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Rockstar Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 22, 2004   |   Episode 29 (Show Archive)  

   
When it comes to Rockstar Games, 2004 can pretty much be summed up in five word: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Like a director working on his epic, the gang at Rockstar put just about all their eggs in one basket hoping it would be more Lawrence of Arabia than Alexander. Promising one of the most ambitious games of all time, San Andreas delivered with big sales figures and more critical praise than they knew what to do with.

Next year will bring the return of Rockstar Games' other big franchise, Midnight Club Street Racing. In Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition racing junkies will finally have a chance to trick out their cars and put the keys in real licensed cars (unlike the fake cars in the previous installments). Whether this will work out for them in the same way San Andreas did we won't know until next year, but we in the mean time we can drool at their website.


With enthusiastic characters like this, how can you not want to play the Midnight Club series??
Look and Design: Rockstar Games' website is high concept, with a lot of small, nameless pictures and a minimalist approach. This is generally a recipe for disaster, but fear not, Rockstar pulls it off with ease. The theme appears to be clouds, but it doesn't stop there. Every inch of this site is dripping with style, right down to dice you can play with on the front page. They may not publish a lot of games, but they don't seem to have a problem producing an amazing website with a functional design.

Accessibility: At first the Rockstar Games website might seem confusing, but it won't take long for you to see what they're trying to do. On the right-hand side of the page you can push the buttons to choose between six different sections: the home page, games, news, links, features, and merchandise. These sections are all laid out in a similar fashion to the front page, and they are extremely easy to dig through. This is one of the few sites that manages to successfully merge high concept with accessibility.

Insider Information: Like the rest of the site the news is easy to sift through, even if there isn't a lot of useful facts. Most of the news centers around their website updates, game releases, and promotions . nothing too exciting. But it's presented in an easy to read way and it's directly to the point. Even if there's not a lot of news, this site is still worth exploring for insider stuff, and I'll explain why.


It's probably worth noting that we weren't the only people to give Tommy Vercetti the man of the year award!
In our long and winding journey through these various websites we have come across a number of companies willing to let you download mini games, screen savers, and things of that nature. But Rockstar Games goes one step further, they let you download the full versions of the PC titles Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto II. That's right, you can download the entire games . which is mighty impressive, even if they aren't as cool as the recent 3D sequels. There are other titles, but let's face it, you're really going there to download GTA 2.

If you're still not satisfied by these downloadable games, you can still find more to do on Rockstar's website. They have a section devoted to films, you can grab wall papers, an essay on the Mel Gibson film Braveheart, and so much more. I'm telling you, this game is almost as packed as San Andreas! You really should check this out, it's worth more than a few seconds of your time.

Parting Thoughts: I realize now why Dawn thinks this site is paid off by Rockstar Games; after all, we do a lot of boasting about their products. We named Tommy Vercetti our man of the year, said that Midnight Club 2 was one of the best games of 2003, gave an A+ to their website, and will surely have San Andreas on the Top Twenty games of 2004. Listen folks, I won't kid you, we are smitten with a lot of the game Rockstar Games, but we're not alone, millions of people buy there games, and critics all over the world give their games extremely high scores. You don't have to agree, but you have to admit, this website is the best we've seen so far.

FINAL GRADE: A+

(Important Note: This review was written in 2004. As is the case with websites things tend to change and get moved around. We've decided to cover major companies who should have a presence on the web for many years to come, but the actual reviews of the layout may not be relevant for more than a month to a year. Having said that, we're hoping this article was still interesting, and if not, at least you go this extra little paragraph of explanation that you wouldn't normally get on the other websites.)
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