Our initial glimpse at Grand Theft Auto VI lacked details, but generated a lot of excitement.
On September 16, 2013, I arrived in Japan to report on the Tokyo Game Show. Grand Theft Auto V had consumed my life for weeks before my flight. I had spent six days playing it non-stop, writing a review, and creating a video review for IGN, where I was employed at the time. The pressure was intense. I had been so focused on the game that the lines between my real life and my virtual life in San Andreas had become blurred. I even remember, during a quick trip to the Co-op near my old apartment, envisioning stealing a Prius parked outside and driving away in it.
I wrote that review a few hours after arriving on the other side of the world. It has become the most widely read piece I have ever written, with over 10 million people having read it by the end of that year. In the ten years since, no other game has been able to generate the same level of excitement. From the initial announcement of Grand Theft Auto V in 2011 until its release, fans eagerly devoured any details that Rockstar shared.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a familiar situation once again. This past week, the highly anticipated trailer for GTA VI was released. However, this release did not go as smoothly as planned. Despite efforts to prevent leaks over the past few years, the trailer ended up being leaked on Twitter on Tuesday evening. Interestingly, the leaked version was accompanied by a watermark promoting Bitcoin, showcasing the potential influence of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. As a result of this leak, Rockstar was forced to release the official version of the trailer approximately 13 hours earlier than expected, which was likely not ideal for them. It can be assumed that their legal team is currently working diligently to address this issue.
The preview reveals the vibrant and gritty city of Vice City, based on Miami by Rockstar. The surrounding area, Leonida, is also shown. We get glimpses of monster truck events, a prison, and a rooftop party with bikini-clad party-goers. The game’s social media feed showcases the chaotic nature of Florida, with unexpected alligator appearances. The protagonist Lucia, the first female in the series, is introduced along with her unnamed partner in crime. The game features beautiful sunsets, flamingos, fast cars, and plenty of firearms. The beaches are populated with impressively realistic-looking people. Grand Theft Auto has always excelled at portraying all levels of American society, from the criminal underworld to the wealthy elite. This preview offers a glimpse of everything, from extreme wealth to wild tailgate parties. While it may not provide much information, it certainly sets the tone for the game.
Sam Houser, the studio head of Rockstar, stated: “Our goal with Grand Theft Auto VI is to continue pushing boundaries and creating highly immersive, story-driven open-world games. We’re excited to share this new vision with players worldwide.”
The release date in this trailer is the most unexpected aspect: 2025, rather than the anticipated 2024. I have previously discussed the potential reasons for the game’s delay – in short, it is likely due to the ongoing success of GTA V and Rockstar’s reputation for perfectionism. However, a 12-year gap between entries in the same series is unprecedented. Despite this, the lengthy wait has caused some fans to view this trailer as a highly anticipated event, almost like the arrival of a long-awaited savior. It has already amassed 60 million views on YouTube and, as of writing this, has only been available for less than a day.
The journey ahead will be a lengthy one (coincidentally, Tom Petty’s “Love Is a Long Road” plays in the trailer). We can expect to receive small but deliberate pieces of information every few months until Rockstar decides to launch the game (my estimate is early 2025, before the end of Take-Two’s fiscal year). Despite our lengthy wait, Rockstar will still take their time to build anticipation.
What to play
Having played approximately one thousand video games, I can typically determine if I enjoy something within the first few hours. However, every now and then, I find myself adoring a game that I initially disliked. This was the case with A Highland Song, an arduous journey through the Scottish mountains with a teenage runaway, infused with elements of magical realism.
Please note that your initial attempt at conquering these hills may be challenging, but as you become more familiar with the paths, histories, and hidden gems of the area, it will become easier. Each time I reached the summit, I was filled with a peaceful sense of wonder. This book is a lovely tribute to the rugged and breathtaking Scottish countryside. And I assure you, it only gets more enjoyable.
Can be accessed on: Nintendo Switch, computer
Approximate playtime: 5+ hours
What to read
The first preview for Amazon’s upcoming Fallout TV series has been released, and I must say, it appears quite promising. It captures the post-apocalyptic Americana atmosphere of the Fallout universe without taking itself too seriously, and I particularly enjoy the inclusion of the mutated bear and axolotl.
I am eager to play Thank Goodness You’re Here! next year, a comedic game set in a made-up village in Yorkshire that takes inspiration from Viz and Adventure Time. The creators have described it as a “lewd seaside postcard.”
Universal Studios in Osaka has announced plans to include a section dedicated to Donkey Kong Country at its Nintendo theme park. This expansion will increase the park’s size by 70%, and will also introduce new merchandise with a monkey theme. (For further details about my trip, check out the latest issue of Pushing Buttons.)
The former members of Rockstar have been very active recently. The co-founder of the studio, Dan Houser, has revealed plans for a graphic novel and an audio drama series through his new venture. Meanwhile, the first game from Leslie Benzies’ game studio, Everywhere, will begin alpha testing this week.
In conclusion, Yorkshire Tea is asking for a payment of £150 for a branded Xbox controller.
What to click
A Highland Song review – a moving, magical-realist journey through Scottish scenery and mythology
The first look at the GTA 6 trailer showcases speedy vehicles, vibrant flamingos, and a female protagonist.
The Timeless Attraction of Mowing Lawns in Video Games
Review of SteamWorld Build – Customize a small community of robots wearing hats.
Is anyone interested in growing potatoes in the virtual world? Delving into Roblox’s corporate dystopia.
Simon, the reader, is seeking recommendations.
I recently acquired a PS5 and am in search of games that my 13-year-old daughter and I can play together. We have already tried Sonic, which we both enjoyed. We also played Lake, but unfortunately it is only single-player, requiring one person to watch. As neither of us are fans of shooting or zombie games, and my daughter is not interested in football either, do you have any recommendations for other two-player games?
Sackboy: A Big Adventure may seem geared towards younger audiences, but it is an incredibly fun cooperative platformer with a charming and unique personality. It Takes Two stands out as one of the top cooperative games available, although its subject matter – two parents in conflict who must work together to save their marriage while shrunk down to miniature size – may be a bit tense. Chicory: A Colourful Tale is a fantastic game, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remains just as enjoyable in split-screen mode as it did in the 2000s. While not appropriate for children, The Dark Pictures Anthology from Supermassive Games is a thrilling horror series that allows players to vote on choices that impact the fates of the characters.
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