Rockstar Games has revealed the premise of their new Grand Theft Auto videogame, slating “GTA V: Vatican City” for a Spring 2013 release. Boasting the tagline “Cuz no one hustles harder than the Catholic Church”, this new game is drastically different than any other installment in the series. Rockstar has confirmed that Vatican City will feature three playable main characters and an accurate map of both the city of Rome and Vatican City. The game’s three main characters are Alexander Biani, a worn down cab driver who just wants to get home to his wife’s cabonara sauce; Giuseppe Capone, a sleazy trattoria owner with no morals and a lot of family pride; and Santo Gagalino, the son of a Sicilian gangster who is in Rome posing as a Catholic priest.
Set right after the fictional death of Pope John Jacob III, the characters set out to infiltrate the College of Cardinals and elect Santo Gagalino Pope. The player can switch at will between characters when not in mission mode. At times the trio will be teaming up for group missions in the game, some of which will be elaborate like the initial infiltration of Vatican City, which involves intricate disguises and a fight with Swiss Guards in a fountain.
Rockstar has also confirmed that a variety of new vehicles will be introduced in GTA V. The game starts with either Capone driving a broken down Vespa on his way to work, Biani in a classic Italian cab, or Gagalino in a tricked-out Fiat; at one point, all three men engage in a high speed chase inside the Pope-mobile. In keeping with the environment, Ferrari’s, minuscule old Italian cars like the Cinque Ciento, and obnoxiously small gas efficient cars, are also available for theft. Side missions including stealing artifacts from the Vatican museum, sleeping with nuns in confessional booths, pick pocketing tourists, and raising money under the Churches name only to then keep the funds for oneself.
Although the game has not been released yet it has already garnered a lot of controversy. In regards to the game’s sacrilegious themes, Stacy Simpson mother of three said: “As if gratuitous amounts of violence, inappropriate sex, and theft weren’t enough, now they’re adding religion into the insufferable franchise. I think it’s just awful”. While some people are up in arms about the inclusion of religion others are claiming the game portrays too negative a view of the Catholic Church. There are sure to be some religious fanatics protesting outside your local Gamestop when GTA V is released, but even their proselytizing couldn’t ruin a game as challenging and complex as Vatican City.