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Would you actually want a Grand Theft Auto remaster?

Don't the sequels effectively remaster the same formula each time already?

During an earnings call, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked, given the likelihood that many Grand Theft Auto 5 players had never played earlier games in the series, what the company's view was on possible remasters of older GTA games.

Zelnick dodged the question, and so I am bringing it to you: would you want remasters of older Grand Theft Auto games? I would not.

I have fond memories of GTA3, due in large part to the novelty of having an open world 3D city to explore. I liked sitting on a rooftop, shooting at cars down below, and then watching them crash wildly over the sides of bridges. Videogames.

I have fond memories of GTA: Vice City, too, which remains the only Grand Theft Auto game I've ever completed. It was sunny, it had a big, wide beach to drive along, and there was one good ramp you could hit nearby.

Here's the problem: this is pretty much all I remember of either of these games. I have similarly slim memories of GTA 1, 2, and San Andreas, and exactly zero desire to go back to any of them.

Grand Theft Auto games do not appeal to me because of their stories and characters. Returned to now, their shooting, driving and exploration would pale in comparison to any modern equivalent. Plus, their methods for delivering stories and quests - often given to you via garbled phone booth conversations - are entirely antiquated.

I liked and like GTA games because they offer a big, new, expensive-looking city to explore and muck around inside. To meaningfully remaster any of the older games so they could deliver this experience again would mean remaking them entirely. They would require new worlds, new cutscenes, and considering the older games had silent protagonists, probably new characters. At which point: isn't that what each new Grand Theft Auto game does anyway? Grand Theft Auto has come a long way between GTA3 and GTA5, but it's still, each time, fundamentally a refinment of a formula.

But, this is a question I'm asking, so maybe you disagree. Do you long to again fly a mile in CJ's jetpack, or to avoid interminable cutscenes with brisk, Charlie-Brown like telephone calls? Get down to the comments below, iterate on it.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.