Only a month after their record breaking release hit the shelves, Rockstar North, creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, have been quick to unveil the next instalment in the crime-packed video game franchise. And with its lack of guns and gratuitous fantasy violence affording it an age rating of 7, the game's makers believe their new title will open up the world of virtual petty crime to a whole new audience.
"With Shoplift Tesco we wanted to go back-to-basics and create a more everyday environment in which the user could commit crime" explains the game's developer, Zac Newbie, "So we've done away with the city sprawl, its drug dealers, prostitutes and armed robberies and replaced it with a superstore, its baskets, trolleys and friendly checkout staff, whilst retaining the criminal element of theft. Okay, so it doesn’t have the bloodshed of the other GTA titles, but ask yourself; what could be more thrilling than riding a trolley at break-ankle speed through the bread aisle on pension day? Or nicking a pack of Rolos right under the nose of an overweight security guard? Come on! This is what the kids really want”
Despite its dumbing down, the makers say their game heralds a new era in video gameplay, bringing with it the most realistic graphics ever to be seen in a 2d format. Using the latest technology, exponents of the five-finger-discount can load any Tesco store in the UK and pit their wits against other petty thieves across the country as they vie to lift as many items as possible without getting caught. Take it into team-play mode though, and you and your fellow crims can compete against rival communities for the coveted title of ‘Best Gang in Britain’, although it’s rumoured that residents with a Liverpool postcode will have to give a 10,000 point headstart.
Extra points are also awarded for ‘grazing’ as well as giving the most original excuse if caught in the act of pilfering – ‘I don’t know how that got in there’ or ‘my mum told me to do it’ scoring minus points, however.
Although critics have praised the new non-violent crime player as a step in the right direction for gaming, they feel it could go further by rewarding the highest scoring tea-leaves with the equivalent in Clubcard points.
Keen to engage the game’s target demographic of ten-year old boys and acting as sole distributor, Tesco have also endorsed the game saying, ‘it’s great to be part of a winning team and we’re looking forward to the game flying off the shelves when it goes on sale next month. They were quick to make the point however, that anybody caught trying to steal the game will be tied-up, spat on and bum-raped before having their head blown off with a sawn-off shotgun.