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Midway instil Fear and Respect

New GTA rival exposed

Given the immense achievements - both critically and commercially - garnered by Rockstar North's landmark Grand Theft Auto series, I find it surprising that so few titles have attempted to create games of a similar ilk. One of the reasons for this, is the delicate balancing act GTA manages between freedom and direction, a harmony very difficult to achieve and mastered superbly by Rockstar. Now however it appears Midway are laying down the gauntlet with their own direct challenger to the GTA thrown: Fear and Respect.

Being created for the Xbox and PS2, Fear and Respect features an ex-crook returning to a life of crime after jail, to the mean streets of LA. Apparently, actions in game will impact how our on-screen ego is treated - with fear or respect - and director John Singleton has been drafted in to add authenticity and that cinematic quality GTA has by the shedload. Singleton is the man behind Boys N the Hood, a film to which GTA: San Andreas doffs its cap, so his addition to the team could be a real coup for Midway in their attempts to out manoeuvre Rockstar.

Paramount have already optioned the rights to an official Fear and Respect movie, which is a very promising start, and Midway are promising greater details early next year. The title should be out in late 2005.