In the build-up to GTA IV Day (April 29), magazine's have been going coverage crazy for Rockstar's new shooting-and-driving baby. The latest publication to decorate its papery frontage with the hard-face of Niko Bellic is the much-respected videogame culture monthly, Edge. The April issue features a massive (we're talking 16 glorious pages of words and pictures) look at the blockbuster series and an interview with Rockstar president, Sam Houser, in which he talks about GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV.
It's a fascinating read and, lucky you lot, we've extracted a few choice quotes for your pleasure. For the full unabridged experience, you'll have to hunt down the April issue of Edge when it goes on sale in the UK on March 13.
- GTA III's mute lead character was effectively a mistake. "That was one of those things where I think I only remember noticing kind of late on," Houser says, "like 'Fuck - he doesn't speak'. And I've never said that to anyone before - I'm being honest here. But I remember thinking, well, it kind of works - who cares?"
"It was like he didn't need a voice, so he didn't have a voice. But it was one of the things that people really picked up on afterwards, and when you saw them debating - like whether his name is Claude Speed, or whether he's this or he's that - you kind of thought, actually, guys, there's a lot less to this than meets the eye."
- "People were not really interested" in GTA III when it first appeared at E3 2001, and the game was overshadowed by State of Emergency. "I was really shocked at the time," Houser recalls.
- Houser tells Edge that after GTA III he couldn't "take in a movie in the same way," and that "a large part of my leisure time suddenly took a knock because I couldn't take it seriously any longer". And one reason he states is the terrorist attack of 9/11.
"I think September 11 also had something to do with [not taking movies, etc seriously] as well, because I saw that happening through my apartment window and it was the most real action-movie thing I'd ever seen because it fucking well was real, and no explosions have looked real to me since that point. It's like 'You can keep your Bruckheimer ones - that doesn't work any more'."