Rockstar's Past

With the recent news about GTA and another installment in the Red Dead series, I began to recall my experiences with the most previous games of both franchises. Unlike most people, these memories are not very fond. I had similar experiences in both GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, and it consisted of me forcing myself to trudge through both experiences. During the early hours of RDR I found the experience very tedious and not that enjoyable, despite the fact that I loved the western motif. I was going to stop playing until I noticed the review scores.

Normally I do not allow reviews to influence my opinion, but the Red Dead reviews were so overwhelmingly positive that I assumed that I must have missed something or that the game must have gotten better. So I made myself go back and continue the play-through. I continued through the annoyingly constant on-rails missions as well as the many mini-games like herding (one of the most aggravating mini-games ever, but the rest were decent enough) and pushed through until I finally beat the game and I still do not see the appeal. No matter how hard I tried I just could not convince myself it was an enjoyable game.

GTA was slightly different because I did have fun playing through the story, but it was still just sort of sub-par in my experience; this is why I was astounded when websites were throwing perfect scores at it left and right. I could not believe the amount of praise it was receiving, and I did not go back to the story. I still dabbled in the multiplayer and once in awhile would do whatever I wanted but I did not spend much more time in the game.

I do not see the appeal that other people apparently find in these titles. In all honesty I found L.A. Noire to be better than either of them. I am obviously in the severe minority, but while the worlds are very fleshed out I did not have fun during the time I spent in them. GTA is a cool sandbox to run around and wreak havoc in but to me it is not much different from how I spent my time in San Andreas. Similarly, RDR was alright if you went around and did whatever you want but the story was not enough to keep me interested at all.

tl;dr I do not love these games as much as everyone else.

11 Comments Refresh
Posted by SexyToad

Well you sound like a very, very unhappy Canadian.

Posted by Baillie

Eh, GTA's stories have never been their high point, as much as people praise IV's, it just didn't grip me. I enjoyed the game very much though. RDR was a perfect sandbox game to me though, fantastic characters, story and gameplay. Easily the best game Rockstar have ever produced. L.A. Noire was great too, nothing sandboxy about it, just a nice game where you chased down the bad guys. Story was pretty good, but it seemed to lose it's steam when you went to arson.

Posted by Rainbowkisses

I'm not really a big fan of the GTA games. The driving and shooting mechanics seem subpar to me and I personally never feel like all the gameplay mechanics are really used to their full extent. I enjoy plenty of sandbox games but I really don't think that just shooting and driving are the best gameplay mechanics for a sandbox game. Games like Infamous, Assassins Creed, and Prototye I feel do a great job of integrating together you mode of transportation with combat in a way you can only do in a sandbox game.

Posted by Rainbowkisses

I do like some Rockstar games though. I really enjoyed Red Dead Redemption and while you could say the same about the gameplay as I did with GTA I find it to be a much more interesting environment. Recently played Max Payne 3 and really enjoyed and I'm going through the first Manhunt and find it to be a decent game. The gameplay is repetitive and sometimes clunky but the atmosphere makes up for any of its shortcomings.

Posted by Clonedzero

i absolutely love rockstar, ive loved everything theyve put out. its great, but they're not for everyone. just dont get the next GTA game. you dont have to

Posted by SuperCycle

Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. If you didn't really enjoy GTA 4 or RDR, your more than likely going to have the same experience with GTA 5. I personally think Rockstar Games can do no wrong, and will buy their games forever, no matter what any reviewer or citizen has to say about them. That doesn't mean you have to buy or like them though.

Posted by Landon


Posted by TheHumanDove

Your opinion is a real dinknose


I think since Vice City R* has really struggled with what to do gameplay-wise. Their sandboxes are amazing. Graphics are amazing. Characters are often well-realized, well-acted and have interesting stories, even if the game's main plot is ultimately uninteresting. The problem is that they always want to use one plot for the entire game. This is a traditional way to structure games and it needs to go away big time. You simply need more than one propellant in a game that can drag as long as GTA or RDR. When the game isn't using the same device to push you forward it might use none, which is just as boring.

On a smaller scale, they're spinning their wheels trying to find something for you to do that isn't driving, running or shooting. This of course is why they introduced the "Decision Making" element in GTAIV. I expect we'll see far more of this in GTAV, maybe even a system closer to Mass Effect. To continue the comparisons, I've always liked contrasting Assassin's Creed and GTA. The number of different movement types/action types available to the AC player is much more robust. GTA's characters can't do any more than they did when the game was still top-down. As the game world gets bigger and the stories longer the gameplay just gets boring faster. It can't keep up with the rest of the game. RDR tried to offset this by introducing mechanics in a (somewhat) staggered fashion, but as many of us feel, it dries up too soon. It says that RDR is the most fun when you're ignoring the story and dodging critical missions.

If I had it my way I'd turn GTA into a decision-based action RPG. How else could you save it? Instead I'm worried GTAV is just GTAIV with more minigames. What could they do that's new? While R* can be brave when it comes story, they've innovated so little in the gameplay department. An interesting idea might be to marry LA Noire (not a R* technically) and GTA, having two characters working against each other and providing different gameplay types. You'd have to both elude and catch yourself. Hm!

Posted by Russcat

Although, like you, I had a lot of fun with the settings of both GTA IV and RDR, I found the character controls to be extremely frustrating. Trying to finesse the movement of the protagonist in both of these games felt like I was trying to get a puppet with a bunch of broken strings to break dance or something. It didn't stop me from playing and enjoying both games though to the end, but it did sour the experience a bit, and is one of the main things I remember about both playthroughs.

Posted by SpartanHoplite

i agree about the lack of decent controls & missions. they are good games, but severely lacking in those.