Thursday, October 27, 2011


This past Tuesday, Rockstar Games damn near broke the Internet with the announcement of Grand Theft Auto V.  Well, actually an announcement of an announcement, as the trailer for GTA V will go live on November 2nd.  This predictably whipped all of the video game media into a frenzy, and we here at KGB have decided to get in on the fun.  Part of the hype with any game announcement is the wild speculation made before there are any solid details.  Because without shaky secondhand “facts” the Internet would cease to exist.  So we’re jumping aboard the crazy speculation train, and have come up with this week’s Top 5 list.  The 5 things we want to see in GTA V.

5.  Bombastic, Over-the-top Missions

More of this!
One of the major issues people took with GTA IV was the fact that the game stayed very much grounded in reality. At least,  much more so than the GTA games that came before it, especially GTA: San Andreas.  When GTA III was released ten years ago, I never even finished the single player campaign.  This is somewhat due to the game’s difficulty and the way I played games at the time, but I never felt I was missing out.  I would waste whole afternoons just driving around in my Infernus, hitting pedestrians and going on shooting sprees. GTA IV presented a much darker story, and the campaign missions were mostly centered around shootouts, followed by a chase sequence.  It wasn’t until The Ballad of Gay Tony that the crazy mission types from San Andreas were brought back.  GTA: SA was ludicrous is many ways.  While CJ started out as a street level gang banger, the story quickly evolved into him using a jetpack to traverse the countryside, then jumping into a tank, only to make an escape via speedboat.  TBoGT introduced base jumping, helicopter dogfights, and had you STEALING A GODDAMN SUBWAY TRAIN.  That level of WTF needs to have at least some kind of presence in GTAV.

4.  A Protagonist Whom You Can Like

Less of this!

Two of my favorite games this generation are from Rockstar: Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire.  While I enjoyed GTA IV, I don’t think I can truly call it one of my favorites. And do you know why? Niko Bellic.  The Eastern European transplant/ former freedom fighter with a heart of gold thing never clicked for me. I don’t think I’m the only one.  How many Niko cosplayers have you seen?  Between the thick accent, the dirty clothes, and his annoying ass family, it was a chore to play as Niko by the end of the game.  I much preferred Johhny Klebitz and Luis Lopez from the GTA IV expansions.  Hell, I even preferred the silent Claude from GTA III, at least he wasn’t constantly talking about “Big American Teetees.”  GTA V needs someone whom players can identify with, and get lost in over 50-75 hours of gameplay.  John Marston from RDR was an amazing character, one I really connected with.  I also enjoyed Aaron Staton’s performance as Cole Phelps in L.A. Noire.  Hopefully, Rockstar can lean more in that direction than Niko.  After a while, I just felt like I was playing as Borat.

3.  A Meaningful Multiplayer Experience

A Known Griefer Playground

With a little bit of effort, GTA V could become the biggest MMO since World of Warcraft.  The large city, the huge install base, and the do-what-you-please gameplay of your typical GTA game makes it seem like a no-brainer.  There were flashes of brilliance in the Red Dead Redemption multiplayer, although it was somewhat hobbled by the 16 player limit, and awkward game types.  If Rockstar can up the player limit to 32 or 64 players per lobby, the craziness will be unimaginable.  Hell, I’d even be okay with them scrapping the game types completely.  Did you really ever play Team Deathmatch?  Exactly.  Free Roam is all it needs, with perhaps a few Race types and Demolition Challenges.  Lord knows, I’d waste entire days running around a GTA game with my friends, laying waste to all we see. Also, about some damn co-op?  It’s really only a matter of time before Rockstar nails a multiplayer experience, and I hope it’s in GTA V.

2.  A Kick-Your-Ass Soundtrack

The same records' ya makin' are payin' me.

Starting in GTA III, you could be sure that each GTA game would make sweet love to your ear holes.  From the  Lazlow hosted talk shows on public radio stations, to the county station spinning Hank Williams deep cuts, every genre of music was well represented.  In Vice City, the radio took on an era-appropriate 80s spin, with Flock of Seagulls providing the perfect soundtrack to Tommy Vercetti’s crime spree.  My personal favorite is still San Andreas.  Being able to switch the station from grunge-era alt. rock to West Coast hip-hop from Death Row Records was a dream.  In GTA V, it’s almost a given that the satirical radio ads will take on such current hot button issues such as the Tea Party, the War on Terror, and the Occupy Movement.  Pair this with some hot new radio stations, maybe going so far as to have an all dubstep station, and you’ll be blowing your speakers out. Or reaching for the channel skip button. Either way, discovering something new is half the fun of GTA radio.

1.  A New City

Ok, maybe not this.

The logo for GTA V presents some interesting questions.  Clearly the “V” logo is meant to look like U.S. currency, suggesting that money, and the acquisition of, is to be a big part of the story.  But isn’t that the case with all the GTA games?  Some people are speculating that the logo points towards Washington, D.C. as being a possible setting.  Even wilder speculations points towards this game taking place at the turn-of-the-century.  The 20th century.  See, that “V” logo with the “FIVE” banner wrapped around it is very similar to a 5 dollar bill that was printed in 1899.  That’s right. GTA V could end up looking more like Red Dead Redemption than GTA IV.  And if there’s one publisher who could pull such a crazy twist, it’d be Rockstar.  However, basing the game in 1899 seems like a great way to cannibalize the market for the next Red Dead game, and we all know how well choices like that worked out for Activison and Guitar Hero.  Chances are, Rockstar will save the Old West setting for Red Dead, and the similarities between the logo and the antique bill are cosmetic only.  If I were a betting man, I’d put my rubles on GTA V heading back to San Andreas, or perhaps real-world L.A.  And if they kept the early 90s gangsta rap trappings, I’ll pre-order my copy today.  All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!

Christopher Linendoll sleeps with the fishes. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.


  1. TURbo

    Vice City in my opinion was a better focused soundtrack. San Andreas was still good. Also I still love the GTA III soundtrack that was produced in house by Craig Conner and Allan Walker who are responsible for the sound mixes, and commercial jingles.

    I think playing as multiple characters each having 6 to 10 hour story arcs would improve the pacing and focus of the story. Niko Bellic missions of running errands did lose focus of what was going on.

  2. Hell yes, Chris! I really can't stand Niko, and the main story in 4 just never really grabbed me. I totally agree that GTA could be a huge MMO with the right direction, but that it shouldn't be that exclusively.

  3. Speaking as a person who 100% GTA IV, the biggest villain of the game was the 200 pigeons.

    GTA V should be like the Skyrim as a single player Massive Singleplayer Offline game. MSO.

    I do agree with the Big Smoke Train mission as the worst story mission in all the GTA's post GTA III.

  4. I can't believe you got all those friggin pigeons...

  5. You have a laptop or a color map of where the pigeons are, and you checkmark the pigeons one by one for the next 199 pigeons.

  6. Kind of similar to the feathers in Ass Creed 2.

  7. As much as I loved GTA IV at the time, I can recognize that the game is kind of busted in a lot of ways. I just don't feel it has aged particularly well, at all.

    That said, I was a big fan of how alive the city felt, and the heaviness to the driving. I just wish there was more going on in the game.

    I'm probably going to end up as more of a Saint's Row guy, these days, assuming The Third can continue to improve upon the ideas that the PS2 era GTA games seemed to chase. I like goofy, I guess.