The long anticipated release of GTA V is in sight and it looks like it might be rather good.
Imagine a world in which normal rules do not apply. Where committing anti-social and criminal acts is not only allowed but actively encouraged and rewarded. Where there is no need to bear in mind the welfare of your fellow human beings, your dignity, or even the points on your licence. No I’m not talking about a career in politics. I am of course talking about the Grand Theft Auto series.
‘Why bring this up?’ You wonder, as you eye up the Porsche Carrera parked across the road, for no apparent reason. Well I’ll tell you, closet psychopath – it’s because Rockstar has not only announced 17th September as the release date for the fifth incarnation of this brutal and brilliant computer game, but it has also released three delicious trailers. They introduce each of the lead characters that you will no doubt spend many a blissful night shooting, stealing, driving, pimping and maybe even flying with. All that good stuff.
Meet Michael, a retired crime-boss rotting away in his Hollywood mansion with his trophy wife and bratty kids. Like a skinny Tony Soprano, this criminal family man clearly can’t resist the redolent mix of mischief, drugs and violence proffered by organised crime. He’s even got the shrink to boot.
Then there’s Trevor: hillbilly, drug-dealer, and apparently an old friend of Michael’s. My favourite clip from the trailer is when Trevor responds to Michael’s wife’s requests to keep away from her and the kids with a conciliatory “Nnngrr nice new tits by the way!” I’m expecting memorable one-liners and some real trailer-trash class.
Completing the assortment of friendly neighbourhood delinquents is Franklin. His background is apparently very similar to CJ’s from San Andreas – a gangbanger raised in the hood, set on escaping his trappings for a better, more Ferrari-owning life-style.
Considering I would probably go and see all three of those at the cinema had they been trailers for movies, this looks set to be rather epic. More importantly I get the impression that the weaknesses of GTA IV are going to be addressed. As technically great as it was, the adventures of Nico Belic disappointed because his story line was overtly depressing and overpowered the sheer fun that set previous GTAs ahead of the competition. Liberty City was also claustrophobic and rainy. Now whilst rain can be a great atmospheric tool in a computer game, personally I get enough of that living in England. The sunshine and the space for exploration in and around the city of Los Santos will afford players ample time for a country stroll to a meth-den, a body-disposing mountain ramble or even a spot of scuba diving.
I’m especially looking forward to Franklin’s part in this tripartite of criminal endeavour. I would bank on this one being a more traditional GTA story arc, starting from the bottom and embarking on a Scarface-like rampage to the top of the crime world. What’s most intriguing however is how the three main characters will be brought together. Will there be a happy ending, three crime bosses ruling in peace? More likely you will be choosing your favourite, and wiping out the others. This would ensure replay value, and will get the player as emotionally involved in the story as you would expect from the bravest computer game franchise in history. It may be more of the same, but I’m pumped.
Featured image: Rockstar Games