Rockstar recently silenced all the Grand Theft Auto remaster rumours in the only way they know how – by announcing GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. This collection of GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas modernises their gameplay and visuals for a new generation.
For some this will be a trip down memory lane, but for others, it’ll be their first foray into these three iconic cities. Either way, we’ve got a few ideas of what to do first in the upcoming GTA bundle.
What’s your pick? Let us know in the comments.
Level up with an ambulance | Sam
The best way to start any game in the GTA Trilogy remaster collection is to make yourself overpowered. It’s easy to forget that this trio of titles can be pretty challenging, what with everybody cheating back in the day. Who knows if the same cheats will work this time, but, even if they do, it’ll probably void earning achievements and trophies.
Hijack yourself an ambulance and activate the Paramedic mini-game to earn some quick cash and, more importantly, permanent boosts. Finishing all 12 levels in Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City nets players unlimited sprint stamina, while doing so in San Andreas grants a maximum health bonus.
With some money and a nice character upgrade in the bag, start exploring remote corners of the rich settings in search of Hidden Packages. For every 10 of these collectibles that players find, the game grants a respawning weapon or resource pick-up at manual save points. Being able to claim an unlimited number of health, armour and ammo pick-ups is easily worth the effort.
Doing this makes a big difference in itself, though a welcome side effect is learning the level layouts. No shortcuts or hidden Police Bribes will go unused during missions, making the game a magnitude more manageable.
A tour of the local area | Liam
While James and Sam are right to champion some of the most appealing aspects of any GTA game – wreaking havoc, becoming a walking demigod, etc. – I’m putting forward a more peaceful suggestion.
I personally enjoy a good drive around in a new GTA game. Not the pavement mounting, pedestrian endangering rampages so closely associated with the series, but a more leisurely type of drive, one that takes in all the sights and sounds of a new landscape.
The best for this was San Andreas. I remember getting home from school, firing up the PS2 and just cruising around the edge of the map as I slowly took in the sights and different biomes, all while listening to some sweet tunes.
If I remember rightly, it took around 45 minutes to complete a single lap, and while it isn’t exactly the most thrilling way to play the game, it was an oddly enjoyable way to unwind at the end of the day.
Of course, it wasn’t entirely without danger – sometimes you’d take a wrong turn and need to double back along the motorway (into oncoming traffic, naturally) and you’d also need to ‘locate’ your vehicle of choice (preferably a Sanchez dirt bike) without alerting the local constabulary.
What do you always do first in GTA? Let us know.
In the return of our conversational quick look series, we check out Team 17’s Hell Let Loose.
What are the basics?
There’s a long list of classes, though it’s best to keep things simple at first by picking a Rifleman. Clutching an M1 Garand, you might be charged with storming the beach at Normandy, or defending it, then the game plays out a lot like Battlefield’s Rush mode. It’s on a much larger scale, however, so enemy encounters can be few and far between.
What happens when you get into a fight?
There’s a realistic slant on gunplay in that you won’t take more than a hit or two before going down. You can bandage yourself up to avoid bleeding out, or a Medic can do the job for you, but supplies are very limited.
Working as a squad helps, since the Officer can put spawn points down in an attempt to keep everyone together. There’s also an element of wider team coordination here; Officers have access to a special command comms channel, enabling them to coordinate with other squads and even tanks.
Ooo I like tanks, can I drive one?
Vehicles are fairly hard to come by, but yes. Those different roles include a Tank Commander and Crewman, both of which must work closely together.
In even rarer air, there’s a spot on each team for one Commander. This role directs friendly forces in a kind of a real-time strategy meta game, without ever getting stuck in on the frontline alongside everyone else.
Sounds interesting. Is it worth sinking some time into?
Because of how matches are structured, each leg of an attack has a fairly significant time limit - if the defenders almost hold out at each stage, an individual match can last well over an hour.
Hell Let Loose is a faithful and unforgiving take on World War 2, but some players will miss the creature comforts offered by almost every other modern shooter. It definitely throws back to the heyday of the Medal of Honor series, both in the way it plays and the inevitable similarities in weapons and themes. Overall, it’s definitely worth a go – especially for PS5 owners as it’s an October 2021 PlayStation Plus title.
At last, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is as ultimate as it can be, with the final new character having been announced.
It turns out Kingdom Hearts' Sora, the keyblade-wielding hero, was the missing ingredient, but is there a character who would have been even more fun?
We decided to come up with our own suggestions. Leave yours in the comments below.
Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark) | Liam Andrews
Joanna Dark might be an Xbox associate these days, but she started out life on the N64, so I think it would have been only fitting to see her return to a Nintendo platform via Smash Bros. Ultimate.
As a secret agent, she’s (presumably) well trained in hand-to-hand combat, so she wouldn’t look out of place battling against the game’s vast roster of rival characters. She’s also very proficient with weapons (that, we do know) and could have utilised a pair of Falcon 2 pistols for her ranged attack, or maybe even a SuperDragon assault rifle.
She would have a range of character skins to choose from as well, as there’s plenty of customisation options available. There’s the classic blue/grey Carrington Institute agent uniform, the Area 51 lab tech outfit, and you could even throw in the Perfect Dark Zero look for an alternative option.
As for a final smash, it would have to have featured Elvis, Joanna’s alien sidekick from the original game, perhaps abducting enemy players in a ship then launching them off the screen.
With a new Perfect Dark game currently in development for Xbox, Joanna Dark’s inclusion in Smash would have been a nice way to mark the series’ return to the fore.
Leon Scott Kennedy (Resident Evil) | SaM Sant
Part of deciding who makes the Super Smash Bros. roster no doubt revolves around which characters have the biggest icon status within gaming. With that in mind, it’s a travesty that the Resident Evil franchise isn’t getting any proper representation. Specifically, everybody’s favourite floppy-haired cop: Leon S. Kennedy.
Leon is the star of several Resident Evil stories, both in and outside of games, but is most notably the playable protagonist of both RE2 and RE4. Most will agree that these are two all-time classics, more than punching his ticket to the Smash Bros. invitational.
In an even bigger injustice than Dante appearing as a Mii skin, Nintendo actually put Mr. Kennedy in Smash as part of a limited-time Resident Evil spirit event. Basically, it’s a throwaway inclusion - Leon isn’t actually playable or even available to battle against.
While Chris Redfield appears in Marvel vs. Capcom, Leon could make a more impactful fighting game debut. He’d sport his signature roundhouse kick and a variety of suplexes up close, then, in keeping with his survival horror roots, draw from a limited ammo pool to shoot opponents at range. By summoning The Merchant, Leon could replenish his ammunition and either switch out or upgrade his current weapon.
With the recent release of Kena: Bridge of Spirits marking the gaming debut for animation studio Ember Lab, we started to think about other crossovers from the world of animation we'd like to see.
There are plenty of transferable skills, in terms of both designing and creating the cinematics, but also the movement and emotion which bring characters to life in-game. There are plenty of game developers who already do a great job of this in their own right – Insomniac in particular spring to mind – but which film and TV animation studios might have something to offer?
Rough Draft | Liam
Like James, one of the studios I’d be tempted to pick, Studio Ghibli, have already dabbled in the world of video games with the excellent Ni No Kuni, so I’ve instead opted for Rough Draft Studios, best known for The Simpsons and Futurama.
It’s the latter I’m interested in today, however, as I think a game set within New New York and beyond would be an absolute blast. Yes, I’m aware a Futurama game already came out in 2003, but the 3D shooter/platformer wasn’t anything to do with Rough Draft, as far as I know.
What I’d like to see is something like the two most recent South Park titles, The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole, which leant into the style of the original material instead of pairing them with an ill-fitting game genre.
A Rough Draft Futurama game would also stay true to the source material, that is to say it’d be a 2D affair very much in keeping with the established cartoon style, with perhaps the odd 3D ship battle thrown in. While this would limit gameplay mechanics (I think a point and click title would work best) it would basically be a playable episode of Futurama, which sounds great to me.
Sony Pictures Imageworks | Sam
Having literally just beaten Kena: Bridge of Spirits before writing this, it’s safe to say that more animation studios should try their hands at game development; if Kena sets any kind of precedent, everyone could be in for a treat.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has a long filmography, the highlight of which is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That film’s visual style is second to none, oozing style (though not without substance) from every single frame. Into the Spider-Verse is the top animated feature on Rotten Tomatoes, but could the studio produce a classic game too?
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales features a skin that mimics the art and animations of the film. Equipping it makes for a unique and somewhat hypnotic gameplay experience - unfortunately, however, it only affects the title character. Seeing these rules applied across an entire game would no doubt make for something special.
It wouldn’t necessarily need to be a Spider-Man game, either. As part of PlayStation manufacturer Sony, Sony Pictures Imageworks could receive access to a variety of recognisable brands. While the art style might not suit the likes of The Last of Us, it could vibe with numerous other projects. Anyone for a Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper revival on PS5?
Which animation studio would you like to see make a game? Let us know below.