Grand Theft Auto V Leaks: Moving forward, or stepping back?

GTA V‘s viral marketing campaign has begun, sparking gamers’ interest in Rockstar’s newest edition to the Grand Theft Auto family. GTA V, as we know from the commercial, takes place in San Andreas, which was considered as one of the most entertaining GTA games by many fans. As a complete opposite to GTA IV’s liberty city, San Andreas is a sprawling map offering numerous environments, ranging from city centers to beaches to forests.

Anyway, while reading up on GTA V I stumbled upon a youtube video which led me to an article from Gameranx.com. This article states the following.

“A poster claiming to be a games journalist for “a Playstation magazine in the UK” (presumably PSM3) has professed, on the GTA Forums, to having privileged information about the game. He says that magazine staff experienced 30 minutes of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V at the developer’s Scotland offices.

It should be noted that everything below is rumor, subject to absolutely no validation whatsoever. Some of the things he writes do make sense, however, and should make for interesting discussion.” (Gameranx- Rumor: Exclusive GTA 5 Info leaked by Rogue Games journalist).

I would like to state the same thing as the Gameranx author. This leak is not confirmed. It has not been acknowledged by GTA V’s production team, and as such, should be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, the potential perks of GTA 5 are too tantalizing to ignore, so here you have it.

Leaked information on Grand Theft Auto V

1: The game world is absolutely massive and will push both xbox and PS3 to the very limit in terms of what it has accomplished. Yes, the main city is simply Los Santos however is it AT LEAST 4 times bigger than Liberty City in GTA 4 and that is just Los Santos. The surrounding country side, beaches, etc are massive. For instance, we saw the main character ( an African/American, early 30’s) travel by car from the center of Los Santos into the wildnerness and it took over 15 minutes. The views were incredible from farmhouses with cattle, huge wind farms, an oil refinery which appeared to be living and breathing with nearly 100 NPCs working on machinery, operating vehicles, lifting and loaded, etc, unlike the gas works in GTA 4 which seemed to only house a few NPC at a time. The forests are more beautiful than those in RDR and featured people camping, young NPC drinking and dancing around campfires, people riding dirt bikes and jumping over logs, streams, etc. The water effects, forna, plants, trees all looked beautiful.

2: The shooting mechanics have been greatly improved with animations for diving, climbing, rolling and crawling all added for better realism. The re-loading animations for new ammo also look cooler, less static.

3: There is much more climbable elements in the world such as ladders, overhand climbing, etc.

4: There are animals in the game from dogs to cattle but at this time it is not confirmed if you will be able to harm the animals. Rockstar were able to get away with it in RDR as it was a true depiction of the world in which the game was set. Allowing dogs/cattle to die in a game sent in current times may cause headaches with PETA. Its unclear if Rockstar were joking here.

5: There are planes to pilot and they can be crashed into buildings if you choose to do so….

6: Rockstar have included many, many more interior locations such as a shopping mall, college campus, police station, a huge hospital and there is also a vast underground sewer network which one mission later in the game involves a jet ski chase that culminates in a Fugitive-esque waterfall jump ( there are nods to the ridiculous but awesome Ballad Of Gay Tony missions)

7: The city is full of NPCs jogging, weight-lifting, hitting on women, being chased on foot by cops, shopping, washing cars, fixing fences, moving home, filling up their cars, etc.

REAL JUICY INFO:

1: Cars can be upgraded/repaired and it has been considered to have a car have fuel forcing the player to fill her up.

2: The dating aspect of the game is gone. You still have a cell-phone but only people you will meet in the game will call you to ask you to do a mission or to ask you to do something else before the mission.

3: Weapons include the usual arsenal you’d aspect but the flamethrowers, remote mines, laxer trip mines and claymores are included. It is possible now to pick up random objects in a street/buidling to use as a weapon. There is also a museam where it is possible to steal old age swords, axes, etc.

4: it is possible to rupture a fuel line and if you shot at the trail of gasoline it will lead straight back to the car blowing it up.

5: mini games such as bowling, darts, etc have all gone. You can play basketball, weight train, arm wrestle, gamble and cage fight, enter triatholons, water races, cannoing, ab-saling, rock climbing, base jumping, ski diving. More to be confirmed.

6: Character customisation is back but only in terms of clothing, body weight, etc. The player you start off which, much like CJ, can’t be altered by race, age, height, etc.

7: Rockstar said burglary missions may return but only as part of missions and not on neigbourhood houses.

8: No children NPC at all. Ever.

9: There is now an ability to grab people and use as sheilds or in “hostage” situations.

10: The cops are much, much, much more realistic. If you kill somebody when you know there are no cops around you will not run the risk of a one star as often as you would in GTA4. The cops will use smoke and tear gas, dogs, riot gear and rams to knock down the doors of buildings you are hiding in.

11: You can enter some buildings and lock doors, push objects in the way to barricade.

12: You become better at things as the game progresses. If you only ride motorbikes then you will increase your skills, same as individual weapons.

13: Certain weapons can be customisable and some even home-made.

14: One mission involves breaking out a very familiar GTA icon from a previous game…

15: Torrential rain fall and sunshine and even tremors will appear in the game.

Concerns

While a lot of these leaks simply remind us of the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I look forward to seeing what the game will look like with a PS3 engine. The potential of bring San Andreas back on great graphics makes this a promising game, yet that does not mean that I don’t have any reservations about it.

One thing that stuck out to me in these leaks is the claim that the character is black. Looking in the preview, the character who we see driving in the car is clearly white, however that could merely be a screen capture, so I won’t be totally shocked if the protagonist is black.

Another thing that bothers me is the claim that they are bringing back the skill leveling system. While the concept was cool back in San Andreas, it was mostly useless in my opinion. While it gave the game a new dynamic, it didn’t truly effect game play, which is why I believed they scrapped it in Grand Theft Auto IV.

My final concern, and possibly largest one, is the fact that by the looks of it, GTA is attempting to step back into the fun game that it used to be, rather than continuing with the rich, gritty criminal story that Niko Bellic’s tale made it into. While I love San Andreas, nothing stops me from ordering it online and playing it. I don’t want old, I want new. Niko’s heart wrenching life brought a breath of fresh air to Grand Theft Auto, leaving the ‘fun/silly’ mantle to be taken over by Saints Row. If Grand Theft Auto backtracks, it will find itself in a competition with Saints Row in terms of delivering entertainment- a competition that San Andreas has an advantage in.

Even with these concerns, the leaks are appealing, and encourage me to buy the new game, just to see what it’s like. Did it do the same for you?

Links

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/3553/article/rumor-exclusive-gta-5-info-leaked-by-rogue-games-journalist/ (Original Article)

http://gta.wikia.com (GTA Wiki)

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Darksiders II: Death Lives- Better than the First

That which starts with War ends with Death.

“The End of the World Began with a Lie”

What came before: Synopsis

First came War, on his mighty red stallion; with him came the final conflict, Armageddon, when Heaven and Hell fought on the Earthly plain. However, War came too early (that’s totally what she said), and mankind, the third species who was to participate in the battle when they came to full strength, perished from his folly. As a result of his insolence and presumed treachery, War was sentenced to imprisonment by the Charred Council, a group which maintained the balance between the Kingdom of Heaven, the dominion of Hell, and the realm of Earth.

This was the introduction to Darksiders: Wrath of War, the first game of the series. The game allows you to play as War, who is on a path to redeem himself and find the perpetrators of his act of misjudgement. However between War’s imprisonment and the events of Darksiders I, there lies 100 years of mystery, where mankind perished and demons overran the Earth. Rather than being a sequel, Darksiders II is a prequel of sorts, occurring between War’s imprisonment and the events of Darksiders I. Rather than playing as War, gamers are now given the privilege of controlling the oldest and most powerful of the Four Horsemen, Death.

In Darksiders II Death is attempting to save humanity from the destruction brought by Armageddon, while also redeeming his brother, War. However upon this path, Death discovers that there was something far worse than Armageddon occurring, and an ancient enemy threatened to overwhelm all three races.

Analysis- Is this a God of War Rip off?

In general, it sounds like a pretty interesting concept, but we all know that cool concepts can still be turned into a crappy game. Some people are skeptical as to the value of the Darksiders series. This is due to numerous misconceptions that have popped up around the gaming community, particularly slander coming from PS3 loyalists who claim that the game is a rip off of God of War with worse graphics. As a player of both of these games, and a user of both systems, I would like to think of myself as neutral on the subject, so here is my opinion (which I assume you want, as you are reading my blog and not IGN or something along those lines)

While Darksiders and God of War have many similarities in regards to the playing style and its use of ancient religious lore, Darksiders is not a carbon copy of the Playstation franchise; at least not entirely. While God of War focuses highly on the pre-existing historical/mythological details of ancient Greece, Darksiders lore is mostly original in its content. While there are numerous references to judeo-christian mythology, especially in character names(Abbadon, Sammael & the Four Horsemen), these characters are a far cry from their real world mythological inspirations. Even the four horsemen are unique in their own sense.

While Death and War are based upon real horsemen from the book of Revalations, their fellow horsemen Strife and Fury are original characters. Along with this, the very nature of the horsemen are unique. They are the few remaining members of the ancient race known as Niphilim (the name is based on Christian lore, as the Niphilim are children of angels and humans).

Analysis- The Character

Darksiders: Wrath of War was a pretty decent game, though it was far from original in any aspects except its story, yet even that can be related to tons of game stories in some way or another. As War, players acted as a generic tank character, cleaving through hordes of demons with an iconic-albiet cliched- super huge sword (Chaos Eater). War was fun to play with, especially once you unlocked the fancy new toys that the game offered to you. Even so, the game got old rather fast as it was a repetitive cycle of hacking, slashing, jumping and dashing.

Developers are promising a different kind of game with Darksiders II. Where War was a tank who bulldozed through everything with his brutal unrefined force, Death is a more agile, sleek, refined fighter. With Death, angry fan boys lose a lot of the claims that they have to Darksiders being a carbon copy of God of War. While War could easily be paralleled with Kratos, Death is an entirely different character with his own unique playing style and story, which makes him wholly unique.

Analysis- Game mechanics

Along with this change of character, Darksiders II has implemented various changes to the game-style. While in the first game, things were fairly linear (beat a level, get a cool weapon/power but no leveling up), the sequel implements new systems such as a looting system,  an inventory with interchangeable items (armor, robes, etc) and even a leveling system.

The path that developers took with this sequel is oddly reminiscent in the method which Assassin’s Creed used to bolster it’s franchise. While it kept interesting elements that attracted fans, it also rebooted many things and implemented features to allow for smoother game play. Darksiders II even implements a radial wheel for weapons and powers, similar to the wheel that Assassin’s Creed implemented (I am not saying they stole this extremely common inventory display, I am merely noting similarities in sequel alterations).

Conclusion and Ending Remarks

While the staff from Darksiders made a great deal of improvements to the game mechanics and stories, I still can’t help but be less than impressed with the graphics of the game. While the graphics are not horrible, I know that they could be so much better. Perhaps the development team thinks that the game looks nice in it’s cartoon like appearance, yet I am sure many fans can agree that if they gave Darksiders the graphics of games such as Grand Theft Auto IV or Skyrim, it would look SO MUCH SEXIER!…I am getting a chubby just thinking about it.

Anyway, we can’t get everything that we want, especially in the first sequel of a franchise, but Darksiders II looks like it has the potential to being a great sequel that will build the game into an even stronger franchise. Be on the look out for Darksiders II: Death Lives, which hits the shelves on August 16th.

(Sorry for the commercial, but the trailer is pretty epic so it’s worth a short wait)

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I hope that you enjoyed this article; feel free to leave comments of your thoughts below and remember to like the post, follow the blog and our twitter (@TheNerdNexus) for further updates.

Check out a second article here: Darksiders II (Update)