Grand Theft Auto V
|Grand Theft Auto V|
|Designer(s)||Sam & Dan Houser|
|Release date(s)||September 17th, 2013 (PlayStation 3, X-Box 360)|
November 18th, 2014 (PlayStation 4, X-Box One)
March 24th, 2015 (PC)
|Mode(s)||Single Player, Multiplayer|
|Rating(s)||Adults Only (AO)|
|Media||CD, DVD, Blu-Ray|
Grand Theft Auto V (also known as GTA V, The Next GTA, or That Game Where You Steal Cars And Kill Hookers) is a first and third-person murder simulator by Rockstar Games, released worldwide on all major game consoles, much to the chagrin of Jack Thompson, Christian-Conservative groups, and Soccer Moms. It is the 72nd installment in the widely popular Grand Theft Auto series.
Development of the game is rumored to have been started, then scrapped, then started again, then scrapped, and finally started again as the bi-polar Houser brothers, Sam and Dan, who collectively founded Rockstar Games, failed to take criticism from fans over previous installments, as well as amicably get along with eachother. With tensions on the rise, a need to keep up with the Jones's, and Take-Two's fiscal earnings suffering due to the recession (and Strauss Zelnick's ostentatious spending), Grand Theft Auto V, while so disagreeable, ultimately became something of a trump card. This is something they had to do in order to survive. Putting it in layman's terms, they needed to shit or get off the pot. This revelation was enough to shake them to their very core, and in 2009, the first stages of development began.
A rough drawing of the logo, done in MS Paint and later confirmed to be the final design, appeared in a 3 second video on YouTube, uploaded on October 25th, 2011. Eight days later, on November 2nd, the first trailer was released, showing that the game would take place in the Mojave Desert, among other locales.
On January 9th, 2012, it was reported that Rockstar hired three kids off the street at random to test the game, under circumstances which have not been made public. Unaware that they were epileptic, however, they soon began experiencing seizures and convulsing after one hour of playing. The infamous developer, known also for violating child labor laws in the design of past titles in the series, tried to chalk it to up the game being "just that damn awesome." But people weren't having it. As a direct result of these allegations, they have been "practically pigeonholed" into spending their money on rampant legal fees, which ultimately cut into the planned budget, as confirmed in Take-Two's annual financial report. This was confirmed officially on February 2nd as Strauss Zelnick mournfully stated that Grand Theft Auto V was making "horrible progress." He was later witnessed by an anonymous source in the drivers seat of his Ford Mercury playing russian roulette with a .44 Magnum, and drinking an undisclosed brand of alcohol "in excess." Whether or not he won, or drank himself to death, was finally determined with the latest batch of screenshots to hit the interwebs at the time. Mr. Zelnick was confirmed alive.
In these recent screenshots of the game, it was proven that Grand Theft Auto V would feature realistic aging, and various age-appropriate activities such as sleeping, the ability to follow the posted speed limit, canasta tournaments, checker games, and expanded programming on the televisions (plural), which were introduced for the first time ever to the series, in the world renowned Grand Theft Auto IV. Confirmed vehicles included the 1987 Buick Riviera and the BMX Bicycle for those on the go, while those who opted to take it easy might have been be more inclined to use the manual wheelchairs, and hoverounds, as well as the various available forms of public transportation commonly seen in the real world. Piggy-Back Rides, when all else failed, were also confirmed.
A full preview of the game was released on November 8th, 2012, via GameInformant Magazine. Some details of which are mapped out below. Some. A few more details throughout 2013 finally surfaced after a long period of silence. Such as, typically with the ambiguous nature of Rockstar, "the game is still under development" and "it has cool stuff." Little information up to the titles eventual release was offered since, angering many fans.
Release & Reception
Grand Theft Auto V was finally made available to the North American market on September 17th, 2013. Sales were slow out of the gate, and like its predecessor, did not meet the players expectations upon availability. Its offline multiplayer component, entitled Grand Theft Auto Offline (see below), followed on October 1st, 2013, and proved to be the third strike against the already faltering developers. The title's expansion ultimately suffered a similar fate, and altogether, it has gone down in history by many critics, and even the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest disappointment in entertainment of all time, as well as the lowest grossing product in entertainment of all time. Mortified, creators Sam and Dan Houser pledged to "never make another Grand Theft Auto title again", in light of the games reception. With Rockstar Games now on the verge of bankruptcy, however, the bad news would only get worse as Take-Two subsequently dropped Rockstar Games from its roster on October 15th. Founder Strauss Zelnick offered confirmation in a recent interview with IGN:
- "You know, this really isn't their call to make either way. Not through us. Not anymore. The vitriol surrounding Grand Theft Auto V and Rockstar Games right now is so horrible. I mean, have you seen their stocks lately? I've never seen anything like it, myself. We've got to think about the bigger picture here. Our timeshares, country club memberships... at the end of the day, my company and I feel it's only best that we drop Rockstar Games from our list of developers entirely."
Many fans worldwide have shown their protest against Grand Theft Auto V's seemingly "incomplete" release as well, organizing demonstrations offline at Rockstar's offices, and giving the title a mere 7/100 on the popular online media review site Metacritic. On November 5th, 2013, the final nail was in the coffin after having realized they could no longer support themselves, let alone Grand Theft Auto V on their own recognizance. Sam and Dan Houser painfully announced the dissolution of Rockstar Games that same day in an impromptu press conference, in light of this. The studio filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and closed its doors on Thanksgiving Day, 2013.
Characters & Storyline
Michael De Santa (formerly Michael Townley, age 45) is what the criminal underworld commonly refer to as a "two-bit backstabbing piece of shit rat." His story begins in a Sun Lounger, strategically positioned by the side of his swimming pool, away from an increasingly materialistic wife, and ungrateful children who have a habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth. It is soon made evident through his regular psychiatrist visits that they have an agenda of their own to spend all of Michael's money, and drive him to the point of suicide. Something he just ain't going for. Pissed, and determined to one-up his conniving family, he falls back into old ways with partners Trevor and Franklin in tow.
Trevor Philips (Age 40) is your typical Canadian. A psychopath, rumored to have gone crazy from excessive Agent Orange exposure while serving in the United States Army as a fighter pilot. He harbors a strong likeness for setting fires, molesting teddy bears and the consummation of human meat. His balding, particularly, is synonymous with his pyromania, being the whacked out son of a bitch that he is, in that he burned out his own hair follicles on a bet, after a night of excessive drinking and kitten huffing. Whenever he's not getting high, or killing and burning shit, he resides in a Trailer Park out in the Sandy Shores region of Blaine County, Los Santos, where sometimes he talks to aliens with his only true friend in the world aside from Michael. Ron Jabrowski. Trevor, of course, takes to aviation in his spare time as well. Which usually results in some kamikaze 9/11 action, to the dismay of Los Santos' natives and left-wing liberal extremists.
Franklin Clinton (Mid-20s) is to GTA V what Carl Johnson was to the universe of San Andreas: a young, angry Black Man. And like many young, angry Black Men, Franklin is on a destiny all of his own to take over Los Santos. In a twist of irony, he is relying on his newly acquired mentor Michael to help him achieve this. Will Michael brush him off in favor of getting revenge on his family? Will he take a more final approach in getting him off his back? Maybe Trevor will get jealous of the two budding up altogether, kill Michael, kill Franklin, and pimp out his girlfriend for an extra buck? To really know for sure, the developers at Rockstar encourage you to play the game.
Two-Player split-screen Multiplayer, marketed under the name Grand Theft Auto Offline, was released two weeks after the game on October 1st, 2013. It features a wide variety of Game Modes such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch (with AI teammates/competitors), Capture The Fag, Sink The Hooker, Open Season, Kidnapping and Team Kidnapping. Crews from Max Payne 3 carry over to Grand Theft Auto Offline as well for only $9.99 USD on the PS3 and X-Box 360, while PC users who pre-ordered would get this feature for free on day one.
While offline multiplayer itself was "pretty much a given" according to Dan Houser out of the box, following the two-week furlough for the PC and 360, for PS3 users, accessing this required an additional PlayStation Plus subscription, a one-time use only online pass, and had it not been discontinued altogether, a form of unannounced, special Rockstar ordained offline multiplayer software (annexed in its beta stage) would have been a required download from the PlayStation Store for only $19.99 USD. Viewed in advance by many Gaming Magazines as "the best marketing ploy of 2012 and 2013," once the product finally surfaced, it was confirmed "broken" and "riddled with glitches." Had vanilla GTA V not sealed the deal for Rockstar before, this was the icing on the cake.
On November 5th, 2013, after Sam and Dan Houser announced the dissolution of Rockstar Games and its subsidiary's, Grand Theft Auto Offline, in parallel, was officially discontinued. The feature was altogether removed from the upcoming re-issues of the game on next-generation consoles, slated for release on November 18th, 2014. However, as recently announced at the Tokyo Game Show 2014 by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai, it can still be accessed via last generation, digitally distributed copies on the PlayStation 4 through subscription to the PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services. Long time fans of the Grand Theft Auto series have called this a "unilateral shakedown", to which Mr. Hirai has declined to comment in discernible English. Whether he misunderstood the context of the fans outrage, or he's simply ignoring the widespread negative response, is yet to be determined.
In an effort to duplicate FM radio down to the last detail, Grand Theft Auto V's soundtrack was notorious, when you were in an area with a good radio signal that is, for its 10 minute commercial slots, and the inclusion of six or seven songs per radio station. It's also lauded for the exclusion of notable rap and modern pop stations, despite the mostly sunny California setting. While Clear Channel gave Grand Theft Auto V's soundtrack, as a result, it's highest approval, longtime fans were less than ecstatic. Some of the songs were even realistically censored (the usage of the expletive "ass" in "Sweet Emotion" was a prime example of this), which garnered it even more trepidation.
There were four radio stations of notability. The first of these is Los Santos Rock Radio, which plays classic and Modern Rock standards from the '90s and 2000's. Hosted by Steven Tyler. Signal strength is 100% in Downtown Los Santos, but gradually weakens as you drive further north. The second of these is 93.7 The Eagle, which plays late '80s and '90s pop music standards. Hosted by John Tesh. The signal can be picked up across all vicinities in Los Santos. The third of these is Little Texas 99.7, which plays country music staples of the '90s and 2000s. Hosted by Kenny Rogers. Signal strength is 100% in the north (desert and countryside), and gradually fades the closer you get to Downtown. And last but not least, Dittohead Nation with Rush Limbaugh, a talk radio station. Dittohead Nation can sometimes be picked up in the mountains of Blaine County between the hours of 09:00 and 12:00 in game, depending on the weather conditions. Your actions in the game's storyline are deterrent upon whether or not it stays on the air, or gets taken off entirely.
In the 2014 re-release of Grand Theft Auto V by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, Microsoft for the Xbox One, and Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS, the soundtrack was re-vamped and included the Rocky IV Movie Score in its entirety, replacing the original as initially recorded by artists The Alchemist, Oh No and Tangerine Dream.
- Animals are entirely consumable, and replace all Fast Food chains... except the Chinese ones
- Humans are also consumable, once you reach level 30 and acquire the "cannibal" perk
- Cat shit is now a collectable item... CONFIRMED!!!
- Cars handle just as you would expect them to: hard. Thankfully there's buildings and pedestrians to help your cognitive abilities...
- For every accident you are involved in, despite your insurance carrier, you will get points on your license - see how many you can get, and challenge your friends!
- Transvestite Hookers, Underage Hookers, and STDs have been confirmed - wear a Condom and practice Safe Sex, or just kill them all!
- If you're arrested, thanks to the indefinite detention act, you may be extradited to North Korea. This opens up a brand new mini-game, entitled Homefront.
- If you're killed... you're dead. If you've been good, you go to heaven. If you've been bad, you go to hell. Just like the real world!
- Drunk Driving makes a comeback. If you're caught doing so and fail the Sobriety Test mini-game, as well as the Breathalyzer, you will spend six months in prison, real time, for D.U.I.!
- The ability to watch TV has been greatly improved. The limited edition of the game comes with a free 90 day subscription to HBO and Showtime!
- Facebook integration has been confirmed. 90% of the game's missions will tie in with the website. See how many "likes" you receive for your violent actions!