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Forums > Submission Feedback > [News] Grand Theft Auto V gets two new screens

This thread is in response to an article about Grand Theft Auto V on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the article in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 13, 2012 (08:16 PM)
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GTA has almost gone too complex for me. I preferred the style of GTA:3 and, more recently, GTA: Chinatown, where the focus was on car chases, running people down in cars, and blowing shit up. As time progressed it went from that to being a dating sim/billiards arcade/third person shooter with the occasional stealth element. I don't think it was a great move for the series. Is there anyone out there who truly enjoyed dating in GTA:IV? What about the fact that you had to drive slowly and obey the rules of the road with certain girls? Was that fun for anyone?


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: jerec
Posted: July 13, 2012 (08:23 PM)
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I could never get into IV, either. Neediest bunch of friends ever. You try to do more than 2 missions in a row and you end up neglecting your friends.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: JonDavila
Posted: July 17, 2012 (07:09 AM)
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I actually enjoyed GTAIV. The needy friends were somewhat bothersome, but it provoked this feeling of guilt within me if I ignored them. It led to me to, of course, hang out with them, and in turn, I started to kind of care about them. That's why later on in the game, spoiler when your brother gets killed, it kind of hurt me. I admire their attempt at trying to get us to connect with the game's characters in that manner, though I recognize it may have been hit or miss for the most part.

And c'mon, you weren't forced to hang out with them.


twitter.com/butt3r


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 17, 2012 (10:14 AM)
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No, you weren't forced, but I did feel more pressure than in other GTA games. It was the whole seriousness of the situation. I really disliked how most missions started with just driving to the location while guys chatted in the car. It was a far cry from the "let's get started" missions of GTA III (including Vice City and San Andreas) where you were pretty much out the gate from the start... especially in GTA: 3 and Vice City.

Too many missions in GTA:IV began at some dude's house and then the mission was across the city. It was more realistic, sure, but it felt like all of that should have been left on the cutting room floor. I'll put it this way: I don't buy GTA games for the story and I never will. I buy GTA games to outrace cops, blow up cars, and get in gang wars on a huge scale. I certainly don't buy it when I need a dating sim. That's what Rapelay is for.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 17, 2012 (10:59 AM)
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The obvious goal with each new GTA is to more closely simulate life--and yes, that includes things like going on dates--so that the scenes of mayhem and violence have more natural impact without having to resort to stupid and artificial things like geysers of blood every time you take out a rival. The fact is that many people do play the games for their story, so that aspect isn't something we can expect to see go away from the series. And really, there's not much harm to it because the cop chases and such can still happen basically any time you like. There's no mandate saying you have to complete the game. You can just screw around with it if the chases and such are all you want (which is precisely what I tend to do with GTA games, by the way).


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 17, 2012 (12:08 PM)
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I'm just explaining was why I no longer enjoy GTA games. At one point playing the game and enjoying the game were the same thing to me. But with GTA:IV I began to feel that enjoying the game meant doing something entirely different from the missions and taking advantage of the content that had been created for me.

And, frankly, I found the sandbox elements more enjoyable when the game was a lot more ridiculous. After all, I don't believe that realism really has a place in a game where you can escape any kind of legal justice from chucking grenades around by spray painting your car.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 17, 2012 (08:11 PM)
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The first problem with GTA becoming progressively more life-like is that the GTA series was good because it wasn't life-like. It was outrageous, over-the-top, and fun. We're not getting that fun game anymore.

The second problem with GTA becoming progressively more life-like is that the game's attempts at "realism" contrast so sharply against the fun parts. Similar to Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, the game alternates between drudgery and excitement with painfully obvious segues. GTA4 does edge out Shattered Memories by a bit, since it didn't go so far as to turn the screen blue, but that sharp contrast is still poor game design. When websites and magazines give poorly-designed games a 10/10, that encourages developers to continue their bad habits.

The third problem with GTA becoming progressively more life-like is that Rockstar thinks "life-like" means injecting poorly-written story scenes into something that should be fun. GTA4's mistake was not that it placed more emphasis on developing a story. GTA4's mistake was that its story was bad.

The fourth problem with GTA becoming progressively more life-like is that it trivializes life. Aside from the crazy driving and the underworld missions -- i.e., the good stuff -- the world of GTA4 is a world where you can choose to go bowling, screw a girl, or see a comedy club routine at any point in time, without experiencing any of the wonderful complexities of real life. Many people appreciate that immediate gratification, and they're robbing themselves of a real life experience by engaging in a pale imitation.

Videogames are meant to be larger than life. When GTA4 tried to be like life, it was instead much, much less.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: July 19, 2012 (12:34 AM)
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The first problem with GTA becoming progressively more life-like is that the GTA series was good because it wasn't life-like. It was outrageous, over-the-top, and fun. We're not getting that fun game anymore.

Which is why I'll preorder a Saints Row game, but only buy GTA when it's cheap. I liked GTAIV, but not nearly as much as the previous games, especially Vice City.




The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 19, 2012 (03:02 AM)
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While I do think the GTA series is on the wrong path with the life simulator approach (as Zig said, it's directly at odds with much of what the series became popular for), people overhype that aspect of GTAIV to ludicrous degrees. It's like making a big deal about the mining in Mass Effect 2. If you don't like it, then you can always just not do it.

I'm still not terribly interested in GTAV, all things considered. As games like Crackdown, Just Cause 2 and the Saints Row series continue to expand on what a sandbox game can be capable of, GTA's downright grounded approach looks all the more out of place. It's a shame, because I remember having a blast with GTAIV whenever it came out, yet I suspect the reasons I loved it in 2008 would seem trivial today.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 19, 2012 (10:46 AM)
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Videogames are meant to be larger than life. When GTA4 tried to be like life, it was instead much, much less.

Extremely well put, Zig, and exactly why I have turned against realism in most games. Sports games are one of the few where I can think that realism makes sense to aim for and even then I enjoy Mario Soccer way more than FIFA.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 19, 2012 (12:35 PM)
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I simply can't agree with that standpoint. Games aren't at the point yet where they can perfectly present a credible real world, sure, but they're getting closer and they'll never get there if developers don't keep pushing themselves with development for ambitious games like the Grand Theft Auto series. It's a perfect candidate for such ambitions.

I would hate for video games as a whole to always aim for realism. I like my over-the-top games probably more than most people, even. But in my opinion, the "Realistic games don't get everything perfect yet and thus shouldn't happen" argument simply doesn't hold water.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 19, 2012 (12:54 PM)
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That's not what the sentiment I'm agreeing with at all, nor is it what I think Zig is arguing (though I'll let him speak for himself). What I'm saying is that I play games to experience a reality I cannot experience in life.

I don't play Call of Duty to be a real army soldier. I play Call of Duty to be an army soldier in an unrealistically impossible situation, winning against impossible odds, using weapons with more efficiency and speed than any real soldier, killing enemies that are undeniable evil in a way no real human could ever be in a geo-political situation that is more simplistically black and white than any real conflict ever has been.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: July 19, 2012 (01:49 PM)
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I see realism as a device. I think developers are welcome to try their hand at it, but that doesn't mean I'll necessarily enjoy it. If it actually adds something to the game (like challenge), then I don't necessarily mind it. However, nine times out of ten I'll play something ridiculous over something real. My only concern is developers thinking they have to add realism to every game.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 19, 2012 (05:15 PM)
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Here's an example that I know not everyone will like, but let's chat about Heavy Rain....

Heavy Rain is a game which tries to employ a lot of realism. It brings it into the way people move, the reactions of characters, and of course in the, well, "gritty realism" that it advertised pretty clearly in its marketing campaigns.

That said, what I liked about Heavy Rain was that it still focuses on putting players in ridiculous, overblown, situations. All of the fights were crazy, most of the situations played out like they were from the most intense of thriller films (with a lot of homages paid to Saw and Silence of the Lambs), and even the everyday moments were either brief or built around some crazy situation (such as Ethan having halllucinations while forcing his way through a crowded train station).

Only a few scenes were very realistic with no over-the-top moments (I think of the private eye cooking eggs) and they were not very long and were framed by insane things happening. The scene where Ethan takes his kid home after school and feeds him lunch and makes him do his homework (or not) showcases an over-the-top fall on Ethan's part. In a drastic shock, he's gone from being a clean cut family man to divorced, bearded and dirty, hated by his kid, shitty at taking care of his kid, and potentially drunk (depending on how you play the scene). The fantasy is subtle, but it's there. The fall of the character itself is surrealistic.

The longest and most realistic of the scenes, in fact, was the scene which got the most criticism even from fans. That is the hour or two hour long opening when life is normal and pretty much everything is super realistic, whether it's carefully setting the table, or slowly drawing a blueprint for a building, or spending thirty minutes messing around with the kids in the backyard.

For all that the scene establishes the status quo before it is inexorably broken by the catalystic events of the next scene, it is still one place where even I think the game is weak and I often have to recommend the game to people with the caveat: make it through the first scene. Not because the scene is slow but because we aren't given anything in the scene to grab onto as out of the ordinary. It's why I like the opening scenes of the other three characters much better: one is in her apartment (CATCH: rapists break into the apartment), one is going to check on the prostitute-mother of a murder victim (CATCH: one of her clients shows up to beat the shit out of her), and one is at the scene of a crime (CATCH: he's using super-advanced technology to check out the crime scene). The opening needed something like this to remove it from reality a step, to give us a reason to stay in this world.

One of my favorite openings, an opening that made me buy a game I had pretty much vowed to never play, was the one to Kingdom Hearts. It doesn't start on the island. It starts in a crazy floating stained glass world where you are fighting shadow monsters. Totally bizarre, totally grabs you with its fantastical elements. The next scene is one of normality, a bunch of kids playing on the island, but it doesn't let the player get through it without visions of a hooded man in a cave. Again, a touch of unreality to break the mold, even in a fantasy setting.

I've digressed a bit, but the point is to show two extremes. In one, realism frames the genre of the game, yet they were careful not to let things move away from the fantastical. The other extreme is a game where realism is thrown out the window by the fantasy genre and yet even there they took care not to let any situation feel too normal or mundane.

Sign of good game design.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 19, 2012 (06:13 PM)
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But in my opinion, the "Realistic games don't get everything perfect yet and thus shouldn't happen" argument simply doesn't hold water.

My argument is more along the lines of "Instead of focusing and expanding on the good stuff, they're putting more focus on the boring stuff... and that pisses me off." GTA4 didn't fly off the deep end, but it definitely went in the wrong direction.

You also mentioned ambition. I'd say that trying to be like life isn't ambitious. We've already got life -- give us something cooler!

But let's ignore that for a moment. Let's just look at videogame history. We've had massive semi-sandbox videogame worlds since the 1980s. We've had full-on dating sims for almost as long. Over the decades, driving games have done nothing but get better. And back in 2001, we had GTA3.

Cramming gimped versions of all those old concepts onto a single disc isn't ambitious. Popular perhaps, but not ambitious.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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