Jimquisition: Will Grand Theft Auto V Have No Balls?

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I want a GTA that has smart and deep story, a parody of the real world, but I don't want it to be at expense of fun. They mixed both elements perfectly in GTA 3 era games, especially in Vice City and San Andreas. GTA IV was a step backwards. It had the story element, but it was boring. Rockstar can make a fun and smart game. They just have to try. I have a feeling GTA V will deliver it all this time.

ConjurerOfChaos:
And that was his mention of Red Dead Redemption.
The main character of that game was a mentally five-year old, unlikeable, irresponsible, egocentric sociopathic fuckwit. I could have enjoyed the game, had not John F. Marston messed it all up with his whining and bitching, paired with an almost aggressively stupid ignorance of the misery of the people around him because he was so sunken in his own (uninteresting) fate.

Do me a favor.

Set aside any possible biases or assumptions and try to imagine yourself in John Marston's situation:

You ran for years as an outlaw, but then you realized that that wasn't the life you wanted live, so you left the life and tried to live peacefully with your wife and son. Then, the government kidnaps your family and holds them hostage, saying that they'll give your family back and excuse your crimes if you hunt down some of your old gang members. You now have two options: 1) Turn yourself in and pay the consequences for your crimes, as well as abandon your family to an unknown fate. 2) Tow the line and do the fed's bitch-work, as well as doing any number of other people's bitch-work along the way to get to your ultimate goal: give the government what they want so you can have your family back and live the peaceful life.

When you put yourself in his situation, anything and everything that John does makes perfect sense. Can you confidently say that you would do anything different if you were in his shoes? I can't. This is what we call "empathy" my friend.

I usually don't jump into "fanboy" arguments, but you provoked me to go on the defense. If you didn't LIKE RDR or John Marston, that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own taste. However, as an aspiring writer who majored in Creative Writing in college, I know a well-written, well-developed character when I see one, and John's one of the best.

I got a good chuckle out of the girl on the laptop in the Saints Row 3 trailer just calmly typing away while the [censored] is hitting the fan right in front of her eyes...

But I laughed WAY harder than I should have at the big purple penis jokes!

The only thing I'm concerned with is, while I personally enjoy that Saint's Row has been more FUN and "less serious" than GTA, that doesn't mean I want a game that is just 100% all shit and giggles. Saint's Row 2 still have a pretty interesting story, that at least was no worse than any movie starring a rap star about a gang, and some of the missions were a bit more serious. In a way it felt MORE real to me because I felt like the character had depth that wasn't obscured by all the gritty realistic boring bs in GTA IV. Having a nice diversion of doing some hit man missions just added to things in Saints Row 2... Driving around playing darts and getting constant nagging calls from Girlfriends that I wanted to shoot more than screw made that deep story with Niko Bellic more.. boring. It was like Saints Row was a high action summer blockbuster flick and GTA IV was like the "Emmy Nominated" but slower, more boring dramatic film.

This just made my day. Good outlook, too many people crying over this. From day one, i've suggested Saint's row and the common response is "f-off". Its always good when Jim shares a similar view with you.

I'll probably get both but since I found SR more fun to play than GTA I'm getting it new and will probably get GTAV when its in the $40 range. I expected a deep narrative from a game like Red Dead not something with the GTA title on it. There was plenty to do in Red Dead after the credits rolled in terms of exploring hunting dueling etc. with GTA IV I found myself on the freemode multiplayer 90% of the time. With SR I doubt I'll get bored.

Bonus points if they make Gilbert Gottfreid a sidekick character who you have the choice of taking onboard or murdering with zero witnesses.

remnant_phoenix:

ConjurerOfChaos:
And that was his mention of Red Dead Redemption.
The main character of that game was a mentally five-year old, unlikeable, irresponsible, egocentric sociopathic fuckwit. I could have enjoyed the game, had not John F. Marston messed it all up with his whining and bitching, paired with an almost aggressively stupid ignorance of the misery of the people around him because he was so sunken in his own (uninteresting) fate.

Do me a favor.

Set aside any possible biases or assumptions and try to imagine yourself in John Marston's situation:

You ran for years as an outlaw, but then you realized that that wasn't the life you wanted live, so you left the life and tried to live peacefully with your wife and son. Then, the government kidnaps your family and holds them hostage, saying that they'll give your family back and excuse your crimes if you hunt down some of your old gang members. You now have two options: 1) Turn yourself in and pay the consequences for your crimes, as well as abandon your family to an unknown fate. 2) Tow the line and do the fed's bitch-work, as well as doing any number of other people's bitch-work along the way to get to your ultimate goal: give the government what they want so you can have your family back and live the peaceful life.

Now I never bought that explanation. At one point he has all three of the people responsible for his family's kidnapping in arms reach. There was clearly a third option here: Beat the fuck out of them until they tell you where the family is, and given Marston's actions throughout the game this doesn't seem like a leap. This is also the late 19th century, where the fastest form of communication is the Telegraph, meaning that the bad guy can't have a "kill the family if I don't call every fifteen minutes" cop out like other modern stories. There was absolutely no reason Marston couldn't "extract" the information from the kidnapper, and his failure to do so just makes him look like a pansy.

OT:

I too will be buying both GTA V and The Third.

Oh wow. Totally agree with everything in this episode. This is precisely what I have been saying too.

I like the gritty realism. I think it makes the silly massacres more entertaining. The rag doll physics just makes it real nice when running people over.

So Rockstar you can have more of my money.

Enkidu88:

remnant_phoenix:

ConjurerOfChaos:
And that was his mention of Red Dead Redemption.
The main character of that game was a mentally five-year old, unlikeable, irresponsible, egocentric sociopathic fuckwit. I could have enjoyed the game, had not John F. Marston messed it all up with his whining and bitching, paired with an almost aggressively stupid ignorance of the misery of the people around him because he was so sunken in his own (uninteresting) fate.

Do me a favor.

Set aside any possible biases or assumptions and try to imagine yourself in John Marston's situation:

You ran for years as an outlaw, but then you realized that that wasn't the life you wanted live, so you left the life and tried to live peacefully with your wife and son. Then, the government kidnaps your family and holds them hostage, saying that they'll give your family back and excuse your crimes if you hunt down some of your old gang members. You now have two options: 1) Turn yourself in and pay the consequences for your crimes, as well as abandon your family to an unknown fate. 2) Tow the line and do the fed's bitch-work, as well as doing any number of other people's bitch-work along the way to get to your ultimate goal: give the government what they want so you can have your family back and live the peaceful life.

Now I never bought that explanation. At one point he has all three of the people responsible for his family's kidnapping in arms reach. There was clearly a third option here: Beat the fuck out of them until they tell you where the family is, and given Marston's actions throughout the game this doesn't seem like a leap. This is also the late 19th century, where the fastest form of communication is the Telegraph, meaning that the bad guy can't have a "kill the family if I don't call every fifteen minutes" cop out like other modern stories. There was absolutely no reason Marston couldn't "extract" the information from the kidnapper, and his failure to do so just makes him look like a pansy.

So he extracts the info and kills all three of them. Then he goes to the federal compound where his family is being held, killing anyone and everyone that tries try to stop him? One man against multiple trained federal personnel? Yeah, that makes sense.

But let's just say that he does. He goes all Rambo on the facility and busts his family out. Then what? Where could he possibly go that he and his family could live peacefully without being hounded by the feds? No where, that's where.

The way he went about it in the story was the only reasonable and plausible way that he could give his family a peaceful life. And that's the key. IF he lowered himself to the place of "torturer" on those greasy agents and extracted the info, and IF he could defy all odds and bust them out a secured federal compound, he could get them back, sure, but then what? He'd be forcing his wife and son to go on the lamb with him as he is now considered a highly dangerous fugitive.

Ultimately, he wasn't looking to "deal justice" to the manipulative feds, he was looking for a second chance, a...what's the word? Ah yes, a "redemption."

Like I told ConjurerOfChaos, if you don't like the story or the character, that's fine, if you're going to argue that the story or the character are badly written, I'll go to the mat as long as it takes.

remnant_phoenix:

Enkidu88:

remnant_phoenix:

Do me a favor.

Set aside any possible biases or assumptions and try to imagine yourself in John Marston's situation:

You ran for years as an outlaw, but then you realized that that wasn't the life you wanted live, so you left the life and tried to live peacefully with your wife and son. Then, the government kidnaps your family and holds them hostage, saying that they'll give your family back and excuse your crimes if you hunt down some of your old gang members. You now have two options: 1) Turn yourself in and pay the consequences for your crimes, as well as abandon your family to an unknown fate. 2) Tow the line and do the fed's bitch-work, as well as doing any number of other people's bitch-work along the way to get to your ultimate goal: give the government what they want so you can have your family back and live the peaceful life.

Now I never bought that explanation. At one point he has all three of the people responsible for his family's kidnapping in arms reach. There was clearly a third option here: Beat the fuck out of them until they tell you where the family is, and given Marston's actions throughout the game this doesn't seem like a leap. This is also the late 19th century, where the fastest form of communication is the Telegraph, meaning that the bad guy can't have a "kill the family if I don't call every fifteen minutes" cop out like other modern stories. There was absolutely no reason Marston couldn't "extract" the information from the kidnapper, and his failure to do so just makes him look like a pansy.

So he extracts the info and kills all three of them. Then he goes to the federal compound where his family is being held, killing anyone and everyone that tries try to stop him? One man against multiple trained federal personnel? Yeah, that makes sense.

Unfortuantely this is where Rockstar always runs into a problem, the jarring difference between what's possible for the character in the game and what the story suggests you can do. Now personally I killed around 30 US Marshalls in a single go around playing through the game, and the story missions routinely pit you against large numbers of enemies, so it's entirely plausible that he could take on an armed federal compound. Secondly, they aren't really in a compound as I recall (it's been a while though) just some safe house in the middle of no-where with maybe 3 or 4 guards. Attack at night, and he could kill them all before they know what's happening.

But let's just say that he does. He goes all Rambo on the facility and busts his family out. Then what? Where could he possibly go that he and his family could live peacefully without being hounded by the feds? No where, that's where.

This is the 19th century, I remind you, and incredibly easy to drop of the grid (since in effect there is no grid). Much of Canada, Mexico and even the Northwestern United States were still sparsely populated or even uninhabited in some places. Worst comes to worse he could pick a direction and live in the woods somewhere.

The way he went about it in the story was the only reasonable and plausible way that he could give his family a peaceful life. And that's the key. IF he lowered himself to the place of "torturer" on those greasy agents and extracted the info, and IF he could defy all odds and bust them out a secured federal compound, he could get them back, sure, but then what? He'd be forcing his wife and son to go on the lamb with him as he is now considered a highly dangerous fugitive.

Marston could have always have offered to "disappear" his former comrades, just tell them look, you go off and enjoy the Mexican sun for a while, and in a few years after I have my family back, go wild. He never even tried to negotiate with people he'd spent years with, people he called his friends, he just immediately starts gunning them down.

Secondly, Marston's plan was to live on a farm with his family. A 19th century farm, one of the most difficult lifestyles one could have back then, going on the lamb into a relatively unexplored area of the world would not have been significantly harder than that and might have even been easier depending on where he goes.

The rest of this is going to be spoilered.

Ultimately, he wasn't looking to "deal justice" to the manipulative feds, he was looking for a second chance, a...what's the word? Ah yes, a "redemption."

Like I told ConjurerOfChaos, if you don't like the story or the character, that's fine, if you're going to argue that the story or the character are badly written, I'll go to the mat as long as it takes.

I'm not necessarily saying it's badly written, it'd be good on paper is more what I'm saying. I, too, am a writer and can see what they're going for, but when compared to the overall plot points, combined with the mechanics of the game, the character of Marston starts to unravel a bit. He was a thief and a murderer, a profession you don't typically survive for as long as Marston did, without being both cunning and intelligent, yet his actions throughout the story don't suggest intelligence nor cunning. He loved his family, and yet didn't have the forethought to consider that a double-crossing federal agent (who was already guilty of kidnapping his family) might just threaten them in the future. It was just in the finer details that the story began to crumble.

Like I said, I'm not saying this is by any means the worst story ever written or anything, it was competently done. The mistakes I've listed are all common mistakes that writers can fall victim to, I've made such mistakes myself. However, there is plenty of criticism that can be leveled against the story and the character with good reason.

That's all well and good, but the problem is that no matter how serious GTA tries to be, people will never take it seriously enough because it is, at the end of the day, NOT a game about morality or the American Dream......it is a game about crushing hookers with a car; Or ramming a helicopter into a busy intersection; or jumping off the roof of a building on a bike.

No "serious protagonist" would do any of the stuff you (and EVERYONE ELSE) do in the game, so the story and the gameplay are at fundamental odds with each other, thematically. That breaks the game. It broke GTA4.
The Story made no sense because Nico Bellic WAS a murdering psychopath....but then he WASN'T just because R* was like "FUCK what you do in the game! We say he's a serious protagonist, he's a serious fucking protagonist!!!1!!"

Sorry about the rant. Tldr: serious GTA can't work because it is at odds with the mechanic of the game itself.

Enkidu88:
snip

Fair points.

I hadn't considered the disconnect between gameplay and story because I played John straight. I never had to deal with fighting off dozens of feds because I didn't break the law much, so I didn't realize that it was possible to do that sort of thing in gameplay without an armored wagon and a gatling gun...

As for the break-out, it's been a while since I played as well, so I also can't remember what the place his family was being held was like. I just sort of assumed they'd be heavily guarded based on what I did remember.

As for John being smart enough to see a double-cross coming? I never saw him as being that cunning.

I always chalked up his long-term survival to his gun-play skills and dumb luck, not because of any sort of cunning.

Again, that says "naive" to me.

Different interpretations I suppose. You have given me some interesting things to think about regarding the story, even if you haven't really changed my mind about John or the story as a whole.

And keep in mind that my retorts were original directed at that ConjurerOfChaos. No hard feelings, and good discussion.

While Rockstar should be praised for trying to go in an entirely new artistic direction, I think they still haven't quite gotten there yet. I got about half way through GTA IV before I got just plain bored with it (that, and Roman was pissing me right the fuck off). And yet right now I find myself in the midst of my third play-through of Vice City. Perhaps it is more a reflection of my tastes, but it would appear so far that Rockstar's attempts at cheesy caricatures have been more compelling to me than their attempts at serious characters.

I hope that they manage to improve the writing with GTA V, but the cynic within me tells me that they'll fall short again. Jim is right, Rockstar did show some serious stones in changing the tone of the series as a whole, but I personally would have liked to have seen them go the extra pebble and create a new locale. We've had surrogate New York, surrogate Miami, and surrogate California. Surely we can take a break from these three? How about something new? I'd love to see Rockstar's take on Detroit, or Chicago, or Texas. Or, perhaps (goodness forbid), a non-American city?

Problem is that the guys who want GTAV to be a game about swinging dildos at people probably aren't going to watch this video, so they're not gonna quit bitching, they want GTA 'cause it's in the news homes, and it ain't down with da' man, saints row they probably won't know about, unless they go into the store and say "NEW GTA CUZ" "Not in yet sir, would you like to try saints row" or something like that. So yeah, Jim had the right idea, but the problem isn't fixed...

Anyways, where did you get that 4 foot dildo anyhows Jim, not that I... err.. was just curious is all... about the vendor of such things, not curious in the things or related lifestyles at all...

remnant_phoenix:

And keep in mind that my retorts were original directed at that ConjurerOfChaos. No hard feelings, and good discussion.

No hard feelings at all, I love to talk about the finer points of writing and storytelling, and you made me consider some things. Especially about Marston's dumb luck and naivete, which now that I think about it in those terms, makes the story make a bit more sense. Perhaps it was because I was playing him as a cunning, intelligent outlaw making daring train robberies and ambushing the US Marshalls when they tried to get me.

Now I'm going to be able to play through it again with this new perspective, thanks! Excellent discussion. ;)

If you want engaging themes and storytelling, watch a movie.

If you want to have fun, play Saints Row.

As far as I'm concerned gameplay trumps story and Saints Row appears to vastly surpass Grand Theft Auto in that department.

hmm yeah I dotn get why everyone is complain about GTA 4 being "too serious"

Custard_Angel:
If you want engaging themes and storytelling, watch a movie.

If you want to have fun, play Saints Row.

As far as I'm concerned gameplay trumps story and Saints Row appears to vastly surpass Grand Theft Auto in that department.

I dont get this attitude its like saying "games shouldnt even try"

with that then the medium isnt going to go anywaywhere...

and why not? games can have good stories and charachters...

HyenaThePirate:
The only thing I'm concerned with is, while I personally enjoy that Saint's Row has been more FUN and "less serious" than GTA, that doesn't mean I want a game that is just 100% all shit and giggles. Saint's Row 2 still have a pretty interesting story, that at least was no worse than any movie starring a rap star about a gang, and some of the missions were a bit more serious. In a way it felt MORE real to me because I felt like the character had depth that wasn't obscured by all the gritty realistic boring bs in GTA IV. Having a nice diversion of doing some hit man missions just added to things in Saints Row 2... Driving around playing darts and getting constant nagging calls from Girlfriends that I wanted to shoot more than screw made that deep story with Niko Bellic more.. boring. It was like Saints Row was a high action summer blockbuster flick and GTA IV was like the "Emmy Nominated" but slower, more boring dramatic film.

yeah..I do feel a bit silly secretly hoping that SR3 is going ot have an interesting story, I think theres alot of potential, as in whats next for "the boss" now that he.she has all this power? (thats probably wishful thinking at best)

because I think thats somthing thats overlooked in SR2, I genuinly wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the rivalies between the gangs would play out (the brotherhood saga is particualy memorable) and I liked the charachters

Gralian:
Wow... this is a bit of a tough one to tackle. I'd like to say first of all that i agree with what has been said here - that Saints Row filled a void that was left when Rockstar decided to grow up and mature their flagship franchise. However, i will contest that that's nothing more than stating the fucking obvious. We can go one step further than that.

Just because something changed artistic and conceptual direction, it does not mean that people no longer want it to go back to its roots. Yes, the gap has been 'filled' by Saints Row, but at the end of the day, Saints Row is not Grand Theft Auto. I've come across plenty of people who loved the outright wackiness and parody of Vice City and San Andreas, but could not stand the absurdity and excessive gang culture worship of Saints Row. (Note that VC was a parody of 80's and 90's culture more than it was about gang culture, for example)

Being a fan of A does not mean you will also be a fan of B when it is presented as an alternative. To give an example, i might like lemons, but not like limes. They're both fruit, they're both citric, but damnit i just like lemons. Limes are similar, but not the same.

Logically we'd all just go with the flow and accept that things should fill their respective roles. It makes sense; neither one is in direct competition with each other. But the consumer base is a fickle bitch who does not look at things logically. It doesn't matter how rationally you try to explain something. At the end of the day, Saints Row is not the same as their beloved Grand Theft Auto. They grew up with Claude and Tommy Vecetti. Their idea of parody and satire is one that balances a fine line between the serious and the silly. Saints Row is completely off its rocker, while San Andreas still had its serious moments, particularly those regarding family and making it in a rough neighborhood. San Andreas was still absurd in places and had that wacky GTA humour, but it wasn't outright unapologetically stupid like Saints Row is. I can't help but feel that this kind of "so utterly batshit" humour is something that appeals primarily to the American market, more so than the "half serious, half wacky" approach, hence why Saints Row garnered so much popularity and you see GTA and SR polarised as much as they are. Developers feel that the prime demographic is either going to be expecting a serious play it straight tale or a ludicrous glorification of the genre itself with no room left for something in the middle, while fans of the original GTA are still waiting for the second coming of what really popularised the genre. Personally i feel that GTA3 is the pinnacle of the series and i remember feeling that Liberty City at the time had a certain grittiness about it which was offset by the politically incorrect radio talk shows, the questionable motives of most of the cast and the ability to drive on the wrong side of the road at 100mph with cops so much as blinking. Still, through all that surrealism, you had tales of rising through the mafia and the seedy underworld of politicans and big cities which is what GTA so special in the first place. That's what i want to rekindle. A realistic world with unrealistic possibilities. The self-awareness that it's a video game, but it's a video game with something to say about the world it portrays.

You sir, have just won this thread.

I have loved the GTA series since GTA3, Vice City and San Andreas (I never managed to complete GTA 1 and I never played 2) and I never really noticed the shift in GTA4 until I examined it closely. I guess I just kind of grew up with the series and my attitudes changed as it did. But when I first played Saint's Row, because it was billed as being GTA's closest rival, I was sorely dissapointed.

Not to go hitting on SR of course, but I found it to be over the top and far too immature for my liking. Whereas GTA's humour seemed to be more subtle, SR insisted on shoving crude and obviously forced "jokes" in my face. As you said, both games are very different, just because you like one, doesn't mean the other will be a suitable substitute.

GTA is non linear and there is a whole world of freedom to be had. If you want to follow the missions that advance the plot and invest your time in a well crafted, thought provoking story, you can do that. If you want to drive down the sidewalk through a reproduction of Times Square at 200mph watching people scatter and scream as the police charge after you in squad cars and attack helicopters... well hell, you can do that too. THAT is a truly diverse game, not the ability to hit someone with a giant dildo.

Hey! ... Dildos are mature and engaging!

Vault101:

Custard_Angel:
If you want engaging themes and storytelling, watch a movie.

If you want to have fun, play Saints Row.

As far as I'm concerned gameplay trumps story and Saints Row appears to vastly surpass Grand Theft Auto in that department.

I dont get this attitude its like saying "games shouldnt even try"

with that then the medium isnt going to go anywaywhere...

and why not? games can have good stories and charachters...

Sure, but GTA has become less fun as its narrative has improved. This is a problem.

If a game can merge both, that's well and good, but sacrificing gameplay for story is a major misstep.

GTA has a "good" story, but boiler plate gameplay. That's bad.

Saints Row has a whatever story, but fun gameplay. That's good.

Custard_Angel:

Vault101:

Custard_Angel:
If you want engaging themes and storytelling, watch a movie.

If you want to have fun, play Saints Row.

As far as I'm concerned gameplay trumps story and Saints Row appears to vastly surpass Grand Theft Auto in that department.

I dont get this attitude its like saying "games shouldnt even try"

with that then the medium isnt going to go anywaywhere...

and why not? games can have good stories and charachters...

Sure, but GTA has become less fun as its narrative has improved. This is a problem.

If a game can merge both, that's well and good, but sacrificing gameplay for story is a major misstep.

GTA has a "good" story, but boiler plate gameplay. That's bad.

Saints Row has a whatever story, but fun gameplay. That's good.

I supose (hact played GTA 4 so I cant comment)

but Ill say it again, I actually found the story in SR2 interesting, and always wanted to know what was going to happen next

Custard_Angel:

Vault101:

Custard_Angel:
If you want engaging themes and storytelling, watch a movie.

If you want to have fun, play Saints Row.

As far as I'm concerned gameplay trumps story and Saints Row appears to vastly surpass Grand Theft Auto in that department.

I dont get this attitude its like saying "games shouldnt even try"

with that then the medium isnt going to go anywaywhere...

and why not? games can have good stories and charachters...

Sure, but GTA has become less fun as its narrative has improved. This is a problem.

If a game can merge both, that's well and good, but sacrificing gameplay for story is a major misstep.

GTA has a "good" story, but boiler plate gameplay. That's bad.

Saints Row has a whatever story, but fun gameplay. That's good.

forum eat my post? (or did I just forget ot post it?)

anyway I cant play GTA so I cant comment

Ill just copy what I said before

..I do feel a bit silly secretly hoping that SR3 is going ot have an interesting story, I think theres alot of potential, as in whats next for "the boss" now that he.she has all this power? (thats probably wishful thinking at best)

because I think thats somthing thats overlooked in SR2, I genuinly wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the rivalies between the gangs would play out (the brotherhood saga is particualy memorable) and I liked the charachters

The thing is Jim that Rockstar's actions are not based on any desire to grow up per se, rather they sold out. The whole "Hot Coffee" bit hidden in San Andreas showed what they were working on... moving games as adult entertainment into a more adult direction by getting into graphic interactive sex and so on. When that got leaked and people like Hillary Clinton got in their face Rockstar pretty much halted this aspect of development entirely, and sold out to create more "serious" entertainment experiences.

I see where your coming from with differant audiences, however the thing is that I believe you should be able to have both of these elements within the same basic game. Truthfully the social commentary was present in other "Grand Theft Auto" games even if the hero was himself a sociopath.

Fine, by all mean create a more human hero, but Grand Theft Auto should have continued to progress the sex and graphic violence, rather than cut things back to the rather lame strip club scenes, and only being able to wound random NPCs... and that's the problem with "Grand Theft auto V" the whole "family man" thing seems to be an effort to write around the sex, and the "reluctantly drawn back into crime" schtick is an excuse to doubtlessly reduce the violence, at least that inflicted by the player randomly. Rockstar DID lose it's balls.

I feel it's important that people call Rockstar on this, because if we don't, it's going to be a very long time before another company decides to try and push the envelopes of sex and violence for mainstream gaming oriented at adults, like Rockstar was doing to begin with.

As far as Saint's Row goes, it's similarly sanitary in it's own way, it has the ultra violence, but it's so exagerrated as to be beyond belief right from the beginning. Games like say "Vice City" on the other hand made things start out by seeming reasonably plausible and slowly expanded into insanity when it came to the rampages and such. Likewise when you compare what we saw in "Hot Coffee" to the sexual content in say "Saint's Row 2" where they don't show anything, while there might be noises, you can see why it's not pushing the envelope here either.

Right now there is this barrier in gaming, on one hand we have porn games, then on the other we have other kinds of games. There is little to nothing in between. In the name of true mature, adult experiences, I think we need to see serious games, with sex and such inserted in them as a partime thing, part of the entire experience, without it being the focus of the game. Basically we need to see video games get to the point that Hollywood has pushed with it's "R" rating and various "exploitation" movies.

In the end the big issue here is that Hot Coffee didn't actually show penetration, making it no worse than other scenes in "R" movies. The problem is Rockstar backed down instead of defending it by saying "hey, this was a mistake, but in the end it doesn't matter because it's an M rated game, and you can do that with an M / R rating". That right there had a tremendous impact on the industry... and that is why Rockstar has lost it's balls, and pretty much took down the entire gaming medium's development as a result. Chances are it chose not to fight because it cared less about the gaming medium and all the things it claimed to stand for, than it did about it's own bottom line, and it didn't want to fight a lengthy, public legal battle. I'd also imagine with people like Hillary Clinton leading the pack at the time the left-leaning morals held by Rockstar found themselves in a certain amount of conflict and they decided they would rather back down than go head to head with one of their heroes/leaders, though this latter point is simply additional speculation even if it would seem ridiculous to some people. Understand Rockstar has made no bones about it's political bias through gags like "Republican Space Rangers" and depictions of right wing politics.

Djinn8:
While I'm not debating the fact that the two games are offering a differing experience, I will offer that one of the two is redundent and kind of stupid. Suprisingly I'm talking about GTAV here.

See these games offer little to the player other than a sandbox, a physics engine, and series setpieces and props to be destroyed. That's what makes them enjoyable. It allows the player to create his own fun. Adding any sort of story depth or social commentary to the game just gets in the way of that. eg. a cutscene depicting the hard reality of a family struggling to stay afloat by living a life of crime has no place next to the players previous action of driving a mini van to the top of a multistory carpark and jumping it off the roof into the river for shits and giggles.

If rockstar want to go this route and release "grown-up" games they'll have to release a new IP with totally different game mechanics which complement a more serious playstyle. While not having played it myself it seem like LA Noir was a step in this direction. I'd say Red Dead was as well if it wasn't for it being so utterly boring.

I disagree, they set how they want the character to be portrayed and it's up to the player to choose if they want to follow this or just play as they will. Just because it may cause seeming illogical jumps doesn't mean that it should impose a restriction on gameplay and limit possible fun. They give you all the tools to play along in the way you think the character should act, just because you might not choose to play along in the way you'd expect the character to play doesn't mean it doesn't fit that style of gameplay.

Anyways: I agree, I quite like GTA IV's gameplay style but sometimes just wreaking havoc is fun. I've been playing GTA IV and SR2 and I'll play GTA V and SRT3. They're both fun in their own way and I enjoy playing both. Admittedly GTA IV has had far more playtime but that's mostly due to SR 2 running like ass on my computer and the rather ubiquitous problem of SR2's car handling. Just causing mayhem is fun but sometimes I like a little seriousness.

Aesthetical Quietus:
I disagree, they set how they want the character to be portrayed and it's up to the player to choose if they want to follow this or just play as they will. Just because it may cause seeming illogical jumps doesn't mean that it should impose a restriction on gameplay and limit possible fun. They give you all the tools to play along in the way you think the character should act, just because you might not choose to play along in the way you'd expect the character to play doesn't mean it doesn't fit that style of gameplay.

I understand what you are saying, but this means that people will be playing the game despite the illogical jumps. Yes they are covering more ground, but in doing so they are weakening the centeral asthetics. Jim's video is suggesting that these two game are apples and oranges, when in truth its more like lemons and lemon/lime. The people who don't like lime buy the lemon, but the lime lovers are stuck with lemons either way.

Is that the Mad Jesters music from FF IX in the background? Haha, weird, but maybe it does go well with Sterling's jestery attitude and the exploration of "fun" in this piece.

I generally like GTA IV's more serious approach. Saints Row is more cathartic. They really can co-exist. And both are just amazing. I can't wait for SR3 and GTA V. I like how this has played out, unlike the BF3 vs MW3 war.

GTA peaked at San Andreas for me, a reined in version of SR, with less pure batshit and a darker story, but some genuine fun stuff you could do to fanny around if you felt it.

Then all the fun and character went and got injected with a load of crack and took up some extreme sports and formed into SR2, and all the other stuff studied to become an accountant and became GTA4.

That's a fact that is.

My one objection to this whole trail of thought would be, previous game, notably San Andreas, managed to have it all: great characters, great story telling, plenty of social commentary, and all the crazy.

But that kind of threw in the notion that the game tried to be two things at once. And seeing the reasonable CJ being really rather likeable was assumedly a contrast with the fact that he routinely drove over pedestrians, skyjacked jets and then threw missiles at passers by. His story was serious, through and through, and just as poignant as GTAIV's. Where GTAIV fell a bit was on the fun factor. At the end of the day, there was really not much for one to do in the game except answer the phone and go bowling with a bunch of needy sociopaths.

That said, if Red dead redemption is any indication, rockstar can pull off both worlds. And there's no reason why it can't at least bring back some customization. I don't disagree with what Jim says in theory, but if it leads to GTAV turning wholly narrative Mafia style, then the balance is clearly lost. Even with the alternative provided by Saint's Row, the entire point of an open world game is the ability to dick around and do stuff. If you don't do that, you just end up with a vast world that you don't care to explore.

I seriously hate this guy an entire episode based on speculation plus a ton of plugs for that terrible game saints row. See people didn't hate GTA:IV because it was serious they hated it because it was the follow-up to san andreas a game that had a large diversity of landscapes a ton of weapons and infinite things to do, GTA:IV had no army and bowling as your extra activity and went back to stupid collectibles, pigeons? really?

A sandbox is judged purely on what you are capable of doing in it and GTA:IV only took freedoms away from the player.

I really hope the collector's edition of saints row 3 has that... thing with it!
I very much hope GTA stays neutered, if that's what GTA4 is. I don't really like either games, but they're damned good at what they do, respectively. I hope GTA5 goes crazy with a 100 hour smart campaign, they're the only ones that could do it.

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