Editor's note: This post focuses on games that have been rated "M" for Mature by the Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB). The links and videos contained below include violence and some graphic language.
In September, a fleeting post to Rockstar Games' official website left fans of the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto franchise giddy about a certain seemingly unthinkable feature coming to the next-gen console editions of GTAV.
First-person mode. Love it or hate it, first-person has become a regular feature in genres from shooters to sports, and while it seemed possible Rockstar might tinker with the perspective of their biggest-selling franchise, no one could have foreseen this week's announcement and just how gung-ho the New York-based game developer would go to make it a reality.
IGN has reported its hands-on time with the first-person mode, and they're absolutely gushing. Is it any wonder? Rockstar took what was already arguably the most detailed open-world game to date and added thousands of animations, textures and other details to make the first-person experience completely new. The game's art director told IGN for a subsequent story that they've put more man-hours in converting 2013's best-selling game to new consoles than most studios do creating a whole new game.
Perhaps the most interesting implication of the new first-person mode is how it will affect online play. GTA: Online was a truly ambitious undertaking, and not without its fair share of hiccups upon launch last October. Will the new animations make on-foot gunplay feel like a twitchy first-person shooter in the mode of Call of Duty? The video above shows fairly fluid gunplay through the new animations, but only time will tell if the game chugs when the confirmed 30 players supported in GTA: Online is released to actual servers later this month.
Stay tuned to the Tech Deck for a full review of the next generation installment of GTAV. My copy's already on reserve.