The video game business is evolving much more rapidly than many movie studios in terms of their broad reach and level of interactivity with the players who devote hours to winning the race, collecting a mad fleet of exotic cars , or even doing the most efficient kill shots on retro robo future zombies. Or something.
The automotive genre of the gaming industry is quite a unique subset. Guys and gals who have never enjoyed most first-person-shooters, RPGs and other fantasy wizard content can somehow really love driving games.
Gran Turismo is obviously the mack daddy franchise, but its lead over the improving Forza, Need for Speed and others is diminishing.
As awesome as GT5 and GT6 are, the level of game play is always pretty serious. It might start out with paint jobs and ECU chips for an old used MX-5 that is now a giant killer, but Gran Turismo gets extremely stressful and difficult as the Mario Kart friendliness of the first tracks becomes the brutal London F1 course, Sardinia rally stage, or the legendary Nordschleife in Nürburg.
The light-hearted escapism of the old Donkey Kong Country series is long gone in this intense generation of lifelike games. Your escape will be directly into the racing cockpit. Your eyes will bleed from starting at the 250 mph warp speed down the Mulsanne straight, hate your own slow-fitted fingers, and maybe - just maybe - win a race or two.
Grand Theft Auto takes a totally different path. Instead of the glamor of the world’s best tracks and circuits, the GTA approach is much more down-to-earth. You are a professional criminal building an empire. But there are guys around every corner who want to be the next Tony Montana also.
So you become a fierce and hardened street tough playing the game. Even in the lush green lawns of posh suburbs, the boys will always be in the basement doing evil deeds and wild burnouts on GTA 5 . The goal is to be a fun escape from the reality of speed limits, paying tolls and parking tickets. All the boring parts of life.
So where does the new GTA app fit into this mix? Called iFruit, the new iPhone and iPad apps are companion pieces that integrate with console game play. Build your ideal whip, train your Rottweiler or just browse the enormous game play guide application when stuck.
Is iFruit the perfect time-waster for all those boring hours spent *not* playing GTA 5 ?
Click past the jump to find out.
Grand Theft Auto Launches Companion App iFruit
It can only be assumed that such a fun and easygoing name is the perfect counterpoint to a life of crime inside the game.
There are two sides to the new iFruit app’s functionality: Los Santos Customs and Chop the Dog.
Los Santos Customs
Los Santos Customs allows players to modify and enhance their garage of stolen machinery from afar. So that snorting Porsche or Koenigsegg can be just as personalized and tasteless as imaginably possible.
The driving physics looks great, but the focus is usually on evading capture versus setting a pure and simple lap time. Even so, racing a 760i down the highway has never been so much fun. Drive it like you stole it, indeed.
The one caveat for hardcore car guys is that none of the cars are licensed. So they are all bizarre and tacky fakes of the cars we all know and love. Many brands are wary of getting so much (virtual) blood spatter on their precious new babies, so they go the hardcore driving game route.
No matter, the lack of brand rules means the only boss in this game is the almighty dollar.
Chop the Dog
Chop is a young and vicious Rottweiler that needs care, training and love in order to become a trusted sidekick when untertaking your criminal antics. The world is your oyster, but watch your back.
Caring for Chop is another of the comic relief elements that iFruit brings to the franchise. It is also a good lesson for dog ownership: train them early and strictly, or expect the worst.
In Chop’s case, that might mean eating your stash or chomping down on your crotch with his locking jaws.
Game Play Manual Also Available as an iOS App
The manuals for these games are pretty important. Not to read cover to cover, but when you are chained up in a basement with blood everywhere. How do you get out?
Having the application version of the manual allows rapid searching and screenshots to help you escape your new friends/enemies/partners in crime.
Even for a non-gamer, this latest installment of the GTA series looks really fun. Not limited to cars like Gran Turismo, GTA opens the door to a world of coked-out stripper wives, bank robberies, car chases and the inevitable shootout or two.
The cartoon graphics from some of the promo titles hide the dark underbelly of car culture: and it is a fun release from the monotony of most players’ normal daily lives.
Despite much local news hysteria to the contrary, GTA 5 shows in vivid color and graphics that a life of crime is no picnic.
Grand Theft Auto: iFruit By Rockstar Games
How would we survive without apps? Apps can transform your mobile device into essential tools like a harmonica, disco ball or convincing moustache. Somewhere out there is the perfect storm of touchscreen technology to fix everything that’s wrong with your life. And maybe all you’re missing is the iFruit app. Maybe not. At least you’ll have something to keep you entertained while your significant other prattles on endlessly about their day.
iFruit hooks directly into your experience of Grand Theft Auto V with some fun activities to further postpone the need for real social interaction. Keep up-to-date on the latest Grand Theft Auto V news, log into the Rockstar Games Social Club, stay connected on LifeInvader and launch other Rockstar Games apps.
Los Santos Customs
The Los Santos Customs app offers players the freedom to create their ultimate vehicle in Grand Theft Auto V from anywhere. At the bar, on the beach, on the toilet. This is the future, we’re almost sure of it. You can even create and reserve custom license plates for both Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online – order your personalized plates before they’re gone!
Also choose from paint jobs, window tints, smoke colors, wheels, hoods and spoilers. Upgrade your engine, brakes, exhaust, suspension, and accessorize with new lights, horns, tires and body armor. Place your order on-the-go and find it waiting for you in the garage the next time you play Grand Theft Auto V, or send your order in while playing and get a call from your local mechanic to swing by. Everybody’s had some work done in Los Santos, so don’t let your ride be the exception to the rule.
Chop the Dog
Depth of content, high production values, defecation. It’s the app that has it all. Because who doesn’t love tending to a virtual pet? Chop is Franklin’s canine sidekick in Grand Theft Auto V. Look after him well in the “Chop the Dog” app and you will reap the benefits when playing as Franklin in Grand Theft Auto V. Pet him, feed and water him, play fetch and tug-of-war, teach him tricks. Too much or too little of an activity, however, will cause Chop to become unhappy, and nobody likes an unhappy Rottweiler. Take Chop on walks to give him a chance to work off last night’s steak and Piswasser and to mark his turf in the hood - defending his ladies, fending off gang members and even protecting the beach babes of Los Santos from unsightly tan lines by removing their bikinis.
Looking after Chop successfully is reflected in his behavior in Grand Theft Auto V in a number of ways:
• He will be more helpful and responsive to Franklin
• He will perform tricks such as sitting, begging and giving paw if properly trained through the app
• He will sniff out the nearest hidden items when the player takes him for a walk
• Earn enough credits through walks and proper caretaking and exchange them for new collars for Chop