, with players able to switch between targets by flicking the right analog stick. These target locks have a timer, though, so you can't just stay locked into a target all day. Free aim is exactly what you'd expect, though Hooker says that they've tweaked the camera so aiming will be smoother.
GTA V, like GTA IV, is a cover-based shooter. However, Rockstar is trying to make the cover system more "intuitive and responsive" this time around.
"We've also pushed the cover system to further bridge the gap between driving and gunplay," Hooker said. "In addition to smoothly running out of a car whilst firing a gun, players are able to use their car as cover, getting out and staying low without exposing themselves. They can make a stand there behind the car for a while and then at any time quickly re-enter the car from cover or from shooting and speed away with little exposure to enemy fire. It can really make the difference at crucial moments."
I really do hope they're able to make GTA V's combat feel like a 2013 shooter. Gunfights are such a huge part of both the single-player and multiplayer GTA experience and they've been given short shrift for too long. The simple removal of hard target locking will do loads, though.
This new information comes hours after Rockstar released the first gameplay video for GTA V. In addition to showing off some of the game's combat, it also details vehicle customization, character swapping, web browsing and more.