We were convinced that when Rockstar Games unveiled the first gameplay trailer for Grand Theft Auto 5 last November that it meant the game was coming this year (read our GTAV release date theory and discussion).It even topped Game Rant’s most anticipated games of 2012 list. Why else would the trailer be revealed at that time, during such a crowded release schedule, right?

After a no-show at E3 (Rockstar doesn’t come there much) and nothing at Gamescom, all was silent on the GTA front. Until this week of course, where Rockstar Games has released several small sets of in-game screenshots, the latest and largest batch coming today.

On Monday, the first three Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshots presented the Cheetah sports car, a bicycle and a fighter jet. On Wednesday, we got a little more active with more in-game images showcasing dirt bikes, tennis and parachuting. The latest set of screenshots (four this time) show off a pair of air vehicles and some action sequences. Say hello to the police helicopter, the biplane and the dude scaling a transport truck:

That’s ten screenshots for the week. Rockstar promises that in a few more weeks they will have more to show.

As for the mysterious release date, one of the dev’s resumes indicated an October release date (which is definitely not happening), and combined with the news of the Red Dead Redemption team helping out along with the Mafia 2 developer 2K Czech helping develop the game, it almost seemed like Rockstar was doing the best they can to get it done quick. That could still coincide with the theories from some analysts that Grand Theft Auto 5 could release spring 2013 but there’s nothing official either way.

The same lack of concrete information applies to the gameplay itself with early rumors that GTAV could feature co-op play along with weapon customization, hostages and animals. We just hope the controls and multiplayer features are significantly overhauled from what we got in Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 4. What do you want from the next GTA?

Grand Theft Auto 5 looks to release sometime in 2013, either in the first half of the year for the PS3, Xbox 360 (maybe the Wii U and PC) or – if the visuals combined with open-world gameplay are of any indication – the end of the year for the first next-gen console should the PS4 or Xbox 720 release.

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Source: Rockstar Games