Grand Theft Auto 5 Made Me Sad.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

It's everything a GTA game is meant to be...

The main problem the writer had with it was that the characters were genuinely horrible people for no apparent reason other than "to get paid"

No underlying reasons for them to be complete tossers other than because they wanted to... So, yeah... I kinda agree...

Sure, the game is more fun flying through the city at 120Mph with no care in the world, but people will eventually tire of that and go back to the story of three bad guys doing bad things because they want to...
I'm sure when I get my copy I'll have no love for the story too... but I wouldn't care because I'm not buying GTA for the story...

seydaman:
I feel like that is the whole point of GTA V.

That an evil person isn't humorous or enjoyable.

It's just depressing.

I could see that actually being the point of the story for this game. Much like how Spec Ops: The Line chose to make the scenario for their story oppressive and bleak and generally unfun. The issue I see though is that in Spec Ops, you had some agency in choosing how you damned yourself or your team or the people around you. You had the choice on how bad things were going to get. But it sounds like GTAV, there's only one way it's going to go and you can't get out of their pre-planned events. Not that said method is bad or inferior in anyway. But I think the option of giving players choices, even if its the illusion of choice like Spec Ops had, can help make them feel better until the realize it's all for nothing.

The other issue I'm seeing is a lack of initial investment to the characters. I find evil characters to be very interesting when they give a good initial first impression and grip you with an interesting motive or twisted way of viewing the world. Even real evil people are interesting case studies in just trying to figure them out. But it seems like maybe the characters of GTAV failed to live up to that level. Wouldn't know. Haven't played the game and can't since I can't get it on PC. Just speculating.

I highly doubt the lukewarm reception Greg had to GTAV is going to stop it from selling millions (upon millions) but to hear how a lot of the violence is just 'shoved in' for shock value is disappointing. This is the game series that every news fearmonger points to and screams; "Satan!" and it's sad to hear that Rockstar proudly wears the mask.

The story sounds weak as well put a big nail in the coffin, if I don't care about the characters then why the fuck would I play as them?

Fuck. GTAV is a sad game. Shows what insane dicks fans can be if and when nobody steps into line, shows how western reviewers will praise a game with misogynistic undertones, yet chastise eastern games for their 'abuse' of female characters, and that technical "triumphs" will always trump narrative ones.

I feel like I get where you're coming from, and I've felt the same way about this kind of nihilistic black comedy in the past (Has anyone seen the short film Six Shooter? This article is pretty much a perfect description of how I felt about that.) but I don't feel that way about GTA V, personally. Maybe as you said it's just a difference of perspective as you get older, but personally I'm having a great laugh with it, and I don't think a story/comedic style that exceeds your tolerance for general darkness/evil/meaningless violence should necessarily be described as poor writing. If you can't get into it that's fine, but it's exactly what they were going for, and it's executed very well, if you're into that kind of thing.

And there went any desire I had to play GTA V. I love a well written villain (i.e Vaas in Farcry 3) but the protagonists of GTA V don't even sound that well written, not to mention that one of the best things about a truly loathsome villain is their inevitable destruction, and I doubt anything is going to pierce the plot armor of these scum, considering they are the player characters. And while I don't demand that my videogame characters be flawless, I would prefer they not be someone whose death I actively desire.

The torture scene is truly disgusting and serves -zero- purpose within the game.

I was playing through the game and enjoying it just fine, but that scene. My god, that scene is going to create 50 more of these type of articles by the end of the week.

It's fucking disturbing.

I have to agree a billion percent with this article. I've played about 10 hours of GTAV, and it just doesn't sit well with me. I recognize that I'm not most people though, and some people are given to like this sort of thing.

That said, there are things that I'm pretty sure NOBODY would like, morally sure, but even just in the name of the game's continuity and already established canon, the biggest example of which is behind a spoiler!

Wow, I can't believe someone would be a fan of Breaking Bad and pan the characters in this. I would personally rather deal with these guys than the meritless scumbags in Breaking Bad.

I get where Greg's coming from on much of this, though. I don't care as much about choice as others seem to. It's a narrative. I'm cool with that.

GodzillaGuy92:

The difference is that a well-written character is one in which the story's view of them matches up with the audience's view of them; in the case of evil characters, this necessitates that they either be antagonists or that the story makes the point of letting the audience know that they're not supposed to root for them (hence the several people in this thread who have brought up Spec Ops: The Line). I've not yet played GTA V, so I can't know for sure, but everything Greg has said indicates that the game's story is taking a stance of "Ah, don't worry your pretty little head, it's all in good fun." Well, no - it being all in good fun demands that the story's perception of itself falls in line with my own, not the story simply telling me it's fine without the context or intent to back up that assertion.

I'm quite curious about people who have this frame of mind when it pertains to "evil" characters. What about characters like Agent 47? The guy is a genetically engineered superhuman, who seems almost devoid of emotion, and is a highly trained assassin who(until the most recent game) primary just kills people because it was what he was payed to do. That's it. Would he also not be considered evil? I mean can Trevor really be considered as evil or immoral of a person as Agent 47? At least Trevor is a human being who shows emotion, where as Agent 47 can hardly be seen having emotions at all.

Welcome to the realism part of gaming. What people bitch about not getting... R* has hit a nail on the head with some social commentary, that in our society, the criminal underclass is not romantic. Its brutal and fatal. Its our uncivilized nature run rampant.
It is offensive, and rightfully so. Too many people today idolize characters like Tony Montana, Walter White and Tony Soprano. They're not good people, and not someone to hold up as a hero. They're the definition of morally bankrupt. And what may not be sitting well with some of you is the fact that you're not playing a hero, or a romanticized trope of the "anti-hero". This is real criminal shit, and it should make you feel bad.
I said before people idolize these so-called anti-heroes but fail to realize that their lives aren't supposed to be something you want. They're supposed to be warnings against that type of behavior. That these guys are NOT good guys, no matter how bad you want them to be.
There are consequences to everything, and I feel R* is giving people a taste of what some of those consequences are. Not all consequences are measured in a physical way, some of them are mental and emotional. You will pay a price for what you do in life.
SpecOps the Line did this in a different way, but didn't reveal the underpinnings of the story til later. GTA V tells you a story, and it isn't a good one and I don't mean quality-wise and it doesn't hide its message.

Reading (most of) this article makes me really want to hear the next Podcat this Friday.

On one hand, Greg has a point and argues well for his reasons. On the other hand, you don't HAVE to agree with him.

The closest experience I had was that one scene in Spec Ops:The Line (hint: white phosphorous) after which I found myself unable to continue the game. However, that was BECAUSE I had made a bad, awful decision, no because I had no other choice. Would I have been able to continue if the game hadn't given me a choice? Yes, probably, but only because then I would habe expected some sort of redemption, a charactert arc of sorts, further down the line.

To those championing the 'that's life' argument - while I don't share your cynical view of reality (no one, in my opinion, ever does something out of their own volition that they deem to be 'evil'), this is a valid position to have. However, you do not understand that narrative can only use thongs taken from reality, but it can NEVER without abstraction truly reflect reality. The audience must empathize with the protagonist, this is true for novels but even more for games where you are asked to actually direct you character's actions most of the time. If that doesn't work, suddenly you're thew guy pushing Hitler's wheelchair - you control where he goes, but you know that wherever you take him, all of his actions will only lead to evil.

The truth is that most of the GTA players play the game as reckless murdering psychopaths. If Rockstar decided to go with the flow and make the main characters psychos you cannot blame them.

To me, the article is missing the whole point of GTA V's story.

So you found the story to be depressing... Guess what ... It is a story about the decadence of consumerist capitalist western society. And IT IS F***KING DEPRESSING.
Michael is living the american dream. Left his criminal past behind, created a family, survived, succeeded. Became rich.
And he is miserable. As it was mentioned, his family hate him, his shrink hates him, he hates himself. He is like Bruce Wayne in the first part of The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel.

Minor spoilers ahead. (basically dialogs between missions, so I wont bother to hide in a spoiler tag)

Rockstars criticism of the world is quite clear, and it wouldn't make any sense having a likable character in the mood they carefully constructed. In one mission, Michael says to Franklin to leave the crime and go to college, so he can deceive people and get paid for it. That's capitalism, he says.
In another mission, Michael is talking about his criminal past with his son. He says that, even after all the things he had done, he thought himself was the good guy. The kid says that his generation failed if he could be considered a good guy.

Is that bad writing?? Really??

Blowing up Steve Jobs's head live on an iFruit keynote is part of that harsh, exaggerated criticism (and cynicism) about contemporary consumerist society. It is allegorical, and can even be considered bad taste. But IT IS NOT GRATUITOUS. Not when it is working with the tone the game sets every minute.
To me, GTA V is like Old Boy meets Fight Club, in game form. And that is why I am liking it so much. Both movies I mentioned are violent, subversive and allegorical, and both have deeply psychological flawed characters.

No every anti-hero is John Marston, an gold-hearted outlaw. Actually, Michael, Franklin and Trevor all seem more real than John Marston, in my opinion.
Most works of art try to pay homage to human virtue. A few concentrate in our flawed selves, in our defects as people, and as a society.
GTA V is strong in its message and its tone.

Feel free to not like it. It is too radical to please everyone. But don't miss the point and give it flaws it doesn't have.

Last but not least: if anyone wants to disagree with me, I am up to the debate. But please: 1- lets make it civil; 2- exercise caution to not quote me out of context.

The biggest problem I have is Greg Tito acting like this is a first for the GTA series when it's not. You list John Marston and Tommy Vercetti like they're both great guys despite the fact that they're both completely opposite. John Marston was sorry for his crimes and was trying to redeem himself and had a lot of the basic qualities of a good anti-hero.

Tommy on the other hand was a pure psychopath. He swore and murdered people like crazy and he didn't care who if they were in his way. You defended Claude from GTA III because he was betrayed but how does that still excuse his actions for the people completely unrelated to that betrayal? Like some people said too is that GTA has always been a mockery of chaos and violence considering you were given missions to randomly kill civilians back in the day.

The game has not changed Mr. Tito, you have, and that's fine and everything and you're welcome to your opinion and even your review and I won't question that. But to act like Rockstar went in a different direction and just decided to make the worst characters around is a lie.

OT: Are you sure it's 'Lifehacker'? I thought the company in the game was 'LifeInvader' or something. Lifehacker is a real-world website, so it would be kind of odd...

It seems that I will not be buying GTA5 then. Looks like it has the same problem as Breaking Bad for me, meaning that all characters are unlikable bastards, and I don't really want them to succeed in any way. GTA4 also had this problem for me. I related more to CJ in San-Andreas when he was dishing out street-justice, than to my eastern-european compatriot Nico (who was doing whatever it was he was doing).

The first thing I want to say is that it's amazing to me that writer of this article could see Walter White as a good guy for so long. By the end of the first season he was a meth dealing murderer. He only became more vile, manipulative, and self-deceiving as the show went on.

I also dislike talking about the relatability and likability of characters. All that matters to me is whether they're interesting. I don't need to like them or feel like that could be me if I'd made a different choice or lived in that world; I just need them to be interesting. So far, the characters in GTA V are interesting to me, and the story is somewhat interesting.

The torture scene does sound vile. And the series has pretty much always been sexist as fuck. But the criticism sounds to me like the writer's perspective has shifted and he isn't able to enjoy what GTA offers in the same way he did however many years ago. I'm not saying this to champion GTA or game violence or anything, that's just how it seems. And I think it's good and fine to voice that kind of stuff, because it can help the medium grow and age. I just don't think it's a failing of GTA V's.

What is the difference between "You're a soldier. You shoot people in other countries." and "You're a thief and murderer. You shoot people that get in your way."?

The first one doesn't usually require anything and even the blandest of bland characters get a pass.

I don't see why the latter needs any more justification just because the main guys are bad.

Of course, I'm not defending GTA V since I haven't played it, but one of the reason why I'd actually like to play it is because you don' play as some another uberhero.

(Massive detour before coming back to the OT. Sorry.)

Having loved every minute of Saints Row 4, I decided to get hold of Saints Row 2 on PC and see where it (kind of) started. And I really gave it a good chance, about 30 hours and one-and-a-half factions, before I quit. Why? The protagonist. S/he's not the puckish rogue s/he insists on being in SR4, but the sociopath Zinyak accuses him/her of being. I stuck through the whole situation Cyrus describes in SR3, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. And as I thought about it, I, as the protagonist, was responsible for everything bad that happened in the game. Maero offer a deal, and I threw it back in his face. I decided to encroach on the drug-dealer's territory. And so on. No-one did anything bad to me until I pushed them, and my only motivation was that I wanted the whole pie. You don't get to cite revenge (You killed my friends!) when you started the fight.

In the end, I (arguably) talked myself into having no sympathy for the character I was playing, and couldn't get behind any of his/her actions. What fun I was having with the game gradually became outweighed by distaste for my protagonist, and I quit.

(Back to the OT)

I'm writing this to explain why, on the basis on this editorial and the review, I know that I won't be playing GTA V. There's no point. Greg has highlighted the kind of issues someone like myself would have with the game, and gone into length as to why that's the case.

Now, you might say that he/we/I is/are/am (hehe) missing the point, that GTA games have always been like that, that characters aren't important in a game like this, and other platitudes. The point is that for some players this kind of thing is an issue, is indeed a game-breaking issue. Glossing over such concerns and pretending they don't exist just to pacify those who don't see them in the first place is doing everyone a disservice in the end. It creates a false impression of the game, and nobody learns anything about the way other people see the world.

So thanks, Greg, for the honest, personal view of GTA V.

I'm with the people who don't really agree.

Granted, i haven't played GTA V yet, so i might end up agreeing on some of the points in this editorial and the review. (It seems that the whole torture thing, at least, is something inappropriate in the way Rockstar written/presented it)

But from my perspective, it seems to me that it is a GOOD THING if the characters are unsympathetic, and a bold step towards storytelling in games (not because it's the first game with deliberately unsympathetic characters, because it isn't, but because GTA V is such a huge game).

As others have said, GTA characters do and done horrible things for weak reasons all the time, and it's a game about crime, so it's refreshing if the characters aren't painted in a hypocritical light, as CJ and Niko did (I'm also amused how both articles defend Tommy Vercetti, who was a complete psycho and kind of a dick). I tend to agree more with Giant Bomb here, where they say that Trevor might be the definite GTA character, meaning that is character is in line with how most people play GTA.

I don't need a hero in my game when it isn't appropriate. I enjoy comedies like "Arrested Development" and "Very Bad Things", even though most of the characters in those are horrible, awful, annoying people. I don't try to come up with reasons why Walter White is still a relateable character in the final season (because he so isn't).

Granted, again, i do have my limits, and i was pretty vocal on the whole "No Russian" Thing (although not neccesarily on principle, but because the way it played out and because it was in Call of Duty MW2).

With titles like this and things like Hotline Miami, it seems games can finally be honest about themselves, and i rather not have that all backed by some Hollywood Bullshit Logic that wants to make people doing awful things justifiable for the sake of catering to target audiences.

---

TL;DR: Without having played the game, it seems the criticisms are less about bad writing and more about the characters being deliberately rotten and unlikeable, wich, in a satirical game about crime, is actually a good thing.

Good god. You people.

Video games are art. Video games are serious. Video games aren't just for kids, guiz. What's this? A video game that isn't happy and perfect? Violence that's horrific? Something that makes me morally uncomfortable? But I just want video games! *sadface and crying*

I can't even take this editorial seriously.

There is something absolutely, positively delicious about tricking Apple fans into being the willful accomplices to the cold-blooded murder of a Steve Jobs analogue. That's some heavy-weight champion trolling right there, people. If someone has virtually murdered the population of a small island nation over the course of the previous four games and this is what they get upset over, then I say they should get off their soapbox and sit the fuck down because they don't have a leg to stand on.

grumbel:

M920CAIN:
7. Do I need to go on?

He addressed that point in the article. All the examples you gave are the players choice, they are optional. If you don't like them, you don't do them. And as for Niko in GTA IV, yeah, that ain't great writing either and it received quite a lot of criticism after the initial hype around the game was over.

Actually Niko had major motivations and reasons for his behaviour. From the get go, he wants to get away from violence, and deplores getting back into it. His early violent acts are to help his own flesh and blood in times of peril, and then later, to get revenge on some horrific associates who betray and try to murder him. Also Niko reveals his long term game plan, (his real reason to be in America), which is to track down an old comrade who betrayed his unit.

Also, throughout the game, you can appreciate his weariness and confusion of American society. He is the only sensible voice, surrounded by man children, perverts, and lunatics. Niko is a violent, evil, terrible person in himself, but I thought the game took plenty of steps to make him relatable and give him a soul.

GodzillaGuy92:

Master Taffer:
I've never truly bought into the idea that protagonists have to be someone the player/viewer/reader can relate to, even in minute ways. If that were the case, there are a ton of characters out there that are good guys that I wouldn't engage in. Besides, I don't exactly agree with the idea that these guys are not relateable in some way simply because they happen to be scumbags. Two of these guys have the very relate able condition of being stuck in a state they are unsatisfied with. Just about everyone I know has had that moment where they were unhappy with where they were. The fact these guys go on to do heinous progressively more stuff is consequential to who they are.

I play games like Kane & Lynch and God of War, despite the protagonists being irredeemable horrors. Protagonists being disgusting men doesn't not immediately equate to bad writing. Sometimes people are motivated for the most selfish and un-altruistic reasons, and sometimes those people come out on top.

The difference is that a well-written character is one in which the story's view of them matches up with the audience's view of them; in the case of evil characters, this necessitates that they either be antagonists or that the story makes the point of letting the audience know that they're not supposed to root for them (hence the several people in this thread who have brought up Spec Ops: The Line). I've not yet played GTA V, so I can't know for sure, but everything Greg has said indicates that the game's story is taking a stance of "Ah, don't worry your pretty little head, it's all in good fun." Well, no - it being all in good fun demands that the story's perception of itself falls in line with my own, not the story simply telling me it's fine without the context or intent to back up that assertion.

It sounds like you blame GTA V for not spelling out that the awful characters do awful things.

But in my experience, satirical stuff usually never does that, and is all the better for it.
Good writing does let you that figure out for yourself.

If you do not like that the game acts differently than you see things, that's fine. But to criticize the game for it just seems like you haven't informed yourself about GTA.

One other post mentioned this before, but yeah, I think what GTA V basically did was take the one thing that everyone does in GTA (go on a mindless murder spree where all morals are tossed out the window) and basically made it the entire game. Because I'm pretty sure whenever anyone goes on one of those GTA kill frenzies, they don't really consider themselves the protagonist anymore, they become some proxy representation of pure carnage, mindlessly turning the streets into chaos filled arenas. But now that said carnage has been characterised it doesn't look nice, so yeah, this could just be a sort of different perspective view of what we do.

maninahat:

grumbel:

M920CAIN:
7. Do I need to go on?

He addressed that point in the article. All the examples you gave are the players choice, they are optional. If you don't like them, you don't do them. And as for Niko in GTA IV, yeah, that ain't great writing either and it received quite a lot of criticism after the initial hype around the game was over.

Actually Niko had major motivations and reasons for his behaviour. From the get go, he wants to get away from violence, and deplores getting back into it. His early violent acts are to help his own flesh and blood in times of peril, and then later, to get revenge on some horrific associates who betray and try to murder him. Also Niko reveals his long term game plan, (his real reason to be in America), which is to track down an old comrade who betrayed his unit.

Also, throughout the game, you can appreciate his weariness and confusion of American society. He is the only sensible voice, surrounded by man children, perverts, and lunatics. Niko is a violent, evil, terrible person in himself, but I thought the game took plenty of steps to make him relatable and give him a soul.

You didn't play the same GTA as the rest of us, then. Niko frequently does horrendous acts of violence purely to get paid. Even well into the game, when he has been paid nearing a million dollars for his crimes, he cooly asks for a higher wage or better terms to a deal that involved senseless murder. In fact, I believe it directly states "I'm only interested in money" more than once. The revenge mission Niko was on, was added purely for background colour and to keep the story moving forward in some way. It was lazy, written poorly and clashed with the way Niko acted in every scene past the intro hour.

I read the spoiler part of the text now.

How the hell is that mission TERRORISM? Do you know what this word means, author? Terrorism is inducing fear in the general populace. In fact, terrorists generally not only have their reasons for doing what they do, they are also happy to tell the world about it

What is described here is plain assassination. I.e. an act meant to get someone killed, get rid of an uncomfortable person and that's it. The actual fact you're actually criticising, not knowing what's behind it, makes it anti-terrorism pretty much by default.

And now we're supposed to take your high moral criticism seriously?

Maiev Shadowsong:

maninahat:

grumbel:

He addressed that point in the article. All the examples you gave are the players choice, they are optional. If you don't like them, you don't do them. And as for Niko in GTA IV, yeah, that ain't great writing either and it received quite a lot of criticism after the initial hype around the game was over.

Actually Niko had major motivations and reasons for his behaviour. From the get go, he wants to get away from violence, and deplores getting back into it. His early violent acts are to help his own flesh and blood in times of peril, and then later, to get revenge on some horrific associates who betray and try to murder him. Also Niko reveals his long term game plan, (his real reason to be in America), which is to track down an old comrade who betrayed his unit.

Also, throughout the game, you can appreciate his weariness and confusion of American society. He is the only sensible voice, surrounded by man children, perverts, and lunatics. Niko is a violent, evil, terrible person in himself, but I thought the game took plenty of steps to make him relatable and give him a soul.

You didn't play the same GTA as the rest of us, then. Niko frequently does horrendous acts of violence purely to get paid. Even well into the game, when he has been paid nearing a million dollars for his crimes, he cooly asks for a higher wage or better terms to a deal that involved senseless murder. In fact, I believe it directly states "I'm only interested in money" more than once. The revenge mission Niko was on, was added purely for background colour and to keep the story moving forward in some way. It was lazy, written poorly and clashed with the way Niko acted in every scene past the intro hour.

No I played it the same way, and I too had the same problem consoling Niko the game character (troubled, regretful, mature) with my gameplay style (ultra-violent, childish, cash grabbing fun). The ludo-narrative dissonance took a lot away from that game's story. Nevertheless, the OPs issue was about creating a relatable character who you didn't mind following on his story, or letting him serve as your avatar. It was not about how they could make Niko mow down pedestrians right as he makes a heartfelt speech about sparing a comrade's life.

I think that any form of art that makes you feel something, either revulsion or joy is accomplishing what it sets out to do. Games, movies and even paintings work best when they create any strong emotion and force us to face our own personal limits. I can see myself being blasť about the killing of a Steve Jobs analog for the same reason as Greg found it distasteful. Lack of agency, motivation or understanding beyond a shallow thrill. It's a big like comparing Bad Boys 2 to Narc. Bad Boys 2 revels in brutal cartoon violence without moral consequence. While Narc obsesses over the morality of the death of one person and the consequences of succumbing to the brutality of criminality. It's not even apples and oranges. It's fruits and vegetables and both deserve to exist.

I like games with awesome story writing and well made relatable characters.
And then there are games like GTA, where I just don't care.
It's just an age thing...that's your problem.
Because this is a GTA game and you are complaining about moral issues and other SERIOUS topics.
I personally still find amusement in running old ladies over with a tank in my GTA games, without any reason at all. The main plot missions were something I would do after alot of time spending on crime sprees and other shenanigans.
Because fuck you, game.

Also, I seriously think games like GTA , SAINTS ROW , POSTAL etc do not need reviews..at least not from professional, serious people, like yourself.

I think the intent is to leave your moral values on the shelf and simply indulge yourself. The motivation for your characters action is simply "Because they wanted to" and "because they can", and perhaps your escapism in this case is simply adopting that mindset, for the narrative as much as for the gameplay.

But from a narrative point of view, I imagine that you're supposed to be appalled by their actions, as a way to bring the message across that this kind of game is about committing crime, taking (Not earning) what you want, and that has a definite moral cost. It's about ambition unhindered by any morals.

Mind, it's still understandable that you would lose interest in the narrative when you can't see any sort of character growth or relate to any of the characters. As with most things, there's a trope for this:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DarknessInducedAudienceApathy

Houseman:

M920CAIN:

Well, let me put it like this:
If Niko has a gun to his head he says "yes" but after the gun is pointed away and Niko goes to do what he said yes to, can't Niko just not do it?

Sure, in the rare cases that the gun is pointed solely at his head, and not at the head of his cousin.

His motivation is to get OUT of the "everybody is trying to kill me/Roman" scenario. Going back on his word would only worsen that situation.

and go to the police instead or another option?

No, because he's an illegal immigrant.

Most of these "people are trying to kill me, help" situations are "Because I/Roman did something illegal to warrant it in the first place", so going to the police would just get them arrested and possibly deported.

Plus, the police are obviously ineffectual, seeing as they never seem to thwart any crimes.

Niko is motivated mostly by money to help his family

I don't remember it like that.

I remember that he's motivated to find the guy who threw him under a bus during some kind of war.

, the only times he has a gun to his head is: when meeting Faustin although it's a saw to his head, not gun, and the second one is when Packie's friends tells him about the bank job and he has the option to either do the bank job or get killed, but from a realistic point, Niko could say yes and then just go to the police or tip the police off indirectly since he can't go to them without risk of being deported.

In the beginning of the story, Roman is under attack by people who want to break his knees for the gambling debt he owes. After they kill some boss, their bosses boss comes after them, kidnaps Roman and uses him as leverage.

Rarely is the gun ever to Niko's head himself.

And let's not even talk about "why didn't he do [real world action]" The answer is "because this is a video game". This isn't the point. The point here is that Niko had context given to his crimes by having either him or Roman threatened with death. In the cases where he wasn't threatened, his motivation was to find that guy from the war.

Precisely, it is a videogame. Same goes for GTA V and that horrible but not so horrible mission. GTA characters have a way of getting themselves into trouble either directly or indirectly and the plots are built around that. Also, they have a tendency to make decisions based on their own principles rather than morals or justice by the book, so GTA V I think still captures the formula Rockstar has used for years while not being overly violent or without motivation.

It's definitely an interesting response to a game rather than just focussing on graphics, controls, level design etc. It shows just how far gaming has progressed that it's characters and scripts which can have the biggest impact on how you feel about the game you're playing.

I eventually finished GTA 4 but found that I wasn't really bothered about Niko and was sick of his cousin - I don't buy a game to take a whining relative bowling or commute in traffic. I much preferred the "don't give a shit" over the top stuff in Saints Row 2 - it was fun rather making any pretence at being "deep" (was less impressed by SR3 and even less impressed by SR4 despite enjoying some of the references to games from the past).

This discussion about characters reminded me of one mission that stood out in San Andreas - your sister comes in complaining about the local builders calling her a hooker and what do you have to do to pass the mission? Bury the foreman alive in concrete. Despite all the rest of the killing I didn't see that calling her a hooker deserved that kind, or any kind, of death - anyway, as far as I was concerned .. she did look like a hooker. It was the only mission I had any problem with, but I did it and then completed the game. Are there missions like this coming up in GTA 5?

So far I'm only a little into the game and I've already killed a lot of police, gang members and a few pedestrians thanks to the shitty driving but haven't seen anything yet to really put me off playing it. But I agree with the main point of the review - if you hate the characters and see no reason to support their actions then .. why bother? I've seen several horror films like this. The characters can be so unpleasant that I don't care at all when they get sliced up by whoever/whatever the current monster is.

First, I think this was a really interesting article, and, like others, I'm glad you wrote it. I'm glad that there are discussions like this about video games because video games are the world's most interesting and quickly evolving form of art.

But, I found your conclusion to be a bit odd:

I don't like to watch the news; I play games for an escape from all that shit.

Grand Theft Auto V is like watching the news. It just makes me sad.

I really hate the idea that games should be about escaping from the real world. There should always be fun, escapist games out there, but it would be a huge disservice to the form if we ignored games that made us sad by reflecting back on us the evils of the world. It sounds like GTAV is experimenting with having the player take the role of a complete psycopath. I don't see how that's a problem.

I don't get the choice thing either. If the game had consistently given you choices to avoid violence, then I can see being unhappy that choice was taken away from you. But this game has no choice mechanics. You are not the character. You are not doing these things. I think it is great for games to have choice, but it is not a requirement. All games should not be built on the same set of mechanics.

I think I would have preferred to see this editorial but seen someone else review the game. Although you wouldn't have known ahead that the violence was beyound what you wanted to deal with, you had to pretty much know that Rockstar was not going to reinvent the series in GTAV. They gave no indication that they would. They were docked points because the game didn't live up to a set of expectations that really did not make sense for the title or genre. Trying to play that off as "bad writing" isn't good enough. I mean, you pretty much went in with a bit of a bias against the game. If you've decided you can't accept being "forced" to play through gruesome, inhumane scenes, then you probably shouldn't review GTA-likes or certain types of horror. I think you should write about it though. It just seems like having the review done by someone that is interested in facing those kinds of issues in the form of a game, not someone interested in escaping from them, would be more helpful to gamers who also want that kind of experience.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here