“It’s not far off now”
GTA:V has been demoing itself recently with a Rockstar Representative at the helm, with the gaming press watching tentatively. So at last we get to find out what features this next edition has in store. Something I prefer to discover while playing more than read about. Then discuss with my schoolmates at dinner, which I then swiftly run away from, seeing as I’m 24, no longer at school, and somebody rang the police.
Firstly it’s all being powered by a shiny new engine, to turn the pistons behind a world bigger than Red Dead, GTA:IV and San Andreas! We’ll also see further draw distances, sharper textures, nifty lighting, water physics and crowd dynamics; to name but a few improvements. With other big names busting out their hefty, meaty engines, so for Rockstar to meet expectations it makes sense they have their own. Even now GTA:4 has a dated pastry glaze to it, and its not really that old a game.
“Three’s a crowd?”
Three, it seems, is a magic number. Three main characters, three intertwined storylines, three walks of life. Like an ever present poltergeist sponsored by Google Earth, you can float between each character during down time, or be switched over mid mission for new segments of action. Interestingly, each character also has a latent special ability to unleash granting an advantage to your play style. Bullet dodging has never seemed so appealing. Interestingly each character is important to the development of each mission (which are heist related by the way). Michael is the brains and the gun, Franklyn the wheels and muscle; then Trevor, well hes just Trevor.
“I wanna make a guy”
Customisation is back with a vengeance. Yippee-ki-yay mother f**ker! Cars can be overhauled, not just cosmetically with paint jobs,body work and window tint, but with mechanical/performance upgrades too. Clothing, hair and tattoos give your character a unique edge, here’s hoping it goes beyond the woolly jumper jumble sale of GTA:4. Even your personal arsenal has the tricked out treatment; with attachments and upgrades to make you a cut above the opposition. Property acquisition makes a return with houses and businesses, as well as lock ups and marinas to stash your customised shit in.
“The Closest Shave Yet!”
It seems that for the last 5 years for Rockstar have been returning to the past and reviving it with new ideas and techniques. Red Dead Redemption was a blazin saddle of a wilderness, bringing wildlife to life in a gaming world. Max Payne returned with an overhauled shooting system as slick as the the man himself. LA Noire harked back not only to pre war LA but the cinema of the time, with animation techniques never truly utilised before now and using them to bring it’s characters to life. Each of them an achievement in their own right, however I never shook the feeling that each one has been an experiment for something greater. So no doubt when Rockstar return to the franchise that started it all, it takes the best of what they learnt and polishes them off in one almighty package. Which no doubt will make for quite a ride.