Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why the Grand Theft Auto V trailer didn't excite me

Earlier today, RockStar Games released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V. Though no release came, the trailer did confirm suspicions of a west coast setting as guessed earlier this year from a casting call for project titled Rush.

The lead-up to the release of the trailer was curious, though. Most major gaming sites posted either a countdown timer or a livestream as a pre-event to the trailer coming online. The amount of promotion almost reached levels of Modern Warfare, which made me ask myself, am I missing something?

I played Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City. I started San Andreas but once it tasked me with maintaining my character through eating and exercise, I stopped. Maintenance is not a fun gameplay mechanic, and that’s what games are supposed to be, fun. I never got around to playing Grand Theft Auto IV, even with the many mods available for PC.

With Grand Theft Auto III being ported over to iOS for its 10th anniversary, we’ve come along with open-world games. And maybe that’s part of it. When GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas were released, open-world games were still a novel concept. In no other type of game sans RPGs could you explore a world as deep as you could in the GTA games. But 10 years later, that doesn’t hold the same weight. Looking at this holiday’s release schedule, we have Batman: Arkham City, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Saints Row: The Third. Last year we had Red Dead Redemption (by RockStar) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. There are enough open-world games that there’s no reason to hold our breath until the next GTA.

That being said, Grand Theft Auto V looks great and I’m sure it will be fun, but my excitement about it has not skyrocketed based on one minutes and 30 seconds of footage.

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