Rockstar Games has been all over the place in terms of narrative development. From extremely detailed detective stories to a portrayal of the shattered remnants of a man holding on to his diminishing way of life – even the wild west has been covered in the diverse span of titles that Rockstar Games has released this generation. What we didn’t know until now is that everything has been building up to one moment and one purpose – making Grand Theft Auto V brilliant. The latest trailer for Rockstar’s upcoming open-world epic showcases the inspirations that the studio has drawn from its own work, and we couldn’t be more excited about the results.
In the game’s second trailer, we’re instantly faced with the dramatic presentation very common to modern GTA titles as a bantering mother and daughter fight over familiar matters. For our first main character, Michael, leaving the house as a conflict erupts seems like second nature. An older man, he’s poolside and enjoying time away from his wife and daughter’s tumultuous storm while reflecting on a life that looks good aesthetically. In sync with the Max Payne narrative, he ponders over the life he left behind, but the viewer soon sees that he can’t escape that life for long. Meanwhile, his push for the American Dream echoes the efforts of GTA IV’s Niko Bellic. His story is dramatized even further with a constant looming of responsibility for past endeavors and fixing mistakes made; our beloved John Marston from Red Dead Redemption had the very same story hook, and Rockstar seems to understand that sympathizing with a main character can only draw the player closer to him or her.
As the trailer continues, it’s wonderfully clear that LA Noire has had a major influence on the title as well. GTA V looks to feature characters with beautifully articulated facial expressions. Sure, they’re not quite on par with the picture-perfect animations from Team Bondi’s detective title, but the expectation for something better is apparent and the push to make it happen is even more so.
That said, the biggest concern with any sandbox game is its ability to truly immerse players in the experience like linear, cinematic titles are often able to do. Rockstar has proven time and again that sandbox games under its banner are engaging, but GTA V looks to be pushing the genre once again. Instead of including disparate gameplay elements from racers, third-person shooters, and the like, Rockstar looks to be implementing a variety of mechanics that blend seamlessly throughout. Car chases are as dynamic as they are detailed, and key conflicts look to be glorified in ways that the Uncharted series has mastered. This is all presented through artful camera work by Rockstar, perfected over years of developing some of gaming’s best stories. The train crash, the showdown at the river, and the car chase to rescue Michael’s son relay all of Rockstar’s achievements this generation and bring them together in one place.
It goes without saying that any title made by Rockstar Games, and specifically all things Grand Theft Auto, grabs the undivided attention of our industry. This attention is well-deserved in the case of Grand Theft Auto V. Without a doubt, Rockstar’s open-world opus looks to be combining the very best elements from all of the studio’s HD titles, and if you’ve been following Rockstar’s work since Grand Theft Auto IV, you know exactly what that means.