And to Glorious Acclaim! The heads of mighty Rockstar Games doth bequeath to us lowly types news of the resplendant return of yet another implementation in the Grand Theft Auto series, this 8th (or 9th)? offering is GTA V. and with no real news to give us, they instead offer up an advert to an initial trailer!!
One which will probably show no game footage and will be about as helpful in letting people know what to expect as a video of a monkey scratching it’s bum. No really, wait and see.
I’m sorry that I’m not exactly enthused as to this news, but as various people I know have been telling me all afternoon, GTA IV was possibly one of the most over-hyped, over-praised and generally over-bought games in history. I’ll lay my cards out, I never bought it. Never played it, and never wanted to do so. The thought of playing the life of a boring, droning voiced, eastern european criminal wannabe in a BIG AMERICAN CITY appealed to me in no way. It sounded crass, looked grimy and dull and nothing I saw enthused me at all. To be frank, I felt the same way about GTA: San Andreas, and I’ll go further back, still. I’ve actually only ever played one GTA game since it went 3D. That was GTA: Vice City Stories on my trusty PSP.
This may have been because my first entry into the console world after my SEGA MegaDrive was when I bought an XBOX 360 and one of the first games I got for it was my review copy of Saint’s Row. With no real comparison to hold it up against, Saint’s Row was a revelation to me. I moulded a digital version of myself (One so realistic that I still use it occasionally to see how hairstyles will suit me) and embarked on a comedy journey through pisstake gang wars that could have been dreamed up by a hyperactive 12 year old who’d listened to too much Ice-T. When Saint’s Row 2 came out I missed it due to other gaming demands, but I finally got a copy on PC and gave it a whizz through. Sadly I simply didn’t have the time to finish it, yet I wanted to play on, despite the PC controls putting me off a tad. Because Saint’s Row has one ace in it’s sleeve that GTA never had, an ongoing story about characters we liked. No-one in Saint’s Row ever phoned up badgering me to look at “BEEEG AMERICAAAN TEETEEEEEEZZ” In fact the subdued ending of the first game and some of the more shocking moments and characters deaths in SR2 have stuck with me longer and better than even Sephiroth getting grumpy with Aerith.
As a result, I’ve spend most of this year quietly looking forwards to Saints Row: The Third as for me, it’s the better series. While San Andreas allegedly had jet-packs and rocket launchers occasionally, it was still gang turf raw. Saint’s Row is all about bling, about ridiculously curvy women with diamond knuckledusters and gold AK47s standing beside moody men in sunglasses and long purple coats. It’s a game set in the most unknowingly excessive gansta-rapper music video and trying to make you giggle at every turn at the ludicriousness. Which is why I’ll be donning my purple this christmas and probably playing an old PC RTS while the rest of the world kowtows to the mammoth GTA juggernaut when it rolls around next year.
End of line.