Grand Theft Auto IV - (Alice O'Connor)

Rockstar have confirmed that they need to cut a number of songs from Grand Theft Auto IV due to music licenses expiring, though they will shuffle in new songs to replace at least some. Probably expect a new patch to cut the old and whack in the new. The Russian pop station Vladivostok FM will take the brunt of the cuts, which will also affect GTA 4’s Episodes From Liberty City standalone expansions. Rockstar have needed to do this with GTA before and it’s still weird to cut up old copies of games, but at least this time they’re taping it back together afterwards. (more…)

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

Hordes of postmen fill the street, armies of retail staff scurry through their fluorescent aisles, and the world's console-owning population have simultaneously phoned in a variety of minor ailments. Grand Theft Auto V has launched and, by all reports, it's A Big Deal. Unless you own a PC, that is, in which case, it's a Tuesday.

What hope do we have of joining GTA 5's triumvirate of crims and, more importantly, when? Rockstar's sandbox of car chases and petty violence began its life on PC, but without an official announcement, is it safe to assume that we'll ever have a chance to holiday in the latest Los Santos? Let's delve into the murky lake of internet rumour, and fish out any facts we can find.

Leaky Lists

A publisher can use its own roving bands of guerilla PRs to whip employees into a cowed silence. The same isn't true of external partners and retailers. All sorts of GTA 5 info has oozed from the retail counters, from an early look at the map, to copies of the game itself. That may lend credibility to a number of online retail listings for a PC release.

Amazon France kicked things off at the start of the year, by taking taking pre-orders for a boxed PC copy. Then, in May, German retailers sprang to action, with both Amazon Germany and GamesOnly posting their own speculative PC pre-orders. Interestingly, GamesOnly briefly posted early details of the console versions' special edition. They were right on the money.

Does that validate the listings? Not really. Sometimes it's less about responding to information, as it is about anticipating that information. Yes, retailers will often have forewarning of announcements, but that's not the only reason they'd promote an unannounced game. Right now, Amazon UK has a landing page for Grand Theft Auto 5 PC. It quietly exists on their website, collecting the email addresses of potential customers and soaking up lovely SEO points. The need to be in the best position if/when a PC version is announced skews how much we can extrapolate from their actions.

Immoral Code

Here's the most recent piece of 'evidence'. A config file has appeared that, allegedly, was taken from a pirated copy of GTA 5's Xbox 360 version. The XML code makes reference to both PC and Orbis, the PS4's operating system. The full file is up on PasteBin, but here are the relevant PC mentions:

Image source: DualShockers

Config code found within the game? On the surface it seems like a solid lead, but it assumes that every line of every file is created from scratch. It seems more likely that this is a standard template, which would of course contain references to a PC build - along with any other platforms Rockstar might be internally experimenting on. Moreover, the presence of a PC build isn't in and of itself confirmation of a PC release. It's just an indicator that, as with most games, PCs were used as part of the game's development.

That's not to say this discovery is completely without merit. But, as above, there are too many possible caveats for it to be a firm indicator of Rockstar's release strategy.

Unreliable Informant

Last month, Chris Evans, the senior director of investor relations at Nvidia, said the following during an earnings call:

"The PC market is evolving. As entry level laptops face pressure from tablets. Yet sales of specialty PCs like gaming systems and work stations continue to grow. The disparity reflects how consumers use these different classes of PCs. Many consumers look for PC as a general purpose device they can use for browsing, email, social media video. But much of this can be better served by a tablet. In contrast, gamers are preparing their systems for a strong roster of games coming this fall, including blockbuster franchises, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed IV."

The need to prepare driver updates and tailor hardware profiles means that GPU manufacturers like Nvidia can forge strong relationships with developers. If GTA 5 is heading to PC, they'd likely know about it. And here we have a senior director directly linking the game's Autumn release with the need to 'prepare systems'. It seemed like solid intel.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. Nvidia's senior PR manager Bryan Del Rizzo later released a statement, clarifying what Evans said:

“Please note, during our Thursday’s earnings call, our investor relations team provided a list of important games that gamers are looking forward to on PC this fall, and included Grand Theft Auto V on that list. This statement was made with the intent of expressing enthusiasm for the games industry in general, and was not intended to represent specific knowledge possessed by NVIDIA. NVIDIA does not have information on any possible PC version release of Grand Theft Auto or its availability. We deeply regret the error.”

Even if you're the suspicious type, and assume the latter statement was the company covering its tracks, the timetable doesn't make sense. It's too close to today's console release, and too soon for the Rockstar marketing train to leave its station. At best, we can anticipate an announcement before the end of the year. But if the game is coming, it'll be 2014 at the earliest.

On the next page: promising leads, historical trends, and direct information from Rockstar. Why GTA 5 is almost certainly coming to PC.

One Last Job

Back in July, Rockstar Leeds advertised for a new Graphic Programmer. The job description should be of particular interest:

"Rockstar Leeds are currently looking for a talented graphics programmer to help bring our latest titles to the PC platform. Working together with the other Rockstar studios, you will be responsible for maintaining the studio’s uncompromising quality bar, delivering the highest quality PC experience possible."

The phrase "help bring our latest titles to the PC platform" sounds pretty unambiguous. While there's an outside chance it refers to new games from existing series, Rockstar Leeds have form in taking on porting duties on older games. Their last project was was the PC version of LA Noire.

GTA 4, incidentally, was ported by Rockstar Toronto, who also collaborated with Rockstar Vancouver on Max Payne 3 before the two studios were merged. If this new plus-sized Toronto has shifted towards development of new games, Leeds would be the natural choice for heading up the company's PC porting duties. What "latest title" will they be working on? GTA 5 seems the only sensible choice.

Strength in Numbers

While we're making assumptions about Rockstar's internal workings, let's talk about its history. One of the strongest indicators of a post-console PC version is that the GTA series keeps doing them. As T.J. methodically charted, the gap between the launch console and PC release has stayed relatively stable, hovering at just over the 6 month mark. The gap between announcements is less consistent: in fact, it's growing. GTA is trending towards keeping PC - and potentially next-gen console owners - in the dark for longer. It's almost as if delaying the reveal of a more powerful version is a good way of maximising profits across multiple platforms... is what a cynic might say.

There's a chance you spent the entirety of that last paragraph shouting "RED DEAD REDEMPTION" at the screen. Fair enough, the outstanding recreation of the last days of the wild west is unusual among Rockstar titles of similar scope and scale in that it never came to PC. It is, however, the exception rather than the rule. Both LA Noire and Max Payne 3 found their way to us, proving that despite RDR's absence, there's no institutional shift away from the platform within Rockstar.

During a 2011 community Q&A post on Rockstar's Newswire, they hinted at why that particular game didn't cross over, and also used their subsequent PC ports as evidence that "we can finally put to rest any misconceptions that we’ve ‘abandoned the PC platform'." The post went on to state:

"We do know that, yes, there is just one title absent from our PC release plans – that game of course being Red Dead Redemption, and of course we’re well aware that some fans have been asking for it. All we can say is that whenever it is viable (technically, developmentally and business-wise) for us to release a game for PC (or any other particular platform) – we will and we usually do; unfortunately, that is just not the case 100% of the time for all platforms."

Layers of corporate obfuscation aside, it suggests that RDR was held back because of a specific issue with the Rockstar San Diego game. Whether it was technical, developmental, or business-wise-al, none of those factors are likely to apply to the publisher's most successful series from their flagship development team.

Lasting Infamy

While I'm quoting Rockstar, let's take a look at an understated line from CVG's giant interview with Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies on the subject of GTA Online. When asked if there was a definitive end to the game's online portion, he said, "probably not. Because we want it to last forever."

"We'll stop when we've simulated life - and then that will be the end! No, people have to keep going. There should never be an, "Oh, I've reached the end." We've got to have goals, and we've got to have stepping stones, but there should never really be an end."

GTA Online is a persistent, updating, 16-player version of GTA 5. Given that, and Rockstar's stated commitment to make it a lasting experience, why would you restrict it to the tail-end of a console's life-cycle? It seems natural that Rockstar are going to want it to live on in a more stable, long-term environment. Yes, that could apply to next-gen consoles, too. But it's a description that fits the PC like a glove.

Later on in the interview, Benzies states, "we'll get the current gen version out first and see what happens in the future." Which, if nothing else, proves that you don't get to be the president of a major developer without being able to coyly dodge questions about an unannounced release.

There's the evidence, all that remains is how you interpret it. What do you think of GTA 5's PC release chances?
PC Gamer
gta 5

After the release of the new GTA 5 trailer, we became conspicuously aware, once again, of the absent PC release date for Rockstar's next open world fiasco. So we reached our hands into the mists of Grand Theft Autos past, crunched some numbers, and came up with the best possible estimate of when the game will be announced and released for the PC.

If we look at all games in the Grand Theft Auto series since Vice City, we can see that it's about 462 days, on average, between the announcement of the game and the announcement (not release) of the PC version. It's a slightly more reasonable 212 days between the first console release and the PC release. You can see a game-by-game breakdown in this handy chart:

If we take the average time between console and PC announcement and add it to GTA 5's original announcement date of October 13, 2011, that should have put the PC release date announcement around January 17, 2013. No such luck. Assuming they're going to make us wait just as stupidly long as they did for GTA 4 (821 days from the first E3 tease, for the record), we'll be hearing about a PC release date around January 11, 2014. Every main series entry since Vice City has failed to announce a PC ship date until after the first console version shipped.

In terms of when we might actually be able to play it, the gap between console and PC release has been consistent(ly frustrating) at around 212 days, without the kind of crazy deviation we see in the release date announcement window. 212 days after the currently listed ship date for GTA 5 on the consoles would be April 17, 2014. If the gap is as long as it was for San Andreas, we would have it by April 30 instead.

On the off chance that Rockstar makes us wait as long for a PC announcement as they did on GTA 4, and as long between PC announcement and PC release as they did on San Andreas, we've been shoved back to July 4, 2014. Not to say that they couldn't try to annoy us further by breaking their own records, but that's our official prediction for the most distant date to reasonably expect the game on PC.

There you have it: by our highly scientific reckoning, you'll probably be loading up GTA 5 just in time for the 238th anniversary of America's independence. As to when we may be free from the tyranny of waiting months for our Grand Theft Auto ports (we still haven't forgotten about Red Dead Redemption, by the way), we don't have enough data to speculate. At least we always get the best version. We're willing to wait for the ability to mod in stuff like this.
PC Gamer

The creator of the Iron Man mod for Grand Theft Auto IV returns with a sequel: the Iron Man IV mod. It adds several different incarnations of Iron Man's suits and complements your hand and chest repulsors with new weapons like micro-missiles, shoulder darts, and a minigun. Once again, you can streak through the skies over Liberty City as Iron man, battling cops and choppers, causing millions of dollars in property damage, and terrifying citizens. And who wouldn't want to do that?

Well, Iron Man, for one. He's a hero. He'd want to protect Liberty City, not destroy it. And that's how I decided to play the mod: as a crime-fighter.

Why does Batman take the time to climb up here? You can't see ANYTHING.

I begin my new job as protector of Liberty City in typical superhero fashion: by perching atop a tall building and gazing down with steely determination. I will defend this city from crime! I vow with determined steeliness. Of course, I can't actually see any crime from up here, so I fly down to street level, hoping to pull off a trademark Iron Man landing: one knee down, head bowed, palm flat on the street of the city I love, nearby citizens awed at the sight of their new champion.

Hello, ladies! Hope I'm not interrupNGHHUH

That doesn't quite work out. At least the women I land next to don't notice my faceplant, and continue their conversation about urinary tract infections. I fly back up and try again, this time sticking the landing but still not drawing so much as a curious look. That's fine! I need to prove myself to them by fighting crime. After all, who is going to be impressed by a miraculously flying metal superhero unless he's established himself as a crime fighter?

I fly around a bit, looking for crime. It's tricky. If I fly too high, I can't really see if there's any crime going on, and if I fly too low, I dong my head into lampposts and knock them into the street, causing traffic accidents and panic. I can walk, but then I just feel like some random Iron Man cosplayer who got lost on the way to the convention center. I eventually manage to find a way to hover slowly through the city at a height of about six feet. Beware, crime!

Stand back. I'm reaching speeds of nearly eight miles per hour.

Crime is definitely be-waring, because I'm still not seeing any of it. Eventually, I spot two men standing on the street, having a discussion. Are they plotting something? Something like a CRIME? I swoop in and land awesomely, but sort of on top of them, sending them sprawling. One rolls around on the ground in pain, the other sails face-first into a building, smearing it with his blood, then gets up and flees in terror. I feel confident they won't plan a crime together again anytime soon if that's what they were maybe doing!

The best time to stop crime: before it starts.

After a full day of slowly hovering around the city, drifting into people with my feet, and occasionally interrupting suspicious conversations, I head back to a safehouse to rest. Though I'm hit by a car at one point, I was sort of jaywalking, so I don't take any further action against the driver. This time. You're just lucky I was committing a crime when you committed your crime.

Ohhhh, there go my premiums.

The next day, I leave the downtown area and head to the projects, hoping to find a whole bunch of crime. It's the projects, after all. I've seen The Wire. Shortly after I land, I witness a taxi cut a corner and knock over a pedestrian. The pedestrian seems unhurt: he gets up and chases the cab angrily, but the cab doesn't stop. Hit and run! That's a CRIME! Now, to FIGHT IT!

The best way to hail a cab: with BLASTY PALMS

I blast the taxi with my repulsor ray, figuring the cab will stop, allowing me to then punch the driver in the face. Only then will justice be served. The cab bursts into flames and two people jump out, screaming, and run off together. Whoops! Didn't even consider there might be a passenger in the taxi, and now I'm not sure which is which and who to justice-punch. I decide instead to just completely destroy the cab with another blast. That will be a lesson to whoever the driver is. A lesson... ABOUT CRIME.

Just as I'm blasting the cab, an SUV drives in front of me, taking most of the blast. It too catches fire. Then the cab explodes. Then the SUV explodes. There may have been some other cars nearby. They explode. The police show up, presumably to thank me, but I fly off. I'm not in this for gratitude, fellas! I'm just here to protect the city. As the boys in blue fire their guns excitedly into the air (to show their support, I'm sure) I fly off to find more crime.

I think I made my point.

I'm on the waterfront, eying everyone suspiciously while they completely ignore the shiny metallic man slowly hovering around with flames shooting out of his boots. I notice a man in a suit has dropped a shopping bag, possibly because someone bumped into him, possibly a shiny metallic man who can't control his hovering very well.

It's not even a recyclable bag. This guy is just asking for it.

He apologizes to me, which is nice, but then he walks off, leaving the bag on the ground. That's littering. That's a crime. Now, how to fight it? Missiles? I'm thinking missiles. I blast the man, as well as someone standing near him (an accomplice!) and they careen off into the air. They won't be littering again, unless you count their charred bodies falling in crispy chunks all over the city (I don't count that). As the police arrive-- too late to help, AGAIN!-- I fly off, once again modestly refusing their thanks, even as some of their thanks ricochets off my legs and back.

This is how a HERO takes out the trash.

I head to the docks. Gotta be some crime at the docks, right? I've seen The Wire. There, I spot some workers, but they're not working. This might be one of those things the mafia does, where they give jobs to mob goons, but the goons don't have to do any work and yet still draw a paycheck. I've seen The Sopranos. I target two of the "workers" and fire darts into their heads. As they die, they drop giant stacks of manicured, banded bills. Yup. Mafia goons. Normal citizens wouldn't be carrying giant stacks of cash like that. Looks like I made the right call by shooting them in the brain with murder-darts. I dart a couple other people who also happen to be standing around, just to be safe. Safe from CRIME. Also, shooting darts into people is hilarious. Their hats fly off and they die!

Break time is over! Would have been clever to say. Didn't think of it until now.

The next day, I fly over to the airport to give some airline passengers a thrill as I fly by the windows of their plane, superhero style, only I crash into the plane and the cops show up with helicopters and start shooting at me. Looks like I've gone from hero to anti-hero. I get it. The cops need someone to blame, someone to take the fall. I've seen The Dark Knight. Fine. I will shoulder that burden. Because I can take it.

I was just waving and my hand went off.

A few minutes later, someone honks at me as I cross a street. That's probably a crime, right? At the very least, it's rude. After I blow up the car, the police arrive again. Rather than fly off, I decide to go ahead and take them on. This is what happens with heroes. Sometimes, they fight each other. It happens in the comics all the time and the heroes have a spectacular battle with each other. It gives them a chance to flex their muscles, and no one really gets hurt. This is a little different because I kill, like, fourteen cops. Choppers arrive and I start shooting them out of the air while flying, which is awesome. Then some hovering robot drones added by the mod come flying over, and they blast me out of the sky. Then I'm dead.

Hopefully, Ben Kingsley was in that chopper.

I won't lie, this mod is a bit buggy. Sometimes my ears and hair show through the sides of the helmet, and sometimes the powers stop working, but re-equipping the armor seems to fix that. The mod is also a lot of fun, even if you decide to just blow things up instead of being a responsible hero like me.

Installation: I won't lie, the installation is not a breeze. You have to download and install OpenIV and then download the mod and do a lot of file-backups and pull things from folders and drop them in other folders and edit files and it sort of takes a while. It's well worth it, though, and the Read Me included with the mod download is detailed and easy to follow.
PC Gamer

Video game music is occasionally labeled as "just a bunch of bleep and bloops." But if there's a company that's demonstrated how well music and games gel together, it's Rockstar. Bully, Grand Theft Auto, L.A. Noire, and Red Dead Redemption all exemplify the company's discerning musical taste—a group founded by the sons of the owner of a famous British jazz club, coincidentally.

It's with that in mind, the Rockstar has taken the tunes from Grand Theft Auto's many in-game radio stations and slapped them onto Spotify and iTunes. Most of the music from GTA IV, San Andreas, Vice City, GTA III, Liberty and Vice City Stories, and Chinatown Wars has been collected neatly there, so go give it a listen if you're feeling a bit nostalgic, or if you just want some background jams for a thrilling police chase through the streets of your favorite American City.

Electro-Choc carries my highest recommendation, probably because I like listening to dance music when I type. It makes my fingers feel like they're tearing it up at a club, but saying that out loud makes me think I should be getting out more.

My pathetic social life aside, I'm hoping these stations get popular enough to add the soundtracks from Bully and L.A. Noire. I've been looking for some good tracks for my skateboarding adventures and drug ring busts.
Shacknews - Steve Watts

Patience might pay off in a big way, as a Rockstar games compilation packaging four games together has been spotted. The "Rockstar Games Collection: Edition 1" includes Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition, L.A. Noire, and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. According to retail listings, it's due out in November.

CD Universe lists the collection as releasing on November 13, with an MSRP of $59.99. also has a listing, but says it's currently "sold out." The actual game listings come from a NeoGAF thread, which spotted box art for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

It's particularly notable that Rockstar calls this "Edition 1," implying that at least one other collection is on the way. These may serve to sate gamers, and help Rockstar's bottom line, as we all wait for Grand Theft Auto V.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Rockstar Games, like the rest of the industry, has been learning about what makes DLC successful. For example, the sizable expansion packs for Grand Theft Auto IV may have been too big and too expensive for their own good. "Maybe $10 is a more exciting price point," Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser admitted.

Grand Theft Auto IV's two expansion packs--The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony--greatly underperformed, in spite of critical acclaim. "I think the two GTA episodes, from a creative standpoint, were absolutely fantastic. We are very, very, very proud of them."

Houser suggests that the ambitious plans for the two downloadable episodes were partly set by Microsoft's initial exclusivity for the DLC. "We are kind of compelled due to various other business factors to make them that size," Houser coyly told Gamasutra.

With these lessons learned, what can we expect as downloadable content for Rockstar's next game, Max Payne 3? Houser admits that DLC is definitely coming, but says that the company is not "as organized or cynical" to have determined DLC plans yet, especially with the game not scheduled for release until March. "We will get those plans in order in the next few months, but they are just not sorted out yet."

Because Max Payne 3 will feature a multiplayer mode, it's possible that whatever add-on content arrives for the game will be relegated to the online offerings. "If you want a vibrant multiplayer community, you have got to provide content frequently and fairly quickly after release, which we tried to do with Red Dead." Red Dead Redemption featured a number of expansion packs, some paid and some free. The popularity of the game led to Rockstar releasing one final expansion pack a few months ago as a "thank you" to the still-active online community.

PC Gamer

The dust has finally settled on the GTA trailer! You've probably watched it twice by now. So what's next? Rumour and speculation of course. Absolutely loads of it.

Tom's multiple protagonist's theory is still holding up. Eurogamer take the idea one step further, implying that the three character's featured could be Tommy Vercetti, Niko Bellic and Carl Johnson. It's a neat idea, but one that doesn't quite fit in with the previous game's timelines. The trailer's main character could still be an older an older Tommy Vercetti though, even if Ray Liotta's agent has confirmed with IGN that he's not returning for voice over duties.

I've embedded the GTA Vice City trailer below for comparison purposes. Tommy or not, the chap in the GTA 5 trailer definitely has a rounded, better textured head, which is reassuring.

There's also a theory that the homeless guy featured in the trailer could be a subtle dig at Nico's voice actor in GTA IV. He expressed dissatisfaction at the wage he received for the voice over work when speaking to the New York Times a few weeks after the game's release. He didn't take a hit at Rockstar directly though, saying: "But it’s tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they’re making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don’t see any of it. I don’t blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games." Fair enough.

Dog alert! One of the first scenes in the trailer features a silouette of a four legged beast, which we can almost definitely confirm is a dog. Will we be able so shoot it? Or possibly skin it using Red Dead Redemption's tech? One can only hope.

The music in the trailer is the title track from The Small Face's album, Odgen's Nut Gone Flake. It's probably just in there because it's an emotive tune but interestingly enough, their album cover is a parody of an old-fashioned tobacco tin. Just like almost every item in GTA.

L.A. Noire's facial tech will almost definitely feature, although we were struggling to see any evidence of it so far.

Real Estate, gyms, and flying things like jets and blimps are also visible in the trailer. Expect the return of buyable houses, customisable avatars and flyable planes. While we're on alternate forms of transport, check out the two wheeler propped up against the house. That ain't no car people...

There's also some speculation on GTA about a release date. It involves a lot of intimidating maths and more speculation than even I'm comfortable with. They seem to settle on May 24, 2012. HMMM.

So what have we missed? Let's talk in the comments.
PC Gamer
GTA 5 Protagonists
After a lot of excited pointing at mountains and dogs, the PC Gamer office got chatting about the sneaky hints Rockstar have dotted throughout the new GTA 5 trailer.

You've probably noticed the narrator sounds a lot like Ray Liotta, who voiced GTA Vice City's player character Tommy Vercetti. But the greying middle-aged man we see in the footage isn't the only one in player-character situations. There's also a shaven-headed youth in a car chase with the police, and a tattooed black guy running from a cop chopper. And hey, isn't that all three of them together breaking into the jewellery store? Click below for a full size image of the evidence.

Chris Thursten points out that GTA IV used a deal gone wrong to link three characters that you ultimately ended up playing: Niko in the main game, Johnny Klebitz in the Lost and the Damned DLC, and Luis Lopez in the Ballad of Gay Tony. GTA V might give us a choice of three protagonists from the off, each with their own stories, and use this robbery as the flashpoint that links them.

It'd make for a more interesting story structure, and of course it would set them up beautifully for a co-op campaign that ties into the single player.

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