Grave Gamer News & Views — open world

Rockstar Dishes Out a Warning for Those Picking Up GTAV on Xbox...

Rockstar Dishes Out a Warning for Those Picking Up GTAV on Xbox 360

If you’re planning on scooping up Grand Theft Auto V this week – which you are, even if you don’t know it yet – Rockstar has a fair warning for Xbox 360 owners regarding some install irregularities.

Since Microsoft won’t be embracing the magical data well that is Blu-Ray until their next console, GTAV on the 360 is spread like open-world butter across two DVD’s; one a mandatory install disc encompassing nearly 8GB of information, the other a “Play” disc to be used after your install whenever you want to boot up Los Santos.

The trouble begins if users should also attempt to install that very same “Play” disc through the 360’s dashboard – an accomplishable act that you just shouldn’t accomplish unless you wish to be treated to some vicious pop-in (as evidence in this video) and other graphical screw up’s.

The grand notion behind running the game from both disc and HDD is that the game can operate on the DVD while also streaming from a pool of data, effectively tag-teaming the monolithic amount of content Rockstar has coded into GTAV. Running everything from the harddrive, however, just gums the whole works up. No reason to do it, folks. This has been your video game public service announcement of the day.

Grand Theft Auto V: New Screens, DLC Tease, and Potential PC Port...

Grand Theft Auto V: New Screens, DLC Tease, and Potential PC Port

Sure, even with next-gen consoles looming over the horizon and popping up on every gaming site, every day – lookit; it’s happening right the hell now – the PS3 and Xbox 360 still have some life left before they complete their full cycles.

But we’re inarguably in the homestretch for this generation.  And what better end cap can you find than in Rockstar’s titanic sandbox of a game, Grand Theft Auto?  With an inch over a month to run out on the clock before its release, Rockstar Games has softened on their typical hard-lock on details surrounding GTAV.  First up, here’s some new screens to gawk at – twelve of ‘em.

Next is the confirmation that the game will receive post-launch DLC…And that’s all you get in regards to that.  No title, no synopsis, zip.  Hell, you haven’t even played minute one of the main game yet; don’t you sweat those deets, friends.  But do try to keep in mind the mystery content will be region locked, so Rockstar recommends you buy your native country’s designated version if you expect to enjoy further expansions to Los Santos.

Finally, seems as if good news is in store for those anxiously awaiting word of a PC release for Grand Theft Auto’s fifth symphony.  During one of them fangled earnings calls, a Nvidia honcho let loose that GTAV may see a PC release as soon as this Fall.  'Course, Rockstar had nothing to say on the matter, so commence the breath holding until further notice.  If it does arrive in the fall, it would make it the shortest amount of time a GTA title has traveled from home console to PC in the franchise’s history.  Modders, here’s hoping.

Ubisoft’s Clearly Going to Make Another Far Cry Tony Key, Ubi’s...

Ubisoft’s Clearly Going to Make Another Far Cry

Tony Key, Ubi’s senior veep of sales and marketing, says Far Cry 4 is a no-brainer.  And that’s the news, folks!  …Okay, I’ll say more, but only in the hopes of Ubisoft letting me onto their wicked badass pirate ship in San Diego next week.

Though the gaming masses (rightfully) shunned Far Cry 2, something about playing as an over-privileged millennial transformed into a blood-frenzied bushman really resonated with people, thusly Far Cry 3 – under Ubisoft Montreal’s eye put up strong numbers and kindly reviews.

This is where I say, “The game’s positive reception left many fans wondering if Far Cry 3’s success could pave the way for a potential sequel?"  But it’s just you and me here; we can be frank.  We’re talking about the same publisher that has launched no fewer than five hundred Assassin’s Creed titles since 2007 (with another two hundred rumored to be in the works).  Of course there’s going to be a Far Cry 4.

"It’s a great brand, and now it’s got the recognition it deserves,” said Tony “T-Key” Key to Gamespot.  “So we’re clearly going to make another one: more on that soon."  Key also spoke on consumers’ leaning on the open-world genre as a whole, stating that gamers’ tastes are becoming more attuned to less linear experiences.

"They don’t want linear; they want open [world],” said T-Key, admitting that Ubisoft pours considerable resources into the genre in part because of their aptitude for “large-scale, open-ended games."  Key did backpedal a bit, affirming that "there’s always going to be a place for linear experiences."  I can only imagine someone may have shot him these figures.

Now, if we can only get a Blood Dragon 2 into the "forgone conclusion” category, I’ll rest easy.

Grand Theft Auto V: New Gameplay and Screens Winning Me Over...

Grand Theft Auto V: New Gameplay and Screens Winning Me Over

Yesterday Rockstar pried open the seal on their upcoming mega-blockbuster, GTAV.

Now, I’ll be honest with you since I like the cut of your jib: I’ve fallen out of love with this crime-centric, do-anything-you-want open worlder in recent years.  I was there for GTA in its top-down days when vehicular manslaughter meant flattening tiny sprites.  And I was right there in its golden age when Rockstar brought the concept to the three-dimensional plane and, soon after, worldwide infamy.

But this generation GTAIV – and its DLC extensions – failed to win me over.  It could’ve been the open-world genre had become commonplace by then, with some direct rivals owning better ideas than Rockstar’s once untouchable franchise.  It could’ve been the disconnect between me and the surly war veteran I controlled, Niko Bellic, as he begrudgingly (if not reluctantly) submerged himself in a life of petty crime.

But GTAV…The initial story trailers have all kept the status quo – violent, comical characters engaging in capers that satirize pop culture and society.  Pretty standard fare for this series.  But then there’s this goddamn gameplay trailer which has me sold on the game ten times over.  The notion of switching between three separate characters on the fly is exciting on paper, but watching it implemented seamlessly into the flow of an action thick mission glued my eyes to the screen.  For a “Do Anything” series, there’s always been a forced rigidity as soon as you picked up a mission.  Effortless, real-time character swapping looks to body this complaint head-on.

My other perpetual bone to pick with these games, the combat, has also been banged out and shaped into a beastlier form, perhaps borrowing from the publisher’s experience on Max Payne 3 (kudos on the weapon wheel, Rockstar).  Throw in a gigantic Los Santos with more depth and opportunities for interaction than this franchise has ever seen, mix that up with a slew of customization for your trio and the vehicles they acquire (see: steal), and layer it all with Rockstar’s now unmistakeably signature style.  When September 17th rolls around, I doubt there’ll be any hesitation in the nerve bundles between my brain and wallet.

Aliens, Superpowers, and Dildo-Charged Chaos – Saints Row IV...

Aliens, Superpowers, and Dildo-Charged Chaos – Saints Row IV Must’ve Been Announced Today

Before THQ sank to the bottom of the sea, as all companies do when they file for bankruptcy, the troubled publisher’s last captain in charge, Jason Rubin, felt it was time for Volition’s Saints Row property to grow up.  “I look at that title and I say, ‘Who cares what it is and why it got to be what it is?’ From that team we can make something that isn’t embarrassing.”

Gears of War’s co-creator, Cliff Bleszinski, echoed similar sentiments, musing that Volition’s open world crime series could go toe-to-toe with GTA if only the games would ditch the dildos for a mature tone.  “[Battlefield] didn’t go after [Call of Duty] by putting dicks on their guns…It doesn’t help industry perceptions.”

In just over a minute, Saints Row IV’s trailer proves Volition doesn’t give a high-flying shit about “industry perceptions,” and bless them for it.

The Third Street Saints have moved up from lowly gangsters, shirked their suited mafioso ways, and have evolved into the ultimate thugs – high ranking politicians.  As soon as their leader is inaugurated as our nation’s President, things take a wide turn for the insane in hallmark Saints fashion.  An alien invasion (you read that right) traps the Saints in a simulated version of their old haunts, Steelport, and in retaliation, you’ll get to harness their technology, going as far to even imbue yourself with superpowers like flight and a freeze ability to smash their interstellar faces in.

It’s all just…fucking lunacy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The gaming world doesn’t need another serious-faced GTA imitator; the world needs the Saints.  New publisher, Deep Silver, thankfully supports Volition’s applied madness, and letting them go nuts on the concept will surely lead to more immaturity, more embarrassment, and – most importantly – more fun.

Saints Row IV releases for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on August 20th.