Rockstar Games near the end of 2013  released five brand new screenshots for the highly anticipated fifth chapter in their iconic crime-infused franchise Grand Theft Auto V. The five screenshots were uploaded to Rockstar’s official Facebook Page, and each of the screenshots depict different moments throughout Los Santos.

Under The Sea: Sharks, Scuba Subs, and The Little Things

The new(ish) screenshots are more than just tasty eye-candy; they might actually hint at some pretty awesome and brand new features that immerse gamers in an expanded virtual playground. Los Santos is quite huge, and some of the screens hint that players may be able to enjoy GTA V’s environments with a variety of new features and vehicles.

These new features unlock a smorgasboard of potential that hasn’t ever been offered before in Rockstar’s mock universe, and now gamers can actually submerge themselves into the water inside of vehicles without dying! Just think about all those new opportunities that are opened up with this simple feature…to swim the pollution-infested waters of Los Santos and say hi to a shark that makes Jaws look like a sardine…fleeing from the Coast Guard, racking up felony-stars from wreaking havoc in a high-speed boat chase, skimming across the water at speeds that make the Flash look like he’s in slow-mo.

Ah, just imagine the possibilities!

Rockstar seems to be pushing the boundaries of GTA V‘s environments with new features and vehicles for land, sea and air: we have awesome jet fighters to sonic boom our way across Los Santos’ skyways, a huge array of awesome cars, motorcycles, and everything in between, and finally we have the watercraft: boats and submarines right out of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.

Scuba duba!

Personally, the submarine interests me the most, as I’ve long awaited the chance to scour the coral-infested seabottoms and peruse the wide variety of marine life in any game, let alone a Grand Theft Auto title. We’re still not sure how much detail has been put into GTA V‘s underwater locale, but I can dream, can’t I?

It might seem like a pretty boring thing to be excited about. I mean, most gamers are more interested in the weapons or the graphics…but me? I’m all about the little things.

Part of the GTA mystique (at least in my point of view) is the little things that you notice while goofing off or not playing the main quest–those little things that you check out while you’re randomly wasting time (like when you’re bored and you try to drive the way you’re supposed to on the road–we’ve all done it!).

That's a big shark!!

Checking out the marine life–including a mutated great white shark who’s chomping at the bit to make you rue the day you went into the ocean–in this kind of game would definitely make my day, and it’d be something I would be able to enjoy for hours. Just to watch the sea life carry on, much like just watching the insane denizens of Liberty City as they carry on with their completely crazy shenanigans.The major players in GTA V are scheming up another plan for one last heist.

Aside from the prospect of being able to amble about under the sea in a scuba sub, I’m also intrigued about what dastardly deeds our nefarious criminal triumvirate is cooking up. One of the screens shows all of our anti-heroes looking particularly seedy, with our ex-bank robber Michael on the mobby and the other two fellas–Trevor and Franklin–standing in front of a nice cityscape.

Michael has quite the expression on his face, and you just have to wonder who’s on the other line and what they’re saying….and how it ties into the main story arc.

Seeing the drama-infused plot unfold is going to be quite a spectacle, and honestly the dynamic story is one of the more alluring elements of Grand Theft Auto V (besides the little things like scuba subs, of course!) that piqued my interest from the start.

Like many gamers, I can’t wait to see what carnage our trio of ex-cons dish out on the city of Los Santos, and how they turn on one another…and why. Knowing Rockstar, the story will be full of intrigue, betrayal, and wanton violence. Oh, and let’s not forget the intense satire of American culture–that’s a biggy.

The ‘Zon Dropped The Ball…Again?!

With Amazon’s recent slip-up, gamers might be able to jump into Los Santos even sooner than they thought. Recently, Amazon.com sent out e-mails to everyone who pre-ordered Grand Theft Auto V from the online retailer, showing a tentative release date of March 2013.

Amazon

This release date hasn’t been officially confirmed and still remains heresay, however due to the GTA V‘s recent leakage that revealed the Spring 2013 release window, this may in fact be the actual date.

March isn’t that far off, so gamers around the world are crossing their fingers and toes hoping that Amazon’s prophecy will become true. We’ve seen stuff like this before, such as the leaked promotional post for GTA V‘s “Spring 2013″ launch window that spread like wildfire (GoT anyone?!) on the internet…which was later confirmed by Rockstar.

Maybe they’ll finally break down and reveal the actual release date soon, but until then, it’s all guesswork!

Grand Theft Auto V is scheduled for release on Sept. 17, 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For more information, please visit the game’s official website.