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Grand Theft Auto V delayed until September

Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, the latest entry in the long-running open world crime simulator, has been delayed until at least September, much to the dismay of the series fans.

First launched in 1997 as a top-down game, which saw the player take on the role of a criminal attempting to earn money through missions, murder and miscellaneous mayhem, Grand Theft Auto has been one of the most successful games franchises in history. Its reboot as a more realistic third-person game with Grand Theft Auto III boosted that success, and the game has spawned multiple spin-offs - a total of 15 games in all.

Its latest entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV, took the game to new heights of realism but was often criticised for its departure from the series' ultra-violent niche with attempts to simulate human interaction by forcing the player to keep friends - and, at certain points, love interests - happy with visits to strip clubs, bowling alleys and comedy clubs. Failure to do so could result in missing chunks of game content, punishing the player for preferring to rampage around Liberty City with a variety of high-powered weapons.

Grand Theft Auto V promises an end to that, bringing the series back to its core with a return to the sprawling San Andreas area first seen in the eponymous Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Teased images and trailers for the title show a next-generation graphics engine that surpasses its predecessors in realism, along with the adult humour for which the series is noted.

Rockstar has announced that players are going to have to wait a while longer to get their hands on the title, however. Originally expected to launch early this year, Rockstar Games has confirmed that the latest entry in the series will now not be available until the 17th of September, when the console version for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 will launch. The PC version, meanwhile, will be launched some time after that.

For fans, it remains to be seen whether the latest entry in the franchise will be worth the wait.

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