Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Moss)

It may be two Grand Theft Auto generations and 11 years old, but GTA: San Andreas is still very much alive. Its two most popular online multiplayer mods currently have a million or more active players between them one, Multi Theft Auto, had 616,000 players in July (up from just 33k in February 2010), while the other, SA-MP, oscillates between about 15,000 and 50,000 concurrent players. I went to talk to members of both mod communities to find out what keeps them playing.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Marsh Davies)

Fail Forward is normally a series of videos all about the bits of games which don t quite work and why. But in this special episode, Marsh Davies talks about how the mainstream media tends to discuss games only in terms of their threat or their use – with a particular look at the BBC’s recent Make It Digital season, including programmes like the docudrama The Gamechangers and the science show Horizon.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

I wouldn’t call Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [official site] the best GTA game, but I might say it’s my favourite. Between the eerie deadness of GTA 3 and the sprawl of San Andreas sat a tidy little game about ’80s Miami bathed in neon and dusted with cocaine. It was a crude sketch of future plans for the series, done on the back of a copy of Scarface>‘s script, but its roughness left gaps that the atmosphere nicely filled.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

On Tuesday night, the BBC aired The Gamechangers, their one-off drama about the making of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the court cases brought against Rockstar Games by US lawyer Jack Thompson. This seems like rich subject matter, but the results proved a disappointment in nearly every way.

Other people have already written accurate reviews and rounded up what Rockstar and former GTA developers thought of it, so I’m not going to do either of those things. Instead I want to talk about the film’s failure to offer insight – or even to attempt to depict – the game development process. Mostly I’m going to talk about James L. Brooks’ 1987 movie Broadcast News.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Our Graham was the one to post about the BBC making a “factual drama” about the Grand Theft Auto series and Jack Thompson’s crusade against video games, perhaps because I could only frame my response as a series of contorted facial expressions. But no, really, they are doing it, and it’ll star Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton. Well, if they don’t get shut down.

Take Two Interactive, the owners of GTA makers Rockstar Games, have filed a lawsuit against the BBC for trademark infringement. See, they’re none too pleased that they haven’t been consulted.

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Community Announcements - community
Grand Theft Auto V is now available for Pre-Purchase on Steam!

Pre-purchase and receive $1,000,000 in-game ($500,000 for Grand Theft Auto V and $500,000 for Grand Theft Auto Online). Additionally, if you pre-purchase by February 1st. you will receive a bonus $300,000 for Grand Theft Auto Online and a free copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas!

Community Announcements - community
Grand Theft Auto V is now available for Pre-Purchase on Steam!

Pre-purchase and receive $1,000,000 in-game ($500,000 for Grand Theft Auto V and $500,000 for Grand Theft Auto Online). Additionally, if you pre-purchase by February 1st. you will receive a bonus $300,000 for Grand Theft Auto Online and a free copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Come back with our songs!

You might have noticed Steam downloading a sizeable update for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas over the weekend and wondered what that was about. A fancy secret tying into GTA V’s return to the west coast, perhaps? Not quite. The patch added support for XInput controllers like the Xbox 360 pad, which is nice, but also removed seventeen songs from various radio stations. No more angsting out and gunning it across Gant Bridge in the wrong lane listening to Killing in the Name, I’m afraid. It breaks old saves for some too, though a mod fixes that up.

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PC Gamer
Watch Dogs IV


Chris Livingston has already extolled the virtues of Grand Theft Auto 4's amazing #WatchDogsIV mod. For the uninitiated, it brings Watch Dogs style environment hacking into GTA's Liberty City. For a full round-up of what it enables, head on over to Chris's Mod of the Week post. For a small look into the type of chaos it supports, stay right here.

Being a child, the first thing I did on loading the game was to start a traffic jam:



So far, so Watch Dogs. But the Traffic Lights prompt reappears quickly after. I wonder...



Yup. Multiple prompts means multiple pile-ups, meaning I can stack this thing right up. Time to do that. Everybody, welcome to the jam.



What makes this so funny other than the obvious is that the cars in the crash accelerate every time I hit the prompt, pushing them deeper and deeper into the ultra-jam. Also, as you can see from the picture above, a man has spontaneously combusted.

That's probably not a good sign.



Nope, definitely not a good sign. We have reached peak jam. It is jam-a-geddon.





Perhaps unsurprisingly, this tanked the game's framerate. My rig battled on regardless to bring you this dramatic re-enactment.



You can download #WatchDogsIV from here, and you probably should.
PC Gamer
WatchDogs Mod


Like me, you've probably spent dozens of hours in Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City, but often wish there was some way to cause a little destruction and mayhem. Finally, there is! The #WatchDogsIV mod summons the sullen Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs, and more importantly, brings along Aiden's awesome Phone of Hacking +4. Traffic lights, payphones, ATMs, security cameras, and those poles that shoot up out of the street: they're now yours for the hacking! The once utterly peaceful Liberty City is about to get flip-turned upside down.

Just about all the tricks up Aiden's futuristic trenchcoat sleeve are now at your disposal as you prowl the streets of Liberty City. Walk within range of a hackable object, and you'll get a little icon on your screen. Hold down the 'E' key, and the icon will be outlined. It works pretty much exactly as it does in Watch Dogs, right down to the little electrical tendrils that spread from Aiden's phone when he hacks something.

That public phone exploded! Thank god no one was using it for the last 10 years!

Naturally, triggering traffic lights is great fun, and dare I say it, causes even bigger and badder accidents than it does in Watch Dogs. You can also blow things up, though instead of steam fittings and electrical junctions, it's Liberty City's payphones that explode. (I know what you're thinking. Exploding payphones? That's utterly ridiculous: payphones don't even exist.) Those poles that pop out of the street work most of the time, and are great for keeping the cops off your tail when they come to investigate why everything is suddenly exploding.

Oh, LCPD. Will your humiliations ever end?

Speaking of the po-po, it seems like the entire Chicago policing system has been ported over from Watch Dogs. Commit a crime, and a nearby citizen may call the police on you. You'll hear the call taking place, and the eyewitness will be highlighted with an icon, allowing you to interfere before the 9-1-1 call is complete. If the call goes through, the police will be dispatched and your radar will show ctOS scanning for your location. The mod even has options to make the police better drivers and more accurate shooters, if you want to make things harder on yourself.

No more smashing cars yourself. There's an app for that.

There's more phone-foolery! You can now remotely activate car alarms like Aiden, though in Watch Dogs that was used to distract guards, and now it's mainly just useful for startling pedestrians. You can jump into security cameras, and use them to jump into other cameras, and set off other hackable objects while peering through the lens from a safe distance. And, while you can stop the trains, just like in Watch Dogs, there's not much point in doing so, just like in Watch Dogs. But, who needs to have a point? You have some new ways to terrorize the citizens of Liberty City, and that's its own reward.

Stop the train! No reason. Just wanted to see if I could do it. I could.

The mod makes you move like Aiden as well. When you walk, you'll stuff your hands in your pockets and keep your head down, which is the best way to avoid suspicion when you're a famous vigilante the entire city is after. There are new animations for giving you Aiden's awkward sprint, as well as his patented truncheon takedowns which can be performed on anyone you're standing near. There's also a blood-round-the-edges screen effect for when you take damage, which I guess was in Watch Dogs. I'm not sure. I was so good at that game I never took damage.

Beating you up for reasons that are unclear even to me!

I'm told that hacking an ATM will cause money to spray out of it, which will cause citizens to run over to collect it, which will naturally cause a huge fist-fight, which sounds quite amusing. I have to say, though, I drove around for ages and never spotted even a single ATM. You can also cause light fixtures to explode, scaring people, and overload soda machines, spilling cans everywhere. Basically, the mod lets you be a huge, destructive jerk in new and exciting ways, and that's what any good GTA IV mod should do.

Installation: Here's the page to download the mod, with a description of all its features and the control scheme. You'll need to use OpenIV to get the mod working, naturally. And, while the mod makes you run and act like Aiden, it doesn't make you look like Aiden. If you want his goofy trench coat and hat, you'll need to install a separate skin for it (I used this one).

 
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