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Saints Row made me MORE excited for GTA 6

IT’S been almost ten years since GTA 5 launched and it’s still one of the best-selling games, week in, week out. That’s because nobody does it like Rockstar. 

I hoped that the launch of Saints Row would tide me over until the next Rockstar game. After all, it’s another open-world crime game where you steal cars, fire guns, and roam around a virtual recreation of an American state. 


Credit: Deep Silver

But Saints Row isn’t GTA. To be fair to the developers, they don’t have anywhere near the number of resources Rockstar has. It’s an unfair comparison, but it’s the one that regular players will come at the game with due to the genre. 

Because the developer was working with fewer resources, that means the licensed soundtrack is a bit of a dud, the animations are nowhere near as intricate, and the world doesn’t feel like a simulated place. It doesn’t even rain in Santa Ileso. 

Fire up GTA V and you’re met with an iconic soundtrack filled with bangers, lifelike animations, and a world filled with NPCs who go about their daily business and don’t feel like mindless drones. And don’t even get me started on the weather. 

From the scorching LA sun to sudden, terrifying storms, GTA V’s world feels alive. 

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With its Western, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar even kicked this up a notch. Sure, we lose the soundtrack – horses don’t have car stereos – but the world is even more decadent. 

Watching a storm in Red Dead Redemption 2, seeing it roll over the hills in the distance before making its way to you, is awe-inspiring. And even without licensed music, the original score swells and lends weight to everything you do. 

On top of that, the world is full of random encounters. People who’ve been bitten by snakes beg you for help at the side of the road, bandits ambush you, and cannibals roam the woods. The world constantly surprises you. 

You don’t get any of that in Saints Row. Instead, you’re spoonfed missions and activities like they’re a prescription from the local pharmacy. 

But there’s one aspect of Saints Row that got me very excited for GTA 6: the lighting.

Rockstar games have always had beautiful lighting, from the orange skies of a Los Santos sunset to the way lantern light bleeds through the fabric of a tent in Red Dead Redemption 2. 

But lighting technology has evolved significantly since the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X, and you see a glimpse of its promise in Saints Row’s neon glow. 

Imagine how GTA 6 will look with these advancements. After all, GTA 5 still looks better than a lot of modern games, and it came out ten years ago.

Picture it: one of Rockstar’s urban open worlds with real-time, ray-traced reflections and shadows. It’s enough to make you salivate. 

According to the rumours, we’re heading back to Vice City and the surrounding areas in GTA 6. 

Based on Miami, that means towering skyscrapers of reflective glass, sandy beaches and next-gen water, palm trees swaying in the wind, and buildings adorned with neon lights. It’s going to look unreal. 

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There’s no word on GTA 6’s release date, but I’m going to vibrate like the particles in the Large Hadron Collider until we know. 

After all, it’ll be our first proper glimpse into the future of video games. 

Written by Kirk McKeand on behalf of GLHF. 

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