You've taken the day off, right? Oh joyous day, it's when Rockstar will finally reveal the trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. Wait, no ... I'm sorry. What I meant to say was:
OK, that's better.
You see, it's obvious that Rockstar has to step up their game. It's been awhile since we've banged gangs in San Andreas, and the sandbox-action genre is starting to look a little crowded. With competitors like Saint's Row coming hard and others, like Crackdown, changing how open world games play, Rockstar knows they need to come out of the gate with something different.
Word around the water cooler (and pint glass and lines of blow, apparently) is that Rockstar is going to surprise us all with their new game. I'm hearing that when we finally do see it, it's not going to be easily recognizable as a Grand Theft Auto game. And you can already see it in the advertising and branding.
Not Grand Theft Auto IV. Not even GTA IV. Just ...
[Artwork by Topher "Hushgush" Cantler; I got him drunk at a karaoke bar and tricked him into it.]
Grand Theft Auto Fore
What's with the emphasis on IV, Rockstar? Oh, I see where you're going with this -- FORE. OK, now it all makes sense.
Soundtrack: Oh yeah.
Grand Theft Auto SporePicture it -- the emergent teleological evolution gameplay of Will Wright’s Spore and the emergent, sandbox world of Grand Theft Auto, together at last.
Players start as a single-celled organism, working their way through evolution as they create their personalized, gun-toting life form. Like Spore, as players make the next step in the evolutionary chain, they can add and remove various parts, truly customizing their experience.
You think putting a pair of feet on your head will give you an advantage on that tricky “Pick up the boss' daughter, protect her from the angry thugs who are all voiced by Christopher Walken” mission? Go right ahead, but beware -- some additions may hinder your progress.
The procedural animation found in Maxis’ game makes its way to GTAS, and not having the right limbs in the right places could have you hobbling all over the games fully-realized universe, leaving you vulnerable to gang bangers with five (or more) stingers.
Soundtrack: Brian Eno making whale noises with a straw.
Grand Theft Auto IV: A New Hope
You know the Euphoria animation engine being used in the upcoming next-gen Star Wars title? Back in February, Natural Motion (the cats behind Euphoria) and Rockstar announced a partnership, saying that the technology would be used in future Rockstar titles.
The natural conclusion, of course, is that Rockstar was so impressed by the tech used in the Star Wars games that they had to have it for themselves. Not content with simply taking the technology, what if Rockstar took the entire license?
Enter Grand Theft Auto IV: A
Space was a no go, because that was their other idea.
Soundtrack sample: “Yoda,” Weird Al Yankovich
2001: A Grand Theft Autossey
Forget for a second that “autossey” is not a word; Rockstar has proven they can make almost anything work (a ping pong game? What the f**k?).
Space exploration at its finest, 2001: GTA takes your main character into space to go where no other Rockstar character has gone before. The twist here is that nothing happens. There are no other life forms like you might expect and you won’t even see any futuristic technology (it is 2001, after all).
The game is endorsed by NASA and will do for astronauts what Purr Pals did for cats (that is to say, it makes the experience of being an astronaut insufferably mind-numbing). You travel for hours alone, only occasionally taking the time to do something “interesting” like eating meat flavored gunk out of a toothpaste tube.
Millions of children’s dreams are crushed and parents get angry. Rockstar does it again.
Soundtrack: Composer Alex North’s unused score for Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, as interpreted by Fantômas
Vice Ping Pong City Andreas Theft Stories