Grand Theft Auto has got to be one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time—but as popular and lauded as it is—perhaps thankfully—it hasn’t yet spawned an accompanying Hollywood movie. There’s been machinima made from it and it certainly has a cinematic aesthetic, but not many live-action attempts. That is, until Gevorg Karensky threw his hat into the ring with Grand Theft Auto: RISE.
The fan made film looks back at the early career of Mr. Niko Bellic, the hardass ex-soldier who is your protagonist as you roam the intricate worlds thought up by the developers at Rockstar Games. But although the film’s set in the physical world, a touch of the digital is still present in the form of an augmented reality overlay that betrays the gaming element of the tale. Meaning other people in the environment aren’t just strangers, but other gamers with character names hovering over their heads.
The story revolves around Niko’s first hit, which involves a car chase, machine guns, and dispatching a bodyguard using a ballpoint pen.