Still Playing: GTAV – forget the killing sprees and find beauty in a digital rambling holiday

GTAV camp dignity

Collectibles may not ruin games, but they don’t exactly help. They’re the tedious make-work at the heart of modern game design that substitutes padding for content, the taunting fraction lurking in some number-ish recess of the pause screen showing you how little you’ve actually achieved. Very few are as tedious as GTAIV’s pigeons. They distort… Continue reading

Revisiting GTAV’s Los Santos, a mirror LA that’s the perfect match for Rockstar’s lampooning eye

Los Santos

The French novelist Henry De Montherlant wrote, “Happiness writes in white ink on a white page.” His argument was that, from Charles Dickens to Ian McEwan, only fiction’s tragedies, trials, aberrations and villains lodge in the mind; the good guys and the good things that happen to them are, a few notable exceptions aside, forgettable…. Continue reading

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


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

Grand Theft Auto V review

GTAV review

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

Grand Theft Auto IV Review

Grand Theft Auto IV Review

This review originally appeared in E189, June 2008. As you drive around Liberty City, flipping between radio stations, absorbing the inanity of their commercial messages and the bilious hypocrisy of their small-minded politics, you realize that the America of GTA IV is a country coming down from its trip. The humor – some crass, some clever – errs towards the absurd, as the series has always done, but never before has it been so cutting, so impassioned or so relevant.

The Making Of: Grand Theft Auto IV


Sitting down with Rockstar Games president Sam Houser in the freshly decorated demo room of the company’s headquarters in downtown New York, we ask him how he’s doing. Just over 1,100 uninterrupted words later, he’s finished giving us an answer. Houser is, in his own words, the “loudmouth” of the Rockstar organisation, not that you’d know… Continue reading

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Review

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Review

This review originally appeared in E144, Christmas 2004. 

Manhunt Review

Manhunt Review

This review originally appeared in E132, January 2004. 

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Review

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Review

This review originally appeared in E118, Christmas 2002. It was never going to live up to expectations, of course. Nothing as hyped as this ever could. But Vice City remains one of the year’s essential games if only because its developer has listened to the feedback offered by many of the million or so buyers of the previous game, and in doing so has added much to the GTA experience.