Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grand Theft Auto 5 Officially Announced

Let's all put on our best surprised faces.  Really, I'll wait.  No, I'm kidding, I'm not going to wait, because this isn't a surprise at all.  Timing-wise, perhaps a bit, but we all knew GTA V was going to be a thing eventually and it more or less was just up to Rockstar on when to begin the hype engine.  And now it has begun and I'm sure we're all awaiting with at least the slightest bit of optimism, no matter what your opinion on Grand Theft Auto IV was.  Personally, I squeezed a lot of enjoyment out of it, playing through the story twice (once right after launch, the next post trophy-patch to, well, get the trophies) and while I understood the criticisms, they personally didn't hold a lot of weight with me personally, so I, obviously, can't fault the game them.

Of course, I did end up, as most people did, feeling that there was at least a little lacking from the game on a fundamental level, which didn't improve with The Lost and Damned at least.  (If you'll remember, The Ballad of Gay Tony has been tossed onto my ever-growing "To Play" pile where it will languish for a while, I'm sure.)  Not having played Red Dead Redemption or L.A. Noire (only included because I'm not sure how big a role Rockstar played in sending the game out) I can't be confident one way or another that they've learned their lesson or not, so I can only hope that, come release of GTAV, that lacking feeling has been dealt with.  The few details that have been tossed around as 'rumors' are fairly inspiring, however.

Apparently, the game is set to take place in Los Santos, the Rockstar version of Los Angeles, previously seen in Grand Theft Auto:  San Andreas.  This is a pretty ballsy move on Rockstar's part, as setting this game, directly after the eventual mixed reception of IV, in roughly the same area as the 'best' GTA game will draw a lot of parallels, and a lot of them are going to be very, very direct and near-unforgiving.  I'm hoping this is a calculated risk, rather than, er...for lack of better term, arrogance on Rockstar's part as this game is going to be released under the gun, and I think we all would like to see as few reasons for everyone to latch onto and complain about as possible.  Since, well, I think we would all like an 'undeniably good' GTA game again, much like, well, every non-GTA IV game, apparently.

Obviously, the architecture of Los Santos is going to be very different, as was Liberty City before it, which will likely be for the better.  Should they decide to go with as big a map as San Andreas had, I would personally hope that a lot of the rolling wastelands would be less, er....empty and generally useless to explore, aside from looking for Sasquatch who was always faked.  Granted, there was a -lot- out in the deserts, but then again, there was always more desert that was nowhere near as interesting or useful.  Perhaps in Multi-player such an area would be more desirable, I'll concede and it's obvious that GTAV is going to have Multi-player, so I guess we'll just see.  Whatever we end up with for the map will likely not match any preconceived notions we have about it so arguing what would be good/bad for it is a bit moot at this point.

Also mentioned in the article linked above, is the possibility of multiple main characters in GTAV.  Whether this means in a style mimicking...er....another Rockstar game (Yes, I know it happens, yes, I'm angry it was spoiled for me) or something more like....well, Yakuza 4 (run through each story, eventually able to switch them out), or a self-contained layout like GTA IV and its DLC packs, it should actually be a fairly refreshing change of pace for the series.  This isn't even considering -who- the main character(s) will be, merely musing on how they'll be introduced/utilized.  While there's no actual news beyond "Hey, we're just announcing this game, trailer on November 2nd", there's certainly a lot to think about for the simple fact that Grand Theft Auto V is happening.

Remember what I said about the hype engine?  Wasn't kidding.

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