Rockstar North’s Aaron Garbut on the making of Grand Theft Auto V – our game of 2013

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How did our game of the year winner, Grand Theft Auto V, make it from the drawing board to become the biggest-selling title of 2013? Rockstar North art director Aaron Garbut explains what it was like to be part of the five-year process of its creation, the challenges of designing a world for multiple lead… Continue reading

After Arkham, Black Flag and GTAV, is this the end of an open-world gaming golden age?

GTAV

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag can easily see you through to the new year with its heaving open-world of missions and quests. You could put hours into Arkham Origins over the winter weeks, too, hunting for all the snowbound secrets and swooping down on rampaging thugs. Then there’s Grand Theft Auto V, with its generous… Continue reading

Why defensive videogame fanbases display the exact same sensitivity they claim to abhor

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There are several elements of predictable crowd behaviour when it comes to the highly anticipated launches of huge-budget videogames. First, the game is liable to receive generally high reviews, with minor variations among outlets. Second, the outliers on that narrow range will be subject to scrutiny – the perfect score must have been ‘bought by… Continue reading

GTAV and the power of Rockstar’s soundtracks

GTAV

Nowadays we take licensed music for granted, but it wasn’t always like this. Rockstar laid down the open-world template with Grand Theft Auto III, but it was actually GTA2’s London expansion that first featured a licensed soundtrack, courtesy of Trojan Records. The UK dub and reggae label’s work made for a powerful addition to the… Continue reading

Rockstar’s riotous sandbox comes alive: a first look at GTA Online

GTA Online

A plane flies over Los Santos and we see our avatar’s face gazing through a window at the city below. They are, essentially, the fourth protagonist of Grand Theft Auto V – the mystery silhouette at the bottom of the character switch menu – and Grand Theft Auto Online is where they’ll murder, rob, race,… Continue reading

Between wonder and shame: the conflict at the heart of GTAV

GTA V

Its characters are abhorrent and its worldview is repulsive; yet it is one of the most critically acclaimed games ever released. Neil Long explores why.

Finding beauty in GTAV’s ugly world through the art of the selfie

GTAV selfies

How Rockstar’s in-game camera gives us chance to admire the scale and detail of Los Santos.

Grand Theft Auto V review

GTAV review

Rockstar has produced a peerless marriage of world design, storytelling and mechanics.

Class A thugs: why Grand Theft Auto Online marks a new beginning at Rockstar

GTA Online

The thought of an ever-expanding, player-defined Los Santos makes GTA V feel like an end of an era.