Ever since last fall’s smash hit, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the world has been clamoring to find out what the innovative minds at Rockstar have in store for us next. Well, loyal readers, look no further than the pages of your trusty on-campus magazine. That’s right, Generation (the same people your mother told you would never amount to anything) has just completed a play test on an early build of the next must-have from the talented developer. And the results make Rockstar’s previous titles look like Excite Bike in terms of graphics and depth.
The new game is not unlike Rockstar’s previous ventures, but at the same time it is a breath of fresh air. Their new endeavor is working under the name Grand Theft Pension: Corporate City, and will offer a white-collar slant on the developer’s tried-and-true gangster gameplay formula.
“We were going to just put out another Grand Theft Auto,” remarked senior programmer Alexander Roger. “You know, move it to some other city and stick in some new music. Anchorage was near the top of the list, I think.”
But then the team had a wonderful idea. “The stuff you could do in the GTA games was just small time,” says writer Dan Houser. “We realized we had to move to the next level. Shooting at a video game character isn’t enough anymore, I can do that a thousand times over on my PS2. White collar crime is where the money is. Now the objective is to steal the livelihood and joy of thousands. With the leaps in technology we’ve been seeing lately, I think it’s possible.” The premise for Grand Theft Pension was born.
Your character will start as a lowly mail clerk in a big city corporation. The task is simple: bribe, cajole, or even work your way up the ladder until you reach the CEO position, and then it’s time for Grand Theft Pension! But ripping off innocent people so you can build a golf course in your backyard is only where the fun starts!
“The wonderful thing about GTP is that it’s really two games,” said technical director Adam Fowler. “Screwing your co-workers over time and time again to secure their jobs has tested really well with players, but when you steal that pension fund the game really takes off! The options are astounding. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but we’re implementing a feature that will let you level the houses of your employees from the controls of a wrecking crane! Getting the children to cry just right took weeks.”
That’s a tantalizing thought! And with the processing power of a million suns under the hood of the mysterious PS3, those tears will each be rendered in full spectrum glory. That sounds like an exciting prospect, but many might be wondering if pretty graphics will be all the game showcases. We were assured that breakneck action was the focal point of the project.
“We’ve put even more effort into the artificial intelligence this time around,” Roger assured us. “We’ve redone the entire system. Instead of the police, you’ll have to deal with the IRS and SEC.” The old six star system will be replaced by a six subpoena meter. “Wait until you get to five subpoenas,” said Roger. “We’ve created special IRS agents that fire time sensitive documents from helicopters. They’ll capital gains tax your ass.” That’s all well and good, but let’s get serious. What does that mean for your stats?
The role-playing elements of San Andreas will not be left in the dust. In that game, players could influence their character’s weight, muscle, and clothing through their actions. “That stuff was boring,” remarked Fowler. “Your character has much more detail now. You can choose male or female, skin color, and even familial background!”
Players should keep in mind that a character from anything but a rich, white, affluent background may have difficulty reaching the CEO level. Lead animator Duncan Shields is good for a hint, however: “It surprised even us at first, but the numbers don’t lie. Players who create their character with little intelligence, skill, or experience but with an influential father go further than those who spend points in education or common sense. If you create a female character, just forget it.” The numbers don’t lie, indeed.
One can hardly mention Rockstar without going into the controversy surrounding it. The hit game San Andreas just got bumped up to a “Mature” rating and received criticism from dozens of lawmakers who apparently have nothing better to do. The recent debate was sparked largely as a result of the “Hot Coffee” mini-game. Under certain circumstances, the game features a sequence in which the main character joined in sexual congress with his girlfriend. Without outside modification, the players are fully clothed and no genitals are visible. Apparently this is more offensive than beating a hooker to death with your bare hands and then shooting up a fast food restaurant. Executive Producer Sam Houser doesn’t think there will be any problems with GTP, however.
“We have already seen that American lawmakers are fairly tolerant on this subject,” he said. “We figured that creating a game about destroying the livelihood of thousands of hardworking people would be worse than a clothed demonstration of the ‘doggy style’ position. Wow, were we ever wrong!”
We’d like to extend a warm thank you to Rockstar for the play test and subsequent party/rave at their tax shelter in the Bahamas. We won’t tell anyone you slept with that chick. With a solid developer like Rockstar at the helm, GTP: Corporate City is poised to be better than a mint julep on a hot summer’s day. And ain’t nothin’ better than a mint julep on a hot summer’s day.