E3 '07: GTA IV demoed at Take-Two briefing

Rockstar Games' latest tops demo slate from embattled publisher; Civilization Revolution, BioShock, All-Pro Football 2K8 also on display.

by

"Fotographie ist hier streng verboten!"

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--Though the titles of its subsidiary Rockstar Games are notorious for their ingrained hedonism, Take-Two decided to hold its briefing on what amounted to Amish time--8 a.m. Ironically, keeping in line with the tardy nature of third-party publisher conferences at this year's E3 Media & Business Summit , those who showed up ahead of time to the briefing were forced to wait until the last minute to enter the event.

''The early bird gets nothing," was the response curtly delivered by one staffer, who could easily have been mistaken for a cast member of the Golden Girls.

Septuagenarian impertinence aside, the throng of industry analysts, press, and publisher reps were finally let in at 7:52 a.m. The darkened room's highlight was a series of video screens bearing the Rockstar, Take-Two, and 2K Games logos. Though the crowd was sparse, interest was high about what the publisher would show, given its recent corporate boardroom coup, the Manhunt 2 rating controversy, and the mounting anticipation prior to Grand Theft Auto IV's October 16 release.

[8:07] Following numerous warnings that no videotaping or photography is allowed, the conference begins with a video montage.

[8:08] New Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick kicks off the event by expressing his commitment to making "AAA" titles.

[8:09] He says the "next generation of games...lets us be at the cusp and inflection point of entertainment."

[8:10] Says the new management team is committed to keeping to financially sound management.

[8:11] Zelnick introduces Firaxis cofounder Sid Meier, purveyor of "addictive strategy," to show off Civilization Revolution.

[8:12] Cue the previously seen Civilization Revolutions trailer, narrated by none other than Henry Rollins, who is not in attendance.

[8:13] As has been previously seen, Civilization Revolution will let you win by military might or scientific advancement.

[8:14] Sid takes the stage...only to have the trailer run again. The AV crew scrambles to cue up a different spot for the game.

[8:15] Sid immodestly calls his franchise a "worldwide phenomenon."

[8:15] Footage of the game is shown onscreen--it looks like a more simplified version of the game.

[8:16] "Console players don't want to read manuals, they just want to jump into the game," says Meier.

[8:16] Stressing the game's more "vibrant" visual style, Meier shows a Roman army dealing with an uppity barbarian encampment.

[8:18] Meier shows off the animations of advisers, then shows how the Roman units can receive up to nine upgrades after winning.

[8:19] Game will feature the Civilepedia, the online database associated with the technology tree.

[8:19] Game will also support a "game of the week" feature, which will allow for rankings and leaderboards.

[8:20] Meier has the Roman units explore, and they encounter an Egyptian unit. Of course, they fight.

[8:21] Meier directs the battle, which has the Egyptians lose as their empress Cleopatra freaks out in a corner window.

[8:22] The Romans then encounter the French, represented by their leader Napoleon. The Gladiator-esque Roman military advisor urges an attack.

[8:23] Meier fast-forwards to modern times, showing the Romans launching a Nuclear ICBM into Egyptian territory. The results are satisfyingly thermonuclear.

[8:25] Meier stresses that there are nonmilitary paths to victory, and shows a spaceship launching to Alpha Centauri. The Roman units do a "victory dance," which features animations of tanks jumping on their hydraulic suspensions, hooptie-style.

[8:26] Next up is a montage of 2K Sports, set to an a cappella rhyme session from Jurassic 5's Chali 2na.

[8:28] "I want to see fewer penalties, harder hits, and new clips," he proclaims. "The game is back!" Numerous shots of All-Pro Football 2K8 run in the background.

[8:29] Apparently suffering from some throat problems, 2K Sports' Jeff Thomas takes the stage to show of the game's team-building tools.

[8:30] The game will feature 240 "of the best players of all time," including Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas.

[8:31] Animations in the background show the team customization features of All-Pro Football 2K8, including uniform and logo editors.

[8:32] Cue a demo of the game, which pits the "Philadelphia Americans" against the "Brooklyn Cobras."

[8:32] Each team's victory will be accompanied by celebrations in dynamic stadiums.

[8:33] "This is about real football," says Thomas. "This isn't watered-down, league-approved football."

[8:33] "It re-creates the fun that games used to have before 'they' stopped allowing us to do that."

[8:34] Game will allow for parabolic mic conversations of players "talking smack" to one another before a play.

[8:36] Thomas stresses the creative nature of the game, how it will allow people to create their own teams, which will theoretically make each game unique. He says the fact that each player can create their own team will make matches much more interesting, since no one will know which players are on which team.

[8:37] Game will have in-game statistics from "real-world" football games. Thomas leaves the podium, having never once mentioned the acronym "NFL."

[8:37] Zelnick takes the stage again and introduces the "genetically enhanced first-person shooter" BioShock.

[8:38] Roll trailer showcasing the undersea game.

[8:40] An old trailer runs of a Big Daddy beating a protagonist, who then injects himself with a serum.

[8:41] Wasps stream out of his arm and attack the Big Daddy, who reacts by impaling the protagonist with a drill.

[8:43] A demo for the game begins, showing that the game is set in 1960 in the mid-Atlantic.

[8:43] Black screen with the sound of power tools slaughtering people.

[8:43] Underwater sequence frays the nerves of audience members with a fear of drowning.

[8:44] Lost-like introductory sequence shows protagonist emerging from fiery wreckage of a plane crash.

[8:45] Player walks into a lighthouse with a dazzling art deco marble interior.

[8:46] Player gets into a submersible and is treated to an industrial film which combines the humor of the Fallout games with the creepiness of the Dharma Initiative from Lost.

[8:47] Voice-over from mad industrialist Andrew Ryan introduces the undersea city of Rapture.

[8:47] Once a "utopia," the city was torn apart by a genetic civil war.

[8:48] "And now, for the cool s***," says the heavily accented presenter.

[8:48] "Almost anything can be used as a weapon," says the presenter.

[8:49] "I'm sure there are many analysts in the room today who are well-versed in advanced killing techniques," he jokes.

[8:50] On to gameplay. Player goes into ballroom and takes out opponents in a puddle by throwing an electrical bomb into the water.

[8:50] He's then attacked by a torch-wielding mob, which is given the business end of a tommy gun.

[8:50] BAM! Demo over, cue first public demo of GRAND THEFT AUTO IV!

[8:51] Zelnick builds up the hype by playing the first two trailers for the game. The audience visibly shifts.

[8:52] Game protagonist Niko Bellic reminds people "things will be different."

[8:53] (Note to self: Go pick up The Boggs album.)

[8:53] Developers finally take the stage to show off the demo.

[8:54] "Unfinished code, work in progress, placeholder music, blah blah blah blah."

[8:55] "The demo we're giving today is purposefully short." You're killing us, man!

[8:55] Game menu has different font, very clean Arial.

[8:55] "Here we are, making the game we've always dreamed of making."

[8:55] DEMO BEGINS

[8:56] Niko Bellic is in a replica of Times Square.

[8:56] Trademark map icon in the corner.

[8:56] He struts around for a bit, then steals a car.

[8:57] Game is not a sequel to San Andreas. "The leap from Grand Theft Auto III is as fundamental as the jump from 2D to 3D."

[8:57] Niko tolls around in a luxury sedan to some big band music from the 1940s.

[8:58] Lighting looks fantastic, textures looking solid and rugged.

[8:58] Frame rate is a bit jumpy, but level of detail in landscape is greater than Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

[8:59] Niko pulls up to the docks under the "Broker Bridge" as the sun rises. The light plays on the water, and then starts illuminating the city behind him.

[8:59] Clouds above Liberty City light up, with planes flying through them.

[9:00] Clouds keep lighting up as Niko calls up his buddy to "get some firepower."

[9:00] DEMO ENDS.

[9:00] Crowd grumbles, largely ignoring Zelnick.

[9:01] He gives some closing statements about microtransactions, but no one is listening.

[9:01] He graciously thanks the people who helped put on the demo as folks file out.

Discussion

248 comments
X-7
X-7

None of these games are good. GTA is so boring.

TheoleDominion1
TheoleDominion1

I can't wait to see what the new download-able content is gonna be! The game seems to be pretty awesome already!

gameboy360
gameboy360

umm dominator....this comes out for 360 also...you know that right?

snizo
snizo

i agree with dominator3333,this games gona be crazy man!!!!Rock & Roll!!!

TTDog
TTDog

"jaron553: [8:59] Clouds above Liberty City light up, with planes flying through them Does that mean planes are going to be in it" As potential vehicles for the player... No. As background to add a bit more realism... Yes.

dominator3333
dominator3333

i WILL PROBABLY BUY PS3 BECAUSE OF MGS 4 AND GTA 4

rajh20
rajh20

i thing these are the best games in 2007777777777777777777777777!

fox3586
fox3586

Five minutes isn't what I would call a demo. That was just a bunch of hype followed by an anticlimactic ending. Show they good stuff rockstar!

jaron553
jaron553

[8:59] Clouds above Liberty City light up, with planes flying through them Does that mean planes are going to be in it

echowind01
echowind01

GTA4 Great game and is coming out in oct although i intend to get the special edition it averges to around $160 here where the normal case is only $100 but if u want special stuff you gotta pay for huh? im also looking forward to hanging off helicopters heheheh fun times

nazraq
nazraq

i really don't want to spend too much time thinking about this game. it would be nice to go on with my normal life with no new info. then, the game comes out, and i get blown away. so don't stress too bad about the little details. buy it when it comes out and enjoy.

movalr8r
movalr8r

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Mistacoon
Mistacoon

hopefully the graphics are as good as they say on GTA 4 and hopefully they have a crosshair like saints row instead of that awful auto aim.

Gutspuncher2
Gutspuncher2

i wish they would show the public the real true gameplay of GTA IV and if theres new things like you can rob stores and take hostages to get away from the police better

Sony_FreaK
Sony_FreaK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

robgoncalo
robgoncalo

L.O.L. Please there are so many good games coming out this year and beginning of next year theres no reason to go ape nuts over this. I'm a pretty big gta fan but San Andreas was just lame imo. Don't get me wrong this one looks nice but to withold ANY sort of gameplay footage is just silly. Way to get people hyped up rockstar, lets just release footage of fmv for the audience. If I want fmv and cutscenes up the ass ill go play MGS or FF. Thanks.

saintsrow13
saintsrow13

Anyone who wants the demo immediately sent to all consoles holding GTA4 say "I DO" in capitals ... I DO

nickeldon
nickeldon

i want a game that lets you choose what flavor of tooth paste you use. I want a game where you get to go inside all those painted buildings, even if there is no 'mission' inside to do. I want a huge world with diverse crowds of people with interesting AI. when is that game coming out?

normsta
normsta

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

s3NoXeRs3
s3NoXeRs3

umm sure what ever u say squall... But what the hell were they talking about like 8:11 -8:40. They were talking about GTA IV then about some egypt people getting bomed or something witha nuke???? It prolly woulda made more sence if it said what it was talking about when they taked about it. But lets hope they dont delay it cuz it could devestate halo 3. which im not a fan of queer shooters like that but w/e.

squall316
squall316

I hope they improve the grafx soon because the 2 trailers released featuring ingame footage looked worse than Saint's Row.

Abq
Abq

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

amareen18
amareen18

this game looks like on of the best games in 2007 :)

Sparky2002
Sparky2002

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

blancobo
blancobo

This report is giving me a headache. Just stopped reading, period. Reads like crap!. This format sucks big time!

gaa0c85
gaa0c85

i dont understand if there was no actuall demo of gameplay what were they showing, didnt watch e3 this year.

xbret64
xbret64

What a lame article, I thought I'd learn more about gta4 and bioshock but I just wasted my time. Wish I were there to see this, I could have wrote something twice as good. I mean, who gives a **** about a change in font on the game menu!?

bluefire1360
bluefire1360

im so excited for GTA 4, but the guy who said why no recording? well becaus ur not allowd camras so ur obviosly not allowd to record stuff.

GTAPsychoFan
GTAPsychoFan

Why no recording?! i wanted to see this...

Bubble2
Bubble2

this was humorously written.

DADA_007
DADA_007

RockStar for god sake please give us the gameplay video please for God sack and stop making us wait please please pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

jiggerthakker
jiggerthakker

well in our country there is a saying that "the fruit of patience is sweet". i participated in a poll on gamespot which asked us whether the price drop of the ps3 by 100$ is just a gimmick(or something like that), well that question should be asked,when GTA IV releases. becoz it should be sony who should be having the last laugh,for coming off with blu-ray.x360 came in early,all right but they forgot to include hi-def(in the standard package),which could bring in more detail in to the game. SONY should now say,now should say "Your Turn Microsoft". PlayStation3 take a bow

macabre190788
macabre190788

Come on. Who's not excited about this one? Best game of 2007?

TTDog
TTDog

You don't need a Hard Drive for GTA4 on the 360, hence the developers moaning about getting it to work without one.

PlyrYaKA
PlyrYaKA

The only really problem with gta4 on the 360 is microsoft were nice enough 2 give us a choice if we wanted a hard drive and u have 2 have 1 4 gta4. If u r gonna b picky the ps3's graphics cards weren't designed purely for gaming and talour made 4 it, the colour pallette is limited

elh77
elh77

IF IT'S SO BAD ON THE 360, THEN WHY DO THEY ALWAYS USE IT FOR DEMO'S ? THIS BLU- RAY THING HAS GIVEN THE PS3 FAN-BOYS A PHANTOM CRUTCH. " OH THEY HAVE TO DUMMY THE GAMES DOWN BECAUSE OF 360'S LACK OF SPACE". GET OFF IT WILL YOU!

jacob-goodlich
jacob-goodlich

they could make gta 4 better if they wanted to but they cant because they will have to cut it down heaps for the 360 because it cant store nearly as much as blu ray can. plus, not enough proccessing power. look it up!

gordong
gordong

I wouldn't move into the tourism brochure/promotional writing material industry if I were you!!! Sounds like the kind of thing paying customers rather than industry journos are normally subjected to. You have a tiny little bit of my sympathy (but not much).

PredatorRules
PredatorRules

WOW - "no videotaping or photography is allowed" they think GTA 4 is the game of all games or something? it's like making greatest game of all times or something LOL - GTA series are pathetic in compare to other games fun and all is ok but it's stupid at the same time

xployt268
xployt268

ths gsme is goin to be s kick ass loved the past gen GTA and now the story begins wth nko snd extra episodic content yes bioshock GTIV and halo and Assassin Creed on one console you heard me right ...360 rules

druryinn5
druryinn5

This game looks to be one of the best games to come out this year.

southy787
southy787

This is one game i'm really looking forward to. GTA is a brilliant series, lets hope the new one lives up to the obvious high expectations...

GonzoGuy
GonzoGuy

Glad to hear that Big Band Music was playing. Has Master Sounds migrated to LC? I really hope so. I'm not too surprised we haven't been given a look at thegameplay yet. In fact, we should probably be expecting delays to be announced soon. I don't mind; I'd rather see a better game than see it on time. I'm probably going to wait unil it comes out on PC anyway. Who says there will be no planes? They said they saw planes flying around. I would be really surprised if they cut out the airplanes, especially considering how well they worked in San Andreas. I couldn't believe how much fun it is to fly the hydra. Most games that throw in that many elements, never perfect any of them. That game perfected it all. If this game really is the next step, I will be very impressed.

SedeoInedus
SedeoInedus

I have to say that I'm not even remotely excited about GTAIV. After Rockstar decided to take a 'Sims' approach to gtaIII, re-releasing pretty much the same game 3 times but changing the skins and adding nothing to the basics of the game. I was hoping that Rockstar would invest in a GTA that would break the mould. No doubt it will be no different from previous installments just have better graphics. Thanks but no thanks

TTDog
TTDog

"Willy105: Bioshock. Doesn't look so special at all. Maybe a review will tell more." Maybe reading up on the previews or the hands on reports would help, Bioshock looks sweet as honey.

samthesolidman
samthesolidman

AHHH I hate how they are trying to create so much hype over GTA IV please show us gameplay!! And stop making us wait!!!! I am going crazy i need some gameplay footage GOD DAMMIT!!!

icytower
icytower

I hope it turns out better then San Andreas.

MC_Raptor
MC_Raptor

haha, nobody cared what the people had too say!!!

TheoleDominion1
TheoleDominion1

Not only does GTA IV looks to be awesome, I can't wait to see the new content thats going to be added next year!