Rockstar Games likes to do things differently in terms of marketing its game titles. That"s especially true of its crown jewel franchise, the Grand Theft Auto game series. The publisher doesn"t host a lot of press events for these games before they are released. Indeed, there are frequently a lot of surprises that are discovered as the media, and then the public, play the final version of these games.
The reasoning behind this kind of marketing campaign is simple. Rockstar knows that the GTA games don"t need a lot of company generated publicity in order to make news. Such was the case on Tuesday when Rockstar Games, out of the blue, just put up the logo you see above you on its official web site. No press release, no Internet leaks beforehand. It was just the simple reveal that Grand Theft Auto V is definitely in the works and that the first trailer for the game would be released on November 2.
So what will the next game in the long running open world action game series be like? Rockstar is keeping mum, although some Internet rumors say it will be set in a fictional version of Los Angeles. While all of the previous games in the series are fun to play I do have a wish list of gameplay features that we hope are included in GTA V:
The open world needs to be more open
As cool as it is to explore cities like Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas there"s sometimes a lack of content in certain sections of these environments. I would love to be able to not just drive around GTA V"s city but also to fully explore what"s inside most of those buildings. I know that kind of content would be extremely hard for the development team at Rockstar North to come up with but I would gladly sacrifice a few square miles of space so that the rest of the game"s metro area was more detailed and contained deeper content.
Eliminate most of the menial quests
When you are playing a Grand Theft Auto game, you are always subjected to a lot, and I mean a lot, of mostly meaningless missions and quests. You have to pick up a person and drive to a location to let them off. Then you head to a different location to give a package to someone else. Sure you finally get to do some fun stuff, like participate in a hit or rob a store but you have to go through a ton of missions that are, well, boring. I hope the development team decides that if you are a criminal, you should be doing criminal acts in Grand Theft Auto V. Cutting down on the mind numbing quests will help us enjoy the game more.
Give the player control of a law enforcement character
One of the rumors surrounding GTA V is that it will allow the player to pick more than one character and check out different single player campaigns. I have played the game from the viewpoint of various criminal and thugs, and that should continue in this new game. But if GTA V does have more than one single player campaign, how cool would it be to have one of them be a law enforcement officer?
This character doesn"t have to be totally straight; he (or perhaps even she) could be corrupted or working for the mob. But I think that such a person would open up GTA V for some interesting mission and story possibilities.
Improve the game"s AI
It"s pretty much the same old, same old in any GTA game. The single player AI can do some rather odd things when you encounter the various citizens that populate the franchise"s various cities. The police always seem to be easy to avoid and sometimes when you are in a firefight your AI opponents suddenly just stop shooting at you, even when your character is standing right next to them.
While these kind of events don"t happen too often, they happen enough that it sometimes takes away from some of the immersion from the scene. Great AI is rare in games, but I have seen it done and I think that GTA V would benefit from it.
Release the PC version alongside the console versions
The release of the PC port has always lagged behind the console versions by several months ever since the release of GTA III. It would be nice for Rockstar to give PC gamers a chance to play Grand Theft Auto V at the same time as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.
While I am on the subject of the PC port, I hope that Rockstar just has one service to handle the PC version"s multiplayer matchmaking. GTA IV combined both Microsoft"s Games for Windows Live and Rockstar"s own Social Club in order to fully experience its multiplayer features; it ended up being a confusing mess. Using just one multiplayer service would make PC gamers much happier.
Finally I hope the PC port is not released before its time; GTA IV"s PC port was shipped out with lots of performance, graphics and gameplay bugs that look the developer a little while to fix via post-release patches.
Release a Wii U version
Hopefully by the time GTA V is ready for release, Nintendo will also be ready to release its next generation console, the Wii U. Nintendo is already promoting the fact that their next console will be able to run high end console games that are normally run on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Adding the Wii U to the mix would certainly add a whole new audience to the GTA series. It would also be interesting to see how Rockstar might use the Wii U"s tablet-like controller for GTA V"s gameplay features.
That"s just a brief list of what I would like to see in Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, I expect Rockstar to come up with new and cool features that I haven"t bothered to think up. Everyone waiting for the game will hopefully learn a little more when the first trailer is released on November 2.