We all know Grand Theft Auto V is on its way, although Rockstar have yet to officially announce it. The ‘leaked video’ is in all likliehood a complete fabrication, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t reignited the fires of expectation and speculation that only GTA seems able to feed. Where and when will GTAV be set?
Sure Call of Duty and Halo might have been taking all the limelight and some serious dollar in recent years, but let’s face it, we all know what to expect with those games. The mere locale for a new GTA game is enough to send fans crazy with desire. On the other hand, Rockstar have been known to recycle their settings, Liberty City being the biggest offender. New York (aka Liberty City) is done and needs to be banned from all GTA titles for at least another ten years. She’s served us well, but too many games are obsessed with the Big Apple: Prototype, Crysis 2 and so on. Unless it’s Spider-Man, stay out.
It would be foolish to rule out the possibility of other locations making a comeback though. San Andreas had a great mixture of environments like LA, woodland, deserts and even Area 51, but it was considered too big by many. But if better fast-travel options were included, it wouldn’t be as much of a slog. Eighty’s Miami would look amazing on today’s consoles, but again, do we want another backwards step?
London hasn’t been used for GTA since the PS1 era, but I’m pretty sure we have enough grey games on the market. Plus it’s one of the worst cities in the world to drive around. PS2 gamers might remember the awful experience of The Getaway titles, which should put any developer off trying again. That’s another thing; fix the driving, it was terminally dull and sluggish last time.
Tempting as it may be to look back, Rockstar need to go back to the drawing board. Their imagination needs to be stretched out to bring out the potential of a new location and maybe even a new time setting. The tropical location we saw in the ‘leaked’ video might be too far in the sunny direction for the series as it’s always going to be strongest with close access to a city. The Just Cause games boasted huge landscapes, but that didn’t matter seeing as there was sod-all to do in most of it and you’d spend more time driving to your mission than it would take to complete it once you got there. It was like driving your own very pretty loading screen.