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The reasoning behind Rockstar's decision to have a silent protagonist in its first 3D GTA game...
To mark GTA III's tenth anniversary – and to promote the release of GTA III 10 Year Anniversary Edition on iOS and Android devices – Rockstar has been answering fans' questions on its Newswire and the publisher provided an interesting answer as to why GTA III's infamous protagonist, Claude remains silent at all times.
“It may now seem obvious that people should all talk in games, but this was not necessarily the case in 2001, certainly not in an open world game,” said a Rockstar rep on the Newswire thread. “We were making up a lot of procedures as we went along, and we decided that the NPCs (Non Playable Characters) should talk and we would have to figure out how to make them talk (using motion captured cutscenes, something that had never really been done before, at least not on the scale we were doing it). So we decided that the game’s protagonist would not talk, partly to aid people identifying with him, but mostly because we had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue.”
“We started to discuss introducing a talking lead character when working on Vice City, but it was a lot of work,” the rep continued. “While the structure of GTA3 may seem obvious or natural now, and the use of cutscenes made in the game’s engine that look and feel like the game may seem simple and easy, it really was not the case back in 2001 when we had to figure out all of these things for the first time. Oh and in San Andreas, CJ calls Claude a mute because he does not talk and CJ finds this unnerving.”
Future GTA protagonists, from Tommy Vercetti and Carl Johnson up through Niko Belic, Johnny Klebitz, and Luis Fernando Lopez would all be fully voiced despite Claude's affliction with the Gordon Freeman syndrome.
There are a load of other interesting answers to fans' GTA questions over on the thread, including details on Claude's back-story (or lack thereof), whether [Spoilers!] Claude's girlfriend Maria gets shot at the end of the game, if Claude is presumed dead now, and about cross-game references to characters across the various GTA games.
Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition is available now over iOS (fourth generation iPod Touch and iPhone devices, as well as iPad 1 & 2), and compatible Android smartphones/tablets for £2.99. Check out the launch trailer here.
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