Series-ous Talk – Grand Theft Auto

Logo for the series since the release of Grand Theft Auto III. This font type has become a staple of the franchise.

It took me until the other day to realize that most of the games that I have had on my blog have been geared towards all demographics, but mostly towards younger audiences. However, I heard some interesting news the other day about an announcement or something major being disclosed about this series sometime this week. So I wanted to take some time to highlight a franchise that has built a following and brought lots of controversy in it’s wake and really made an impact on the games industry as a whole. Without further adieu, let’s dive into this action-adventure series that has released over the past two-and-a-half decades.

Screenshot from the original Grand Theft Auto, notice the Top-down perspective that really sets this game apart from it’s later releases.

The original Grand Theft Auto released in 1997 for Windows, MS-DOS, and the Game Boy Color and the original PlayStation in 1998. Out of all the games in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2 are the only titles to be released in a 2-D, Top-down design. The plot centered around criminals causing a spree of robberys, assassinations, and other illegal activities for their respective syndicates throughout three different cities. These titles received mixed feelings from critics, but it soon grew a larger following of devoted fans. However, the industry and fans were not expecting the depth that the jump to 3-D would offer the franchise with the release of Grand Theft Auto III in 2001. The game introduced a third-person perspective and open world design that the series has become quite known for on top of a more complex gameplay structure and concept of story. This game has been noted as as one of the most significant games from it’s generation and has been cited as one of the best video games ever created. Other notable titles that released during this 3-D era were Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, another universally acclaimed title, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the best selling PlayStation 2 game and one of the best selling games of all time, both titles have been cited as being some of the greatest games of all time. The two most recent installments have become more noted as being part of the “HD” universe. Grand Theft Auto IV released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC was also cited as being one of the greatest titles of all time and is one of the best selling games for the PlayStation 3. Grand Theft Auto V released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and finally 2015 for PC. This final title holds records for sales and being the fastest selling entertainment product of all time.

Grand Theft Auto III offered a much more detailed open world and the introduction of the third-person perspective gave the series a much better direction and aesthetic.

With all of that being said, there are many reasons for this franchise for receiving all it’s praise despite the various moments the game’s rating, depictions, and story elements that have it become notorious for controversy. The games themselves have provided each title with different stories with characters that have unique backgrounds and personalities. Gameplay has different missions, activities, and other things that the player can take part in with their playthrough. The open world that each game has presented players continues to grow in scale and detail, especially the most recent release having some of the most detail to environments, vehicles, NPCs, etc. I have ever seen. The customization available to the player lets them become part of the game by injecting their own brand of fashion, physical traits, and decisions they make in their gameplay. Not only that, but players could honestly spend their time playing these games and always find something new to take part in without ever losing that sense of discovery and adventure. I have never really been a huge fan of this franchise, but I do feel as though they are made with lots of love and it shows when you pick up the controller, which I think is extremely important to the overall appeal of a game.

Grand Theft Auto V really set the bar in terms of attention to detail and variability in NPCs, vehicles, and designs with each area the player visits. This game also introduced the option to play the game in first person.

At the end of the day, players will grow to appreciate the design of the game and level of dedication the developers had in creating the series. With the wait for Grand Theft Auto 6 seemingly coming closer to the end, all I can say is that it is going to break more records than it’s predecessors and create new standards for game creation entirely.

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