GTA-inspired indie changes its name to go full homage

A man fires a rocket while explosions happen
(Image credit: Nik Nak Studios)

A GTA-inspired indie game has decided to change its name to pay closer homage to Rockstar’s legendary games alongside going free-to-play.

In a post on the game’s Steam page (opens in new tab) (via PCGamer (opens in new tab)), Nik Nak Studios announced that Geneshift would be changing its name to Gene Shift Auto, putting the title closer to the game’s main inspiration. What’s more, the game will be going free-to-play today, meaning that players will be able to hop in and get their crime-spree fix with no monetary barrier. If you want a taste, why not check out the new trailer for the game? 

Nik Nak Studios explained that the name change has other purposes too. The game has been in early access for five years, and it's now entering a new phase of its life. In the post, the studio explains the name change further saying: “The name has changed because the game itself has changed so much over the years.” 

“Geneshift was released as a story-based campaign. It didn't have cops, missions, the megamap, skill drafting, vendors or even the BR game mode! We're playing a completely different game, more of a sequel really, and a new name will help communicate to all the old fans just how much has changed.”

If you're expecting the title to fulfill your 3D life of crime needs until the elusive GTA 6 gets here, be aware Gene Shift Auto is a homage to older versions of the game, most specifically Grand Theft Auto 2. These top-down games are excellent relics that are often forgotten in the Grand Theft Auto pantheon, but they're very different from what a modern GTA game is. 

Gene Shift Auto is a PvPvE Battle Royale, so while it is an homage to the retro GTA games, it's still its own thing. It’s a very chaotic competitive game that will have you up against waves of police and other players as you battle for the top spot. There is also a Deluxe version of the game that comes with its own single player or purely co-op survival mode if you do want to end up spending some money on it. 

Want to jump into some fun with some friends? Here are the best co-op games on the market. 

Guides Editor at TechRadar

Patrick Dane is currently the Guides Editor at TechRadar. However, he was formerly a freelance games journalist writing for sites and publications such as GamesRadar, Metro, IGN, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and the International Business Times, among others. He was also once the Managing Editor for Bleeding Cool.