Previews

GTA V: Time to get real

CVG E3 2011 Awards: Vote for the games that most excite you!

The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.

Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor at the Los Angeles event. Shower your favourites with online love!

Game: GTA V
Publisher: Rockstar
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Rumoured/Unconfirmed

Bin off Bohan, ignore Idlewood and let go of Liberty City: The more evidence leaks online, the more market trends emerge and the more industry tittle tattle we hear, the more we're convinced: Grand Theft Auto V will be set in real world Los Angeles.

The time is surely ripe for Rockstar to take its unique - and uniquely mesmerising - cocktail of violence, satire and societal mayhem out of the realm of fiction; to halt the homage and begin showing us just how ridiculous the real world has become.

And where better to unleash life-mirroring than the most self-parodying sun strip on earth?.

Rockstar has always been the one having the last laugh at the haters; the moralistic naysayers who'll gobble up MTV Smut, Beautify Your Kids and America's Most Wanted - yet kick back against an OTT game that stars an immigrant brutishly snatching his own chunk of the American Dream.

But one thing it's never been able to get away with is directly mirroring New York or L.A's mean streets. Shooting someone in an in-game Times Square/Rodeo Drive/Compton clearly has more real life repercussions than gunning someone down in Star Junction/Rodeo/Ganton.

Yet even since the release of GTA IV three years ago, the acceptance of video games borrowing from reality's landmarks - in the same way that movies have for decades - has blossomed. Games such as Resistance, The Darkness and Homefront have tested the waters by mixing annihilation and authenticity, and come away largely unscathed.

We're no longer talking about a tabloid target in Rockstar, either. We're talking about a lauded guest of Tribeca; and a darling of Newsnight Review and Mark Kermode. Even if the slop-haired genre-meandering critic doesn't know the meaning of a spoiler (see below).

Close Close

The evidence is certainly building towards a reveal for GTA V anytime soon. The first signs of the game crept online in February via an actor's CV, and were quickly followed by some suspicious Rockstar-registered URLs.

These suggest that the developer has lost none of its ability to skew current affairs for it's own ends, with those profiteering from the global recession clearly in the crosshairs this time. (Stoppayingyourmortgage.com, anyone?). Social media's all-powerful grip on our lives will also be sent up, judging by the registration of Lifeinvader.com. When it comes to social commentary, Rockstar's teeth, it seems, are as sharp as ever.

Evidence from as far back as December suggest that the game is being codenamed 'Rush' and features characters including a "Welsh monk/cult leader/yoga teacher", a "weed evangelist", a "swinger" and - top of the pops - "an ugly but comfortable mellow Californian divorcee". Hmmm. 'Rush'. Which city immediately springs to mind when you hear that phrase?

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