- Grand Theft Auto 6 is the highly anticipated entry in Rockstar’s flagship series, ten years in the making.
- The studio is known for quality games as seen from titles like GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
- GTA 6 may bring further innovation to the open-world genre but expectations should be kept in check.
After what feels like a century even though it’s just ten years, Rockstar has finally confirmed the existence of the next entry in its flagship franchise—Grand Theft Auto 6. Closing in on its 25th anniversary, the company probably felt like it was the right time to make the big reveal in the form of a small tweet.
Having been victim to a veritable storm of leaks, it’s not the existence of Grand Theft Auto 6 that stands out but rather the confirmation that it’s upon us. In that same thread on Twitter, Rockstar stated that the first trailer would drop in early December. Perhaps some folks will consider this an advance Christmas present and maybe it is.
We are very excited to let you know that in early December, we will release the first trailer for the next Grand Theft Auto. We look forward to many more years of sharing these experiences with all of you.
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) November 8, 2023
That said, we’re three years into this generation, and knowing Rockstar’s overall track record, I strongly feel that Grand Theft Auto 6 will be the game that pushes this gen to its technical and perhaps even graphical limits. In case you’re wondering, here’s why…
Grand Theft Auto 6: Ten Years In The Making
In hindsight, it may not seem that long but the last GTA came out in 2013. Take a moment and let that sink in. Back during an era when Activision was beating the life out of Spider-Man, Batman kept superhero games alive, Resident Evil & Capcom went downhill, Ubisoft released the last good Assassin’s Creed, and formulaic open-world games were dime-a-dozen.
During the seventh generation’s final lap, Rockstar released GTA 5 and now we’re here, in 2023. While a decade may have passed since then, we don’t know how long Grand Theft Auto 6 has been in the oven. I’d venture a guess that it probably took most of this timeframe considering its sheer scale.
Technology, video game development, and the industry have come a long way since 2013. It’s a bittersweet position to be in as a player because, on the one hand, you have all this modern stuff that allows devs to do so much more but on the flipside, the industry hampers creativity in favor of aggressively chasing revenue.
Despite the problems though, this advancement over the last decade gives passion the edge and allows developers to go the extra mile. Getting all this development time along with the boost in tech and graphics, Grand Theft Auto 6 is positioned to possibly utilize and display the ultimate potential of ninth-generation console hardware.
And let’s not forget all the money that Rockstar has raked in thanks to GTA 5 and its online counterpart during this time. The sequel’s development will undoubtedly benefit from that revenue if you look at things from a purely business point-of-view which brings me to my next point…
GTA 5 Was A Technical Marvel
While I fondly remember the atrocious loading screens that plague the initial moments of Grand Theft Auto 5, that game was beyond anything I experienced during the seventh generation. In comparison to its predecessor, GTA 5 not only boasted top-of-the-line visuals for its time, it pushed the hardware of that era to the limits and delivered a truly phenomenal experience.
Hardware restrictions back then spelled a lot of drawbacks for a game of that scale. I’m not trying to put Grand Theft Auto 5 on a pedestal here but it’s a fact that the product was well-polished and checked all the boxes a video game is supposed to. Pushing the limits of that technology came at the expense of loading times which was a rather bittersweet tradeoff since time itself is a precious commodity.
Being able to maintain consistent frame rates, seamlessly transition between three protagonists in a vast open world, experiencing a gripping story told with class, and missions full of thrill, GTA 5 rightfully attained the title of being one of the most significant entries of the seventh and eighth generation & being among the best video games ever made.
IGN’s load time comparison between the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 gives an unfiltered view of the introduction of SSDs in the ninth generation of consoles has astronomically boosted the performance of games and allowed devs to explore new horizons. It’s how Rockstar pushed the boundaries back in 2013 with seventh-gen hardware that lends weight to my views.
Grand Theft Auto 6 Could Be Rockstar’s Next Answer To Open Worlds
While GTA 5 managed to pull off the open-world setting fairly well, the majority of those games have been formulaic and restrictive. The Ubisoft pattern of a cluttered user interface, a journal full of quests in addition to a “to-do list,” and the constant character dialogue trying to guide the player on a linear path rather than capitalizing on the core aspect.
Nintendo broke the mold in 2017 with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, revamping the open-world formula and honestly, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in this genre of gaming. GTA 5 and CDPR’s The Witcher 3 were great games but at the same time, they steered a little close to the standard formula despite executing it phenomenally.
Then FromSoftware arrived at the scene in 2022 with its magnum opus—Elden Ring. The game was a culmination of a decade’s worth of work on Soulsborne and had a profound impact on the industry. Overshadowing Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring managed to draw hate comments from developers on X (formerly known as Twitter), exposing a rather grim element of the gaming space.
Tears of the Kingdom brought more to Hyrule in terms of creativity while other games like Death Stranding took risks, something we don’t see much nowadays since it results in studio closures or layoffs. With Rockstar’s track record and how it has always delivered quality games that innovate instead of succumbing to stasis, it’s hard to see the company messing up with what can potentially be the hallmark experience of this generation.
Tempered Expectations Won’t Steer You Wrong
Despite all of these facts, it’s always best to keep our expectations in check and let things play out naturally. At the end of the day, Rockstar is a company that has people working on projects with the ultimate goal of generating revenue. After the release of GTA 5, several notable members of staff have left the studio which may or may not imply something for Grand Theft Auto 6.
That said, one should always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The first look at this next installment is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds.
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