Yesterday afternoon I received an email which was being circulated to many other people, purportedly from a "disgruntled ex-employee of Rockstar", which had an image attached, supposedly being a picture taken with a digital camera of GTA4 being played on a TV screen. It's an obvious fake, this has actually been confirmed by Rockstar themselves. I didn't post about this yesterday because I didn't think so many people would get so fired up by it. I casually added it to our Fake Screens page and left it, but since it even managed to make the front page of Digg and also appeared on respected gaming sites such as Eurogamer I thought I may as well post it too...
This "ex-employee" doesn't have a name so there's nobody to give credit to, but if you have made any fan art or indeed any fake screenshots then be sure to email them to me, I'll put them up on the relevant pages.
This also goes for Vice City Stories, I added one fake screenshot today, you can see that on the VCS Fake Screens page.
UPDATE: I decided to investigate the origin of this email a little more, after seeing the IP address it came from, then peforming a WHOIS lookup on the IP, I found that the reverse DNS pointed to mail.imagine-publishing.co.uk. This is interesting because imagine-publishing.co.uk do publish gaming magazines including PowerStation, 360, X360, Games tm, Play, Retro gamer, and many others including Photoshop and web design magazines. My guess is that one of the team must have got bored during a lunch break while sipping his hot coffee and put together this screen...
In an article which appeared on MTV nearly 2 months ago, MTV have possibly confirmed for us that Grand Theft Auto 4 will use the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE). I'm unsure as to why this hasn't been picked up until now, but it's certainly great to hear, the article cites the following:
...the Rockstar reps explained that the game was running on RAGE. This is the graphics technology gamers are to expect from future Rockstar games, including the next "GTA."
If you head over to http://www.rockstargames.com/tabletennis, you'll be able to see some of the awe-inspiring realism in the screenshots provided, as well as the HD videos.
The next instalment of the ground-breaking series we all knew would feature much improved graphics, but knowing that the game will make use of RAGE is brilliant news. Of course this isn't set in stone, as we don't have official word from Rockstar on this, but it seems quite likely to happen.
Once again a Grand Theft Auto game has been nominated in various categories at the prestigious Golden Joystick Awards. The awards which are the biggest prize up for grabs in the UK videogame industry, will take place on October 27th.
Of the 16 categories, Liberty City Stories has nominations in five of those; Ultimate Game Of The Year, Soundtrack Award, PlayStation Game Of The Year, Handheld Game Of The Year and Multiplay Game Of The Year.
As well as these nominations, Rockstar Games are included in the Publisher Of The Year, and Grand Theft Auto IV is included in the One To Watch For 2007
Head over to C&VG to Cast Your Votes
GAME, Europe's largest videogame retailer have added a "Wi-Fi Enabled" icon to their product listing page for Vice City Stories. This obviously suggests that the game will have multiplayer features of some sort, although there is no official word from Rockstar on this as of yet.
We'll keep you updated with any developments.
LINK: Vice City Stories @ GAME
Thanks to Neil for the heads up.
After a few years of using various skins on our forums, we decided it was finally time to make them match the site. And now they finally do. Most of you will probably be more interested in the football World Cup at the moment, but if you aren't already a member of our forums, I would definitely recommend you joining.
We have a great community there, after a period of relative inactiveness in the past we're now fully active with many more returning members. I guarantee you'll enjoy it here.
At the moment we only have the default website skin on the forums, but soon I'll be making different colourisations for all the other GTA games' themes.
If you notice any bugs in the skin, or have a small change to suggest, please just comment on this news and I'll see to it.
The Internet Movie Database have added a couple of cast members to their GTA4 listing recently. One of them being the famous Lazlow, hilarious radio DJ.
It's a bit early to be listing the cast, and we aren't sure if this is 100% accurate, but IMDB are a reputable source. Not to mention the fact it's highly likely he'll return due to his popularity.
Hopefully Laz will respond with an official answer to this.
Stay tuned for further updates!
Link: GTA4 @ IMDB.com
Thanks to Spaz The Great and mvi for discovering this.
Exactly one year today, GTA modding legend Heiko Feege, better known as Odie in the GTA community, passed away, at just 37 years old. For those who are maybe new to GTA and don't know of the event, you can read our news post from last year, and also this press release (.pdf) put together by members of GTAForums, a forum he frequented.
Many tributes have since been made to Odie, with fellow modders including homages to him within their own mods. Odie left behind a widow and a son, along with GTA Berlin, a huge total conversion still in development today, which aims to bring Berlin, the capital city of Germany into San Andreas, without their project leader.
The GTA Berlin team have put together a small video slideshow with some images of his contributions to the community, along with the simple message of "Wir werden dich nie vergessen", translating to "We will never forget you". You can check out the 1 minute tribute here (.wmv file).
Some links to mods by Odie:
~~ R.I.P Odie ~~
Much of our US readership will now be enjoying Liberty City Stories on their PS2. And a lot of our worldwide readership may well have received the GTA mailing list email by now. If you haven't yet received it, or didn't bother reading it all, you won't have seen that Rockstar have updated the official site...
Visit the official Liberty City Stories website at www.rockstargames.com/libertycitystories for online
e-tail options as well as to check out the all-new PlayStation 2 version trailer and selection of new and exclusive screenshots.
IGN brought you that trailer yesterday, and have now also put up a video review, amongst other content such as a guide.
After IGN posted their "hands-on" the other day, they've now posted an actual review of the game and are the first website to do so. The game is officially released across the North American continent tomorrow.
I covered most of the 'new' features when summing up the hands on preview last Friday. To summarise yet again, the improvements we have are slightly longer draw distance, slightly improved frame rate, and higher number of concurrent objects on screen.
As well as this we have the far superior control over Toni, as this time we now have the two extra shoulder buttons and right analogue stick on the PS2's controller.
You probably aren't bothered with the review now but IGN have posted a further 5 screenshots so take a look at them. Links below.
IGN have got their dirty little hands on the PS2 version of Liberty City Stories. They basically don't have anything negative to say about it, aside from the evident lack of multiplayer features. Which Rockstar supposedly said they removed as "it didn't fit in with the story."
IGN claim in their preview that it will take the average gamer around 15-20 hours to play straight though, just completing the main storyline and not bothering with side missions or other objectives.
One big plus for the PS2 version over the PSP is the far superior controls, thanks to the PS2 controller's extra shoulder buttons and pair of analogue sticks, the controls are just like those of the previous iterations. One other advantage is the fact you'll be playing on a bigger screen too.
Interestingly, IGN state that nothing in terms of the graphics has been improved, it is all exactly the same as the PSP version, apart from very slight enhancements to framerate, draw distance, and the number of objects on screen.
Visually, the game looks almost the same as it does on PSP. None of the vehicles, characters or environments benefit from enhanced details or graphical effects. As such, LCS on consoles can't really compete with today's higher-end games in terms of visual detail, but what it lacks in effects it tries to make up in style. Interestingly, the game does offer a slight improvement in performance. Though not immediately noticeable, the framerate is slightly smoother, the draw distance is a little longer, and the amount of onscreen has been slightly raised. You'll notice more cars and pedestrians when driving through town, for example.
As well as the preview, IGN have also posted 8 new screenshots and the official PS2 trailer. You can check all these out by clicking the links below. Hopefully Rockstar will send us some unwatermarked screens soon though.
Also I'd like to point out that the trailer still has the June 6th release date for North America, it is literally just Europe that is affected by a two-week delay. Which currently has no valid reason.
Some mis-informed fansites are saying LCS has been delayed worldwide, while others are giving incorrect release dates. So to reiterate, here are the official release dates:
North America: June 6th
Europe: June 23rd