As one of our most anticipated games of 2013, Grand Theft Auto V can’t help but evoke a certain release-date-can’t-come-soon-enough feeling whenever we discuss its plans — an ambitious multiple-protagonist campaign; a stunningly sprawling open world; overhauls to gunplay, racing, and even melee combat. It’s easy to forget that multiplayer remains largely undetailed.

That being said, time is a perpetual constant; we can’t make it go faster. And with the holiday season directly upon us, Rockstar Games is making sure its fans enjoy the festivities with a surprising last-minute gift: screenshots. Five have been posted on the company’s Facebook page — many demonstrating a… unique aspect of Grand Theft Auto V‘s open-world scope and freedom.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Passenger Jets

We already know fighter jets are making a comeback in Grand Theft Auto VNovember’s trailer along with a few Ace Combat-esque screenshots have our hopes high for dogfighting — but now it appears as though passenger jets may be among the game’s flyable aircraft. The foreground fuselage in the screen above is reminiscent of GTA: San Andreas’s AT-400 (a doppelganger of the real-life Boeing 737-400), and the balding silhouette at the controls is unmistakable as that of our former-military-pilot protagonist, Trevor Phillips. Now, if we could only fly that blimp in the background, too…

And the skies aren’t the only dimension Rockstar is expanding in Grand Theft Auto V; the batch of screens also exhibits how water will be used for more than just boating (and spraying down adversaries) in the upcoming game.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Great White

Consider the underwater screenshot above. Depicting a character in diving equipment drifting up to a Great White shark, it conjures up recent memories of similar encounters within Far Cry 3. The one major exception: the beast here seems to be indifferent to his wetsuited visitor. In Far Cry 3, such scenes in open water were terrifying confrontations; death — exsanguination, detachment of limb — was almost guaranteed. In Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar might be adding a dash of predatory realism to the Great White that accounts for its discretionary — at least towards humans — nature. Think less Jaws, more National Geographic.

In any case we’ll be taking the submersible whenever we can, thank you. Rockstar has already stated that GTA V’s Los Santos — it of the square footage larger than GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined — will feature a detailed beachfront ocean floor with much to explore. We’re guessing sharks, to make an awkwardly apropos metaphor, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Submarine

Which of the new GTA V screens capture your attention? Peter Molyneux has nothing on dogs riding shotgun in vintage convertibles.

Grand Theft Auto V is targeting a Spring 2013 release for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Rockstar Games Facebook