If you haven’t already seen it, where have you been? The newest GTA V trailer blazed its way across the Net this morning like wildfire. It certainly looks absolutely incredible, detailing its trio of characters in more depth, and showcasing the game’s sandbox nature. So it’s all good then? Well, almost. The team reveals what the're looking forward to about this current-gen swansong for the franchise – and what they’re worried about. And as always, we'd really like to hear what YOU think.
Rockstar sure can cut a trailer, huh? Even with that weirdly dispassionate female narrator talking about a massive big-budget crime simulator with the same subdued tones you'd normally use for explaining a new dental hygiene technique, GTA V looks pretty fantastic. I hope the game is as good as they've made it look.
I worry, though. My first thought as the camera swooped through the sights of San Andreas was, "Wow, I really want to go explore that world." The little mountain towns, the wilderness, the blight of fake Los Angeles. I love just roaming around in imaginary worlds and poking the corners to see what I can find, and I feel like GTA V's universe is designed entirely to satisfy that wanderlust. But then the trailer starts talking about all these other things that I can just tell are going to keep me away from playing GTA the way I want -- which is a shame, because playing the way I want was what got me into GTA to begin with.
That changed with GTA IV, as the world became smaller and more constrictive. Story was pushed to the fore. And of course there were all of Nico's relationships, those real-time annoyances that would decay and put you at a disadvantage if you dared to stray from the critical path to focus on doing something other than keeping up your friendships and romances by hovering close to your needy, clingy companions. I think the blowback from GTA IV's endless cell phone harassment has convinced Rockstar never to go in that direction again, but I still see those concepts lingering in GTA V's three-protagonist system and the real-time "voyeurism." I'm dreading the possibility that if I go off and get lost in the mountains for a couple of days of in-game time, I'm going to be subjected to an endless barrage of whiny co-protagonists getting on my case for daring to enjoy this video game on my own terms.
Maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am! But there's still the question of whether I really have it in me to deal with Rockstar's ambition to become world-class storytellers by regurgitating bits of their favorite crime flicks, which was fine when it was an afterthought but less enjoyable when it's constantly thrust in your face. Not to mention the series' increasingly long-in-tooth sense of humor. BAWSAQ, guys! Get it? It's like NASDAQ, but it's also a joke about scrotums! My, what delightful japery! I declare, Rockstar, you are the living end.
The trailer hinted at some very interesting game mechanics, and it looks like (for once) shooting and combat might actually be fairly competent. Still, I'm approaching this one with wariness. It has so much potential, but I feel like the series has lost sight of what made it great in the first place. I may end up giving in to the cries of the public and gravitating toward the anarchic mayhem of Saints Row IV... despite my best efforts.
Well, damn. That’s a trailer and a half. I’m extremely impressed by the game’s depth, detail and complexity. It almost seems next-gen in its level of sophistication and looks, and the way the missions and gameplay work sounds highly intriguing.
It also looks like a big improvement over the last game, which I enjoyed less than earlier GTA games, mostly because of format fatigue. While IV’s city was fantastic, the missions felt a little too familiar and rote. The game also seemed to be missing the more exploratory and progressive nature of prior GTA episodes – almost like Rockstar didn’t quite have enough time to finish the usually more comprehensive sandbox side of things. Don’t get me wrong – it was still a great game, but to me, it wasn’t as fun and open-ended as San Andreas, and was missing the cool time-and-place shtick of Vice City.
But by the looks of it, V is bringing back the sandbox and then some – and if it does that, I’m going to be happy. It’s weird, but I’m a lot less interested in the characters. One of my issues with playing character roles is that you’re forced into a path dictated by their story and actions, which is fine when you like what they’re doing. But when you’re not that interested or sympathetic towards them, have to manage issues you really don’t care about, or end up dealing with the consequences of decisions that just seem dumb, that can begin to feel like a chore – almost like you’re housekeeping and managing someone else’s mess, rather than being in control of your own destiny. Sure, GTA has always had a linear story arc narrative, but nevertheless, subtle choices can make all the difference, and make you feel a lot more involved, rather than simply being along for the ride. Hopefully that won’t be an issue, and GTA V will play out more like an exciting narrative in which you feel truly involved.
But really, the thing that interests me most of all is online – which could well be what I’m really looking for: an online sandbox game where you get to have fun and play out a life that you make for yourself, while dealing with other players. Now that sounds incredibly cool!
Is that a female foot in the toilet bowl? I think that was a female foot in the toilet bowl. Even if that wasn't an appendage belonging to someone who once utilized feminine pronouns, it was, nonetheless, a foot being flushed into the sewers. I haven't been paying too much attention to Grand Theft Auto V but the latest trailer has my curiosity piqued. Will I be able to track down and exterminate the lousy stockbroker that took all of my recent, ill-begotten gains? The idea of an open world with civilian characters that are not too dissimilar from the regular Joe or Jane is an intriguing one. Can I teach my son the virtues of firearms-induced donations? I'm desperately hoping that we'll be able to throw a wrench within the well-manicured wheels of suburban life.
Also, yoga. And all of the other weird variables they're going to introduce. How much of these elements are going to have an effect on, you know, the core gameplay? Having said all that, good grief is GTA V pretty.
Grand Theft Auto V looks amazing. The world looks alive and fully realized; trees, oceans, citizens going about their business. Rockstar's technical expertise is something that cannot be denied. Your three protagonists have lives, they have families and friends, they can play the stock market, and the world looks like it reacts to their situation. The heist structure of the game is intriguing to me, and I somewhat look forward to the idea of planning my own bank score. All told I'm getting a very Breaking Bad feeling from the entire game so far, which is a good sign story-wise.
The problem is Grand Theft Auto IV was quite impressive as well, but it bored me to tears. There's a line between a game and a simulation that certain genres, like racing, have to tackle as a basic part of their design. I've gotten the feeling that Rockstar is getting closer to the simulation side of that divide, and I'm not entirely sure it's a side that I want to live on, seeing as the simulation side isn't entirely my cup of tea. I'll certainly play the game, but I'm hesitant to say its something I want to dive deep into based on what I've seen so far.
It probably doesn't help that I'm seeing this trailer while I'm playing Saints Row IV, which is definitely on the "game" side. Everything in Saints Row seems geared towards letting the player have infinite fun, while everything in GTAV seems geared towards showing off Rockstar's talent. I have a strong affinity for the former idea.
GTA V looks great in many ways, but I feel the series has somewhat lost its direction a bit in the years since the earlier titles hit the scene. Grand Theft Auto used to be about creating increasingly ridiculous amounts of chaos and following a light-hearted crime caper storyline that parodied and lampooned everything under the sun. More recent entries have dialed back on the more self-consciously silly elements, and that's a bit of a shame for me; it takes itself a bit too seriously. That said, the Saints Row series more than adequately fills that void for me now.
While there are some cool ideas in the game – the character-switching stuff looks great, though it's not exactly revolutionary, and the idea of pulling of heists cooperatively with "yourself" is neat – I do worry a bit that there's going to be too much content too thinly spread. It's neat that there's stock trading, property dealing and golf components to the game, I guess, but those things aren't really the reason I play a Grand Theft Auto game. I worry that there'll be too much fluff and not enough substance, but I'll happily be proven wrong on that matter.
I guess the best way to sum up how I feel about GTA V at this stage is "indifferent" – I neither particularly like or dislike it; it just "is." Part of the reason for my indifference is the fact we've already been bombarded with information and screenshots about the game, and to be honest I'm a bit sick of hearing about it already. Information overload. Today's trailer was better, since it finally gave us an idea of how the game will play, but to be honest, I would be very happy if I never heard anything else about Grand Theft Auto V until the damn thing is actually on store shelves! I know that's not going to happen, though, so I'll just grit my teeth and sit in the corner with my JRPGs until everyone calms down a bit and we can look at the experience without the Glasses of +10 Hyperbole strapped to our respective faces.
The new trailer makes Grand Theft Auto V look like a spiritual successor to San Andreas, which would be a welcome change of pace for me. The overly serious tone of Grand Theft Auto IV left me cold, especially when contrasted with the always-ludicrous gameplay. And as much grief as I'll give Take-Two for suggesting the game's real-time character switching mechanic is an industry first, it does look like it could add an interesting twist on the open world gameplay formula.
And of course, the game looks phenomenal. It's really impressive how even eight years into this console cycle, we're still getting new games that make you reassess just what this hardware is capable of. As a chronic early adopter and borderline techno fetishist, I know I'll be in line for a next-gen system on launch day this year, but I wonder if games like Grand Theft Auto V will have the masses holding off on a new system a little bit longer than usual.
Just watched it and I forgot about the next-gen consoles for a bit. Why is this not coming out on Xbox One or PS4??? Anyway, it looks amazing, as expected, and the part I love the most is that it feels like San Andreas a lot more than GTA IV. I love New York City... err, Liberty City... but the wilderness and the different sections of Los Santos opens up the imagination. It looks like the type of game where you can say, "I want to go to there," and actually make it happen.
Did you like this article? If so, please take a moment to Tweet about it.