I have some criticisms for Grand Theft Auto V.

Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

So, GTAV ya'll!

Now I had initially wanted to post this mudda days before, but... well, to be frank I am one shamefully lazy individual, and... that's all that really need be said. But I done did it, I finished it, I was able to translate my thoughts into words with just barely serviceable results. And now, I can finally share with the world my reasons for why I think GTAV is a sack of flaming turds.

...No, no, I actually really enjoyed my time with GTAV, and it's currently still my No.3 on my top ten of the years list. But, sometimes you have to lay on a little abuse to the things you love, just to show how much you truly love it. Right? That makes sense? Well, whatever, point is I'm criticising this son'bitch, because for as much as I enjoyed it, there was an awful lot of nagging going on in the back of my mind. Oh, why isn't this better, or why isn't this in here anymore, and so on. This is a long one, though, so... nobodies going to read it for one thing, but for the hypothetical readers, I must reiterate that I mostly enjoyed this game. But my oh my is there still a lot on my mind that I just have to share.

*Also, spoilers ahead!*

So, tough love initialising in 3... 2 ...

The lack of interactivity within the world.

This is the first thing that really dug into me as the game went on. Considering how GTA is slowly morphing into an ultra violent edition of The Sims, with the appeal of living life within their constructed worlds to be almost as appealing as the story/gameplay, I was disappointed with just how little there is to actually interact with. Watching the pedestrians go about their daily lives is still really interesting at least, and poking around to see how they'll react is one of many parts of what makes GTAV so impressive. I just wish there was more to it, though.

Y'know, thinking back, I'm pretty sure the prologue mission is the only mission in the game where you actually carry a duffel bag.

I wish I could actually just sit down on a bench, or give money to a homeless person as I'm walking by. There are dozens of shop displays you can physics with, but nothing you can actually buy. I'd love if they allowed you to customise the characters' home furnishings to some small degree, by buying a lot of useless junk you can dot around. There's a whole theme park as well, yet only two rides that you actually go on. I mean, it's still an improvement over GTAIV, with a theme park that was doomed to an eternity of nothingness, but even so. If you're going to allow me to ride a ferris wheel, let me also play whack-a-mole, or use a UFO catcher. Let me buy cotton candy as an alternative to a can of Sprunk to heal myself!

Each time I would uncover a little town in the wilderness of Blaine County, I should be excited to explore and see what stuff I can do in there. However, what it usually results in is the same selection of vehicle, gun, and clothing stores, only with a different set of surroundings.

There's an awful lot of buildings that you can't enter, either. Which even includes the burgershots and diners, despite being accessible even in GTAIV before it. And it's quite frankly pretty ridiculous that even the buildings you can eventually own are also just big blocks with textures. Of course, this could purely be a technical limitation... but it's something that would have gone a long way in helping Los Santos feel all the more alive.

Where ma side stuff at??

OK, so this is definitely down to, in-part, being spoiled by San Andreas. It's surprised how with each subsequent release of an open-world crime game, it only tends to make San Andreas seem all that impressive. I mean that thing is fucking packed. The world is obviously significantly smaller when put up against its contemporaries--which is also undoubtedly apart of what makes San Andreas appear ready to burst--but still, when you begin to list down the sheer variety of activities, it starts to look pretty fitting of the name Elder Scrolls: San Andreas more so than Grand Theft Auto.

BTW I FUCKING LOVE GTAV'S DRIVING... Just to balance this out a little.

What was especially jarring, though, was how all that stuff was all on the plate of one guy. GTAV with its generally superb three-character structure felt like the perfect opportunity to start stretching out the activity list and begin reintroducing the sorta stuff that naturally wouldn't have fit someone like Niko, or even CJ for that matter. Unfortunately, Trevor is the only one who has any notably characteristic activities; both Michael and Franklin have barely anything for them as unique characters to partake in. Michael in particular is also strangely devoid in the way of the Strangers & Freaks missions at that.

In any case, I was hoping that Franklin would allow for more of the rudimentary, more gangsta-inspired sorta stuff. Like getting involved in gang wars with Lamar, or playing Vigilante in a cop car ect. Michael could... I dunno, partake in some small bank missions on the side?

Once they start opening up the opportunity to buy properties, I was then expecting a whole set of unique missions ala Vice City and San Andreas. And while Franklin does at least have the occasional special taxi fare, and Trevor has his weapons smuggling, a lot of them of course are just a bunch of boring ''collect this truck'' or ''defend the building'' or whatever. There's no business management, nor (as far as I can tell) do you improve the business by completing the generic missions so you can get higher weekly payments or other possible benefits for example.

Now of course don't take this as me saying that GTAV is devoid of extra-curricular activities to get involved with, but again given the three character structure, I was expecting a little more in store to find within the world. There's not even any gambling, and while sure there's the stock market, it doesn't compare to the hours I enjoyed playing Texas Hold 'Em and Blackjack in RDR. Oh, and Flying School but no Driving/Boating to round it out? There's certainly enough races to undergo, even if they're all also incredibly easy...

In any case, coupling what I consider to be an... unsatisfactory amount of side junk with the general lack of interaction with the world, and it leaves Los Santos looking weirdly empty once the story's done and dusted.

Where's ma pool at??

This is the first GTA in a while to not feature any classic game-within-a-game; even GTAIV had Qub3d!

I'm sure I'm likely in the minority here, but I really enjoyed the whole friends/dating feature in GTAIV. Now I must also add that I found it to be just as annoying whenever Roman would call you up for bowling bladdy lol ect. blah. But, the actual feature itself I thought was really neat, and it was a natural way for you to dig into some of the minigames while also learning more about the game's supporting cast.

While GTAV still gives you the option to hang out with your folks... there's fuck all to do with them! OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration to be fair, but what they have on offer this time isn't nearly as appealing. Rounding up the list of stuff on offer, I believe there's:

  • Going to the cinema -- all the 'movies' are fucking awful, and borderline exhausting, to sit through. Plus for the longest time there's only the one available to watch.
  • Golf -- Pretty fun.
  • Darts -- just as easy and boring as it was in GTAIV.
  • Getting drunk -- Bloody laaaame! Not only do you sober up so damn quickly, but the animations don't fall apart nearly as much as they did in GTAIV or RDR. In fact all the characters can hold their liquor pretty well apparently, considering how easy they find it to stay on their feet. The fun of getting drunk in GTAIV was watching everybody trip over each other, and there's zero of that sort of potential nonsense to be had in GTAV. The conversations are still pretty funny, as is the fact that you can potentially get the cops on your tail when 'drunk driving', even though you can drive as recklessly as you want when sober without fuss... so long as you don't run someone over.
  • Strip club -- hehuhehuhehuhehuhehu... Nah, in all honesty it's quite frankly rather boring.
  • Tennis -- Kinda crappy.

That's all I can recall as of now, and with certain characters like Jimmy, all you can basically do is play darts. It admittedly mostly comes down to the omission of pool, which was one of my favourite past times in GTAIV. Hell, what's even worse is that they still actually put in a pool table in that very same bar where you play darts! It's like Rockstar are actively taunting me, the rat bastards... I do think it's awesome how you can have all three main characters hang together and go cause havoc, though.

Also, why can't I hang out with Wade??? D=

Where's the point of Franklin at???

Franklin just... never felt like he truly fit in the grand scheme of things with GTAV. This was very clearly a game written around the uneasy relationship between Michael and Trevor, and Franklin as a result sometimes tends to come across as a third wheel, like he's just there; a thug who just so happens to share a friendship with Michael. This is most notably because he has the most uneventful singular stories going on in his own missions, and his relationship with Lamar in particular just tends to go in circles. They constantly keep bickering about how Lamar's an idiot, and how Franklin is abandoning his old lifestyle behind for his selfish ambitions, and... well, that's kinda it.

He's at least voiced just as well as the other two characters, but there was nothing especially distinctive about him. Despite being playable, he oddly enough felt like a supporting character more so than someone who's supposed to be on equal footing as Michael and Trevor.

Such wasted potential...

And then there's Chop, who appears in I think one mission and then... well, that's him outta the way I guess! God, and I was so excited was you saw him sitting in the car alongside Franklin! I envisioned that he could help you out in combat, or at least would have a series of activities to play with him. But no, all you have is a tennis ball to play fetch with, and that's it. You can of course teach him tricks or whatever with a bloody iphone ap at least, but I unfortunately lack such a privilege.

One particularly awesome feature I thought up was how they treated the dog in Fable 2; specifically taking Chop with you and using him to find buried treasure or whatever around the map. Like, he'd start barking once you're near a new stash; fit it in as (yet another) collectable set! The least they could have done is allow him to tag along should you ever decide to hang out with Lamar. In fact isn't Chop supposed to be Lamar's dog in the first place??

Where's ma... The story.

/sigh... The story. I mean, what is it? I guess this time around it's much more focused on characters--even more so than usual--than an overarching narrative. Michael and Trevor's relationship in particular is what is supposed to steer this thing along. And in fact, the way they introduce both Michael & (especially) Trevor each are both perhaps some of my favourite story moments. But there are stretches in this game where... it feels like there's just no momentum, no reason to even keep going.

Part of it definitely comes down to no imposing antagonists. I guess the FIB guy comes close, but I was never... intimidated by him or feared for my character's safety, unlike when I had Tenpenny on my case in San Andreas, or Dimitri in GTAIV. The crew's quest for the almighty dollar works well enough, but there's also the annoying string of them all working for a bunch of people in the midst of it, and yet getting nothing out of it. The worst was that guy Devin; stealing all those cars, which I recall where pretty fun missions, only for him to leave you with nothing, and Franklin once again complaining about not getting paid and then doing nothing about it. Michael's family dynamic was also a lot of fun as well, only for them to disappear from the game for 2/3rd's of the whole thing.

...Pretty much.

The ending is also terribly anti-climatic and feels forced. Like, we've just done the Big One, oh but now everybody just suddenly starts getting antsy with one another because now we're also going to force Franklin to choose between killing Michael & Trevor, I guess. The way they present your choice just feels lazy and hackneyed... I mean the guy just shows up on your doorstep and then, welp, decision time!

So, naturally i went with Option C, because why wouldn't you? And then the mission plays out where you defend against the onslaught of Merryweather and co, which is a lot of riotous fun as I'm RPG'ing a PMC to death. But then, hey, how about we just brush away all those other antagonists that outright disappeared from the story in one fell swoop?

...Really? Considering the power and reach behind some of these folks, it not only feels pretty ridiculous regarding the ease it takes to off these guys, but the fact that there's no consequence for any of it is just... lame. Of course, the story had already gone on for long enough I suppose and they needed to wrap this thing up. But still, despite what is supposed to be the Happiest Ending Of All Time Yaaaaay, it ironically enough left me feeling a little down. Deflated, you could say. Like... that's it?

Miscellaneous stuff

Car Customisation

It's pretty undeveloped; even San Andreas allowed you more options at hand, and there's not even NOS. It's certainly an improvement from GTAIV, given that you couldn't even choose the colour of your damn vehicle, but again... San Andreas, ya'll! That happened, that exists!

Clothing

Why can't I create my own custom outfits?? Considering how often the trio love to slip into something different, why in the Hell can't I set aside and save my own personally pieced together outfits?? Seriously, Rockstar.... seriously.

Collectables

There's close to zero reward for actually collecting 'em! That, and there's still not even any sort of in-game assistance to locate them. I had actually decided to buckle up and collect the 50 letter scraps, but that involved me constantly darting between the computer in my living room, back into my bedroom over and over, and my reward? Fuck all. A mission involving a character that you've never met, with zero payoff besides your chance to kill him. I mean for fuck's sake, Rockstar. It's 2013!

Police

There's no feasible way to victory by instead going on the offensive. Which is extra weird because Rockstar themselves implemented such a system in their DS debut with Chinatown Wars. I believe it involved you having to destroy so many cop cars and they'd eventually halt their advance; Sleeping Dogs also featured a similar system in play as well. Now while I do enjoy car chases involving the police, being able to actually fight back is something I've longed wished for in this sort of game. They wouldn't even have to disappear completely, either. So long as they could at least give you some time to breath, for them to stop their never-ending onslaught for a few minutes would be enough.

It would help give the police encounters a little more variety, and could allow you to at least consider fighting back instead of just staying on the lam. Otherwise, what's the point in fighting back at all? You're so fragile to begin, so knowing that it's just never going to end... it can make your last stand feel ultimately pointless, and knowing in the back of your mind that you could potentially push these bastards back would probably make it a lot more exciting.

Skills

The're borderline useless. So, hey, leveling up shit. Feels good, don't it? It certainly did in San Andreas! (echo echo echo...) It was one such feature that helped give the impression that CJ was truly (and even literally) growing as the story went along. Pretty much everything you did in that game had a skill attached, and each time you leveled it up, it had a noticeable effect. Some were minor, like car handling tightening up some, but others were more noticeable, such as now being able to dual-wield sawn-off shottys, or finally being able to move & shoot!...

Of course, they couldn't quite imitate how it was in San Andreas, because by the time CJ was at his max, a lot of his skills are what we consider the norm now. But nonetheless, that's no reason why they couldn't have implemented more skills, or at least give the base ones more immediate effects. Such as allowing you to throw people (realistically speaking; not Saints Row Olympics level) once your strength stat was high enough, or giving you the capability to take hostages once your shooting skill increased, and so on. In GTAV, they don't really have any truly noticeable effect, and most will have likely maxed out without you even realising it; they're pretty much the definition of superfluousness.

On their own, they at least help further distinguish the three characters, but if anything I probably would have preferred that they stayed at their current level. That way each character can forever feel like their own character, instead of all three eventually being a masterclass in shooting, driving, running, and being able to hold their breath long enough to swim to Atlantis and back.

Vehicle Management

OK, so... Rockstar at least learned of the error of their ways from GTAIV and brought back garages -- big ole thumbs up from moi. And yet, I'm often still so reluctant to take my own personal cars out for a spin from fear -- fear that I'll potentially lose it, including any money I may have invested in functional upgrades. They at least have the impount lot, so vehicles you've simply left elsewhere will (usually) show up in there, but why don't I have a personal somebody to bring me my car? Why can't give my cars insurance so I can use them as sticky-bomb'd rockets with no anxiety over losing it? Why would they implement these features in the Online yet omit from single player? Why Rockstar, why?! Oh why oh why oh why oh why oh w-

The outer-world Radio/Internet/TV Humour

It's bad. Like, really bad. There are barely even any jokes, just a lot of 'shock' humour that's meant to leave you roaring by how completely edgy and crude it is, maaaaaan. God, that America's Got Talent parody thing is quite possibly the worst of it all. It's all just so, so bad, and Rockstar should downright be ashamed of themselves for featuring such lazy, dumb, and utterly pathetic attempts at 'satire' within their game; even by GTA standards, this stuff is just... it's so bad.

The most frustrating thing about this is they can very clearly do a helluva lot better. A lot of the character interactions in the story are often really, really funny! Everything to do with Trevor in particular is fucking great! Frankly the Housers brothers need to lock up whomever writes that putrid garbage--preferably with their own material for extra punishment--and either hire someone else, or write it themselves. Because surely they're not the ones who also write everything around the side, right? Right?

Surely not... ?!

In Conclusion

Also there was only like one zombie like what the like fuck like

In a certain type of world, GTA V would go on to be a genuinely innovative open-world title, with Rockstar still at the top of their game with nobody who can even begin to match their brilliance. However, this is not that world; this is a world where Saints Row exists, where Sleeping Dogs exist, hell where even Mafia exists for that matter. And I'm not bringing them up to compare them all directly, I'm just pointing out that other games exist, and guess what? They actually pull off a thing or two better than GTAV! Saints Row has clothing & vehicle customisation nailed to the ground; Sleeping Dogs actually has collectables that are worth collecting; and if Rockstar would actually lay down the hubris for a few minutes and observe what else is happening in the industry, then they could start learning a thing or two from other developers. Nothing major, just.... why can't I create & save my own custom outfits GAWD. Of course, it's probably going to be tough to see anything over the giant fort made out of money they're living in.

Now this is once again the moment where I'm scheduled to reiterate that I still primarily enjoyed my time with GTAV. The driving is superb, there's a lot of truly memorables missions throughout the story (fireman heist mission; Blaine County bank robbery; chasing Molly through the airport), and the visual detail of the world is second to none. It's just that, like a lot of people, I happen to really like me some GTA, and I thusly hold this series to a particular standard. GTAIV was a little more forgiving because it branched off into a completely different direction, and I personally loved the story, so that made the removal of everything that we once associated with GTA much easier to swallow. GTAV on the other hand was very clearly attempting to bring things back to what they once where, to how GTA is more usually portrayed: a big, dumb power fantasy with oodles of shit to do. And it certainly nailed it to a certain extent, but... San Andreas, you guys.

While it's usually not the case and is often a blanket statement from people who are afraid of teh channnnnnge, this time I genuinely believe that more could have been done with GTAV had it not been for the resources & time spent with GTA Online. And although GTA Online is... oookaaaaay? I would have gladly exchanged all of that for more of what I remember loving so damn much back in ye olden days of your Vice Cities and San Andreaseseseseses. And on that note, whoo boy do I have a thing or two to rattle on about regarding GTA Online.

TL;DR

GTAV is the worsest game eva and i hate its stupid poopy pants!!!!!!

#1 Posted by Baillie (3955 posts) -

San Andreas didn't have that much.

#2 Posted by TheSilentGod (133 posts) -

GTA V is my favourite game in the series but I completely agree with a lot of what you say here. The story conclusion in particular left me wanting a lot more and I could not help but be disappointed after the perfect way Red Dead Redemption finished and even the superior ending of IV. I really like GTA V and it will certainly be in my top ten of the year, and Trevor is one of my favourite characters in games now, but man it has a helluva lot of faults.

#4 Posted by SharkEthic (945 posts) -

YOU ARE THE ON THAT IS POOPY PANTS!! GTA V IS 10 OUT OF 10!!1! SHUT YOU STUPID FACE!!!!!

Also, I agree with pretty much all of this.

#5 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

Enjoyed reading and agree with most of it. I liked the "C" ending. But the inability to play pool kind of pissed me off. I remember in San Andreas walking CJ up Grove St. to play a little pool. I would take Niko out to the local bar to play some pool too. Another thing that got me about GTA V is that there's a casino but that's it. It's just there. How about that dirt track, the fuck is that. I would love to gamble on some ponies or dogs or something. They even have an outdoor amphitheater, but again, it just sits there unused. I'm a golf fan and have enjoyed playing it in GTA V. But it's only nine holes. You have all that countryside to place an 18 hole course, but no go.

I wonder what DLC Rockstar has in store. It'll probably be like the GTA IV episodes, but hopefully they'll use some of the world they created as more than a static back drop. Overall, still loved the game. But I'm just another in a long line of poopy pants.

#6 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

Agreed about the interactive stuff. I like to go on on-foot adventures, because there's a lot of weird details to appreciate... but there's so rarely anything to interact with.

I also wanted the ability to go into every building. At a certain point it's like the Sims with the sociopathic options plainly available.

In the online and even in single player I fine myself more attracted to causing mischief than mayhem. Instead of shooting a guy, I want to wait until he walks away from his car to hold up a store... and then pop all his tires and drive away before he comes back to his car. That's emergent gameplay.

#7 Posted by Humanity (7965 posts) -

I think a lot of people heard someone say Franklin was a third wheel and now simply repeat it as truth and fact. Franklin felt just as integral to the story for me as any of the remaining protagonists. They all have their own lives that keep on going outside of the mutual interactions with one another that more often than not are business related. Michael can be most easily identified with as he has a family and wants out of the game. Although the de Santa's are dysfunctional in their own unique and adorable ways, they still give off the illusion of a normal life that is threatened by outside forces - something a normal human being can more easily grasp than intricate hood politics. Franklin is the catalyst and the buffer, he brings the crew together and then later deals with his own issues, much like they all do. Is his evolution perfect? No, but it is still lightyears ahead of anything we saw in the CJ story arch from San Andreas.

Rockstar seems really in love with the idea of "getting out" or "the one last job" but they often seem to get lost when that job finally happens. My major complaint would be that Franklin doesn't really ever get out. Only Michael has any sort of satisfying conclusion to his story, having defended and somewhat mended his home life. Trevor's story is completely reliant on Michael's and once that link stops being relevant, there's no story left. To say that the story is only really about Michael and Trevor with Franklin being a completely forgettable addition halfway throughout the plot would be pretty shortsighted.

One way to look at it is that Michael and Trevor are two sides of the same coin, and possible futures for the up and coming Franklin. Their stories had concluded before the game even started and we only see the aftermath of all their life decisions. Franklin still has choices to make, the game simply doesn't stick around long enough for us to see where they will lead him.

#8 Posted by Demoskinos (13876 posts) -

- Well, the point of Franklin was that he was sort of Mikes protege or son he always wanted sort of role. To Franklin Mike was a way out of the hood. I thought his role was sort of obvious personally.

- Were sort of at odds on the story here because I really really enjoyed pretty much every moment of it. So dunno what to tell you.

- As for the cops I really enjoyed the cops and I think it would be silly if there was a system that encouraged you to go on the offensive with them. The thrill with the cops is the running away.

- I think people getting upset by the collectibles and rewards from them is endlessly hilarious to me because that is exactly the point Rockstar is trying to make here. Collectibles are useless and you're a mindless sheep for bothering to collect all of them. At least that is the commentary I took away from all of that.

- I think you're grossly overestimating the interactivity in past GTA's in the world and grossly underestimating GTA V's potential for emergent moments to happen.

- While its very assuredly pulling from the same avenues its always pulled from I never really found any of the comedy agonizing I just sort of ignored it I guess? I really didn't care either way it was just a thing that was there. At this point though they've built up this world around all of the Brand Names and Locations and people in this style that they would have to entirely do a tonal shift again with the next game to leave all that baggage behind. Also, its sort of... I dunno nostalgic in a way? A reminder of GTA's past a reminder that yeah, this is still a GTA game. I sort of hated the shit out of GTA IV because I felt that game DID take itself way to seriously. GTA V tonally fit what I think GTA should be. Its not nearly as wacky as Saints Row but there is enough of a streak of comedy running through it that it keeps all the horrible shit your doing from being entirely disturbing.

#9 Edited by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

@yummylee:

The humor in this game is some of the worst writing I've experienced in a while. The writing in general, matched with the many scenarios that fall apart unless you do exactly what the game wants you to do, is why this game isn't in my personal top 10. I was really disappointed by this game.

#10 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2812 posts) -

I disagree, generally, with all the qualitative statements herein. But good read, thanks.

Good, not great: 8.3

#11 Edited by Pr1mus (3520 posts) -

Ok!

The lack of interactivity within the world:

Agreed!

Where's ma side stuff at??

Disagree!

I think GTA V just about matches San Andreas in this regard but for that you have to consider the multiplayer however. A lot of the simpler activities that are in no way story or character related in the previous games got relegated to the multiplayer because they were just that, simple and not story or character dependent. They were padding, the kind of stuff you come upon and it's cool to partake in for a few hours just for variety's sake and a lot of that fits perfectly within the confines of the multiplayer. Gang attack, impromptu races, parachuting, etc. And that's not to say that the single player doesn't have a lot of stuff to do either. Just like previous games, they removed some thing and introduced new ones. It's spread across 2 modes sure but it's still there. It's certainly less dense considering how much larger the world is but strictly speaking it doesn't seem like there's less to do in total.

Where's ma pool at??

Look, i too would have liked a pool game but let's be honest here, pool in San Andreas and GTA IV is complete garbage. By comparison, golf and tennis are pretty solid for mini-games within a completely different game and it would have been pretty awesome if they gave the same treatment to the pool mini-game and elevate it to the same level of quality but in the meantime i'd much rather they leave it out entirely rather than having that broken piece of crap they had before. This sort of goes with the previous section. They improved some things, replaced others and left out a couple activities entirely.

Where's the point of Franklin at???

Franklin is the player surrogate. In my opinion he's also the only one who has a real arch. More on that in the next section.

I liked Franklin a lot, he has one goal, getting out of that petty hood bullshit and works towards that goal and eventually makes it. He's also the most dependable dude this series ever had you play and for all he does for his family and friends and receives essentially zero recognition and still keeps doing it made me like him even more.

As for Chop, though i haven't tried, i read on the internet (so it's probably a lie) that he can do basically everything you said would be cool, like attacking enemies and sniffing out collectibles if you take him around with you.

Where's ma... The story.

So i said to me Franklin was the only one with a real character arch and i say this because Michael and Trevor basically start and end the story in the same place, they both come around full circle and continue their life as if nothing had happened. Of course along the way Michael realise how is fucked up family is best like it is and made it in the movies and all that but there's isn't much of a change for either character in the end.

I liked the story enough to finish it in a week, and then beat it again compared to the 3 years it took me to finally sit down and force myself through the GTA IV story. Never again for both but yeah, V is still way more interesting and entertaining. The only real problem i have with the story is the order of certain missions.

Specifically the Solomon missions. At the point where the story is accelerating towards its conclusion they throw all these movie studio missions at you to sort of build up some antagonistic relationship between Michael and Devin because i guess they forgot about that? I mean these exact same missions could have happened earlier in the story, build up that Devin threat against Michael, maybe use this as part of the reasons Michael has to leave town for a while and then come back later with a vengeance. This would have preserved the pacing of the story a bit better towards the end.

For the ending specifically, i thought Option C was the obvious choice and that anyone who had played a game or watched a movie before would have figured out that it in fact did not meant loosing Franklin but apparently a lot of angry people didn't get that so i guess they handled that poorly but whatever. I think it's fine.

Miscellaneous stuff.

Car customization: Yes.

Clothing: Totally.

Collectibles: Absolutely.

Police: I like this system best compared to anything in the previous games. I just wished it didn't take this long to loose the wanted level. And like Jeff suggested, for 1 or 2 stars just switching cars without no one seeing you should be it.

Skills: I think you are playing down a bit much the impact the skills have in this game and how much better they were in SA. The progression is slower and more subtle but the difference between 20% and 100% in everything is huge.

Vehicle management: Spot on.

TV/Internet/Humour: It didn't work very well this time around. In fact i'd say it didn't work at all.

In conclusion.

See TL;DR

TL;DR

I agree on most of it, disagree on some of it and liked the game a bit better than you i guess?

Maybe i should have written my own blog... that was long!

#12 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

GTAV is better than GTAIV and that's good enough for me.

Online
#13 Posted by JacDG (2112 posts) -

I agree with a lot of this stuff, overall I really liked the game, but the overall storyline was just super uninteresting to me, which is a shame because the three main characters were pretty good.

#14 Posted by FilipHolm (663 posts) -

I disagree with you

#15 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9765 posts) -

You make a lot of good points.

I disagree.

Actually, I didn't really read most of it.

#16 Edited by Milkman (16228 posts) -

I completely agree with you on all the story stuff but I think my opinion differs a bit when it comes to some of the stuff you said about the world and side missions.

  • I was never really bothered by the lack of interactivity within the world. Expecting to be able to enter every building is obviously unrealistic (especially on current gen consoles) and I found myself incredibly impressed with the whole world. Even if the detail is only at surface level, the illusion worked for me. In fact, the world was probably the one thing that kept me really engaged in GTA V since the story and characters were all super uninteresting to me.
  • I didn't really care about the lack of side stuff or activities. The Strangers & Freaks were more than enough content apart from the main story for me and I never really felt like I wanted something more to do until I finished the game. And as for the activities like pool and stuff, I thought all of those were pretty lame and ignored them completely so having more of those doesn't really interest me.
Online
#17 Posted by wjb (1553 posts) -

I agree with people when they say Franklin has an arch and acts like a surrogate to the player, but I felt like he was still second fiddle (ha, I didn't say third wheel!) to the other characters. Sure, I get the whole "protege" aspect, but to me, some of his storylines were underutilized or completely forgotten.

Maybe I missed something or did not complete everything I could, but his aunt scolds him through e-mail once he moves to Vinewood -- kind of, "good riddance," I guess? -- but later in the game Franklin meets Trevor and Lamar at his aunt's house? Like he still lives there? Did I miss something? Franklin and his aunt don't really acknowledge each other since she's going on one of her walks with her friends, but I figured there would've been something since he hasn't seen her for most of the game. It's fine if the aunt was never seen again, but she's kind of the only family he has left, right?

I wish Tanisha was more developed or completely scrapped altogether. All she was good for was a late-game pep talk about "don't forget about the streetz and remember your friend, Lamar!" like Sweet did to CJ in San Andreas. Franklin still had pictures of her all around his house, like he crybates to her every night. C'mon, Franklin!

I wish Lamar was used more too. I understand Franklin wanting to get away from the neighborhood, but eh... Lamar literally walked in as Franklin was finishing a heist, like he's stalking or something. I felt like there could have been a better way to reintroduce the character to the story than "Oh, I was walking through the neighborhood and oh, Franklin, I didn't see you there, buddy! Anyway, since I'm here, why don't I steal cars too?"

But the most important question of all: Why was Michael lying down in the backseat of his son's car in the garage?! I'm thinking too much...

#18 Posted by Slag (3349 posts) -

Gotta say I think you made a lot of great points about what GTA is lacking these days, @yummylee.

It feels like all they do is make the game world physically larger without deepening the experience. Wider and in many respects shallower than it used to be.

Personally I'd prefer a smaller map, but one that has more new interactive elements.

#19 Posted by awesomeusername (4057 posts) -

Fuck you. Now I hate this game! I'm kidding. But I agree with a lot of your points but I also really love the game. But whatever. The Last of Us is GOTY so meh!

#20 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -
@baillie said:

San Andreas didn't have that much.

...

Thanks for commenting!

@thesilentgod said:

GTA V is my favourite game in the series but I completely agree with a lot of what you say here. The story conclusion in particular left me wanting a lot more and I could not help but be disappointed after the perfect way Red Dead Redemption finished and even the superior ending of IV. I really like GTA V and it will certainly be in my top ten of the year, and Trevor is one of my favourite characters in games now, but man it has a helluva lot of faults.

Oh God yes. No matter the highs GTA has managed to hit across the years, I think I probably still prefer RDR all the same. Though it most definitely has its setting going for it; not much in the way of Western video games out there, let alone an open-world one! But yeah, Trevor is also an absolutely fantastic character, and him along with Michael are insta-classic GTA protagonists for me.

@sharkethic said:

YOU ARE THE ON THAT IS POOPY PANTS!! GTA V IS 10 OUT OF 10!!1! SHUT YOU STUPID FACE!!!!!

...NOW YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR.

@claude said:

Enjoyed reading and agree with most of it. I liked the "C" ending. But the inability to play pool kind of pissed me off. I remember in San Andreas walking CJ up Grove St. to play a little pool. I would take Niko out to the local bar to play some pool too. Another thing that got me about GTA V is that there's a casino but that's it. It's just there. How about that dirt track, the fuck is that. I would love to gamble on some ponies or dogs or something. They even have an outdoor amphitheater, but again, it just sits there unused. I'm a golf fan and have enjoyed playing it in GTA V. But it's only nine holes. You have all that countryside to place an 18 hole course, but no go.

I wonder what DLC Rockstar has in store. It'll probably be like the GTA IV episodes, but hopefully they'll use some of the world they created as more than a static back drop. Overall, still loved the game. But I'm just another in a long line of poopy pants.

Oh man, I was supposed to bring up all of that stuff in here, too! But, as you can see there was a lot of my mind so, only natural that some of it gets lost in the shuffle... Anywhoo yes, there's that Casino, there's the dirt track, there's a whole baseball field, a racing track -- all of which primarily function purely as somewhere to hide a collectable, or are simply the setting for one of the missions from GTA Online. Hopefully there'll be DLC that'll make use of the locations, though, because they're so ripe for opportunity. I've been hearing mumblings that the Casino has a completely rendered interior or something at that. Obviously has to be taken with a grain (or two) of salt, but still, it does have that ''Opening Soon'' notice on there. so it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility for it to end up as one of the heists in GTA Online, if not the story. Or they may at the very least open it up for a little bit of legitimate gambling.

I can't imagine they'll do a similar sort of DLC set up like the stories from IV, though. If anything they'll probably do an Undead Nightmare and create a non-canon sci-fi themed story, if the abundance of UFO and general abductions references are anything to go by. They could always create a whole new trio of characters, if not retire one of the original three for someone new. But it seems more plausible that they'll probably focus more so on GTA Online, and stick the single player with a smaller scale non-canon off-shoot story.

@brodehouse said:

Agreed about the interactive stuff. I like to go on on-foot adventures, because there's a lot of weird details to appreciate... but there's so rarely anything to interact with.

I also wanted the ability to go into every building. At a certain point it's like the Sims with the sociopathic options plainly available.

In the online and even in single player I fine myself more attracted to causing mischief than mayhem. Instead of shooting a guy, I want to wait until he walks away from his car to hold up a store... and then pop all his tires and drive away before he comes back to his car. That's emergent gameplay.

Absolutely, and it's part of the reason why I loved Rockstar's decision to have your characters walk by default. Because their worlds are so grand and full of insane detail, that simply walking around taking in the atmosphere can easily set me back a couple of hours sometimes. It's also why I really appreciated the return of taxi missions, as it helped give a little structure for me to drive around the world and take it all in.

Now I still like the grandiose story missions, and getting involved with the cops can also result in a lot of really intense car chases. But it needs to have a little more of that ebb & flow; to allow you to also just, again, maybe sit on a bench; maybe have something to eat at a diner. Only instead of just ordering that barely textured burger in GTAIV, you would actually have a menu. Y'know, just like... er, never mind.

One such feature that I especially loved about the first two Saints Row games, and continue to be baffled as to why (AFAIK) nobodies imitated it yet, is making the phone number plastered all throughout the world actually work within the game. I mean there's always so many of them, that's reasonable to assume that people are going to phone 'em up. And while they at least implemented a few generic responses, it isn't long before they loop and the illusion that these phone numbers exist within the game's own fiction quickly falls apart. Both those first Saints Row games, however, totally nailed it! Phone numbers as far as the eye could see, all of which would work; sometimes they would unlock you some certain benefits or would simply give you a joke. But they all worked nonetheless, and it was apart of what made Saints Row 2 in particular so surprisingly appealing to explore and see what I can find.

So, yeah, it's all about the little things that go a long way in creating a big picture.

^______________________________________________________^

@humanity said:

I think a lot of people heard someone say Franklin was a third wheel and now simply repeat it as truth and fact. Franklin felt just as integral to the story for me as any of the remaining protagonists. They all have their own lives that keep on going outside of the mutual interactions with one another that more often than not are business related. Michael can be most easily identified with as he has a family and wants out of the game. Although the de Santa's are dysfunctional in their own unique and adorable ways, they still give off the illusion of a normal life that is threatened by outside forces - something a normal human being can more easily grasp than intricate hood politics. Franklin is the catalyst and the buffer, he brings the crew together and then later deals with his own issues, much like they all do. Is his evolution perfect? No, but it is still lightyears ahead of anything we saw in the CJ story arch from San Andreas.

Rockstar seems really in love with the idea of "getting out" or "the one last job" but they often seem to get lost when that job finally happens. My major complaint would be that Franklin doesn't really ever get out. Only Michael has any sort of satisfying conclusion to his story, having defended and somewhat mended his home life. Trevor's story is completely reliant on Michael's and once that link stops being relevant, there's no story left. To say that the story is only really about Michael and Trevor with Franklin being a completely forgettable addition halfway throughout the plot would be pretty shortsighted.

One way to look at it is that Michael and Trevor are two sides of the same coin, and possible futures for the up and coming Franklin. Their stories had concluded before the game even started and we only see the aftermath of all their life decisions. Franklin still has choices to make, the game simply doesn't stick around long enough for us to see where they will lead him.

The thing is with Franklin, his story came across as the must underdeveloped. Like I mentioned in the blog, there's all of the back & forth between him and Lamar that just kept going in circles, and it didn't amount to much. Then there's of course his ex-girlfriend, who primarily existed to show up that one time to remind him that ''friends are important!'' and then decides to disappear again. Then there was that guy Stretch, who I was hoping would be the defining obstacle between Franklin finally escaping the hood. Only of course he ended up getting shoved into end-game mission causality list like all of the rest.

Now I don't necessarily dislike Franklin or anything, and he usually works well as the straight-man to a lot of Michael and Trevor's antics and oddities. But it felt that's kinda all he was; the normal, everyday guy who's only there to occasionally comment on how crazy everything is. Plus like you yourself said, Franklin's arc didn't really lead into anything in the end; of course, that itself shouldn't necessarily be squarely left on Franklin as a character, since that whole ending felt rushed and unfinished.

In any case, I see what you mean when you say he occasionally brought the other two characters together, but if anything that only leaves him as more of a plot device than a compelling character. Least in my eyes anywhoo. I don't doubt Franklin has his fans and was still able to win people over because of how average he is, as it's easy to see why that could be appealing when you're dumped into a world filled with a bunch of caricatures. Nonetheless, I just never found him to be all that interesting personally. He does have a good walk about him, though, and he has some of my favourite clothing options, too... All about dat white tuxedo, boiiii!

Phew, a lot of rather substantial replies in here... But hey, this was a long blog so I'm certainly appreciative to receive so many responses in kind! Still... I feel like I need a short intermission before I get around to replying to everyone else >_>

#21 Posted by laserguy (413 posts) -

Red Dead at Three years old is a better game.

#22 Posted by PerfidiousSinn (716 posts) -

I agree with your entire blog, sir.

#23 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

Wow, OK, well fuck you, Giant Bomb. I had replied to more users, but once I replied to Primus, for whatever reason my entire fucking post just up and vanished. I never even quoted him either, because that would be lunacy @_@... But yeah, this really fucking sucks.

Well, I can at least get the smaller posts outta the way...

@perfidioussinn said:

I agree with your entire blog, sir.

All of it? Well, alritey then, cheers!

@laserguy said:

Red Dead at Three years old is a better game.

Absolutely.

@awesomeusername said:

Fuck you. Now I hate this game! I'm kidding. But I agree with a lot of your points but I also really love the game. But whatever. The Last of Us is GOTY so meh!

True dat!

@filipholm said:

I disagree with you

Okey dokey!

@mooseymcman said:

You make a lot of good points.

I disagree.

Actually, I didn't really read most of it.

I... appreciate your honesty, I guess.

@nekroskop said:

GTAV is better than GTAIV and that's good enough for me.

In a lot of ways, sure. But GTAIV most assuredly has a much better story, and that counted for a lot for me. Also, getting drunk in GTAIV >>>>>>>>>>>>>> GTAV.

@jacdg said:

I agree with a lot of this stuff, overall I really liked the game, but the overall storyline was just super uninteresting to me, which is a shame because the three main characters were pretty good.

Sounds pretty much like what my condensed thoughts are for GTAV, basically. I liked the game plenty, but it's flawed, most especially when it came to the story.

#24 Edited by Nodima (944 posts) -

It's easily my game of the year, but I agree with a lot of what you said.

ALSO: nearly all of Michael's outfits are templates. Why can't I choose shoes for most of my pants? Why can I only wear certain tops with certain bottoms (and again, with whatever shoes are tied to those bottoms)? Too often I ended up in missions where Michael was arriving in a wife beater and business pants or a polo shirt, swim trunks and flip flops because I was so frustrated with his outfits and his respawn defaults were so despicably lame I couldn't care.

#25 Posted by Pr1mus (3520 posts) -

@yummylee: I demand my reply good sir! I share your frustration though. The site does have a knack for eating long posts. At least that's how it goes for me when it happens because of course why would it screw up for anything but long posts that i didn't previously copy paste somewhere beforehand to be safe...

#26 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@pr1mus: And you shall! But I'm still currently mourning my recently deceased reply post... Though I hadn't even gotten to you yet. Considering how you've basically replied to my blog with a blog of your own, I figured it deserves its own exxxxcluuuuuusive reply, rather than being shuffled into one with all of the rest :P

#27 Edited by crithon (2582 posts) -

excellent commentary, Very comprehensive and also state how GTA doesn't live in a vacuum.

Curious, have you ever tried the PC San Andreas online servers? There's like actual RPG servers where people play taxi cabs to other players.

#28 Posted by randomfella21 (58 posts) -

GTA V for me was hands down the most overrated game of this year, and the best example to date of game "critics" being unwilling to seriously "critique" a major game release. I understand different opinions and such but it's hard for me to fathom how this game got 10s across the board.

It is not a bad game, I would say it is a step above mediocre, and only because of how great the heist missions were. It looks great for sure, but it had no soul, and get's incredibly boring about 7 hours in. Obviously just my opinion, but there were no game "critics" that felt the same way?

#29 Edited by sdharrison (475 posts) -

It's always funny what games get backlash and which don't.

The entire gaming world went weak kneed with The Walking Dead and nobody ever thought twice about it. A game that essentially just lies to the player about choice, and characters "remembering" things. You realize it's just a one way, single lane trip. GOTY BECAUSE IT MADE ME FEEL A FEELING.

GTA V? Can't play pool, the ending was meh and the humor seemed crass. 2/10 WOULD NOT BANG.

Then again Saints Row 3 is hilarious comic genius. HAHAHA OMG GUYS THE GUY FROM THEY LIVE IS FIGHTING THE OTHER GUY FROM THEY LIVE LIKE IN THEY LIVE. AND BUTTS AND DILDOS. Nvm, that's 4. The shameless cash grab one with butts and dildos.

#30 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

1) Well, the point of Franklin was that he was sort of Mikes protege or son he always wanted sort of role. To Franklin Mike was a way out of the hood. I thought his role was sort of obvious personally.

2) Were sort of at odds on the story here because I really really enjoyed pretty much every moment of it. So dunno what to tell you.

3) As for the cops I really enjoyed the cops and I think it would be silly if there was a system that encouraged you to go on the offensive with them. The thrill with the cops is the running away.

4) I think people getting upset by the collectibles and rewards from them is endlessly hilarious to me because that is exactly the point Rockstar is trying to make here. Collectibles are useless and you're a mindless sheep for bothering to collect all of them. At least that is the commentary I took away from all of that.

5) I think you're grossly overestimating the interactivity in past GTA's in the world and grossly underestimating GTA V's potential for emergent moments to happen.

6) While its very assuredly pulling from the same avenues its always pulled from I never really found any of the comedy agonizing I just sort of ignored it I guess? I really didn't care either way it was just a thing that was there. At this point though they've built up this world around all of the Brand Names and Locations and people in this style that they would have to entirely do a tonal shift again with the next game to leave all that baggage behind. Also, its sort of... I dunno nostalgic in a way? A reminder of GTA's past a reminder that yeah, this is still a GTA game. I sort of hated the shit out of GTA IV because I felt that game DID take itself way to seriously. GTA V tonally fit what I think GTA should be. Its not nearly as wacky as Saints Row but there is enough of a streak of comedy running through it that it keeps all the horrible shit your doing from being entirely disturbing.

1) I know that he was Michael's protege, but he doesn't contribute to the overall narrative as much as I was hoping, nor does he provide much in the way of any especially interesting singular, personal stories going on within his own missions, either.

2) OK

3) I don't see why it would be ''silly'' to introduce the option for you to fight back against the cops. It's not like that would suddenly deprive players of engaging in improvisational and potentially exciting/hilarious cop chases. All it would do is at least give you the option to also fight back when push comes to shove. It would have to be difficult, but it would be nice to know the possibility is there; it can frankly start to get annoying when you're cornered somewhere, and yet despite blowing away countless cops, while also downing a fair few helicopters, the assault never stops. The helicopters are the most notary fallacy, with regards to how damn fast they're able to bring another one into the sky right after one has been destroyed.

4) ...That is one of the most dumbest, but also hilarious, things I've read in a while. To actually try to justify the lack of collectable rewards as some sort of serious ''satire/commentary''... It's an excuse, plain and simple. Now there's certainly room for that style of commentary, and how it relates to players mindlessly doing whatever the game tells them--which was of course explored to some degree in games like MGS2 & BioShock--but GTA V is not that sort of game. It's a big, dumb action movie, the kind that is supposed to reward you for your efforts. I mean, if what you say is really the case, then when not just end the game where you get nothing? Tie it all up with some sort of ''crime (and collectables) don't pay'' sorta theme.

No, the only reason the collectables (barely) reward you with nothing is because, like in most games, they're often put in as a cheap & simple way to pad the game. And in the case of open-world games, they're also usually a quick way to get players to explore more of their world. What's wrong with this, though, is that Rockstar have released plenty of games before it that had ample rewards for the player should you put in the effort to collect everything.

Such a form of player shaming goes against a lot of what GTA V is about, and for you to insinuate otherwise is laughable.

5) I'm not grossly overestimating how much interactivity was in the prior games. I don't know where you pulled that from in the blog. What I was saying, however, is that GTA has gradually focused pretty heavily on creating a living, breathing world. Visually they've certainly hit the mark, but what they need to do next is extend it even further by actually allowing you to interact with more of the world. I also don't see why you think I'm underestimating the potential for 'emergent moments', as I even said myself that I enjoy watching the pedestrians do their business. Difference is I wish I could join in some of that sorta stuff, such as, again, sitting down on a bench or at a patio table outside a cafe. Being able to phone the police when you're under attack by gang members for example is exactly the sort of stuff I wish there was more of.

6) I don't see why writing better material would suddenly force them to reinvent the universe and tone.

@jasonr86 said:

@yummylee:

The humor in this game is some of the worst writing I've experienced in a while. The writing in general, matched with the many scenarios that fall apart unless you do exactly what the game wants you to do, is why this game isn't in my personal top 10. I was really disappointed by this game.

I certainly concur with the radio stuff of course, though I did at least enjoy a lot of the characters interactions, even if the story that's meant to push it all along wasn't quite as strong.

Still, ever since GTAIV and how I had similar feelings about its style of humour, I began to wonder if GTA was simply getting lazy, or if I had grown out of this shit. So I decided to pop in Vice City and listen to some of the stations, and... it's really not that bad. A lot of it doesn't come across quite as mean-spirited and Adam Sandler-esque as GTAV's, and it all generally seems much more light-hearted.

@milkman said:

I completely agree with you on all the story stuff but I think my opinion differs a bit when it comes to some of the stuff you said about the world and side missions.

  • I was never really bothered by the lack of interactivity within the world. Expecting to be able to enter every building is obviously unrealistic (especially on current gen consoles) and I found myself incredibly impressed with the whole world. Even if the detail is only at surface level, the illusion worked for me. In fact, the world was probably the one thing that kept me really engaged in GTA V since the story and characters were all super uninteresting to me.
  • I didn't really care about the lack of side stuff or activities. The Strangers & Freaks were more than enough content apart from the main story for me and I never really felt like I wanted something more to do until I finished the game. And as for the activities like pool and stuff, I thought all of those were pretty lame and ignored them completely so having more of those doesn't really interest me.

Yeah, I'm well aware I'm in the minority when it comes to the sports minigames you could play around with, but I enjoyed 'em all the same and I found them to still be a disappointing omission. I wouldn't have minded if they introduced new stuff that was on par, but as mentioned in the blog, golf is the only thing up there that I liked.

On par... golf.... Oh God what have I become.

@slag said:

Gotta say I think you made a lot of great points about what GTA is lacking these days, @yummylee.

It feels like all they do is make the game world physically larger without deepening the experience. Wider and in many respects shallower than it used to be.

Personally I'd prefer a smaller map, but one that has more new interactive elements.

Thanks! And I especially agree with the highlighted part. While I was writing this blog, I sorta came upon the realisation that what I'm after here is basically a combination of GTA, and the Yakuza series. A world with the life of a GTA, combined with the tidy scope of a Yakuza game (though not quite as compact as Kamurocho) and its exhaustive amount of stuff to get up into the world.

@nodima said:

It's easily my game of the year, but I agree with a lot of what you said.

ALSO: nearly all of Michael's outfits are templates. Why can't I choose shoes for most of my pants? Why can I only wear certain tops with certain bottoms (and again, with whatever shoes are tied to those bottoms)? Too often I ended up in missions where Michael was arriving in a wife beater and business pants or a polo shirt, swim trunks and flip flops because I was so frustrated with his outfits and his respawn defaults were so despicably lame I couldn't care.

Ha, I never even thought about that. Though I overall pretty pleasantly surprised by how many clothing options there are, even if like you said there's only, like, 4 different tops and pants, but with a bunch of textures.

And GOTY, huh? Like I said in the blog, GTA V is most assuredly going to show up on my own list too :P I guess that speaks to how great GTA V can be when it's truly at its finest, despite its numerable flaws.

OK... going to cut it there for now, mainly out of fear that my entire post will once again be exterminated should I start replying to any more >_>

#31 Posted by Demoskinos (13876 posts) -

@yummylee: Specifically regarding the collectibles thing no I don't think its just an excuse there are plenty of other examples of this. During the Epsilon mission thread that Mike can do the player is forced to do all sorts of menial dumb things like run in the desert for 5 miles, or pass 10 days of in game time wearing the same outfit to complete each of the missions. If you continue to do just as the game says the entire time your reward after all of this incredible monetary and time investment in this thread is.... a rusty tractor.

However, if on the last mission you deviate from what the game tells you to do you end up being able to take the money for yourself of which is a fairly large amount. The game never prompts you nor tells you about this its up to you the player to disobey the game to figure out that this option exists. Again, I think in a game that is all about satire Rockstar putting this in is commentary on gamers and how many of us will go to dumb lengths for things in games even if the thing were doing is not particularly "fun" because of some promised reward.

#32 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -
@wjb said:

I agree with people when they say Franklin has an arch and acts like a surrogate to the player, but I felt like he was still second fiddle (ha, I didn't say third wheel!) to the other characters. Sure, I get the whole "protege" aspect, but to me, some of his storylines were underutilized or completely forgotten.

Maybe I missed something or did not complete everything I could, but his aunt scolds him through e-mail once he moves to Vinewood -- kind of, "good riddance," I guess? -- but later in the game Franklin meets Trevor and Lamar at his aunt's house? Like he still lives there? Did I miss something? Franklin and his aunt don't really acknowledge each other since she's going on one of her walks with her friends, but I figured there would've been something since he hasn't seen her for most of the game. It's fine if the aunt was never seen again, but she's kind of the only family he has left, right?

I wish Tanisha was more developed or completely scrapped altogether. All she was good for was a late-game pep talk about "don't forget about the streetz and remember your friend, Lamar!" like Sweet did to CJ in San Andreas. Franklin still had pictures of her all around his house, like he crybates to her every night. C'mon, Franklin!

I wish Lamar was used more too. I understand Franklin wanting to get away from the neighborhood, but eh... Lamar literally walked in as Franklin was finishing a heist, like he's stalking or something. I felt like there could have been a better way to reintroduce the character to the story than "Oh, I was walking through the neighborhood and oh, Franklin, I didn't see you there, buddy! Anyway, since I'm here, why don't I steal cars too?"

But the most important question of all: Why was Michael lying down in the backseat of his son's car in the garage?! I'm thinking too much...

I think that's probably because Michael has a super high stealth rating, as opposed to Franklin's menial rating. So, I would gather that Michael had already suspected someone was planning to steal his car, so he laid in wait... probably? Anywhoo as for the rest of your post I most definitely agree!

@randomfella21 said:

GTA V for me was hands down the most overrated game of this year, and the best example to date of game "critics" being unwilling to seriously "critique" a major game release. I understand different opinions and such but it's hard for me to fathom how this game got 10s across the board.

It is not a bad game, I would say it is a step above mediocre, and only because of how great the heist missions were. It looks great for sure, but it had no soul, and get's incredibly boring about 7 hours in. Obviously just my opinion, but there were no game "critics" that felt the same way?

You're certainly a lot harsher on this game than I am, but I also understand where you're coming from. GTA appears to be one of those franchises that is nearly always critic proof from a professional standpoint. Though GTAIV was even more bizarre, given how incredibly polarising that game was at launch from a consumer standpoint, let alone years on. And I really liked GTAIV mind you, but... that game also had its fair share of problems, and it's always a little disheartening when an entire industry all appear to share one (primarily) singular view point.

@crithon said:

excellent commentary, Very comprehensive and also state how GTA doesn't live in a vacuum.

Curious, have you ever tried the PC San Andreas online servers? There's like actual RPG servers where people play taxi cabs to other players.

Thanks! And no, 'fraid not. But that sounds... believable, given the sort of videos I've seen and the madness I've read about what goes on in GTA on the PC. I remember very recently watching a mod video for GTAIV, about how you can play as a police officer, and the sheer detail and diversity to mechanics in that thing was pretty damn impressive.

@sdharrison said:

It's always funny what games get backlash and which don't.

The entire gaming world went weak kneed with The Walking Dead and nobody ever thought twice about it. A game that essentially just lies to the player about choice, and characters "remembering" things. You realize it's just a one way, single lane trip. GOTY BECAUSE IT MADE ME FEEL A FEELING.

GTA V? Can't play pool, the ending was meh and the humor seemed crass. 2/10 WOULD NOT BANG.

Then again Saints Row 3 is hilarious comic genius. HAHAHA OMG GUYS THE GUY FROM THEY LIVE IS FIGHTING THE OTHER GUY FROM THEY LIVE LIKE IN THEY LIVE. AND BUTTS AND DILDOS. Nvm, that's 4. The shameless cash grab one with butts and dildos.

I'm sorry that you appear to be having trouble in accepting that GTA V is quite possibly one of The Worst (!!!) games to come out of this whole generation, if not the entire medium itself. True Crime > GTA V.

@demoskinos said:

@yummylee: Specifically regarding the collectibles thing no I don't think its just an excuse there are plenty of other examples of this. During the Epsilon mission thread that Mike can do the player is forced to do all sorts of menial dumb things like run in the desert for 5 miles, or pass 10 days of in game time wearing the same outfit to complete each of the missions. If you continue to do just as the game says the entire time your reward after all of this incredible monetary and time investment in this thread is.... a rusty tractor.

However, if on the last mission you deviate from what the game tells you to do you end up being able to take the money for yourself of which is a fairly large amount. The game never prompts you nor tells you about this its up to you the player to disobey the game to figure out that this option exists. Again, I think in a game that is all about satire Rockstar putting this in is commentary on gamers and how many of us will go to dumb lengths for things in games even if the thing were doing is not particularly "fun" because of some promised reward.

The Epsilon quest line shouldn't count because it's a completely separate sub-story that revolves around the game fucking with you (as a parody of Scientology and by implying it's a bunch of BS and a scam ect. of course), and shouldn't be indicative of the whole game. With your logic, I could say that the mission where Trevor kills Debra and Floyd, and then inevitably becomes the new owner of a strip club just like that (complete with weekly income), is meant to signify that the game is all about handing you stuff -- in this case for doing absolutely nothing at that.

#33 Edited by Demoskinos (13876 posts) -

@yummylee: You could if you wanted to I suppose. I'm just sharing how I interpreted all of that. Which is exactly why I found the conclusions to the collectibles absolutely hilarious.

#34 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2277 posts) -

I agree that I wanted more interactions with people. I could do without the world outside the city itself if that had allowed them to spend three years just working on dialogue choices, branching story paths, dating/friendship, and it all focused on story and interaction.

On major thing I want is that game to have CONSEQUENCES. All crime in the game (except traffic violations) should be monitored. If you run people over, YOU BETTER respray your car. If you do a lot of petty crimes you will need to pay for items or services that cover your tracks - new cloths, new haircuts, new identity papers, moving homes, etc. During the game every crime you commit leaves clues, the more you plan and the better you play the less clues you leave. If you screw up you pay for it by burning the cloths you wore, changing your look, buying a new car, etc.


#35 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@pr1mus: I think GTA V just about matches San Andreas in this regard but for that you have to consider the multiplayer however. A lot of the simpler activities that are in no way story or character related in the previous games got relegated to the multiplayer because they were just that, simple and not story or character dependent. They were padding, the kind of stuff you come upon and it's cool to partake in for a few hours just for variety's sake and a lot of that fits perfectly within the confines of the multiplayer. Gang attack, impromptu races, parachuting, etc. And that's not to say that the single player doesn't have a lot of stuff to do either. Just like previous games, they removed some thing and introduced new ones. It's spread across 2 modes sure but it's still there. It's certainly less dense considering how much larger the world is but strictly speaking it doesn't seem like there's less to do in total.

Believe me, San Andreas apes GTAV even when you count the Online. Plus, there's not that much in the Online that isn't universal across both it and the single-player. Arm wrestling, delivering cars for Simeon, occasional crate drops, and gang wars are all I can think of that is exclusive to the online that can be undertaken alone, otherwise it's all carried from the single-player. And that reminds me: GTA V doesn't have any list of vehicles to collect! I mean, there's the occasional vehicle Simeon will ask for, but that can't compare to the traditional vehicle hit list from prior games.

Plus, that's the beautiful thing about San Andreas, it pretty much built upon everything from Vice City and, to my knowledge, didn't sacrifice anything in the process. Or at least anything notable. It didn't remove things for the sake of introducing something different.

Of course, then GTAIV comes along and strips all of that away for the sake of something different, which is precisely why I'm much more accepting of GTAIV in general. Because that tried for something different, with the tone and the way it wants you to progress through the game -- most notably not engaging in random rampages on the streets. But GTAV was clearly an attempt to bring it back to, well, San Andreas. A lot of the 'new' gameplay features and such are all ported from San Andreas; the bicycles, swimming underwater, skills, vehicle customisation, hairstyles, the world map requiring you to explore to open it up, and flying school.

GTAV's one major innovation is its three-protagonist structure, and while it's certainly interesting when you're playing through story missions, in the free-roam it doesn't quite take advantage of such a design. After all, both Franklin and Michael barely have anything to do that's restricted to them. Don't get me wrong, though, having all three characters coexist within the world, and that they can even be encountered on the streets completely unscripted, is pretty incredible.

When seen as a sequel to GTAIV, you could say that GTAV has made a lot of the right moves and has introduced a lot of cool 'new' features. But (and I know I've become a broken record here :P), when taken into account that San Andreas it exists--and because it's a very clear inspiration--GTAV came up short in the amount of activities I can get up to.

Look, i too would have liked a pool game but let's be honest here, pool in San Andreas and GTA IV is complete garbage. By comparison, golf and tennis are pretty solid for mini-games within a completely different game and it would have been pretty awesome if they gave the same treatment to the pool mini-game and elevate it to the same level of quality but in the meantime i'd much rather they leave it out entirely rather than having that broken piece of crap they had before. This sort of goes with the previous section. They improved some things, replaced others and left out a couple activities entirely.

When I say I loved pool in GTAIV I am being honest! Wasn't quite as hot in San Andreas, but it was cool that it was there, just apart of the world; it wasn't something that was specifically pointed out to you, it simply was.

Franklin is the player surrogate. In my opinion he's also the only one who has a real arch. More on that in the next section.

I liked Franklin a lot, he has one goal, getting out of that petty hood bullshit and works towards that goal and eventually makes it. He's also the most dependable dude this series ever had you play and for all he does for his family and friends and receives essentially zero recognition and still keeps doing it made me like him even more.

As for Chop, though i haven't tried, i read on the internet (so it's probably a lie) that he can do basically everything you said would be cool, like attacking enemies and sniffing out collectibles if you take him around with you.

Eh, the fact that he kept letting everyone walk all over him only made him seem like a chump, and if anything is the exact sort of complaint most people tend to have against GTA protagonists. In that they tend to work for everyone and will just keep following orders; difference here is Franklin hardly ever seems to get any reward for it!

I'm surprised to hear about Chop, though. I have totally rode around with him just to see if he would change up the dynamic of the world, but no such luck. Though I haven't taken him near another dog before... might even be able to get the same sort of 'reaction' like out of that early game train yard mission :P The collectables thing in particular seems a bit suspect, though. If that is true, it's never been especially notable, and I don't recall any tooltips or anything.

So i said to me Franklin was the only one with a real character arch and i say this because Michael and Trevor basically start and end the story in the same place, they both come around full circle and continue their life as if nothing had happened. Of course along the way Michael realise how is fucked up family is best like it is and made it in the movies and all that but there's isn't much of a change for either character in the end.

I liked the story enough to finish it in a week, and then beat it again compared to the 3 years it took me to finally sit down and force myself through the GTA IV story. Never again for both but yeah, V is still way more interesting and entertaining. The only real problem i have with the story is the order of certain missions.

Specifically the Solomon missions. At the point where the story is accelerating towards its conclusion they throw all these movie studio missions at you to sort of build up some antagonistic relationship between Michael and Devin because i guess they forgot about that? I mean these exact same missions could have happened earlier in the story, build up that Devin threat against Michael, maybe use this as part of the reasons Michael has to leave town for a while and then come back later with a vengeance. This would have preserved the pacing of the story a bit better towards the end.

For the ending specifically, i thought Option C was the obvious choice and that anyone who had played a game or watched a movie before would have figured out that it in fact did not meant loosing Franklin but apparently a lot of angry people didn't get that so i guess they handled that poorly but whatever. I think it's fine.

Michael sort of comes to terms with the fact that he's not the ''good guy'' at least, which I think is the closest he has to an arc across that game. He's the only one who truly comes across like he made some form of growth at least, unlike Trevor who... well, is still Trevor, only we the player uncovered that he has the hots for his mum. Franklin, I guess you could say 'escaped the hood', but there was never any notable obstacles that was stopping him, hence why his whole story was really uninteresting for me. Lamar was probably the closest as he kept 'guilting' him about his way of life, but again that whole relationship just kept going in circles as the two bickered, and ultimately nothing came of it. You'd naturally expect that the two would be forced into a showdown, and while it may have been predictable, it's a helluva lot more interesting all the same than what we were left with.

EDIT: Actually, Trevor at least being reunited with his best friend Michael, while also uncovering the truth about Brad and everything that transpired because of that, should certainly count for something in terms of development.

I definitely agree with you about the Solomon missions, and how they should have initiated the set much earlier to better establish Devin as a primary antagonist.

Skills: I think you are playing down a bit much the impact the skills have in this game and how much better they were in SA. The progression is slower and more subtle but the difference between 20% and 100% in everything is huge.

You may be right, since I'm now so accustomed to playing with near-everything maxed. But still, there's nothing especially exciting with how you improve via the skills; it's all basically ''you'll be better at this'', and I would have liked if they gave you new abilities. Playing GTA V from beginning to end, skills-wise, barely diverges all that much, as opposed to San Andreas where increasing certain skills (weapon skills and strength/weight) could have much more notable effects.

#36 Edited by MidNVis (23 posts) -

So was Chop actually Lamar's dog? You're the second person I've heard say that. I just got the impression he was Franklin's dog and Lamar just really liked him.

#37 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -
@midnvis said:

So was Chop actually Lamar's dog? You're the second person I've heard say that. I just got the impression he was Franklin's dog and Lamar just really liked him.

Yup. You're first given Chop by Lamar, who asks you to look after him for... reasons I can't quite remember.

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