Incoming! Grand Theft Auto V screenshots

Courtesy of Kotaku & GTAV.net, check out these new screenshots featuring more of Los Santos & our new triumvirate of protagonists (my new band name, btw).

I hope I’m able to finish Bioshock: Infinite by the time this game arrives. I’d hate to cut short my B:I playtime, but I am physically incapable of continuing to play a current game when a new one shows up. Case in point: I wasn’t able to finish the Borderlands 2 pirate DLC this weekend and now with the imminent arrival of BLOPS 2 (tonight!) it may just end up on the big unfinished game stack, along all the Fallout:New Vegas DLC that I will never play. So in that regard, I’m kind of glad that Skyrim DLC isn’t PS3 bound.

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Back in the Los Santos Groove: GTA V Details Emerge **UPDATE**

You see those three bad mutha’s strutting down there? Game Informer says those are your three protagonists for Grand Theft Auto V. Looks like they could do some damage to the faux-L.A. too.  Can. Not. WAIT.

GI also states that this is the largest open world that Rockstar has ever created.  Which sounds delightful but also problematic.  Do you remember when you fist unfolded the Red Dead Redemption map? I broke out in a cold stress-sweat.  If GTAV is going to dwarf that, I may have to save up some vacation days.

“Good news lady, we’re going to Los Santos for our vacation this year!”

Initial trailer:

UPDATE 4:37PM 11.08.12 – Kotaku has gleaned some more information (most likely by reading the article) including the following:

  • According to Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto V‘s Los Santos is bigger than Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined. Yep. There’s wilderness, a military base, and even an ocean floor to explore underwater.
  • You can switch between the game’s three main protagonists at “nearly any time.”
  • Those three protagonists, by the way, are named Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Michael is a retired bank robber who gets sucked back into crime; Trevor is a career criminal and drug addict; Franklin is a 20-something street hustler.
  • Sometimes they’ll work together on missions, during which you can switch back and forth from character to character depending on which part of a given mission you feel like doing.
  • Each character has his own personality, skill set, and group of friends to interact with. And the ones you’re not controlling will go off and do their own thing.
  • This is the same world as Grand Theft Auto IV and Liberty City, so you might see some recurring characters from those games (just not the major ones, like Niko Bellic). But. Rockstar says this is the “high-definition” world of Grand Theft Auto, so don’t expect to see anyone from the PS2-era titles.
  • Remember those randomized dynamic missions in Red Dead Redemption? They’re back for GTAV: expect hitchhikers, muggers, and dead bodies, among others.
  • Yes friendships. No romance.
  • Rockstar says there will be an economy, but you won’t be able to buy properties. There will be “loads of other stuff.”

Goodbye meatspace foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Weekend Links: At a Long Enough Bachelor Party, Everyone’s Life Expectancy Drops to Zero

Taking this, my short reprieve between Parts A & B of my bachelor party, to bring you some hot, honey scented, bourbon flavored links. What am I talking about? I have no idea, I am super hung over.

– Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Diaz Discusses His Love Of Comics – Have you read The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? Dude you are missing out.  That book is AWESOME. Plus Diaz name drops Galactus on the first page. Get it!

– How about some Breaking Bad action figures to liven up your apartment AND keep all of your hentai statues company while you’re at work?

How many ghost butts are YOU currently touching? 

A brief (not so brief) look at all of the intros from the various releases from Rockstar Games. 

Yes, The Library of Congress Has Video Games– See, libraries and librarians ARE cool. We’re just semi-secret about it.

– How the upcoming Black Ops II will handle the Prestige system and other salient details about the upcoming FPS.

– Thanos concept art from The Avengers! 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, now I’m off to Atlantic City to gamble away all of my preciousModern Borefare earnings (ed.note: current Modern Borefare earnings: $0.00) and try to cultivate this dull hangover into something truly horrific. In closing, I want to leave you with the words of a truly gifted wordsmith, who said it best when he said “The Humpty Dance / is your chance/ to do the Hump.”

The Greatest Story Ever Told (in a Game)

I read voraciously.  I only read fiction.  Suffice to say,  I’m interested in a good story.  I enjoy compelling characters, a grandiose plot, a great ending.  That “interested in a good story” characteristic appears to have manifested itself in the types of games that I like.

Sure, I like Madden, I play Madden; real time strategy games too.  But if we’re talking RPGs or first person shooters, if the story isn’ there I’ll eventually stop playing (no matter how good it is otherwise).  Example: SykrimSkyrim is really, truly awesome.  But I stopped playing it.  The game became rather boring after the third guild that I joined simply because it didn’t seem to advance the story.  I know that’s the guild system is one of the high points of the game and it’s partially my fault for getting into it more, but it still turned me off.

This isn’t the set up to your average “Things I Love & Things I Hate About Video Games” post; no, this is to establish that I think the “interested in a good story” characteristic is determinative of possibly my favorite console game of all time: Red Dead Redemption.

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I was initially skeptical of Red Dead Redemption.  I like Rockstar games, but don’t love them.  Same with Westerns.  Also, I don’t particularly care to invest money in games unless I’m convinced they’ll be good.  But since my brother told me to pick up the game (he has similar interests in good stories), I figured why not and guess what?  I was immediately hooked.  After turning on the console and starting the game, suddenly I was presented with  something I had never seen before.  It looked like we were getting a real story: the boat, the people hustling; the town… hell the main character wasn’t a prettied-up jackass or macho non-thinker.  He looked like he had a back story and it was a good one. He had a history, things had happened.

I won’t go through all the details of the story.  You can find that on Wikipedia or Youtube or by (please!) playing the game.  Spoiler alerts notwithstanding, the actions you took in the game had a purpose: to advance the story.  Almost everything you did in-game accomplished this. You had a former criminal who had already reinvented himself as a loving husband and father; forced by the government to bring his fellow criminals to justice with the endgame of being able to live out the rest of his life in peace, unharrassed.  Yes, the graphics were excellent.  Yes, the voice acting was tremendous.  Yes, the game play was simple yet effective and fun.  But I keep coming back to the real strength of the entire experience: the story. Even outside of the main storyline, the characters and their dialogue were incredible. I loved Nigel West Dickens.  Irish was a favorite.  Edgar Ross was sufficiently sleazy.  They were caricatures of Western icons, but they were effective and entertaining. In the context of the story, they were real and they were important.

But then we get to the ending (real spoiler alert here).  This is the first time in my long history of gaming when real, sentimental, big-boy tears welled up.  I was sad.  I reloaded to see if I could do something different.  When I couldn’t, I became angry.  I went online and tried to figure out what I could do.  I couldn’t do anything;  I couldn’t save him.  The story of the greatest character I ever played in a game abruptly ended with one of the biggest shocks I’d ever experienced.  I played the last few scenes, enjoyed the “coming-full-circle” element of them and turned off the XBox 360.   I felt fulfilled and a little upset with the result.

I finished the game in November 2010 and I haven’t played it since then.  But I remember the story well.  It occupies a place in my thoughts like a favorite novel.  Whomever wrote the script (Dan Houser, Michael Unsworth, and Christian Cantamessa) should be awarded an Academy Award for best writing in a drama.  I searched for more western video games, hoping to rekindle some semblance of the same experience I had with Red Dead Redemption.  I couldn’t find one within sniffing distance.

If you haven’t played Red Dead Redemption, shame on you.  That’s an issue you need to rectify.  If you have, do what I’m going to do.  Go back and play it again (or wait until RDR 2 comes out – I’ve read things);  I’m firing up the 360 as we speak.  I’m heading back to enjoy the Old West atmosphere.  And dammit, when I’m trapped in that barn while my wife and son are running for their lives, I’m going to throw open the door and blast as many of those government bastards as possible straight to hell.

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Dancing Around the Issue: More GTA V Screens

Outside of the trailer (below) from about nine months ago, the only info regarding Grand Theft Auto V has been the odd still here or there. This is the second batch of three released this week, this time under the heading, “Leisure”. Hopefully there’ll be another set on Friday, entitled “Chaos”.

(Via Rockstar)

New Grand Theft Auto V Shots

Straight from Rockstar’s website, under the heading “Transport” I can’t image these are real, in-game shots; at least not from a copy of the game running an any current gen-consoles. But with the promise of new info later this week (possibly a release date? A grand unveiling at New York Comic Con?), it will definitely be worth keeping an eye on Rockstar’s site.