The lights are on
There have been no shortage of rumors regarding a potential
follow-up to Rockstar's critically acclaimed GTA IV, but today the developer officially
announced the sequel on its website. It's time to take a look at the
various rumors that have been swirling around the project for the past year and
judge how likely they are to come to fruition.
Rumor #1: A Colorful
CastThe GTA series has always been known for its outrageous cast
of characters, and we're sure GTA V will be no different. However a casting
call for voice actors from earlier in the year provided a little more
information about who we might see in the next game. Although the casting call
didn't name GTA V specifically, one of the characters (a "man-boy love
activist" named James Pedeaston) was featured on an in-game website in GTA IV.
The same casting call details other characters that may end up in GTA V,
including a liberal conspiracy theorist, a pre-teen boy advocating his right to
drink alcohol and have sex, and a young female "obsessed with sex parties."
casting call for a game codenamed Rush is also believed to be for GTA V,
though the evidence is less concrete. This list of characters includes an FBI
agent caught between rival mafia families, a monk/cult leader/yoga teacher, a
"neurotic soccer mom," and a "weed evangelist," among many others.
Likelihood: ProbableNot only is there solid evidence of at least the first
casting call being true, but both lists of characters fit with the hallmark of
Rockstar's writing: biting, politically-charged, and hilarious satire of life
Rumor #2: Team Bondi
TechThis summer Team Bondi's Brendan McNamara stated
in an interview that Rockstar might use MotionScan, the ground-breaking
facial animation used in L.A. Noire, in GTA V. McNamara also stated Rockstar
was "more than welcome to use MotionScan" for the project, suggesting that Team
Bondi is open to another partnership, despite problems
that arose during the development of L.A. Noire.
Likelihood: PoorNot only did the original quote sound like wishful thinking
on McNamara's part, but Team Bondi has faced no shortage of turmoil since
the original story, including reports of the developer owing
more than $1 million in unpaid wages to its employees, and news from
earlier this month that the company is shutting
down. There's no word yet as to what will happen to Team Bondi's MotionScan,
but even if Rockstar did buy the tech in the liquidation of the company's
assets, we doubt the studio will use it in GTA V.
Rumor #3: GTA V Goes
OverseasVarious rumors on the internet have suggested that the next
GTA will take place in an overseas location, with London and Tokyo being the
ChanceAt least not for GTA V. All of the rumors of the newly announced
sequel taking place in an overseas location read more like wishful thinking
than actual reporting. Additionally, Entertainment
Weekly's recent interview with Dan Houser makes the possibility sound even
more unlikely. When asked about another international edition of GTA, Houser
had this to say: "We go backwards and forwards on it. There are very
interesting crime stories and other stories you can tell about anyplace in the
world. Whether that would work with Grand
Theft Auto – when so much about Grand
Theft Auto is about the Americana, about the American
media – is something I'm not sure about." While Rockstar may continue consider
going international for a future installment, something tells us it's a little
late to be choosing a location for GTA V.
Rumor #4: GTA V
Invades The Real WorldAnother persistent rumor suggests that GTA V will
be a more realistic take on the series, taking place in a real U.S. city
instead of a fictional location. Los Angeles is the city of choice, with a
bizarre post on VG247
specifically fingering Hollywood for the next adventure.
Likelihood: DoubtfulMost of these rumors point to Rockstar scouting real-world
locations as evidence for a shift towards realism. However, given the studio's
attention to detail, why wouldn't Rockstar look at real cities when designing a
fictitious one? All of the previous GTA locations have been heavily influenced
by American cities, and we're betting GTA V won't be any different – but a game
can't be a parody and realistic at the same time, and we doubt Rockstar would
choose authenticity over the wild satire that has made the series so popular
Rumor #5: Coming In 2012Various reports and speculations have pointed to a 2012
release date for GTA V, including a listing from a German
GameStop, and inside
sources friendly to GameSpot.
Hopefully!We don't know when GTA V is going to come out – it seems
doubtful Rockstar would announce a sequel now if it wasn't going to be ready
until 2013, but it's not impossible. More than anything, we hope GTA V will
come out in 2012 just because it means we'll be able to play it sooner.
However these rumors shake out, one thing's for sure:
answers are coming soon. In addition to officially
announcing GTA V, Rockstar also revealed that a trailer will be available
on November 2, just a week from tomorrow.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.