Rockstar has confirmed that it is possible to switch between control of the three characters during the game. This is a feature that will not always be possible but will play an important role in mission structure, and help to improve upon the gameplay established in previous games.
In IGN’s original article confirming the mechanic, author Andrew Goldfarb said:
“Players will experience missions as different combinations of the three characters, and each will have a different skillset. For example, in one heist mission, Michael rappels down the side of a building while Franklin uses a sniper rifle from afar and Trevor flies in a helicopter above. Players can switch back and forth between Michael grabbing a target inside the building or Franklin trying to snipe enemies inside. Once you escape, the player can choose to fly the getaway helicopter as Trevor, snipe other pilots as Franklin or fire a gun from the back of the vehicle as Michael.”
There will be three main Characters in Grand Theft Auto V:
Michael is one of the three main Characters of GTA V. He’s a former bank robber on the East Coast who got a sweetheart deal with the FIB and managed to retire to Los Santos. However, his wife spent most of his money and he is forced to go back to crime in order reclaim his fortune.
Michael’s story will center around how the breakdown of his bought idyllic life pushes a man to breaking point. He is described as a man with everything and nothing to lose both at the same time, and his seemingly blisful existence in San Andreas will be changed forever by the events of GTA V.
In IGN’s Meet the Cast article, series creator Dan Houser of Rockstar Games outlined more information about Michael’s character.
“Michael, to me, is… Who is he? I know who he is, I’m just trying to… He’s the person who is trying to ignore some rather large mistakes that they have made. The person who’s trying to forget about certain practical but still selfish decisions that they took. He’s a man, also, obsessed by images and by appearances and who, when the world doesn’t live up to those images and appearances, doesn’t know what to do. He just retreats into his head. What he also is, when we started out… What he kind of evolved into as we began thinking about him and developing him… He was the first character we came up with. He began as the idea of, what happens to a regular GTA protagonist after they retire? Then you think, what would make him retire? He’s a man with a big ego and plenty of good values and plenty of bad values.”
As outlined previously, Michael’s life is said to be comfortable, living in San Andreas after retiring from a life of crime.
In reality, Michael’s world is not as perfect as it seems. His wife has lost interest, his kids are distant and his ego are all getting in the way of creating his own piece of paradise.
Dan Houser of Rockstar has said that Michael is an extremely interesting character and a man who has been completely victorious only to find that being the victor isn’t as appealing as he thought.
Houser said: “[Michael’s] flaws are certainly his large ego, an inability to control his temper, and his willingness to make large moral compromises. To me, that’s a very interesting character. A guy who’s in his mid-40s and on the cusp of middle age who doesn’t know what to do, but made a bunch of money and does not know what to do with it. He’s theoretically won, but the spoils of victory aren’t necessarily what he imagined. For us that’s a very interesting character, unlike what we’ve done in the past or what we’ve seen in much entertainment in general, let alone any video games. That was interesting.”
He’s Not Tommy Vercetti
Back when most of GTA V’s plot, characters and pretty much everything else were still a mystery, many people, including IGN’s Greg Miller, thought Michael might actually be the protagonist of GTA: Vice City, Tommy Vercetti.
The similarities were pretty striking, and a split-second glimpse of Michael’s face in GTA V’s original trailer prompted the following image:
In fact, the chances of Michael being Tommy Vercetti were completely dashed by Rockstar during GTA V’s big reveal, as they simultaneously revealed that GTA V’s timeline exists in a seperate universe to that of the original games which began with GTA 3 and ended with GTA: Vice City Stories.
Images of Michael
Click on the images of Michael below to see them in full size.
Video of Michael
Trevor Phillips is the mirror image of Michael. Whereas Michael is established and living the high life, Trevor is stuck in a trailer park. He’s unhinged and untrusting. The pilot lives in filth and isn’t afraid to set a car on fire just because. He’s the dark night to Michael’s bright day, and while all we know is that these former friends had a falling out, it’s enough to be the most interesting story thread we know about GTA V. How could their paths have diverged so much? Does Michael’s place in witness protection mean he double-crossed Trevor? How will that dynamic play out in missions? We’ll have to wait and see.
Michael and Trevor’s Relationship
For unknown reasons, Trevor and other protagonist Michael had a severe falling out, leading to a rift between the two characters.
Trevor’s temperment, that of the psychotic, unhinged type, has been designed by Rockstar to be a direct parallel to Michael, and perhaps to blur the lines between what makes a man evil, and what makes a man good.
In an interview with IGN that introduced us to the new character, series creator and GTA boss Dan Houser revealed that Trevor may not be all he seems.
“Trevor was the other side of the GTA coin, I suppose. He’s the person who’s driven purely by desire, resentment, no thought for tomorrow whatsoever, completely id rather than ego-driven. Constant partying, constant madness. The only thing he doesn’t want to do is stop. He wants to keep going and ride it all to the end. Won’t take an insult from anybody. Kills without remorse, like a true psychopath, but very sentimental for the right reasons when it suits him. That seemed like another side of the kind of GTA coin or the GTA world, but very rarely as the protagonist. That seemed an interesting guy to have as a protagonist. Very unlike anyone we’ve had in a game before. If you began to develop him and Michael and their previous relationships… We wanted this feeling where you start off thinking one’s good and the other’s awful. Then you get spun the other way. Then you get spun back the first way, until you can’t decide.”
Interestingly, this seems to reveal that Michael, despite seeming to be the good guy (at least compared to Trevor), might end up being worse than Trevor in the end. Relationship WithThe Lost
A few moments in the trailer released April 30th show Trevor having a possible fued with The Lost biker gang. In one scene he is hitting a Lost member with a baseball bat. Another scene shows Trevor wielding a shotgun in an area marked with The Lost logo. This appears to show Trevor having rather sour relationships with the biker gang seen in Grand Theft Auto 4’s DLC.
Images of Trevor
Video of Trevor
Franklin is one of the three main Characters in Grand Theft Auto V. He hails from South Los Santos and is an ex-street gangster who’s always looking for new opportunities. He’s a repo man working for Armenian luxury car dealership, which scams ambitious young hotshots by selling them high-end cars they cannot afford, only for Franklin to forcefully take them back when they default on the repayments. He’s befriended Michael after doing a job together and now Michael sees him as “the son he never had.” Franklin resides from South Los Santos and also in lives in Rockford Hills as seen in Trailer 2 when he was talking to what looks like his Girlfriend or Sister in the mansion
Franklin also has a pet Rottweiler dog named Chop seen below in the Poster for Trailer 2. Chop will also help distract people while Franklin reposes their cars. Chop is also seen nearly getting run over + nearly getting shot at, but does not get hurt.
Images of Franklin
Video of Franklin
Judging by the Michael trailer, she appears to be cheating on Michael with her tennis instructor.