Grand Theft Auto Online [official site] will return to the series’ top-down roots — with an added touch of Micro Machines — next week with its Tiny Racers update. That’ll bring new top-down stunt races with power-ups and all. Youngfolk are often surprised to learn that Grand Theft Auto began life as a top-down 2D game, and look incredulous when I tell them that humanity hadn’t even discovered the third dimension of our own world until 1987. Maybe now they’ll believe me. Here, watch this trailer:
Tiny Racers is due to launch on Tuesday, April 25th. Rockstar don’t say too much about it but look ↑ there’s a trailer right there.
GTA Online isn’t really my bag, partly because I too often go for the short-term reward of new clothes over actually useful things like weapons and vehicles, but I am glad to see Rockstar experimenting with it. TrackMania trick tracks! Carball! Teenage werewolves! Grand Theft Auto V’s singleplayer steered the series back from IV’s dull seriousness towards its sillier predecessors, and I’m hopeful that GTA Online playing with ideas of what GTA can do might percolate through to GTA VI. Or maybe even a singleplayer expansion for V, though by this point it seems unlikely.
[Disclosure: I’m acquaintances with several people who work on GTA. I think I’ve only talked about the game once with any of ’em. Look, my casual conversation prizes jokes and anticlimactic anecdotes about water.]