Over ten years ago, a game came by that shook up the entire entertainment industry. It changed the tunes many game companies were singing. It made the world sit up and look at video games in a different color.
It introduced us to a sprawling city to explore, a solid Mafioso plot and a bevy of vehicles to drive and weapons to shoot. With its great production values, the gaming industry generally celebrated a magnificent video game that was soon the talking point of 2001 – and its impact is still felt to this day; it shattered the perception that video games were a child’s past time. A roaring success, Grand Theft Auto 3 set Rockstar Games on a blazing trail of glory.
GTA 3 brought virtual violence into the lime light and for years battled it out with politicians, PTA organizations and media pundits who called the game an abomination. However, its controversial elements gave it traction among teens and young adults who become rebel without cause in their adoration for the game.
However, adults resonated with the game and felt that console gaming had finally matured. With GTA 3 video games now could compete with movies in the portrayal of a gritty and believable world that was open for business for anyone old enough to enjoy!
Going forward, the GrandTheft Auto franchise gained strength as each new game in the series was analyzed, dissected, soon revered, and inevitably embroiled in controversy. Even when faced with a barrage of criticism from all sides, Rockstar Games continued to perfect the sand box action genre with every iteration.
Vice City and San Andreas were the pinnacles of gaming for the last generation: massive worlds modeled around the east and west coast cities with plots and characters that were a tribute to classic gangster movies like ‘Scarface’, ‘Carlito’s Way’ and ‘Boyz in the Hood’.
Many new additions and improvements in the game play and production values were made, which enriched the GTA experience. New modes of transportation, more weapons, variable mission structure and bigger game worlds were some of the updated content that would lace the new GTA games.
This wave of success also brought three GTA games on the handheld which were met with a surprisingly positive response. New and powerful consoles meant games could be packed to the gills with content and improvements in every section of the game. Enthusiasts were excited to see how the next GTA game would look in HD.
Rockstar Games released GTA 4 for the PS3, X-Box 360 and PC in 2008 to critical and commercial success. Even its add-ons/DLCs were fine games that squeezed every bit from the GTA 4 universe. Although there were a few detractors of the game, none could deny the fact that the first Grand Theft Auto in HD was an astounding achievement.
We now come to the upcoming release in the GTA series. A whole year has passed since Rockstar stunned the gaming community with its first trailer for GTA 5 and the open hints for a spring 2013 release window.
All the while, the company has supplied the industry with a constant stream of information, screen shots, and – as of mid November – a new trailer. This article could have been a normal preview, but I thought it would be better to highlight some of the new features that have got me terribly excited for GTA 5!
As the current console cycle is drawing to a close, and developers are taking advantage of consoles prowess, we know GTA 5 will be the best-looking game in the series to date.
The latest trailers and screen shots to hit the net show off superb graphics and highly detailed character models and environments. The phenomenal visuals of GTA 5 will definitely be the most talked about feature. Of course, GTA 4 was by no means a bad looking game, but the graphical fidelity that GTA 5 is exhibiting is almost unparalleled.
The game’s polygon count seems to be off the charts while the animation looks great. Another aspect of the upgraded visuals, perhaps due to the change in environments, is how bright and cheery the art style has become – a welcome change. All in all, GTA 5 will be up there with the best in the visuals department!
The last time GTA had more than one character was when the original game came out way back 1997. It’s a very bold move for GTA 5 to incorporate three main playable characters: Michael, a former thief living in witness protection with his family; Franklin, the new kid trying to establish himself in the crime scene; and Trevor, the crazy career criminal with a mean streak.
I am very excited about this as this change has potential to provide GTA 5 with a very strong narrative. It will also bring in much desired character progression, and it will be interesting to see how they react and behave in different situations. If GTA’s history is anything to go by, we may very well be treated to quite an interesting story!
Some of my fondest memories of any GTA game were cruising through the neon lights of Vice City, the mean streets of Liberty City or the glittery strips of San Andreas while tuned in to my favorite radio station.
GTA was equally about holding off missions creating wanton chaos for long stretches just to drive around town and take in the sights and sounds of these humungous cities. So, with Rockstar Games and Dan Houser going on the record to say that the world of GTA 5 is even bigger than the worlds of Red Dead Redemption and GTA 4 combined – driving around this new world will be a thrill on its own!
Lastly, on to the game play of which little is yet known. How will the vehicles handle? How good is the combat? How is the save function going to work? I would like to believe that GTA 5 will have some improvements in its core game play. Since the release of GTA 4, Rockstar Games has released two outstanding sand box action games; Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire. Both games have new ideas and concepts that would be a natural fit in GTA 5. The shooting mechanics in Red Dead Redemption were quite solid – something which GTA games always struggled with.
If GTA 5’s shooting game play is on par with Red Dead Redemption, then that will stand in good stead for the game. L.A. Noire was a very novel and unique game where investigation of crime scenes, picking up leads and interrogating suspects was 60% of the game. This feature – toned down, of course – can allow GTA 5 to make a real impact if incorporated into the game play and story.
With just a few months left for release, details will start coming in slowly, and it will be interesting to see what sort of improvements and additions are included in the final version of the game.
Rockstar Games already has an incredible track record with its great library of games, and all signs indicate that GTA 5 will enhance it further. Grand Theft Auto 5 is set to be the swansong of the current generation of games – and it will be the best way to usher in the next generation!