Matthew Walker, Freelance Writer:
Since I have played and loved all of the console versions of Grand Theft Auto, hearing about Grand Theft Auto IV only whets the appetite for the carnage we have grown to love from the series. While my beloved carnage will certainly be there, one thing I would change about the GTA series it would be the general graphics. Each recent addition has been a continuous improvement upon the previous, but I think Rockstar will take the next step and bring us along for the ride. It has been recently confirmed that GTA IV will use the same RAGE engine used in Rockstar's Table Tennis, which assures us that Rockstar is finally ready for the next leap graphically. Along with better character models, you can also expect better vehicles, landscapes, and thankfully, better looking pedestrians.
With the graphics seemingly locked in, that leaves only a few other areas to drool and analyze about, the voices being one. Lazlow Jones, who plays the self-titled radio DJ, is already confirmed as a voice credit. The main cast of characters and their respective voices could be what makes or breaks my desire to buy the game. We can only hope that Rockstar will rekindle the fervor they created when Vice City was cast. Another point to analyze is the game's setting. Personally, I think that with Rockstar moving forward with the numbering of the series they will be moving forward as far as the scope of playable areas. Instead of the island isolation feel, GTA IV could broaden our domineering crime boss mentality by giving us more areas to conquer.
Appearing on the PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously could mean introducing a new and welcome concept to the series. Considering each console's respective online capabilities, allowing fans to compete for territory and respect online would be a nice escape from the missions of the regular game. With additional episodic content available for both systems, online gaming would be a perfect way to incorporate the online multiplayer that has been missing from the series.
Jwan Jordan, Freelance Writer:
It's been nearly a decade since Grand Theft Auto (GTA) made its way into our homes and taught us valuable lessons like promiscuous women can restore your health for a fee, and yes, it's okay to attack them and retrieve the money you paid them with. Mafia morals aside, gamers were blown away with the open ended gameplay, random acts of violence, cast of characters, and so much more. Grand Theft Auto was, and still is, a sandbox of gaming pleasure and spawned many imitators. With the approaching release of the new GTA, few details have been announced other than the episodic content. Thus, we all sit anxiously waiting but confident that Rockstar will deliver like always.
The experience in GTA to me has always been about the exaggerated stereotypes associated with the characters. From the Italian mafia to the hoods of the ghetto, Rockstar made sure to offend every ethnic community. While surviving repeated lawsuits, Rockstar continues to break the mold with each game.
With little information released thus far, it's anybody's guess as to what the story or gameplay is about. Since every game focuses on a particular culture, I would love to see a GTA game based off the Asian mafia. Notably titled GTA: Yakuza, you would play as an Asian mafia goon and follow the traditional missions via GTA style. The story would, of course, lead you into a series of various missions that only GTA knows how to deliver.
The Yakuza are often stereotyped by their over-the-top violence which far exceeds their American counterparts, so it would be nice to have the addition of martial arts to dispense injustice to your enemies. Don't act as if you don't like the idea of being an evil Bruce Lee for eighty hours of gaming fun.
GTA Yakuza could be a great game if they went in that direction. For those who want to know, yes, I am aware of the previously released Yakuza game for the PS2, which was not entertaining at all. Fan fantasies aside, I can't wait to see what GTA IV is actually going to be like. Like the rest of you gamers out there, I await anxiously.
Pete Richards, Freelance Writer:
With the announcement of a GTA IV in the works, the best improvement I believe Rockstar could make, and something I always felt lacked in the GTA series, is a multiplayer setting. While GTA offers endless fun as a single-player game, it and others alike have not attempted a multiplayer or online mode until 360's recently released Saints Row by Volition. However, even Saints Row only offers multiplayer options in certain mini-game modes. What would have me totally blown away by GTA IV are not only such mini multiplayer games, but also a split screen mode which allows players to roam freely throughout the city where they can hunt one another or work together to create chaos. As much fun as it is to complete missions in the GTA series, sometimes it is even more fun to just go berserk.
While it's anyone's guess right now where GTA 4 will take place, it's hard to think of another American city with as much character as New York, Miami, or Los Angeles as the fictional cities in the previous GTA games were based on. I would like to see Rockstar look outside of the US as the setting for the next game. Tokyo or Columbia are two locales that could be interesting as a backdrop for GTA IV.
Whatever city they choose, I would enjoy more variety of people and vehicles roaming its streets, making a more realistic, interactive, and populated city. I would especially like to see a variety of different police officers rather than the typical cloned officers we're used to.
Rockstar has confidently set GTA IV's release date for this October. Although they may shuffle the date around a week or so, Rockstar isn't a company that delays games regularly, especially the GTA series, so we can expect to see GTA this year. This also means that we should start hearing tidbits about the actual game soon, hopefully before we all go crazy with anticipation. We hope Rockstar can include some of the elements that we've speculated on, but with their track record, we can definitely expect GTA IV to set standards, break records, and to be unquestionably fun.