Rockstar must be feeling fairly pleased about reaction to that Grand Theft Auto 5 trailer, first aired way back in November 2011. Since then, the internet has spawned approximately five gazillion "things you need to know" pieces, eleventeen trillion hazy analyst quotes as to GTA 5's release date, at least one "GTA 5 review" (Google it) and enough info-leaks to drain the Atlantic. All this from a minute and a half's worth of footage which doesn't even get round to naming the main character. There's hype, and then there's Grand Theft Auto.
There are disadvantages to keeping your cards close to your chest, however - other, similarly-styled or structured games may step into the void, like enormous cuckoos carpet-bombing GTA's empty nest. Here are four upcoming games Rockstar should keep an eye on. For all the hard facts, rumours and speculation so far, check our round-up of GTA 5 story, gameplay, character, release date and platform details.
1. Sleeping Dogs
Once upon a time, the notion of United Front's Hong Kong yakuza 'em up making serious in-roads on Rockstar's turf was laughable. Back in 2008, the then-known True Crime: Hong Kong was simply the third of three watery GTA also-rans, vainly attempting to distinguish itself by way of a Far Eastern setting. Reborn on Square Enix's watch, the game looks a lot more compelling. Melee combat - never Rockstar's strong point - is a blend of Arkham Asylum's 360 degree prowess and Ong-Bak-inspired bone-crunching. The cars are viciously sleek, and the open world diversions are glamorously sleazy: cock-fighting, gambling and strip-club karaoke. The tale of undercover cop Wei Shen is supported by a solid RPG backbone - commit crimes for Triad XP, which unlocks new combat moves, or prevent them for Police XP, which unlocks new equipment and vehicles.