POSTING BY JB MADDAWG
I am a wheel man. Like most of my kin, if it’s got a steering wheel and a gas pedal, chances are I can jump in the driver’s seat, throw in “Slow Ride” by Foghat and if you’re in the passenger seat, you better
hang the fuck on enjoy the ride. Upon once getting the chance to drive my uncle’s prized ’68 SS Camaro while he rode shotgun, I barked the tires in three gears and was admonished for “driving like a sissy”. That’s how it goes in my family. Highball it or face humiliation.
Guess that’s why Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series has always appealed to me. Not for the gunplay, shooting a police (yeah, I usually don’t tell my badge friends I play this)or the general mayhem. Ok, maybe a little mayhem. For me, it’s all about the cars.
If you’ve never heard of or played this title, it may not be for you. It’s a little on the unscrupulous side, what with the larceny, prostitutes and bank robbing. Let’s just say it’s not a game I’d recommend to anyone under the age of 30. Alright, 35. It’s graphic, gritty and seedy. Have I warned you enough about the morality issues in this game? Are you sure? Then let’s continue.
If there is a real positive in the GTA franchise, it’s the design and detail. The cars are perfect. The city looks and feels real, at least in the most recent offerings. I really don’t know how to describe this, but of all the varieties of cars in-game, and there are many, they all feel different. It’s amazing. When you roll out of the throttle of what is basically the Dodge Viper (not called that because of licensing, of course) there is the backfiring from the pipes, the Porsche copy corners like it’s glued to the road, the 1970′s Ford copy takes three years to stop at a red light. Someone at Rockstar, did their research on the autos.
The cityscape is just a great, with litter on the ground and buildings real enough to jump off. It’s one of the most scenic and visually entertaining games I’ve every laid out cash for. The story in most of the titles are usually a bit over the top and stereotypical, but it’s all the same. Usually every mission has you running from the police, the mob or the entire city. All while you listen to some diverse radio stations that seem to have a playlist that coincides with whatever is going on at the moment. Trust me, there’s nothing better than riding a chopper in this game with a 5 star wanted level on your head while Motley Crue’s ”Wildside” blares at you.
Taking all this into account, Rockstar has recently announced its newest title, GTA V. The location? San Andreas. Again. The mock California will again be the setting of the game, which for those of you not in the know, was the location just a game title ago. It seems the developers at Rockstar really have only a real knowledge of NYC and Los Angeles. The graphic update of one of GTA’s largest maps will be nice, but so would the game’s background in a fresh location. Obviously Rockstar doesn’t own or look at maps very often.
One of the great rumors of this title is that in the next installment, players will have a choice of character and storyline to follow, obviously taking away some of the linear feel of the game. Me, I’m hoping for some kind of return of Irish beer guzzling, head cracking Packie McReary, a non playable character from the previous series.
Obviously, graphics will be sharper, guns will be bigger and cars, faster. Most gamer complaints will come from the same people who don’t appreciate the new feel of the cars. Driving is more realistic in recent titles, with real weight distribution as you corner and it’s something long time fans will have to adjust to. As an aquaintence of mine said, “I don’t like the feel of the new GTA cars”. Probably because he’s kind of wuss and once told me Volkswagen products were the best on the road. Ick.
As for me, I’m sure when the game is released, I’ll pick up a copy for a chance to jump in a replica of a lime green ’70 Hemi Cuda, that I didn’t have to buy, blasting down an expressway with a helicopter above me demanding that I “pull over immediately”. ‘Cause in the real world, that’s cause to go to the pokey and become the cell bride of a guy named “Mako”. Just sayin’.
Anyway, here’s the official trailer kids. GTA V is out for release in the Fall of 2012.