GTAV from the view of someone that hasn't played GTA since Vice City.

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Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

In lieu of a clever introduction, I'll just state here that before this past weekend, the last time I touched a Grand Theft Auto game was in 2004. Vice City was a game that I enjoyed, up to the point that I actually tried to advance through the story only to encounter the roadblock that was terrible mission design. I'll spare the details, as this is a story that I've related on Giant Bomb before, but the mission to save Lance from Diaz's goons and get him to the hospital broke me thoroughly to the point that I didn't want to even touch the game anymore. I never played San Andreas because that game seemed more concerned with stacking more mechanics into an already aging game engine than it was with fixing what was broken, and I was still too burned by Vice City to give it a chance. I also never touched GTAIV or any of the various spin-offs for similar reasons. Whatever improvements that GTAIV brought, by that point, I was done with the series and had no interest in playing it.

My interest in the genre was largely rekindled by Saints Row 2 and especially The Third, and I also enjoyed Sleeping Dogs. I'm still only part way through Saints Row IV, but that's also a game that I've liked, even if I don't find it as riveting as The Third. I honestly had no intent on playing GTAV. But when I decided to buy a superslim PS3 this past weekend to replace my original, I found that my only options were bundles containing either that, or Uncharted 3. And my interest in Uncharted requires neative numbers in order to measure.

So here I am, with a copy of GTAV.

As of this writing, I've played far enough that I've completed a couple of missions as Trevor and have unlocked the ability to purchase real estate. And I have to say that, in some ways, I'm really impressed. Obviously, not having played GTA since Vice City, the jump in terms of gameplay is huge (to say nothing of the graphics, which goes without saying), but while some elements like shootouts (thank you, auto-aim), heists and so on have been fun, the game seems to miss just as often as it hits. Driving isn't as fun as it is in other games in the genre, for example. I know that the physics are in general trying to be more realistic than a game like Sleeping Dogs, but trying to win a street race when the car I'm in controls like a boat is just painful. And having just finished flying a plane for the first time...maybe they should have just left planes out of the game.

The same hit or miss elements are affecting my enjoyment of the story, as well. I like the three protagonists in their own ways. Michael's dealing with his family is amusing, Franklin is about as sympathetic a GTA character as I've ever seen, and Trevor is a convincing lunatic. But the world they inhabit is a lazily constructed ball of satire that feels like someone threw a bunch of South Park episodes in a blender. The game is better when it's humorous without trying for satire. Michael completely at a loss with his idiot son and bratty daughter? That's amusing. But the signage, radio bits, TV programs and so on that define the world? It feels like someone trying way too hard to be funny with all the subtlety of a bulldozer in my bathroom. Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV are funny because the chaos is actually well thought out; it's dumb, but it's a smart dumb. In Grand Theft Auto V, the dumb just feels out of place. Like everything about the game has grown up except its sense of humor.

So at this point, I'm just really not sure what to think of it. Is it a good game? Yeah, it is. But I wouldn't call it a big "event game." There was a time when Grand Theft Auto was what defined the open world crime genre and every other game that came along was considered a clone. But the better "clones" are now more consistently fun to play and offer more interesting and diverse experiences than yet another warped take on the pursuit of the American dream.

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#1 Edited by Demoskinos (14877 posts) -

I felt the same way about the driving and planes at first but now nearing the end of the game its become second nature.

#2 Posted by probablytuna (3684 posts) -

I did not like the driving in Sleeping Dogs. I can't put my finger on it, but turning around corners and drifting felt real weird to me as opposed to the driving in say, Saints Row The Third (which was pretty great). I'm liking GTAV's driving so far, but I'm also one who liked GTAIV's driving so what the hell do I know.

#3 Edited by Yummylee (21759 posts) -

I think your description of the driving controlling like a boat is a bit of an exaggeration. In fact I consider the driving to be fantastic, and GTA still continues to have the best open-world driving (without being a dedicated racing game) around; planes are absolutely terrible, though. I also agree that a large majority of the TV, internet and radio satirist humour is incredibly weak and just downright lazy, but the humour weaved within the story and the character interactions is indeed really well done. It was the exact same way with GTAIV; comparing the subtlety and wit of Niko's dry, sarcastic outlook of Liberty City and its denizens against the other stuff and you'd think it was written by completely different people. Of course, that's probably the case.

I do also agree that GTA isn't quite the King it once was. It's still the best regarding certain open-world qualities--the sheer detail of the world in particular is bar none--but I think Sleeping Dogs' world is a lot more interactive, and GTA is still a little behind in terms of overall accessibility with stuff like clothing and trying to manage your vehicles.

#4 Posted by ninnanuam (283 posts) -

I feel the opposite to you in most respects I find the driving to be superior to most, if not all of the other open world games I've played recently. I also feel the world and characters are very well realised. I feel the world and the satire there in is actually right on the money it is almost a hyper realistic version of America, its run by the greedy and the sleezy and almost everyone in power is corrupt and a hypocrite and everyone will step on everyone else to get ahead and then blame the down trodden for being a pussy.

I do agree however that it is alot like south park it has overt gross out humour smothered over a bedrock of satire and cultural and political commentary. Some people can't get past the dick jokes to the actual substance.

In some ways GTA is a victim of its own success it has to appeal to the guy who just wants to blow stuff up and laugh at some shit and also have something deeper for others.

#5 Posted by SharkEthic (1049 posts) -

I will never get why people consider the humor in Saints Row to be "smart dumb".

Anyway, I think GTA V is vastly superior to the SR-games and Sleeping Dogs in almost every conceivable way - but to each his own.

#6 Posted by Hunter5024 (5702 posts) -

The radio stations in this game really bum me out. I don't find them funny at all, and they feel very out of place. Like you said, basically a (bad) episode of South Park crammed in the middle of the crime story I'm trying to enjoy.

#7 Posted by ninnanuam (283 posts) -

I dunno I thought the combat in sleeping dogs was better than GTA V especially the hand to hand. I also think that sr 2 and 3 are up there with GTA 5 in a variety of ways. I just feel personally that GTA V takes my personal top spot due to the world rockstar have put together. Sure the insurance fraud minigme is more fun than 95% of the side missions in GTA V but GTA is so cohesive that sr being more "fun" is t enough.

#8 Posted by GreggD (4505 posts) -

The radio stations in this game really bum me out. I don't find them funny at all, and they feel very out of place. Like you said, basically a (bad) episode of South Park crammed in the middle of the crime story I'm trying to enjoy.

But what about the music?

#9 Edited by Yummylee (21759 posts) -

One thing that SR2 (and the first one too I think) has over all other open-world crime games that I recall, is the capability for manually phoning up all of the numbers littered around the city, each of which would often unlock you easter eggs or services, or would just simply provide a joke; they would all at the very least actually function as individual phone numbers. I was pretty disappointed in GTAV that even after all this time, they didn't put in a similar such feature; though they at least worked in some generic responses this time around instead of just giving you dead air like in GTAIV.

#10 Posted by Hunter5024 (5702 posts) -

@greggd said:

@hunter5024 said:

The radio stations in this game really bum me out. I don't find them funny at all, and they feel very out of place. Like you said, basically a (bad) episode of South Park crammed in the middle of the crime story I'm trying to enjoy.

But what about the music?

Ehh. Feel like I'm getting a lot of repeats.

#11 Edited by Arabes (338 posts) -

The driving in Saints Row the Third is not good, it's easy. There's a difference. The car does exactly what you want when you want so it's not at all like driving a car and it presents no challenge. I like the driving in GTA games because when you get good at it there's a sense of accomplshment. It's the same with the auto aim, I want there to be some difficulty, not just press one button, press other button. Personally, I get very little out of games that are really easy.

#12 Posted by Pezen (1612 posts) -

I wouldn't necessarily say the humor in Saint's Row is smart but it's cohesively fitting with a world that's equally absurd. The problem GTA seems to have with some as of late is that the humor displayed in it's satire sometimes doesn't mesh with the world they've created. Personally, I've always thought GTA to have smart satire and I enjoy it's borderline misanthropic aspects of it's humor. I could see how some wouldn't see them fitting together (or that their schtick is getting worn) but I enjoy both aspects of the game enough still to where they don't really feel that at odds to me.

Also, flying was a piece of cake, what are you even talking about?

#13 Edited by Humanity (9377 posts) -

I think it depends on what your mood is. Saints Row is a ton of fun but by the end of SR4, as much as I enjoyed it, I felt like I don't want to touch Saints Row for at least another 2 years. GTA in stark contrast is just serious enough about its plot and world that it feels refreshing to be so grounded after the crazy SR shenanigans.

#14 Edited by BoOzak (935 posts) -

I completly ignored most the TV & Radio banter throughout my playthrough. I noticed that they brought Lazlow and Fernando back but they're far less interesting characters in modern day America. I watched some TV after I beat the game and it's at the same level as GTA4, I didnt think it was too over the top. If you've ever watched shows like Metalocalypse and Robot Chicken it's that level of hit or miss humour.

As for the actual game itself the driving feels a lot better but the shooting and everything else is still lackluster. But the city of Los Santos and it's hillybilly exterior feels more expansive than most open world games, the variety of things you can do coupled with all the random events makes the world feel more alive than games like Saints Row and Sleeping Dogs.

Personally I think the best playing sandbox games are still Infamous 1&2 But those games lack variety in their mission design, which is something that GTA5 excels at. I also thought the actual dialog between the main characters was better written than the other GTA games, and that Trevor and Michael had more personality than any of the GTA protagonists that had come before them. (I liked Niko but most of his past was purposefully kept secret)

#15 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@yummylee said:

I think your description of the driving controlling like a boat is a bit of an exaggeration. In fact I consider the driving to be fantastic, and GTA still continues to have the best open-world driving (without being a dedicated racing game) around; planes are absolutely terrible, though. I also agree that a large majority of the TV, internet and radio satirist humour is incredibly weak and just downright lazy, but the humour weaved within the story and the character interactions is indeed really well done. It was the exact same way with GTAIV; comparing the subtlety and wit of Niko's dry, sarcastic outlook of Liberty City and its denizens against the other stuff and you'd think it was written by completely different people. Of course, that's probably the case.

I do also agree that GTA isn't quite the King it once was. It's still the best regarding certain open-world qualities--the sheer detail of the world in particular is bar none--but I think Sleeping Dogs' world is a lot more interactive, and GTA is still a little behind in terms of overall accessibility with stuff like clothing and trying to manage your vehicles.

Eh, Saints Row the Third had better-feeling driving controls. Controlling like a boat is an exaggeration, though. The cars in GTA IV controlled like boats. GTA V's car controls are a vast improvement. I've had a lot of fun driving in this game.

Just from what I've played, Sleeping Dogs was ultimately the better game. It took a lot of open world advances, threw in Arkham Asylum's combat, made it more brutal, and then put you out into the world. And you didn't even need rocket launchers to have a lot of fun in it! And it didn't need to be satirical or completely insane to be interesting!

My biggest problem with the game, though, is inconsistent death. Yesterday I hit a phone pole with Trevor and he just died. But before that, I sent Michael flying out of a car's front window and into the side of a building, complete with a bloody spot on the wall, and he just got up and dusted it off. It made for some funny moments before but now I just can't always be sure if I'm going to survive something or not.

GTA V still feels like it's going to be on my 2013 GOTY list despite ignoring a handful of open world advances that have been made since IV.

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#16 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

@yummylee said:

I think your description of the driving controlling like a boat is a bit of an exaggeration. In fact I consider the driving to be fantastic, and GTA still continues to have the best open-world driving (without being a dedicated racing game) around; planes are absolutely terrible, though. I also agree that a large majority of the TV, internet and radio satirist humour is incredibly weak and just downright lazy, but the humour weaved within the story and the character interactions is indeed really well done. It was the exact same way with GTAIV; comparing the subtlety and wit of Niko's dry, sarcastic outlook of Liberty City and its denizens against the other stuff and you'd think it was written by completely different people. Of course, that's probably the case.

I do also agree that GTA isn't quite the King it once was. It's still the best regarding certain open-world qualities--the sheer detail of the world in particular is bar none--but I think Sleeping Dogs' world is a lot more interactive, and GTA is still a little behind in terms of overall accessibility with stuff like clothing and trying to manage your vehicles.

I have gotten better at driving in the game, but it also feels finicky. In the first street race, I found myself trying to race in Franklin's signature car and had a hell of a time just trying to keep myself pointed straight. His special ability helped a bit, but I was constantly fish-tailing and kept having to retry mostly due to spin-outs or the car getting stuck on some piece of the environment. And I suppose while I'm complaining about driving, I should probably lump trying to use guns while driving, which is far from my favorite part of this game, to say the least. My stance on the driving as a whole probably has softened a bit, but I still much prefer the driving in Saints Row: The Third and Sleeping Dogs.

I will never get why people consider the humor in Saints Row to be "smart dumb".

Anyway, I think GTA V is vastly superior to the SR-games and Sleeping Dogs in almost every conceivable way - but to each his own.

Because the humor can be very silly and low brow, but there's a consistency in tone and it never really feels like their trying to force a joke. Saints Row has evolved into a very absurdist series with great humor. It also helps that the gameplay is also really good.

@arabes said:

The driving in Saints Row the Third is not good, it's easy. There's a difference. The car does exactly what you want when you want so it's not at all like driving a car and it presents no challenge. I like the driving in GTA games because when you get good at it there's a sense of accomplshment. It's the same with the auto aim, I want there to be some difficulty, not just press one button, press other button. Personally, I get very little out of games that are really easy.

The driving may be easier in The Third, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. When the driving is easier to approach, it makes getting behind the wheel a more fun experience for me. I appreciate how detailed it is in GTAV, but that detail hasn't made for a fun experience for me. The same could be said of the flying. And honestly, I found the gunplay in The Third and Sleeping Dogs more entertaining than GTAV, though the shooting in GTAV is much, much, muuuuuuuuuch better than it ever was in Vice City.

@pezen said:

I wouldn't necessarily say the humor in Saint's Row is smart but it's cohesively fitting with a world that's equally absurd. The problem GTA seems to have with some as of late is that the humor displayed in it's satire sometimes doesn't mesh with the world they've created. Personally, I've always thought GTA to have smart satire and I enjoy it's borderline misanthropic aspects of it's humor. I could see how some wouldn't see them fitting together (or that their schtick is getting worn) but I enjoy both aspects of the game enough still to where they don't really feel that at odds to me.

Also, flying was a piece of cake, what are you even talking about?

That's a fair assessment, though I just fall into that group that thinks the schtick is worn out and doesn't really fit.

As for flying, it just feels overly complex. Like they put a miniature flight sim in the game and that extra detail kept screwing me over. I had to redo the landing on the first flying mission about five times because I kept failing for different reasons. Either I slowed down too soon, failed to put the landing gear down, or landed too fast for the landing gear and destroyed it.

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#18 Edited by Dacnomaniac (442 posts) -

@probablytuna said:

I did not like the driving in Sleeping Dogs. I can't put my finger on it, but turning around corners and drifting felt real weird to me as opposed to the driving in say, Saints Row The Third (which was pretty great). I'm liking GTAV's driving so far, but I'm also one who liked GTAIV's driving so what the hell do I know.

Really? I fucking hated the driving in Saints Row: The Third...

#19 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (593 posts) -

You should stop whatever it is you're doing, and go play San Andreas...

#20 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

My biggest problem with the game, though, is inconsistent death. Yesterday I hit a phone pole with Trevor and he just died. But before that, I sent Michael flying out of a car's front window and into the side of a building, complete with a bloody spot on the wall, and he just got up and dusted it off. It made for some funny moments before but now I just can't always be sure if I'm going to survive something or not.

GTA V still feels like it's going to be on my 2013 GOTY list despite ignoring a handful of open world advances that have been made since IV.

I've had this same issue. Sometimes it seems like characters can take a fair beating and survive launching out of windshields, while other times, they're toast the first time they slam into a utility pole.

@humanity said:

I think it depends on what your mood is. Saints Row is a ton of fun but by the end of SR4, as much as I enjoyed it, I felt like I don't want to touch Saints Row for at least another 2 years. GTA in stark contrast is just serious enough about its plot and world that it feels refreshing to be so grounded after the crazy SR shenanigans.

I'm not sure I can agree with you on that one, at least as far as claiming that GTAV's world is grounded. The world is still going for the same obvious satire that it went for in the Vice City era, but it feels more forced now than it did back then. It all really feels out of place.

I feel the opposite to you in most respects I find the driving to be superior to most, if not all of the other open world games I've played recently. I also feel the world and characters are very well realised. I feel the world and the satire there in is actually right on the money it is almost a hyper realistic version of America, its run by the greedy and the sleezy and almost everyone in power is corrupt and a hypocrite and everyone will step on everyone else to get ahead and then blame the down trodden for being a pussy.

I do agree however that it is alot like south park it has overt gross out humour smothered over a bedrock of satire and cultural and political commentary. Some people can't get past the dick jokes to the actual substance.

In some ways GTA is a victim of its own success it has to appeal to the guy who just wants to blow stuff up and laugh at some shit and also have something deeper for others.

The broad-stroke parody that is GTAV's world doesn't make it hyperrealistic. And while a lot of it is on target, it's less by the hand of a deft writer and more by someone eager to point out how clever their own work is.

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#21 Edited by Milkman (16843 posts) -

I didn't have much of a problem with the driving but you're not the first I've heard say it's hard to get used to. It definitely can be a weird going from this to Saints Row where you can just press a button to whip around corners. Planes, on the other hand, are an entirely different issue. It took me a solid 10 tries to land the plane the first time the game makes you in that early Trevor mission. I am completely terrible at it, even landing helicopters is an ordeal.

As for the story...it's weird. Usually with GTA games, you put up with some sub-par gameplay because the story and characters are so good. But this time, it feels like the opposite. The game is super fun to play but the actual story beats just aren't very interesting to me. The writing is good but I don't actually care about any of the characters. Every character just feels like "here's this guy, he's an asshole. here's another guy, he also is an asshole. Now, let me introduce you to his partner, boy, he's a real piece of shit." I get that that's kind of the point of these games but I feel like I have no one to root for.

Franklin seems to be the closest to someone with an end goal but he also feels like a total third wheel to Michael and Trevor, who just feel like scumbags. Entertaining and well-written scumbags but I don't actually care about what happens to them. Niko in GTA IV was obviously someone who did bad things but he felt like he was striving for something. I haven't finished the game so maybe it will become clearer as the game moves on. I don't know.

And the satire stuff is just (for the most part) straight up bad. It's the same jokes since GTA III and is just obnoxiously blatant. Saints Row 3 & 4 is much, much funnier games. Not that GTA V's humor is completely absent but it really all comes much more from the character interactions (Lamar, in particular, is hilarious) than the tired satire.

But again, the game is an absolute blast to play. The world is fantastic and really feels alive, more so than probably any game I've ever played. I just wished a cared more about what I was doing.

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#22 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

I dunno, Saints row the third (haven't played the 4th) had kinda awful generic gameplay. The shooting was pretty much the definition of generic and tame. The driving didnt feel that great. Really the only thing it had going for it was the humor, which it did extremely well, but after i beat the game i had zero interest in messing around with it.

Its ok if you don't like GTAV, personally i absolutely love it. If you're not that into it, then well, play something else?

#23 Posted by awesomeusername (4191 posts) -

@greggd said:

@hunter5024 said:

The radio stations in this game really bum me out. I don't find them funny at all, and they feel very out of place. Like you said, basically a (bad) episode of South Park crammed in the middle of the crime story I'm trying to enjoy.

But what about the music?

Ehh. Feel like I'm getting a lot of repeats.

I can't tell you how many times I heard Glamorous by Fergie. Oh man.

#24 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

Its ok if you don't like GTAV, personally i absolutely love it. If you're not that into it, then well, play something else?

That's the thing. I'm not sure if I actually like the game or not. It's split between parts that I like and parts that I don't.

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#25 Posted by golguin (3940 posts) -

I've never played a GTA game and I'm enjoying myself. I have all 3 characters active so I've just been alternating between doing main missions and random things like biking to the very top of a mountain and then parachuting off of it. Today I plan to do flight school training with Trevor. I've played a lot of Ace Combat games and had no issues with the flying system in GTA5 so I should do fine.

#26 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

The satirical bend is not what makes or breaks the worldbuilding. It's but a tiny facet, an aftertaste is you will, to the whole thing. It's NPCs standing around chatting. It's the traffic. It's the animals. It's the wheather and lighting systems. It's the clouds and the sun. It's the ocean. It's law enforcment. The taxis. Life happens all around you. Just stand on a street corner and look and listen. Take a run on a beach. Do anything other than play the game. Live it, and you'll see. There isn't another game were you can just go on a nature hike and it's going to be awesome. So I thoroughly disagree with your assessment of the worldbuilding.

If you'd say Assassin's Creed has shit worldbuilding, because the entire world feels *player centric* aka waiting in place for the player to show up, so that everything can play its role, I'd agree with you. GTA's gameworld feels like it has a life of its own. Mostly because shit happens regardless of if the player is a part of it or not.

On the topic of planes? Planes are flippin' awesome. Just go to fly-school. That should help a lot. The planes fly like real planes would. I don't think it's too much to ask of players to learn the basics of flight. You'll have Trevor carpetbomb rival gunrunners in no time. Choppers work well enough, but certainly not great - it's the one control scheme in the game I'd call *unaccomplished* - if you need something shitty to latch onto.

The cars on the other hand? Control like boats? Jeez! The cars even got *Air Control* and can flip themselves back up on command. How much control do you need? You can pretty much turn these suckers on a dime, that's how much control you've got. If you drive at the appropriate speeds for the situation at hand. Break before taking a turn and not during. And so forth. In general adhere to common sense while driving fastly - cars control perfectly. Spot-on.

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

#27 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

@seppli said:

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

Huh? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, given that I've been playing games on "modern gamepads" with analogue shoulder buttons for years now.

On the subject of nature hikes, is it not possible to go exploring the wilderness of other open worlds? Skyrim, for all of its bugginess, was interesting to just wander around and explore. The idea of an open world that's beautiful enough to experience on its own is not something unique to GTAV.

As for planes, there's no reason to even try flying a plane until that first mission with Trevor, where you're expected to learn the controls on the fly (no pun intended). I had to attempt that landing an annoying number of times before I finally got it The game actually doesn't do a very good job of explaining things. The tutorial text boxes are so small that I often miss them because I'm already busy fumbling around trying to do what the text is telling me.

And as for the cars, I have not found air control to be particularly useful. In the chase mission when you first play as Trevor, it gives you the option to jump a gap, but I couldn't ever land it. I died on that part alone four times before just electing to forget it and continue the pursuit on the road. While I also had to retry numerous times because I'd spin-out or get stuck and lose the guys I was chasing, or the one time when that juggalo doofus in the back of the truck apparently died after flying in the air and landing back in the bed of the truck hard enough to kill him. (There was no indication of how fragile he is, by the way).

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#29 Posted by DystopiaX (5314 posts) -

I found the driving fine, the difference between GTA driving and other open world game's driving is that you actually can't just go full-speed into turns, you actually need to let off the acceleration/brake. Much improved over IV, after the first mission I didn't really have problems at all.

#30 Posted by Bollard (5598 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I'll spare the details, as this is a story that I've related on Giant Bomb before, but the mission to save Lance from Diaz's goons and get him to the hospital broke me thoroughly to the point that I didn't want to even touch the game anymore.

Psst, get a Helicopter and that mission takes like 4 minutes at most.

#31 Edited by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@seppli said:

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

Huh? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, given that I've been playing games on "modern gamepads" with analogue shoulder buttons for years now.

I think he's referring to how you seem to play a lot of JRPG's, which (as far as I know) have never had a need for analog shoulder buttons.

@seppli How about you take it from someone who really does have plenty of experience with "the analog nature of modern gamepads" when I say that the plane controls are really fucking touchy and finicky? They're not unplayable but they certainly don't do much for a player's finesse. Asking someone to land one of these things with only about five minutes of practice is not good game design. Fortunately for me, I had already gone to the airport and stolen a plane so I was a little more used to flying them, but I hope I am never asked to land one again.

EDIT: Wow, that sounded way more aggressive than I meant it to...

There isn't another game were you can just go on a nature hike and it's going to be awesome. So I thoroughly disagree with your assessment of the worldbuilding.

I've spent tons of time just wandering around Skyrim, not especially doing anything but just enjoying the game's atmosphere and aesthetics.

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#32 Edited by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

I will read this again When i finish the game :P

#33 Edited by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I'll spare the details, as this is a story that I've related on Giant Bomb before, but the mission to save Lance from Diaz's goons and get him to the hospital broke me thoroughly to the point that I didn't want to even touch the game anymore.

Psst, get a Helicopter and that mission takes like 4 minutes at most.

Maybe if I knew where to find a damn helicopter in that game. For as long as I had played, I never saw one I was able to hijack. Seriously, where the hell are the helicopters?

I found the driving fine, the difference between GTA driving and other open world game's driving is that you actually can't just go full-speed into turns, you actually need to let off the acceleration/brake. Much improved over IV, after the first mission I didn't really have problems at all.

Yeah, I figured that out while trying to complete the first street race. Still takes a lot of time to get used to, though.

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#34 Posted by Veektarius (4869 posts) -

All of your statements apply to my feelings about GTA IV (which I played after SR3 and Sleeping Dogs), which is why I'm really really hesitant to go to GTA V no matter how many glowing reviews it gets.

#35 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

@hailinel said:

The game is better when it's humorous without trying for satire. Michael completely at a loss with his idiot son and bratty daughter? That's amusing. But the signage, radio bits, TV programs and so on that define the world? It feels like someone trying way too hard to be funny with all the subtlety of a bulldozer in my bathroom.

This basically sums up my feelings on the game's writing. I haven't gotten to Trevor yet, so I really feel uncomfortable talking about game mechanics (what with me barely having used them) but it's so frustrating the way the writing bounds between legitimately good character work and seriously awful satire.

#36 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@hailinel said:

@seppli said:

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

Huh? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, given that I've been playing games on "modern gamepads" with analogue shoulder buttons for years now.

I think he's referring to how you seem to play a lot of JRPG's, which (as far as I know) have never had a need for analog shoulder buttons.

@seppli How about you take it from someone who really does have plenty of experience with "the analog nature of modern gamepads" when I say that the plane controls are really fucking touchy and finicky? They're not unplayable but they certainly don't do much for a player's finesse. Asking someone to land one of these things with only about five minutes of practice is not good game design. Fortunately for me, I had already gone to the airport and stolen a plane so I was a little more used to flying them, but I hope I am never asked to land one again.

EDIT: Wow, that sounded way more aggressive than I meant it to...

There isn't another game were you can just go on a nature hike and it's going to be awesome. So I thoroughly disagree with your assessment of the worldbuilding.

I've spent tons of time just wandering around Skyrim, not especially doing anything but just enjoying the game's atmosphere and aesthetics.

What I mean is that everyting except choppers controls perfectly fine, at least if one uses the whole range of movement of the analogsticks and triggers, and doesn't default to full tilt, respectively flooring the triggers. Even choppers are fine and fun for the most parts. Actively manipulating the camera is really bad, and it's way too nervous to allow for precision aim with the miniguns of the Scout Chopper.

It's nothing personal, it was just a *Wii U Slam*, because its gamepads don't have analog triggers - and Hailinel is well known for his Nintendo love - so I thought he'd get the joke. I was just poking a little harmless fun at Nintendo.

Don't remember anymore when the planes first popped up. I didn't have all too much problems with 'em to begin with, and by now I'm routinely running guns with Trevor from McKenzie, bombing competitors and dropping cargo with pinpoint accuracy. I'm also actively looking for bridges to fly under of, and controls are pefectly adequate for that too.

Planes control like planes should control. The flight school does a decent enough job at teaching flying planes. If one ever has played anygame with sim-like plane controls, everything is self explanatory really. Very simplified of course, but accurate. Choppers are more limited, and way too finicky for aiming miniguns. I'm quite good at flying them too, though accurate shooting is simply out of the question.

What I meant to say, and I think I'm not alone with that, is that cars and planes allow for very accurate control. And if you can't yourself, don't fault the game. Chopper controls don't accomplish that however, there I'd agree with you.

What GTA V isn't, thankfully, is immediatly playable - or shallow, in other words. I don't think it's asking too much. It's not that hard, if one at all knows how to tame a car at high speeds, or the very basics of sim flight. Doing well is much more rewarding this way.

Worldbuilding-wise, sure, there are other open world games that accomplish interesting worlds to explore, just saying GTA V is amongst the best, if not arguable the best put together open world ever - and I don't see how the satirical flavor of the *virtual culture* on display does anything to harm that accomplishment.

#37 Posted by Bocam (3761 posts) -

Last night I got bored of playing GTAV at the second to last mission (fuck helicopters) and just looked up the ending on Youtube. SR4 on the other hand I had a great time with until the end.

#38 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@hailinel said:

@seppli said:

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

Huh? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, given that I've been playing games on "modern gamepads" with analogue shoulder buttons for years now.

I think he's referring to how you seem to play a lot of JRPG's, which (as far as I know) have never had a need for analog shoulder buttons.

@seppli How about you take it from someone who really does have plenty of experience with "the analog nature of modern gamepads" when I say that the plane controls are really fucking touchy and finicky? They're not unplayable but they certainly don't do much for a player's finesse. Asking someone to land one of these things with only about five minutes of practice is not good game design. Fortunately for me, I had already gone to the airport and stolen a plane so I was a little more used to flying them, but I hope I am never asked to land one again.

EDIT: Wow, that sounded way more aggressive than I meant it to...

There isn't another game were you can just go on a nature hike and it's going to be awesome. So I thoroughly disagree with your assessment of the worldbuilding.

I've spent tons of time just wandering around Skyrim, not especially doing anything but just enjoying the game's atmosphere and aesthetics.

Everything except choppers allow for perfect vehicular control, as long as one uses the whole range of movement of the analogsticks and triggers. Only players who tend to go full tilt on the analogsticks and floor triggers by default do have problems longterm - so don't blame the game, blame yourselves.

It was just a harmless *Wii U Slam*, because its pad only has digital triggers. I just thought Hailinel would get the joke, him being best known for his love of Nintendo products. Just poking some harmless fun at Nintendo.

I don't remember having encountered problems with flying planes in the game. The planes control as they're expected to control. A versimilitude of how real-life planes control. I guess it might be problematic for those who never have played a game with sim'ish plane controls. There's a flight school for that though. Once one aces it, one should be able to tackle anything the game throws at one.

As for the worldbuilding, what I wanted to say is that the satirical nature of GTA V's virtual culture can't really diminish the worldbuilding per se, because most of it has nothing to do with its cultural flavor. Most of it is simulations and a breathtaking range quality assets, and from where I'm sitting, no other game delivers on that end as much as GTA V does.

#39 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

@seppli: Felt like an unnecessary slam against myself that didn't have any of the proper context necessary to get across, honestly. And I can fault the game and controls to an extent, because they aren't perfect. As for world-building, culture is just as important to the concept as the actual physical construction of the world, and it fails. It fails at crafting a culture as believable as the world it inhabits, and that really hampers the game.

Online
#40 Posted by Bollard (5598 posts) -

@hailinel: On top of the police building on the right island near the northernmost bridge, on top of the TV building next to it, and in the (most expensive?) property in the same area, you get a helipad on the roof.

#41 Posted by Krullban (1038 posts) -

@believer258: I had absolutely no problem landing the plane in that mission when it was my first time flying it. I thought it was really easy and I'm honestly surprised people are having so much trouble.

#42 Posted by Hailinel (24966 posts) -

@chavtheworld: So...yeah. Never saw it. I had no reason to believe I could access one for that mission.

Online
#43 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@seppli: Felt like an unnecessary slam against myself that didn't have any of the proper context necessary to get across, honestly. And I can fault the game and controls to an extent, because they aren't perfect. As for world-building, culture is just as important to the concept as the actual physical construction of the world, and it fails. It fails at crafting a culture as believable as the world it inhabits, and that really hampers the game.

Sorry if you took it the wrong way. Wasn't meant to insult you or anything.

I'd say flawed controls don't allow for full control. GTA V's driving and plane controls however do. The peceived flaw is with its sim-flavour, not with its functionality. In their functionality, both car and plane controls are perfectly capable.

Just because it isn't immediately playable, doesn't mean it isn't perfectly playable, once you *get it*. I'd argue choppers are the only thing in GTA V that doesn't allow for perfect control, so those aren't just not immediately playable, they're never quite adequate.

If you don't mind me asking for a clarification, how exactly are GTA V's car and plane controls flawed?

#44 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@seppli: Felt like an unnecessary slam against myself that didn't have any of the proper context necessary to get across, honestly. And I can fault the game and controls to an extent, because they aren't perfect. As for world-building, culture is just as important to the concept as the actual physical construction of the world, and it fails. It fails at crafting a culture as believable as the world it inhabits, and that really hampers the game.

Sorry if you took it the wrong way. Wasn't meant to insult you or anything.

I'd say flawed controls don't allow for full control. The car and plane controls however do. They aren't immediately playable - in other words, they aren't shallow - but once you get it, it's perfectly playable nonetheless.

Care to explain how exactly GTA V's car and plane controls are flawed? Because as far as I can tell you dislike the sim'ish flavour, and can't actually point out a real flaw. The controls are definitely not functionally broken in any way, I can assure you that. Planes and cars are perfectly controllable by the right pair of hands.

#45 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

You're crazy Hailinel. Crazy for fruit loops! But seriously, when the chips fall, this is the best GTA of all time, hands down, no question. As for open world games? Well, that's open for discussion. But for me, it's up there.

#46 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@seppli said:

@believer258 said:

@hailinel said:

@seppli said:

Of course you will have to have mastered the analog nature of modern gamepads. I know that's hard when you're used to digital triggers *snickers*. No offense intended.

Huh? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take that, given that I've been playing games on "modern gamepads" with analogue shoulder buttons for years now.

I think he's referring to how you seem to play a lot of JRPG's, which (as far as I know) have never had a need for analog shoulder buttons.

@seppli How about you take it from someone who really does have plenty of experience with "the analog nature of modern gamepads" when I say that the plane controls are really fucking touchy and finicky? They're not unplayable but they certainly don't do much for a player's finesse. Asking someone to land one of these things with only about five minutes of practice is not good game design. Fortunately for me, I had already gone to the airport and stolen a plane so I was a little more used to flying them, but I hope I am never asked to land one again.

EDIT: Wow, that sounded way more aggressive than I meant it to...

There isn't another game were you can just go on a nature hike and it's going to be awesome. So I thoroughly disagree with your assessment of the worldbuilding.

I've spent tons of time just wandering around Skyrim, not especially doing anything but just enjoying the game's atmosphere and aesthetics.

What I mean is that everyting except choppers controls perfectly fine, at least if one uses the whole range of movement of the analogsticks and triggers, and doesn't default to full tilt, respectively flooring the triggers. Even choppers are fine and fun for the most parts. Actively manipulating the camera is really bad, and it's way too nervous to allow for precision aim with the miniguns of the Scout Chopper.

It's nothing personal, it was just a *Wii U Slam*, because its gamepads don't have analog triggers - and Hailinel is well known for his Nintendo love - so I thought he'd get the joke. I was just poking a little harmless fun at Nintendo.

Don't remember anymore when the planes first popped up. I didn't have all too much problems with 'em to begin with, and by now I'm routinely running guns with Trevor from McKenzie, bombing competitors and dropping cargo with pinpoint accuracy. I'm also actively looking for bridges to fly under of, and controls are pefectly adequate for that too.

Planes control like planes should control. The flight school does a decent enough job at teaching flying planes. If one ever has played anygame with sim-like plane controls, everything is self explanatory really. Very simplified of course, but accurate. Choppers are more limited, and way too finicky for aiming miniguns. I'm quite good at flying them too, though accurate shooting is simply out of the question.

What I meant to say, and I think I'm not alone with that, is that cars and planes allow for very accurate control. And if you can't yourself, don't fault the game. Chopper controls don't accomplish that however, there I'd agree with you.

@krullban said:

@believer258: I had absolutely no problem landing the plane in that mission when it was my first time flying it. I thought it was really easy and I'm honestly surprised people are having so much trouble.

Are you guys playing on 360? Hailinel and myself are playing the PS3 version. I also landed it the first time, but I felt like it was luck, not skill, that got me through that. The controls are insanely touchy on the PS3 version. I just flick the analog stick, not even all the way, and the plane turns like 45 degrees or so.

What GTA V isn't, thankfully, is immediatly playable - or shallow, in other words. I don't think it's asking too much. It's not that hard, if one at all knows how to tame a car at high speeds, or the very basics of sim flight. Doing well is much more rewarding this way.

I disagree that "immediately playable" automatically means "shallow" or "skill-less". A game's controls should never feel like they are against you, they should flow with the player as much as possible. GTA V is mostly good in this regard but it's far from perfect; the controls here are good enough for exploring the world and doing dumb shit but they're far from feeling as good as Sleeping Dogs or even Saints Row the Third did. Cars feel fine in GTA V, but planes are just a chore to do anything more than point yourself in a general direction with.

I'd also like to note that this game has an RPG-lite progression system, so cars (supposedly) control better the more you use them. I'd imagine that planes and helicopters are the same. This sounds like a really bad idea in an action game, but whatever. They're good enough from the start and I enjoy this game's world, story, writing, and crazy shenanigans too much to keep bitching about the serviceable but not quite there controls.

Online
#47 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@believer258:

GTA V has a line, and it let's the player push past that line. To be beyond that line, means to venture beyond control. So to be in perfect control, means to tame the beast - and to tame the beast, you have to know it. To excell, you have to straddle the line. Thusly GTA V is less immediately playable, but infinitely more empowering and rewarding.

Why? Because games like Saint's Row The Third (I actually played this one) don't have a line. Floor the trigger, stay in control. Yank the stick, stay in control. It doesn't let you push beyond control. In The Danger Zone is where it's the most fun for me. GTA V has a decent sized dangerzone. Not as brazen and ballsy as Vanilla GTA IV, but big enough for balls to drop some anyways.

Controlling GTA V's vehicles is akin to riding a Bucking Bronco. Saint's Row and the likes are neutered tame-ass geldings in comparison, with vehicles with their balls cut-off. If you can't tell what's more exciting, I can't help you. And again, just because you can't control it doesn't mean others can't.

I think playability for everything but choppers is high enough to reasonably expect anyone to be able to control them perfectly with some training. Chopper controls aren't completely adequate, to be honest. Aiming miniguns with anything resembling willfull control and reliable accuracy is beyond me at least.

I am playing on PS3. You might have accidentally activated motion controls for planes and choppers and motorcycles, which fucks up controls royally. I suffered from that fate early on. I still managed to get everything done, wrangling them sons of bitches into submission.

#48 Posted by Krullban (1038 posts) -
#49 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@seppli said:

@believer258:

GTA V has a line, and it let's the player push past that line. To be beyond that line, means to venture beyond control. So to be in perfect control, means to tame the beast - and to tame the beast, you have to know it. To excell, you have to straddle the line. Thusly GTA V is less immediately playable, but infinitely more empowering and rewarding.

Why? Because games like Saint's Row The Third (I actually played this one) don't have a line. Floor the trigger, stay in control. Jank the stick, stay in control. It doesn't let you push beyond control. In The Danger Zone is where it's the most fun for me. GTA V has a decent sized dangerzone. Not as brazen and ballsy as Vanilla GTA IV, but big enough for balls to drop some anyways.

Controlling GTA V's vehicles is akin to riding a Bucking Bronco. Saint's Row and the likes are neutered tame-ass geldings in comparison, with vehicles with their balls cut-off. If you can't tell what's more exciting, I can't help you. And again, just because you can't control it doesn't mean others can't.

I think playability for everything but choppers is high enough to reasonably expect anyone to be able to control them perfectly with some training. Chopper controls aren't completely adequate, to be honest. Aiming miniguns with anything resembling willfull control and reliable accuracy is beyond me at least.

I am playing on PS3. You might have accidentally activated motion controls for planes and choppers and motorcycles, which fucks up controls royally. I suffered from that fate early on. I still managed to get everything done, wrangling them sons of bitches into submission.

For most of your response: What!?

For the last paragraph: I didn't know there were motion controls in this game, so that my indeed be my problem.

Online
#50 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@seppli said:

@believer258:

GTA V has a line, and it let's the player push past that line. To be beyond that line, means to venture beyond control. So to be in perfect control, means to tame the beast - and to tame the beast, you have to know it. To excell, you have to straddle the line. Thusly GTA V is less immediately playable, but infinitely more empowering and rewarding.

Why? Because games like Saint's Row The Third (I actually played this one) don't have a line. Floor the trigger, stay in control. Yank the stick, stay in control. It doesn't let you push beyond control. In The Danger Zone is where it's the most fun for me. GTA V has a decent sized dangerzone. Not as brazen and ballsy as Vanilla GTA IV, but big enough for balls to drop some anyways.

Controlling GTA V's vehicles is akin to riding a Bucking Bronco. Saint's Row and the likes are neutered tame-ass geldings in comparison, with vehicles with their balls cut-off. If you can't tell what's more exciting, I can't help you. And again, just because you can't control it doesn't mean others can't.

I think playability for everything but choppers is high enough to reasonably expect anyone to be able to control them perfectly with some training. Chopper controls aren't completely adequate, to be honest. Aiming miniguns with anything resembling willfull control and reliable accuracy is beyond me at least.

I am playing on PS3. You might have accidentally activated motion controls for planes and choppers and motorcycles, which fucks up controls royally. I suffered from that fate early on. I still managed to get everything done, wrangling them sons of bitches into submission.

For most of your response: What!?

For the last paragraph: I didn't know there were motion controls in this game, so that my indeed be my problem.

What's not to understand? GTA games have *Danger Zone*. Some can deal with it, some can't. You seem to be the latter type. I guess it's Saint's Row for you.

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