GTA:V Prep: Games To Play In Anticipation Of GTA:V #1

It comes as no secret that at the time of writing this article, GTA:V comes out in just over one month. The game that began to be rumored in late 2009 finally releases in around 40 days, and because of this, anybody awaiting GTA:V will comfortably agree that the level of hype right now is through the roof. So, to manage, control and sustain this hype, we at CGUK have comprised a list of our top plays from the open-world genre spanning from retro classics to modern-day hits and since this is the first of the series (running up to GTA:V's launch, ending on Friday the 14th September), here's what we plan to do, and before you inquire, we write this article assuming you've played the past GTA games(so no GTA or Rockstar games will be included), however if this is not the case, add those games to your backlog and get playing! Time is running out, GTA:V is oh so close.

Before we jump in to this week's article, we'll give you the previously promised overview of the content of this series of articles. Released weekly, we will be covering two games each week: one aging open-world title and one current-generation open-world title released recently, both of which are a recommended play before GTA:V hits this September. So, now you know what we're doing, let's jump in!

This Week's Current-Generation Recommendation

The recommended modern-day title in today's read comes as no surprise, released in 2010, Avalanche Studio's Just Cause:2 gave players an explosive insight into the life of a retired secret agent with an arsenal of destructive weaponry at his disposal in an entirely playground at his disposal. To this day Just Cause:2's fictional island of Panau stands as one of the genre's biggest sandboxes in which the player can wreak havoc to their darkest desires, wonderful! Whether hell be unleashed on the ground (with Rico Rodriguez's dastardly arsenal of heavy weaponry), from the air with gunships or yet again from the ground in armoured vehicles, Just Cause: 2 offers choice to the player and in the open-world genre, choice offers freedom and freedom is exactly what the genre boasts compared to another genre such as shooters.

Just to give you a taste of Panau's scale, the back of the game's box claims the player has over 400m^2 at their disposal. I'll just let you absorb that. 400mx400m+. That is insane. Of course, this is measured in miles, so if you're in need of some exploration then let Panau be your first choice. In addition to the feral, un-tethered wilderness, Panau boasts over 100 unique vehicles. The benefits of such a vast vehicular database means that Panau doesn't have to be the same each time you visit her, fancy some dirtbike-bound stunts? No problem at all. How about some high-speed boat combat? Sure thing, go ahead!

So as you can see Just Cause: 2 is a brilliant choice for this week's current-generation offering in this series of articles, and deservedly so. If you yet have to unwind the treasures hidden under Panau's thick forestry then now is the perfect time to do so! Moreover, the game is more than 3 years old so it's dirt-cheap in most brick & mortar and online retailers. Go ahead, you most certainly won't regret it! The rich offering of aircraft will allow you to hone your piloting skills in time for GTA:V's array of aircraft when September 17th comes!

This Week's Previous-Generation Recommendation 

So now we've cleared up the aim of this article series and the week's current-generation offering, it's now time to unravel the week's previous-generation open world game recommendation in preparation for GTA:V...

Although being based around the same city, GTA:V's storyline operates on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to this title. Hint: the clue is in the name. That's right! This week's GTA:V preparatory previous-generation recommendation is the LA-bound True Crime: Streets Of LA, and yes, although the sequel improves the formula in just about every way imaginable, the sequel was set in New York and as GTA fans know, the previous GTA game was based around New York: Grand Theft Auto: IV.

So "why True Crime:Streets Of LA?" you may ask, well, Streets Of LA will give the player a positive, atmospheric insight into the city of Los Angeles, and although GTA:V is merely based on Los Angeles, the conventional street alignment, sun-soaked courtyards and sordid ghettos within TC:SOLA will give you an impression on what to expect in GTA:V. Furthermore, TC:SOLA's focus on crime (it's in the name, you're a cop) helps one imagine what could be possible in the side-missions within GTA:V, for example, within TC:SOLA you can arrest criminals engaging in street crimes such as gun-violence, joy-riding, car-theft and many more iterations of the spurious activity of committing a crime. However, despite the similarities these games' cities will inevitably share, GTA:V has something TC:SOLA does not have, and that is a vast oasis of open countryside. Regardless of this "fault", TC:SOLA is a brilliant place to go if you're after some non-GTA iterations of the city of El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (that's the real, un-cut name of Los Angeles if you didn't know). It is also worth noting that TC:SOLA has actual streets from the city of Los Angeles, so much so that not only are street names intact, but so are the layout of streets themselves, so if Rockstar took a realistic approach and modeled GTA:V on the actual city of LA (and didn't make most of it up) then you may come across some very-familiar streets in GTA:V if you played True Crime: Streets Of LA beforehand.

Streets Of LA's "pull-factor" was the perspective from which it was played: you're a cop. Although GTA:V takes place from a trio of criminals' point of view the focus on crime each game entraps offers an opportunity for relation between this two games, and just like GTA games, Streets Of La notably took inspiration from some blockbuster "cop-thrillers" filmed and based in the city of Angels. Be sure to pick up True Crime: Streets Of LA before GTA:V on your PC, PS2, Xbox or Gamecube.

So, there you have it. CGUK hopes you enjoyed this week's iteration of 'GTA:V Prep' and hope you stick around for next week's explosive offering of recommended games! Stick around and when GTA:V hits, enjoy!

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