Grand Theft Auto IV is the game everyone wants. You know it, we know it, and developer Rockstar Games knows it. And now that the highly anticipated action adventure game is nearing its release, we've sat down with Rockstar North associate producer Imran Sarwar to get new details on the game's weapon and cover system, and the various improvements that have been made to combat. Enjoy these new details and screenshots and gear up for the game's release at GameSpot's Grand Theft Auto IV launch center.
GameSpot: How many different weapons are there in the GTAIV?
Imran Sarwar: There are 15 weapons in total, and you can now pick up objects from the street, such as bricks, and throw them. There's a good amount included for all situations and playing styles.
GS: Which is your favorite and why?
IS: Due to the amount of carnage, havoc, and sheer destruction you can cause--it has to be the RPG. It has been made a lot more realistic. The rockets can deviate from their path if they skip off the ground or other objects. Firing a rocket at a car and seeing the smoke trail with a spectacular explosion is very cool. And when an LCPD chopper has you cornered, seeing the rotors come off, the tail snap off, and the [chopper itself] fall to the ground in a massive explosion is pretty cool too--with the particle effects, it's all really cinematic. The shotguns deserve a mention too--the damage they do at close range is really satisfying.
GS: We understand that there are not going to be any ammunition stores--what prompted this decision? How will you be able to buy weapons this time?
IS: With GTAIV, we were trying to make our own semirealistic version of New York and it didn't feel right having those big gun supermarkets in the city. In this game, there are underground gun shops around the city, but you initially need to be shown where they are. You can also buy guns out of the car of your friend, Little Jacob. If you maintain your friendship with him, he'll help you out by meeting you around the city and making his arsenal of weaponry available, at a discounted price of course--you can call him any time of the day while on or off missions.
GS: For the RPG, particularly the way the trajectory spirals, how do you code for such seemingly random movement?
IS: The RPG projectiles are initially fired in a straight line, but they can ricochet and deviate from glancing collisions. The spiraling of the smoke trail is done in the visual effects system. We have a lot of power and flexibility in controlling the position and behavior of all particles, so we can give the trail a nice curling behavior while also adding gravity and in-game wind forces to each particle.
GS: What changes have been made to the on-foot targeting system for GTAIV?
IS: The targeting system has been given an overhaul and we are pretty confident it will cater to every style of gamer. You can now lock on, and while locked on, target any part of the body by moving the reticle. Using the full range of the lock-on button really gives players the flexibility of using both to free-aim and lock on at any point, so whether you want to frantically lock on and shoot an enemy who is bearing down on you with a shotgun, or carefully free aim and shoot the petrol tank of a car, it's all done easily through the same system. We've also put in a "perfect shot" system--by squeezing the trigger button slightly when you first lock on to a target you can watch the targeting reticle tighten up and your first shot will be more accurate. Brilliant for one-shot takedowns. If you don't want to use the locking system, you can solely use free aim as well. Unlike previous GTAs, you can use the targeting system to throw grenades and Molotov [cocktails] and make sure they reach their targets (providing they're in reach). The euphoria technology really brings the new targeting system to life.