Grand Theft Auto V on new-gen and PC will feature a first-person mode, Rockstar has confirmed.

First-person mode will be available both in the campaign and online, and is an old idea Rockstar could only execute with new-gen power and time on its hands.

“I don’t think we could’ve put it in the [last-gen version] because we were too busy making the game,” animation director Rob Nelson told IGN. “We were too busy working on our third-person controls and the missions.”

“We were out of memory on the old consoles for animations. We were constantly fighting about what we could have and what we could still push in, and what other areas you could steal memory back from – audio, art, maps – for animation.

“So we couldn't have added all the atoms to make a first-person mode to the level we wanted. We weren’t sure the world would have held up the way we would’ve wanted it to.”

Repositioning the camera was only the start – Rockstar North has made many changes to the game to make the first-person view more authentic.

“You have to change pretty much everything,” said Nelson.

“We have a very solid third-person animation system, but you don’t just put the camera down there and expect to see the guns, aim, and shoot.

“All those animations are new when you switch to first-person, because it all has to be animated to the camera, to make it feel like a proper first-person experience that I think people would expect. All the timings have to be re-evaluated,” he added.

“There’s stuff that just doesn’t exist in third-person: the weapon recoil, the reloads, the weapon switching. All of the weapons have been up-rezzed and animated properly, so the shells come out the right way and have the right muzzle flashes. I think we created 3,000 animations on weapons alone.”

Other details:

All vehicles have functioning speedometers and gas dials
Some more expensive vehicles have a radio display that show the radio station and song you’re listening to, and your character bobs his head to the music.
You can duck below the steering wheel if you’re being shot at
On bikes and helicopters, a helmet or a set of goggles restricts your view and muffles the audio
There are a number of control schemes available
Aim assist, ragdolling, and the combat roll can be disabled
You can toggle whether the game switches to third-person when taking cover or not
Selfies are no longer an overlay – you take out your phone and look through the viewfinder
The game runs at 1080p and 30FPS on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and is 4K compatible on PC

“This is new territory for us,” said Nelson. “We wanted as much as possible to retain a sense of character, whatever character you’re playing. Whether that’s little fidget or hearing them speak.”

“There are things you don’t see as well from a different perspective. When we started to play around, we started to see all this stuff we never saw before. It’s just a different way of looking at things."

Grand Theft Auto V is out on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 18, and Windows PC on January 27.