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GTA 5 almost looked completely different

Grand Theft Auto 5 is the game that refuses to die. Even though longtime fans have prayed for Grand Theft Auto 6, Rockstar decided to re-re-release GTA 5 for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. However, since it's been almost a decade since the game launched on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, many wonder if the company has started producing a sequel. Maybe Rockstar hasn't announced GTA 6 because it needs another decade to brainstorm the game's plot?

But enough conspiracy tomfoolery. Rockstar's decision to port Grand Theft Auto 5 to yet another console generation is a reason to celebrate, and what better way to salute the game than to examine what could have been? It is common knowledge that video games go through development phases where everything from mission mechanics to art styles are altered, but it is not common knowledge what these early mechanics and styles look like. However, a dedicated army of hackers and game archivists have given the world inside GTA 5 knowledge. Here's what Grand Theft Auto 5 almost looked like.

GTA 5's logo almost looked like a sports team logo

You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly sell a book by one. Eye-catching artwork and logos can attract customers and convince them to purchase products. Sometimes the cover art piques interest, and sometimes that's the logo's job. And like most pieces of art, a video game logo is iteratively refined, and Grand Theft Auto 5 is no exception.

Virtually everyone has seen the GTA 5 logo: that great big Roman numeral "V" stylized to look like text on a dollar bill. While the game's use of a Roman numeral was decided way in advance, the appearance of the "V" went through many phases.

During development, GTA 5's "V" was reportedly designed and redesigned a total of four times. The first design, a blocky red and blue "V," looked like something that would grace a college football shirt, while the second iteration reversed the color scheme and was more in line with a basketball team logo. Then came the third try, which abandoned red and blue for green and yellow, and it had a distinctly baseball team logo feel. As for the final logo, that's the big dollar bill text you know and love.

No names survived the GTA 5 beta

What's in a name? It can provide a window into a character's personality, inspiration, and even their fictional background. A great name and personality can solidify a video game character in the collective gamer subconscious. Great care must be taken when picking a character's name because there's no takesies backsies after a game releases. Thankfully, casting calls can be a little more slapdash.

In March 2011, The Agency opened a casting call for the project "Rush". Many gamers suspected a connection between the project and GTA 5, and since then, a complete list of character names from the audition was leaked to the internet. Many of the names, though acceptable, were tweaked for the game's retail release.

For example, the role of Tao Cheng was called Tae Wong in the audition, and the antagonist Steve Haines was originally named Mitch Hayes. But, you probably want to know the casting call names given to protagonists Trevor Philips, Michael De Santa, and Franklin Clinton. Well, apparently Trevor was just named Simon, and Michael De Santa went by the alias Albert De Silva, but Franklin? The casting call didn't include anyone who might have been him, so the world remains in the dark.

GTA 5 beta missions were stretched, shortened, and everything in between

A beta is the perfect opportunity for game developers to take a long, hard look at in-game missions and ask some serious questions. Is this mission fun? Does this quest have too many objectives? Will the mission's difficulty make gamers want to throw their controller through the TV screen? Here are just a few examples of how Rockstar tweaked Grand Theft Auto 5's missions.

When players boot up GTA 5 they are thrown into a prologue mission where they have to rob a bank and make a clean getaway. The retail version is cut and dry, but the beta version gave testers some extra tasks, such as shooting up computer monitors and servers. Moreover, events that unfold in the final cutscene, such as making Michael drive the getaway car and taking a woman hostage, initially played out in real time.

Another example of a mission with significant changes is "Franklin and Lamar." The objectives stayed roughly the same between beta and release, but it originally took place at night. And, instead of jumping up to a roof from a car, testers could climb up nearby vines. Meanwhile, the mission "Trevor Philips Industries" only received one minor revision: During the beta, testers could use C4. That's it.

GTA 5 almost let you ride horses and Combine Harvesters

Even though most beta content changes before final release, some features don't make the cut. Sometimes vehicles, weapons, and other in-game assets get the axe and are never seen again. Grand Theft Auto 5 has numerous cut items that could have given players some shiny new toys.

Since the GTA franchise is all about living a life of crime in style, luxury items like vehicles are at the top of the cut content list. During the beta period, testers got to ride cars and other modes of conveyance from previous GTA games, including the San Andreas Combine Harvester, the GTA 4 Marbelle sedan and Hellfury bike, and the GTA 3 Reefer boat. Plus, the beta also featured several unique "vehicles" that went to the chopping block, including roller skates, motorized skateboards, and horses.

While GTA 5 has no shortage of weapons, the developers couldn't fit in everything they wanted and had to leave some objects behind. One example is the Zippo lighter, which was only good for lighting gas on fire. Rockstar also wanted to let players attach laser sights to weapons, but these items did not make it to launch day.