SHORTLY after 12.01am on Tuesday, chaos will descend on the south-west.
There will be murder. There will be stealing. There will be shoot-outs. There will be dangerous and deadly driving. There will be Grand Theft Auto V.
It’s taken years and more than $260 million to make, but the wait is nearly over for fans of Rockstar Games’ latest entry into the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series
Grand Theft Auto V will arrive in the hot hands of more than 600 Warrnambool gamers on Tuesday, and, if the hype is correct, there’ll be a lot of happy console crims creating chaos in homes across the city.
The open-world action game, which offers a single-story adventure told through the eyes of three protagonists and a comprehensive online 16-person multiplayer mode, is the 15th entry in the series and the first since 2008’s GTA IV.
And according to one south-west game retailer it’s going to be the hottest title this year.
EB Games Warrnambool store manager Paul Hayward said the R18+ epic for the PS3 and Xbox 360 was the biggest release he’d seen.
“We’ve got about 600 pre-orders at the moment which is massive. It’s actually the biggest title that Warrnambool’s ever seen,” Mr Hayward said.
“We’re expecting big things to happen for this one.
“The game has already presold more money than it actually cost to make, which I understand was about $265 million.
“And Rockstar, the developers of the game, they’ve got an excellent reputation on previous titles.
“They’ve never tripped up.”
Mr Hayward said there was a cross-section of people ordering the game, but it was particularly popular with men who would have been in their late teens or early 20s when the series debuted in 1997.
“Basically it goes across all regions, but mostly middle-aged men would be the bulk of our orders,” he said.
“These days everybody plays games in one form or another and this is just one of those titles that everybody knows about.’’
Surrounded in controversy for its focus on violence and crime, the series has, however, won many awards over the years and this entry promises to continue that trend.
My Hayward is one of very few south-west residents who’ve had the chance to see the title in action and he said it was destined to live up to the hype and expectations.
“I think the online play is going to keep people going,” he said.
“The amount of content in the game and the amount of things you can actually do is overwhelming.
“You can play golf, you can play tennis, you can drive cars, you can dive, you can jetski, you can fly planes, you can just about do anything.
“The online component lets everybody get into it together.
“The amount of detail in the game and the size of it — the scale of it is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.’’
Warrnambool gamer Nathan Pye is resisting the temptation to collect his copy of GTA V on release day because once he gets playing there’s a fair chance that work the next day will be put aside.
The 32-year-old media and design teacher has played almost every game in the series.
“I’ve followed it since GTA I , through to when it changed into the 3D perspective,” he said.
“It’s always been one of those series that I’ve had fondness for because it was the first real proper big open world game and that created a genre that’s still the best in my eyes.’’
Mr Pye said the violence and crime was unlikely to be an issue this time around.
‘’I feel like they’ve (Rockstar) pulled back on the excessive violence they were sort of known for back in the day,’’ he said.
Rockstar has millions of fans across the globe and there’s no doubt GTA V will bring it more.
“They (Rockstar) tend to try and buck trends and make things their own, so when they get a lot of people copying them they try to do their own thing.
“From what I’ve seen from the official trailers, they seem to be trying again to take the tone (of GTA V) somewhere different and I think that’s interesting.
“The last one (GTA IV) was very gritty and trying to be grounded and it made for a less fun story, a lot of criticism levelled toward it would say.
“And this one seems to have kind of a light-hearted sort of approach, sort of like a buddy movie feel to it.
“I feel like (Rockstar) is going to do something different with that again.’’