Grand Theft Auto 5 Made Me Sad.

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Maiev Shadowsong:

lacktheknack:

Maiev Shadowsong:
Um. I didn't say it was just a game. That's the opposite of my argument. Did you read at all?

Yes, I did. I, however, did NOT claim that you said it was "just a game". Did YOU read at all?

You claimed that he doesn't like it because he just wanted a fun, unthreatening game. In the other thread, people were attacking him BECAUSE it's "just a fun game". Clearly, there's something wrong here, and I don't think it's Greg Tito.

Now, I pointed out that you constructed a simplification of his argument and attacked it, leaving out his entire damn point of not having a choice in how awful of a person he was (man, I REALLY wish there was a common, well-known word for that). Are you going to address that, or will you just quote me with a quarter-reply over and over and hope I go away?

I don't care what other people were attacking him for and it's not relevant to what I said in the slightest, no matter how hard you try to make it. You can't use someone else's argument as a launching point for mine. Either try again using actual logic, or stop pretending to be making a real point.

I'm using your complete disconnect with what people were whinging about in the other thread to draw attention to your incredibly obvious strawman (there, I said it). For the third time, you refuse to address the actual point of the article of Greg Tito not having any choice in whether or not he gets to do some of the more graphically awful things. You're ignoring them so you can draw him up as a spineless whiner who hates being challenged by gaming, which you in turn can have a big old laugh at.

Yes, you are. It's completely undeniable. Go read your first post.

And it's utterly completely false, as he successfully pointed out what was bothering him and successfully explained how GTA V could have avoided it. That's not something one does upon having a temper tantrum that their game was too emotionally challenging for them.

Now, FOR THE THIRD TIME, will you or will you not address your massive fallacy, or are you going to hone in on a grammatical error or something and try to dismiss me entirely without having to be challenged on your statements? If it's the second one, please don't respond.

lacktheknack:

Maiev Shadowsong:

lacktheknack:

Yes, I did. I, however, did NOT claim that you said it was "just a game". Did YOU read at all?

You claimed that he doesn't like it because he just wanted a fun, unthreatening game. In the other thread, people were attacking him BECAUSE it's "just a fun game". Clearly, there's something wrong here, and I don't think it's Greg Tito.

Now, I pointed out that you constructed a simplification of his argument and attacked it, leaving out his entire damn point of not having a choice in how awful of a person he was (man, I REALLY wish there was a common, well-known word for that). Are you going to address that, or will you just quote me with a quarter-reply over and over and hope I go away?

I don't care what other people were attacking him for and it's not relevant to what I said in the slightest, no matter how hard you try to make it. You can't use someone else's argument as a launching point for mine. Either try again using actual logic, or stop pretending to be making a real point.

I'm using your complete disconnect with what people were whinging about in the other thread to draw attention to your incredibly obvious strawman (there, I said it). For the third time, you refuse to address the actual point of the article of Greg Tito not having any choice in whether or not he gets to do some of the more graphically awful things. You're ignoring them so you can draw him up as a spineless whiner who hates being challenged by gaming, which you in turn can have a big old laugh at.

Yes, you are. It's completely undeniable. Go read your first post.

And it's utterly completely false, as he successfully pointed out what was bothering him and successfully explained how GTA V could have avoided it. That's not something one does upon having a temper tantrum that their game was too emotionally challenging for them.

Now, FOR THE THIRD TIME, will you or will you not address your massive fallacy, or are you going to hone in on a grammatical error or something and try to dismiss me entirely without having to be challenged on your statements? If it's the second one, please don't respond.

You don't actually know what a straw man is, evidently. Again you try so very hard to use someone else's argument as a launching point for mine and then go on to spew rhetoric. I'm not going to pretend you have a valid point or play into your ego fallacy.

Stop pretending you have a point.

Maiev Shadowsong:

lacktheknack:

Maiev Shadowsong:
I don't care what other people were attacking him for and it's not relevant to what I said in the slightest, no matter how hard you try to make it. You can't use someone else's argument as a launching point for mine. Either try again using actual logic, or stop pretending to be making a real point.

I'm using your complete disconnect with what people were whinging about in the other thread to draw attention to your incredibly obvious strawman (there, I said it). For the third time, you refuse to address the actual point of the article of Greg Tito not having any choice in whether or not he gets to do some of the more graphically awful things. You're ignoring them so you can draw him up as a spineless whiner who hates being challenged by gaming, which you in turn can have a big old laugh at.

Yes, you are. It's completely undeniable. Go read your first post.

And it's utterly completely false, as he successfully pointed out what was bothering him and successfully explained how GTA V could have avoided it. That's not something one does upon having a temper tantrum that their game was too emotionally challenging for them.

Now, FOR THE THIRD TIME, will you or will you not address your massive fallacy, or are you going to hone in on a grammatical error or something and try to dismiss me entirely without having to be challenged on your statements? If it's the second one, please don't respond.

You don't actually know what a straw man is, evidently. Again you try so very hard to use someone else's argument as a launching point for mine and then go on to spew rhetoric. I'm not going to pretend you have a valid point or play into your ego fallacy.

Stop pretending you have a point.

I Googled "ego fallacy" and it didn't come up with anything relevant.

Also, you apparently don't know what a strawman is either, because I explained your strawman to you three times, and all three times, it's like it's invisible. You won't even attack it, you just ignore it. You cling to one aspect that you feel is weak rather than address anything around it.

I did not "spew rhetoric", I simply asked that you address the point of the article. You still will not, because you'd rather attack me with such bizarre statements such as "stop pretending you have a point." Uh... why don't you stop pretending to have a point first? Yeah, that seems like as good a rebuttal as any.

I'm not going to ask a fourth time for you to actually address the editorial's point properly, because you simply cannot. I don't understand WHY you cannot, but there we go.

"GET IT, EVERYBODY?!?? PEOPLE IN BIG FLASHY CITIES LIKE L.A./MIAMI/ETC. ARE SHALLOW, MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE ASSHOLES!!!"

Gee, never seen that before. Groundbreaking stuff you guys are doing, Rockstar.

This game just sounds insufferably juvenile and lame. When I first saw the trailer, I coulda sworn that this was the the tie-in game to Michael Bay's Pain & Gain, another movie too dumb and amateurish to make the commentary it thinks it's making. I'll see if I can Redbox the bloody thing just because, but my expectations are going to be pretty low...

I can understand the novelty appeal of GTA III way back in 2001, but now it just sounds like we're treading water at this point and we're back in that 90's period where everyone's just trying to "out-offend" and one-up each other in increasingly crass, crude, ultimately pointless ways. At least in a game like Saints Row IV they make ZERO pretense about being anything other than completely silly. This seems to look like another one of those things that are trying to excuse mean-spirited bullying and douchebaggery by going "oh but no you see that's the POINT! You're SUPPOSED to hate these people because IRONY!"

-_-

As far as I'm concerned, the whole "mindlessly kill everything because everyone sucks" routine peaked with the movie Crank 2: High Voltage. And even THAT seems to have a more creative/inspired scenario than this. If you're not up to the task of being as batfuckingshit insane as that Jason Statham classic, just stay at home xP

Mutant1988:

Carpenter:

EDIT:
"A lot has changed since 2001, when GTA III came out. I got married, had two kids, and I'm now in charge of a website dedicated to discussing the experience of games and their impact on our culture. The world has witnessed acts of terrorism around the globe, and shootings here in the U.S. are frightfully common. I don't like to watch the news; I play games for an escape from all that shit."

I never understood the escapism argument. People used it as a reason to praise saints row even though the first three saints row games did nothing but glorify gruesome gang violence, sexual enslavement, and dealing drugs. That's not escaping reality, that's glorifying some pretty dark portions of it.

Escapism isn't about escaping reality. It's about experiencing something which you can't in reality (That, or something that you want). If you're fed up with violence and death in reality, why would you go looking for it in your entertainment?

Perhaps Greg is just at a point in his life where he doesn't want nor need to be reminded of the darker depths of human nature and human society. You could question why then he would play a game like GTA V, but you have to remember some very important things:

1: It's his job.
2: Previous GTA were very tongue in cheek with it's violence and depravity. The shift towards a more serious narrative might have taken him by surprise and might not be as appealing to him.

But most of all, he criticize but one single aspect of the game. You don't have to share his view on it and might, by his description of it, rather be intrigued by the things that he finds unappealing. Thus my comment above about your enjoyment being heavily dependent on whether you interpret the narrative as insignificant flavour, satire or cynical realism. If not, then at least the rest of the review would give you an indication on whether this game is fit for you or not.

But he gave us his opinion on the game and that is arguably the point of a review. At least in equal measure with consumer information ("This is what the game is").

Ok that definition of escapism I can get behind but I see several people flat out saying they play games to "escape from reality" which is a pretty sad thing to say. Are that many people seriously depressed (that is a pretty big indication of depression btw) or are most of them just following a trend set by a few?

Neither possibility is comforting.

Yeah that definition I get, I'm not a warrior, I suck at shooting guns, hence I love overly realistic shooting games and sometimes some very detailed military strategy games (I loved full spectrum before I found xcom, then I just had no need for it) but I do life for it to be based in reality in some way and hopefully provide some new viewpoint or idea to explore.
Saints row makes another good example. Even 4 is grounded in reality in a pretty interesting way. Yeah you could argue that we are not actually living the simulation of a dead planet but that is an actual idealogy that some people have, as well as the idea that aliens are running the world in secret. Yes that is really silly (kind of) and impossible to take seriously for the most part but that's why it was so perfect for a saints row story.
Same with saints row 3 being about a brutal street game becoming corporate icons. Yeah the specifics are things that could or at least haven't ever happened but the concept on it's own is certainly a real one.

If he is fed up with death and violence in his reality, why is he doing the review of GTA? That's like a guy that's sick of racing games doing a review of Gran Turrismo and giving it a decent score but spending the entire review complaining that racing is boring and pointless.

I am not saying a person should like a game to review it obviously but liking the genre or style of the game is important because if the person is unable to immerse themselves at least a little into the game they are going to see everything from an outside perspective rather than something that they felt or experienced.
Want an example, read some reviews for "Spec ops the line"
Watch something like the video penny arcade did then go read or watch a review from someone that saw it as nothing more than a mindless GOW clone and you will see what I mean I think.

Your point is relevant, it's his job, but I'm not asking why he's playing GTA 5, sometimes I love to play games that I hate just to see if I can get through it, what I am asking is why he is doing a review for a game with subject matter that he now finds to be too offensive to be fun. Yes it's his job, and usually game reviewers don't choose the games they review but I would like to think that it's chosen for them by people that know what they would be good at reviewing.

At the very least he could have explained to his team that he's not the best person for a review but that he wants to do an article about his thoughts on the game. That would be perfect really, if he had just done the "GTA 5 made me sad" article but combined it with his "review" and just lay it all out as an essay of ideas rather than a very strange review of a game that gives the game a good score but doesn't mention much good about the game and goes on and on about one particular negative aspect.

Yes you could say that he is a "good reviewer" because I now want the game because what he described entices me but is that really the point of a reviewer? To make people want a game that you hate? That's not hard to do, it's done all the time on the news. "Don't buy this game, it has dirty violence sex sex and your poor psychotic child could easily find it at BEST BUY FOR ONLY 60 DOLLARS"
Fox news, CNN, and MSNBC have all played that little reverse marketing game.

Shouldn't your goal as a reviewer be to inform people without spoiling the experience?

I mean it kind of failed if that is the goal because it talks very little about the gameplay and goes way too much into the story. Yeah it has spoiler warnings, but should a review have big spoilers to begin with?

Then again maybe he was going through weird stuff and didn't know that he would be able to just do an article on the story aspects.

Look I don't hold it against Mr.Tito, I think he has an interesting perspective and I would like to see more of it but I would also like for someone at the escapist to admit that this probably should have been an article rather than an "official escapist review" because it doesn't work too well as a review of the game.

I couldn't disagree more with pretty much everything Mr Tito writes to be honest. Admittedly i haven't opened up Trevor's story line as yet but i've found the warped father-son kind of relationship between Michael and Franklin really well written, and whilst i obviously can't directly relate to their experiences, i can to some extent sympathise with their motivations for doing what they do, particularly as this is a an over the top make believe GTA game.

As for the 'shocking' Life Invader mission, i would agree that the story set up for the mission is poorly handled, and it is a bit of a surprise with the end result but Gregg seems to be trying to make more of it than what it actually is. Clearly the writers have seen these annoying yank tech company conferences with a complete douche (Zuckerberg, Jobs etc)standing up at the front talking rubbish to all their minions and thought ' i wish they'd just blow up'. They created a mision to do this and to be honest you just move on from it to the next one.Its not a brilliantly scripted mission, but thats one out of the dozen or so superb missions i have completed up to this point and I really can't see anyone other then geeky tech company execs being offended enough to stop playing.Its GTA for god's sake what do you expect?

The sad thing is, there seem to be a load of people on here who won't buy the game because of Gregg's review and article and far too much of this is down to Gregg referring to his opions as facts.

The Dubya:
"GET IT, EVERYBODY?!?? PEOPLE IN BIG FLASHY CITIES LIKE L.A./MIAMI/ETC. ARE SHALLOW, MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE ASSHOLES!!!"
If you're not up to the task of being as batfuckingshit insane as that Jason Statham classic, just stay at home xP

First you compare it to the movie where Mark Walberg yells at fat kids and then you end with that line.
I hate to sound like some drunk frat boy but you just sold me on GTA 5.

I get to torture people and tell a fat kid to get in shape? I swear to god if I can do Yoga and play golf I'm going to ooze pure excitement through my eyes.

Pekchenko:
I couldn't disagree more with pretty much everything Mr Tito writes to be honest. Admittedly i haven't opened up Trevor's story line as yet but i've found the warped father-son kind of relationship between Michael and Franklin really well written, and whilst i obviously can't directly relate to their experiences, i can to some extent sympathise with their motivations for doing what they do, particularly as this is a an over the top make believe GTA game.

As for the 'shocking' Life Invader mission, i would agree that the story set up for the mission is poorly handled, and it is a bit of a surprise with the end result but Gregg seems to be trying to make more of it than what it actually is. Clearly the writers have seen these annoying yank tech company conferences with a complete douche (Zuckerberg, Jobs etc)standing up at the front talking rubbish to all their minions and thought ' i wish they'd just blow up'. They created a mision to do this and to be honest you just move on from it to the next one.Its not a brilliantly scripted mission, but thats one out of the dozen or so superb missions i have completed up to this point and I really can't see anyone other then geeky tech company execs being offended enough to stop playing.Its GTA for god's sake what do you expect?

The sad thing is, there seem to be a load of people on here who won't buy the game because of Gregg's review and article and far too much of this is down to Gregg referring to his opions as facts.

I could be misreading the tone but the way the "steve jobs" thing was described reminds me a lot of the "Jack Thompson" shooting thing in GTA 4. Everyone made it out to be such a huge thing that the "obvious jack Thompson character" had to be assassinated in the game. He didn't even look like him.

Still, same concept. We are not given a good reason to assassinate him, just "He's messing with my way of life and I can mess with yours so you better end this guy" and you do. Just as awful, just as senseless, just as violent, just as pointless to the overall story as a whole.

That's because it's grand theft auto. All of the missions are not meant to tell one story, that would be one insane freaking story if it did. It's all meant to fit a theme, tell little stories, make you see things in a certain way perhaps, and shoot things.

This happens with every GTA game, people find some strange reason to complain that it doesn't fit with the GTA games because of X.

[/quote]
That's because it's grand theft auto. All of the missions are not meant to tell one story, that would be one insane freaking story if it did. It's all meant to fit a theme, tell little stories, make you see things in a certain way perhaps, and shoot things.

.[/quote]

Exactly, the content of the missions are merely an there to facilitate doing cool things. A later mission you do rescuing Michael's daughter from a boat doesnt have much story to it but its just used as an excuse to cycle, swim and ride a jet ski. That's what GTA is about.

The 'Life invader' mission was an excuse to take the pi$$ out of Apple/Facebook and the kind of workers and working environment it has created these days. It wasn't laugh out loud funny but i found it amusing enough to forgive the poor set up conversation between Michael and Lester.I'm very syrprised that a 35 year old computer games review found it so offensive?

I'd also debate the point Gregg makes about its relevance as it is used as the catalyst for playing the stock markets on your phone

M920CAIN:
Dude wrting this article, let me give you some examples:
1. In Skyrim you can sacrifice a best friend (follower) for a Daedra named Boethiah in order to get some piece of armor
2. In Skyrim you can sacrifice a priest in order to become a canibal for another Daedra
3. In all GTA games players go on killing sprees against police, civilians, anything that moves.
4. Niko, a guy who wants to escape crime, kills so many people in GTA IV in missions in order to advance the plot and he's doing it for MONEY, ONLY MONEY, sure he needs it to get a better life and pay his cousin's gambling problems, but it's still for dirty money.
5. I don't need a 5
6. I don't need a 6
7. Do I need to go on?

.

well, in skyrim you usually have the choice. not in every deadra-mission, but in some you can chooseto NOT follow the deadras wish but destroy the society or just not partake. its your choice whether you fancy a piece of armor or weapon more over some follower (who isnt a friend. can be, but not necessary

Reincarnatedwolfgod:

M920CAIN:
Dude wrting this article, let me give you some examples:
1. In Skyrim you can sacrifice a best friend (follower) for a Daedra named Boethiah in order to get some piece of armor

how exactly is that a bad thing?
most of the time the death of a followers is just an inconvenience and even when alive there still are an inconvenience who blocks doors. most follower are pack mules with little to no back story. I once once killed a follower for being annoying. At least sacrificing a pack mule for armor is useful as opposed to killing one for being annoying. The armor even if it's not used is still worth more then the life of one follower.
That says something about the writing in skyrim.

Gotta say, that's funny. Well, killing your pack mule can be considered a bad thing, if the pack mule does what you tell it to most of the times, except the block doors part :)). You can use the Amazing Followers mod for that. It has the option "stand behind me" and it teleports the follower behind you when he is blocking your door. Of course it does not work during enemy encounters, but having a meat shield in front of you is useful then, ey? :P

Greg Tito:

...A lot has changed since 2001, when GTA III came out. I got married, had two kids, and I'm now in charge of a website dedicated to discussing the experience of games and their impact on our culture. The world has witnessed acts of terrorism around the globe, and shootings here in the U.S. are frightfully common. 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.

Really Greg? Said as only an American can. In the UK shootings, bombings and acts of terrorism were a part of life in the UK thanks to a group called the IRA. I remember this all through the 80s and 90s, who theyg sourced a lot of their funds and murder weapons from America in places like New York. It wasnt until after the world trade centre was attacked your government did something about it. I guess you guys worked out that terrorism isnt nice. There were plenty of acts of terrorism before 2001, its just America didnt seem to recognise this until it affected Americans.

"Michael, a middle-aged ex-criminal who hates the success he's forged. Michael doesn't like his son, his daughter or his wife's cheating, despite their "agreement", and to combat these feelings he gets mad at his psychiatrist instead of talking to his family."

Isnt that the whole Supranos thing? From American TV it seems everyone deals with their problems like this.

Im personally not interested in GTAV from what Ive read. I probably played until the second island on GTAIV before losing interest and never playing again. A lack of likeable protagonists is a deal breaker for me, this seems aimed at teenagers who will find irrideemable unlikeable A holes and the attatched chance to do bad things cool and edgey. Anything to upset the parents I guess. It appears to be a technical marvel however if the multiplayer isnt superb (and far more structured than the GTAIV MP) I will probably skip on a collection of minigames with a poor story attatched. Until I can pick it up for 15 at least.

With ow you felt about it, Im glad you felt able to give it less than 5 stars. Did you see the shit storm coming before you uploaded the review?

I don't know if I completely missed the point or am just looking for the things I want to see in the game but I can not agree with the decision that these characters are all one dimensional evil people. Playing through the chunk of the game Greg Tito has talked about I just cannot come to the same conclusion.

None of these characters are just evil for the sake of evil each one has their own reasons for doing what they do in this game. If rockstar is trying to satirise the death of the American dream then they have done it pretty well.

Michael is the successful criminal who got out of the game alive and with money. He has the family, the cars, the fancy home in the rich neighborhood and spends his days relaxing. That has been his life for 10 years something most people try to achieve and his absolutely hates it. His wife is cheating on him his kids hate him and are extremely verbal about that through the game. He isn't living the high life of the American dream, he's slowly rotting in it. The only person who he talks to is his psychiatrist and as they show even he doesn't give a shit about Michael. Whenever he is on the verge of a breakthrough he shuts Michael down because their time is over and demands money for the session.
So when he has to do the jewellery heist to cover debts he realises that his old life of crime actually makes him happy. He enjoys coming up with plans and executing heists, the goal of being rich wasn't the important thing it was the process. He comes out and admits that doing that heist was the first time he has felt happy in 10 years and has the realisation that this is what he has to do with his life even if it makes him a wrong and wanted man. He does not rob because he is a one-dimensional evil man he robs because it is the only thing that gives his life some meaning.

Franklin is in the situation where he is surrounded by people that have accepted their lot in life and have no aspirations to move up and he hates them for it. The first strange mission you do with Franklin is for a girl he has known since childhood who is now hooked on crack, has a husband in prison and a struggling business. So when he helps her she gives him grief for wanting to move on and not staying with the hood. His "Mentor" is a sleazy car dealer who sends him out to steal cars on the cover of loan repayments and awards his work with an employee of the month photo on the wall. His "friend" is an aging gangster who prides on being a gangster and sees no problem with not developing in life beyond that. There is even a mission early on which makes fun of the gangsta culture by having you hang around with a 30 year old fresh from prison who dresses up like the local gang members. His "family" consists of his auntie who constantly complains about him living in the same house but then complains about how he is abandoning her if he leaves the hood. The house they live in isn't even hers it's Franklin's mothers who has passed away living half to Franklin and the other half to his Auntie on the promise that she would look after him.
These mentors, family and friends are not a positive influence they are absolute poison in his life. Every time he tries to move up and away to improve that drag him down with guilt and keep him stuck like quicksand. So when he has the chance to move up by working with Michael and Lester why wouldn't he take the opportunity.

Even Trevor isn't as one dimensional as Greg Tito implies. Is he a psychopath? Yes without question. What makes him interesting is that he is an honest psychopath. He is the honest version of Michael. He knows what kind of man he is. When we first meet him he controls the weapon smuggling in the desert of San Andreas, he has enough money to buy an airfield straight away. With all this though he lives in a crappy looking trailer and floats about in his own filth. He does not need the big house, wife and cars to be happy just the life style. This is a man who knows violence is the only solution for his particular kind of problems and revels in it. When he finds out Michael who he assumed for 10 years was dead is actually alive he tracks him down. Instead of killing Michael which would be the typical thing for this type of character to do the first thing he does is help him stop Michael's daughter from embarrassing herself on TV. He even helps Michael with the FIB problem he has. In his own twisted way he actually cares for the people around him.

None of these characters are one dimensional and taint the game. Each has their own motivations even if it is as simple as being an unrestrained psychopath.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Izanagi009:

Just out of question, what do you see Saint's row as? Because It had split off from GTA's seriousness after the first game and became an extended reference-fest full of crazy for the sake of crazy and nothing else.

I can agree that It is lazy to an extent based on your definition but I can't deny that I laughed

I see Saints Row's narrative as fairly infantile, to be honest. The actual gameplay is pretty good and true to the original GTA open world philosophy, but the story is a juvenile power fantasy rounded out with spurious pop culture references. I did laugh at moments, but it was less of an intelligent satire and more of a childish parody.

There are a couple of moments in Saints Row II where characters die, and the appeal to pathos was so jarringly out of place with the gratuitous violence meted out to other characters that I started skipping all the cutscenes because the narrative was lost on me.

I completely understand and I think that Saint's Row 4 was going for more childish parody than serious fare but I have so much fun kicking aliens in the nuts and freezing them that I don't care that it's stupid. I think that is actually the whole point of the games at this point; I say we can have both our GTA's and our Saints Row's

As for Saints Row II, I can't really comment because i haven't played it but what you have said does seem a bit jarring to say the least

Carpenter:

If he is fed up with death and violence in his reality, why is he doing the review of GTA? That's like a guy that's sick of racing games doing a review of Gran Turrismo and giving it a decent score but spending the entire review complaining that racing is boring and pointless.

I am not saying a person should like a game to review it obviously but liking the genre or style of the game is important because if the person is unable to immerse themselves at least a little into the game they are going to see everything from an outside perspective rather than something that they felt or experienced.
Want an example, read some reviews for "Spec ops the line"
Watch something like the video penny arcade did then go read or watch a review from someone that saw it as nothing more than a mindless GOW clone and you will see what I mean I think.

Your point is relevant, it's his job, but I'm not asking why he's playing GTA 5, sometimes I love to play games that I hate just to see if I can get through it, what I am asking is why he is doing a review for a game with subject matter that he now finds to be too offensive to be fun. Yes it's his job, and usually game reviewers don't choose the games they review but I would like to think that it's chosen for them by people that know what they would be good at reviewing.

I actually think reviews are more convincing when they're written by people who aren't fans of the thing they're reviewing - if anything, having that extra passion makes a reviewer that much less reliable.

That's an issue that I have with video game reviews in general - there seems to be this tendency to review games from the point of view of people who love the genre or franchise and I think that's actually one of the many things that makes them less meaningful than the comparable book or movie reviews that you see on (respectable) sites.

As long as the reviewer can verbalize the reasons behind their like or dislike, I think that's a fair review because it still gives me a sense of the content - that they might love a game that I hate or hate a game that I love is irrelevant to the quality of the review in a general sense.

I totally get the humorless satire in GTA V. I know more than enough people in reality that obsess image over substance, or yell "get raped" on Halo, or Facebook stalk. Yes, these people that Rockstar satirizes totally exist, and my country's culture encourages them. These things just make rampaging through the city all the more satisfying.

What won me over with Greg's disdain is that the game encourages, scratch that, FORCES you to join the decadence. The Steve Jobs example almost feels like some reverse psychology ploy for players trying to detach themselves from the immorality. If you're into the mindless murdering of famous people, you just giggle and move along. If you're not like that, like Greg is, you question the whole point of the mission, where the game sucker punches you by giving you a false illusion of free will through the sandbox play. My reaction to that mission would be a deadpan "Wow, that was stupid. I hope the next mission has more context." And then I wager the mission gives me context ... by having me murdering some innocent for money. Not my cup of tea.

GTA games are those perverse pleasures like getting high. GTA San Andreas (my favorite) is like that cool hippie neighbor that hooks you up, and GTA V seems like that angry street dealer trying to pressure you into buying his crack with his weed.

Hey, I can see the appeal to this. America is full of closet narcissistic sociopaths, just like in the game. But I fear talking about this game with my friends would be too much like when my angry cousin bragged about how owning violent video games and R-rated Horror movies somehow made him more mature. GTA V seems to take that angry kid gamer stereotype and gives him his wildest murder porn fantasy.

I;m really unsure about the claims that GTA is so over the top.

In the good old days of Star Wars: Rebellion. It was not uncommon for me to use a Death Star to destroy planets, killing billions of people solely to save myself the trouble of ground combat on Rebel strongholds. There weren't any plot reasons for me to kill those countless billions over the years I played that game, but I did it all the time.

Though I had demonstrated the ability to blow through countless enemies multiple times when things went awry, in Farcry 3, I tortured a close ally

to keep a cover that I really didn't seem to need.

None of the GTA protagonists are role models... from any of the games. I'm not sure why this is shocking. I'd also point out that the "terrorism" murder occurs almost immediately after the person killed brags that their third world factories have brought the average age of their employees down to 14, thus proving that they are a young and hip company. I'm not sure why the review asserts, "If he committed the act for some purpose, say, to protest worker treatment in China, at least that would be something" when that exact scenario seems to exist in the game, though granted the person giving you the mission doesn't say, "I had you kill that guy because of the policies he was talking about seconds before you killed him".

That's because it's grand theft auto. All of the missions are not meant to tell one story, that would be one insane freaking story if it did. It's all meant to fit a theme, tell little stories, make you see things in a certain way perhaps, and shoot things.

.[/quote]

Exactly, the content of the missions are merely an there to facilitate doing cool things. A later mission you do rescuing Michael's daughter from a boat doesnt have much story to it but its just used as an excuse to cycle, swim and ride a jet ski. That's what GTA is about.

The 'Life invader' mission was an excuse to take the pi$$ out of Apple/Facebook and the kind of workers and working environment it has created these days. It wasn't laugh out loud funny but i found it amusing enough to forgive the poor set up conversation between Michael and Lester.I'm very syrprised that a 35 year old computer games review found it so offensive?

I'd also debate the point Gregg makes about its relevance as it is used as the catalyst for playing the stock markets on your phone[/quote]I have to disagree a bit, it's not just an excuse to do things, the story in each mission does have some meaning or at the very least it fits the tone of the game.
But yeah, it's also a way to set up some fun gameplay.

I love the idea of the "life invader" thing but again I have to disagree with your feeling that it's simply there to take the piss out of apple, I think there's a few things at play here. One, the fact that you are given no reason for it is an important part of this, as someone else already stated it kind of works to put you in the role of an assassin because usually assassins are not given reasons for their "hits" just orders.
Two, Catharsis. In GTA 4 you shoot a "moral crusader" lawyer, it's actually set up in a slightly similar tone too. Just saying, Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg are not great people, not saying they deserve "that" but I would certainly love to do it in a video game.

Raikas:

Carpenter:

If he is fed up with death and violence in his reality, why is he doing the review of GTA? That's like a guy that's sick of racing games doing a review of Gran Turrismo and giving it a decent score but spending the entire review complaining that racing is boring and pointless.

I am not saying a person should like a game to review it obviously but liking the genre or style of the game is important because if the person is unable to immerse themselves at least a little into the game they are going to see everything from an outside perspective rather than something that they felt or experienced.
Want an example, read some reviews for "Spec ops the line"
Watch something like the video penny arcade did then go read or watch a review from someone that saw it as nothing more than a mindless GOW clone and you will see what I mean I think.

Your point is relevant, it's his job, but I'm not asking why he's playing GTA 5, sometimes I love to play games that I hate just to see if I can get through it, what I am asking is why he is doing a review for a game with subject matter that he now finds to be too offensive to be fun. Yes it's his job, and usually game reviewers don't choose the games they review but I would like to think that it's chosen for them by people that know what they would be good at reviewing.

I actually think reviews are more convincing when they're written by people who aren't fans of the thing they're reviewing - if anything, having that extra passion makes a reviewer that much less reliable.

That's an issue that I have with video game reviews in general - there seems to be this tendency to review games from the point of view of people who love the genre or franchise and I think that's actually one of the many things that makes them less meaningful than the comparable book or movie reviews that you see on (respectable) sites.

As long as the reviewer can verbalize the reasons behind their like or dislike, I think that's a fair review because it still gives me a sense of the content - that they might love a game that I hate or hate a game that I love is irrelevant to the quality of the review in a general sense.

Please pay attention. I never said a reviewer should be a fan of the thing he is reviewing, I'm saying a person that hates racing games shouldn't be the one to review GT. Get it?

A person with no interest in Multiplayer FPS games probably wouldn't be the best person to review battlefield.

Yes having passion for a game makes the review a bit more reliable or telling of the games quality, hence it would be pretty silly to get a guy with no passion for the genre or the game to do a review. Get someone that knows how fighting games work to review a fighting game, not somebody that hates the very concept of fighting games.

You act like getting people that don't like a genre to review games in that genre would make it better. It wouldn't, you would just get more of stuff like the GTA 5 review.
Here's a great review for a racing game.

"This game sucks, all you do is race. There is no point to it, I have a job and a family and way more important things to do. You don't have a nice little shootout or a game of tetris, you just race, the whole time, with no context or overarching story to drive me to continue. There are modes and stuff but I was just too bored to give a crap, all you do is race in cars on a track. You can get different cars or change the cars or something but it's pointless because all you will do with them is race which is always boring because it's just a bunch of cars trying to go farther and faster than the other cars.
I can think of no redeeming feature of this game. 3 out of 5"

Basically what you would get.

M920CAIN:
In any case, I think we can all agree, that aging is something each gamer has to face. You cannot enjoy the same violence at 30 as you did at 20. You gotta think that something's wrong with a society of people who play a crime simulator game and the fact that we as players anticipate a crime simulator game so much, but that software developer mission isn't a prime example by any means.

I disagree. It's perfectly possible for even older games to enjoy the carnage of games like GTA. I still replay GTA 3 (my favorite one) every now and then, and enjoy it as much now that I'm 25 as i did when i was 13-14.

Rather, the thing that changes are our standards. They always get higher, and that's why i can understand Gregs review just fine. People say he puts too much emphasis on story, but if people only want carnage, why not save the $60 and go play an old GTA game? Because you can now run over dogs too or what?

Carpenter:
Please pay attention. I never said a reviewer should be a fan of the thing he is reviewing, I'm saying a person that hates racing games shouldn't be the one to review GT. Get it?

Yes, but who says that Greg doesn't like the sandbox carnage genre of games? Because that pretty much seems to be the conclusion that you've jumped to. And that's not really the impression I've gotten.

I think you're jumping to the wrong conclusion here. Greg probably has great love for the GTA genre of games (and probably has enjoyed pretty much all of the previous GTA games). But that doesn't mean that you can't hold the standard of those games higher, including their storytelling. I know that some people people keep spouting that if you're playing GTA for anything else than the carnage, you're doing it wrong, but if that is true you can - like I've argued earlier - just go play one of the earlier GTA games. Hell, for the carnage alone i could go play the very first GTA from 1997. It's still a lot of fun. Story, storytelling and characterization is obviously important in GTA and has been since we moved to 3D graphics where you can have cutscenes and characterized individuals.

I played GTA, GTA2, GTA 3 and Vice City and San Andreas, but I've slowly lost interest in the new games since then. It's not that I've outgrown the genre, because i still occasionally replay GTA 3 (my favorite), Vice City and even the very first one occasionally, and i still think they're just as fun as always. But GTA 4 really lost me, and i never really got into San Andreas either, and based on Gregs review, i don't think I'd enjoy GTA 5 very much either.

Greg hasn't said ONCE that the subject matter is too offensive for him. He said he can't find reason in it, and that it characterizes the protagonists badly and the fact that he is being forced to do something that - to him - isn't adequately explained makes for a bad gaming experience. And i don't blame him.

Sorry Greg, but I can't side with this article. NOW, at 35, you start to see how crass GTA is? NOW you get a conscience?

I can't help but feel that, if you were 23 years-old again, you would be laughing your arse off at the majority of what you played in GTAV.

Thing is, GTA has pretty much ALWAYS had such depictions of violence. Even in the very first game you're expected to shoot down hordes of people. I remember a mission where you have to run over a group of Elvis impersonators, with absolutely no valid reason to do so.

OK, sure, it was played for greater comical effect in previous games, with a more arcadey feel. But is that really the best excuse you have to justify disliking GTAV?

I mean, you had no control in missions in previous games, and you don't have control now. The only difference is that you've come to this realisation now, at 35, when you should've come to it well over a decade ago.

I don't see how having the choice to kill people makes it any more justifiable. If you were given free choice to run over a 5 year-old, and do so, or are forced to by the game itself, it makes little difference as I can see. In fact, I make the argument you should feel worse is you DO have a choice, and take it, to harm innocent people.

In fact, the PSX entries' characters weren't modeled after evil men - they were 100% modeled off of you! They were as terrible as you chose to be. Therefore, there's room for debate that this is the lesser of the evils in terms of those in the series. The great majority of the atrocities in this world has come by those that freely chose to kill people, not because they were forced to.

At least in GTAV, you can justify that, whilst you didn't enjoy the violence in GTAV's story, you went ahead with it because you were forced to. Back in GTA3, you were actively taking pleasure in killing people.

In Modern Warefare 2's case, you'd feel bad being forced to shoot innocents at the airport. But, the way I see it, you ought to feel even worse if you actively chose to do so.

I'm not defending GTAV. I'm sure it does have terrible writing. Then again, I think they've ALL had terrible writing. It's just that you, along with so many others, have given the series more credit than it deserves. Although perhaps GTAIV was that much better. I don't know, I didn't play it.

The issue I have with the article is you claim to have the higher moral ground when, thinking about it, it reads to me more that you've only just learnt morality in a way which you should've done so well over a decade ago.

Carpenter:

Please pay attention. I never said a reviewer should be a fan of the thing he is reviewing, I'm saying a person that hates racing games shouldn't be the one to review GT. Get it?

Except that Tito didn't say he hates the genre to which GTA belongs - he talked about enjoying the earlier games in the past. He mentions it more than once (would you prefer if I added snarky "please pay attention" to match your tone?). At this point there are plenty of people who have similarly been playing the games for years - that hardly makes him a part of some minor demographic group.

You act like getting people that don't like a genre to review games in that genre would make it better. It wouldn't, you would just get more of stuff like the GTA 5 review.

I don't see what's wrong with that review - I understand that people who like it more don't agree with the score, but in terms of the actual content it does succeed in giving me a sense of what the game is like. It makes it clear why the writer doesn't like it and based on that I can decide whether I share his angle or not and I can go from there.

Here's a great review for a racing game.

"This game sucks, all you do is race. There is no point to it, I have a job and a family and way more important things to do. You don't have a nice little shootout or a game of tetris, you just race, the whole time, with no context or overarching story to drive me to continue. There are modes and stuff but I was just too bored to give a crap, all you do is race in cars on a track. You can get different cars or change the cars or something but it's pointless because all you will do with them is race which is always boring because it's just a bunch of cars trying to go farther and faster than the other cars.
I can think of no redeeming feature of this game. 3 out of 5"

3/5 hardly suggests "no redeeming features". If someone genuinely hated a game I'd expect to see 1s or 0s. And even if that were the case, the writing is what determines whether it's a good review or not - books of Ebert's low-scoring reviews (one of which is actually called "Your Movie Sucks") are actually popular because they're fun to read.

Your example of a racing game is a poor review, but that's because it doesn't actually tell me anything about the game. If the reviewer talked more specifically about what bored them or which elements seemed pointless that would be fine.

I thought it was made pretty clear why Lester wanted the Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg hybrid dead.

When he gives you the mission he's ranting and raving about how Zuckerjobs makes all of his users personal details public and Lester seemed like the kind of guy obsessed with privacy. Plus he mentions that Zuckerjobs sells shitty, overly expensive products that the user cant modify.

It's a bit petty, but he's got a reason for it.

Plus I enjoyed the mission. Jobs and Zuckerberg were/are cunts, so being able to kill a fictional version of them is fine with me.

Athinira:

M920CAIN:
In any case, I think we can all agree, that aging is something each gamer has to face. You cannot enjoy the same violence at 30 as you did at 20. You gotta think that something's wrong with a society of people who play a crime simulator game and the fact that we as players anticipate a crime simulator game so much, but that software developer mission isn't a prime example by any means.

I disagree. It's perfectly possible for even older gamers to enjoy the carnage of games like GTA. I still replay GTA 3 (my favorite one) every now and then, and enjoy it as much now that I'm 25 as i did when i was 13-14.

Rather, the thing that changes are our standards. They always get higher, and that's why i can understand Gregs review just fine. People say he puts too much emphasis on story, but if people only want carnage, why not save the $60 and go play an old GTA game? Because you can now run over dogs too or what?

I guess I made a mistake when I used the word "enjoy". I enjoy replaying previous games from my past, GTAs included, but I was trying to say that I look at them different now than I did then. I'm not saying I don't enjoy the violence in them, cause I'd be lying, but I am more aware and more sensitive to most issues presented in context or out of context, than I was when I was younger. I am pretty sure this applies to most people, those I know anyway.

For example: When I played GTA III for the 1st time I was myself about 13-14 if I remember correctly. Back then, the mindless carnage and police chasing were actually the only things that kept my attention, shameful now maybe, but true then. I didn't know GTA 3 had a story until much later. Now, as I'm older, I can't stand playing a game, a story driven game more likely, just for mindless running and gunning. I try to always have story motivation for my deeds, either them being good or bad, of course I exclude multiplayer games from this context need, cause they tend to be competitive and being the best/last alive is the more or less ultimate goal and not how you reach the goal. Anyway, that was what I was refering too. Not the enjoyment factor really, but the way we as "older guys" are getting immersed into the game. That may not hold true to everyone, but I think we're a fair bunch.

So, yes, you are right. I guess we develop higher standard, which itself can be a good or a bad thing.

Based on all the tl;dr, I still think the GTA V missions were justifiable and not over the top for GTA standards, both the hacker and torture mission.

I do have to admit that I never thought about it until now, but Niko was pretty likable in GTAIV

Adding my voice to the choir, "have you played the other GTA games?" obviously you have Mr. Tito, and story telling was never the hallmark of the series, freedom, exploration and violence were. The characters being malicious psychopaths helps explain why one the way to the mission you ran over 100 people for no reason. In GTA 3 you were a violent thug just out to get payed, no grand motive beyond that.

Greg Tito:
Grand Theft Auto 5 Made Me Sad.

Playing as these horrible people needs stronger writing to back it up.

Read Full Article

Here's how I see it.

The characters, at least in my mind, are directly satirizing the players. Think about it.

Michael, the guy who likes to shoot people and has anger issues that result in shit getting destroyed who has it all but is bored because he wants the thrill of the chase back.

Trevor, the guy who flies planes and loves just killing people and murder and mayhem.

Franklin, the guy who likes just stealing cars.

They are you and you are them. They represent, ultimately, what most players do and what most players go through. For example, at the end of san andreas people will still steal cars and planes and get in chases. They will still trick out cars, improve aiming by shooting people, and be generally psychotic.

Franklin's on cars, michael's on shooting, trevor is the psychotic guy. They are you and you are them.

In that regard, I kind of like them for that. For the first time I can play as characters that relate directly to the way I play GTA, which happens to be making the protagonists in the games like a combination of the SAW guy and a rampaging terminator. I finally feel like I'm not going much out of character with any of them. Trevor I especially like since he's into the nuttiest shit. This one time I switched and he woke up from a night of drinking on a mountain in a dress. I like that I find these characters relatable to my general attitudes towards any game in the sandbox genre. I find it kind of cool.

M'kay I finished GTAV so now I feel informed enough to comment on all this. I disagreed with the initial review but decided to see for myself. What I came away from was a great game that had really well written characters. They are simplistic for sure, Michael is selfish, Franklin's ambitious and Trevor's impulsive. They have basic drives but they are not poorly written or conceived. The story revolves around three people working together and all of them are really only out for themselves. They feel more like a marriage of convenience than friends or allies.

First of all, the Lifehacker mission. I really don't like it being called terrorism when it was straight up murder. Okay it was a public execution but that was the point. Listening to Lester, or the world you know that company is pure evil. Even the device that's being unveiled is supposed to sync with other devices, like it or not, and siphon and publish their data. Lester's character might as well be called Reddit. He feels like the perfect blend of all that outrages those people, only given agency to do something about it. So yes, it's a surprise when the bomb goes off, but is one more person really that important considering all the other people killed to get to that point of the mission. What because it's a CEO and not a pedestrian it's suddenly terrorism and some monstrous crime?

As for the torture mission, it turned my stomach and I don't normally have that happen. I found it to be a great set piece though, why are the people who complain about having to play through this sequence complaining that they had to do it when they never raise a word in protest about their own governments doing the exact same. It forces you to be a part of that violence, then slap you in the face with a speech about how pointless it was. It would make anybody question is it worth doing that to another human being. As for it not affecting Trevor, why would it. He's a psychopath, he does not function like the player does. He's not Jack Bauer he's Hannibal Lector.

I respect Tito's right to his opinion and that he feels the game will offend the sensibilities of certain types of people. It's valid, but I don't think it's fair to paint the characters as poorly written. They are very well crafted monsters. I found them much more entertaining than Niko and his constant whinging as he mowed down pedestrians, or John Marsten and his "I just want to be left alone, but first I'll tie this woman to the tracks for an achievement." They are bad people, motivated by selfish goals and a complete lack of empathy for anything that isn't advancing their goals, including each other.

The problem I find with reviews like this is that it doesn't acknowledge the plain brutality of the previous games, whilst this game is actually creative with it.

GTAV isn't revolutionary in gameplay or storytelling, no. But it acknowledges its setting and plays with it.

Michael? Parody of the "american dream." Looks perfect on the outside, but enjoys crime, has awful family issues, and is constantly trying to get the easy way out of his predicaments.

Franklin? Antihero wannabe who keeps trying to justify what he does. Casually mentions killing people. Even in the bad endings, he's telling his victims that he's "sorry." Yet is still closest to the "everyman."

Trevor? The GTA protagonists of the past, but with characterization. Murders a men in cold blood and is filled with constant rage but he also: reprimands his subordinates for calling a woman a bitch, criticizes Michael's lack of good parenting, and is disgusted by the racism of the LAPD. The classic criminal with a heart of gold.

Hell, the best ending of the game is when all three guys survive because Franklin maintains his loyalty to both Trevor and Michael. They work together.

You might wanna spoiler tag this part of your post before somebody who hasn't played it out reads it?

Having played the game I cannot disagree more with Greg's opinion, and this is from someone who only started enjoying the GTA series with San Andreas; a game that provided a character with a modicum of principles.

GTA V is far less depressing and worrying than GTA IV (which I enjoyed)as it manages, in the main, to avoid the ludo-narrative dissonance that made the action in GTA Iv feel awkward and unpleasant to perform. It achieves this by providing such OTT and repulsive characters (ESPECIALLY Trevor) that the entire game's violence develops a slapstick comedic bent. Furthermore, Niko's tale had a bitter darkness within the parody of the american dream, whilst GTA v is far easier going with its lampooning of modern day culture.

Incidentally, I love Breaking Bad but at no point has the series looked at the social ramifications of meth use; it just assumes that the viewer is aware that meth causes all kinds of health issues and is not in need of some heavy handed insight. The series does, however, show how the production of meth causes so much misery for Walt and jessie, so the lifestyle is hardly glamorised. I feel GTA v does a similar thing; all the characters are disliked or disenchanted with life and none are shown as role models for a good life. The game just deals with all this is a tongue in cheek fashion.

I had a bit of a conflict with God of War for this reason as well. When I have to be forced to push a man begging about his wife and kids up to be sacrificed, yeah, it bothers me. As a person, I don't sacrifice others for my own gain. In many games, killing innocent people is pretty iffy to me, but when a game is specifically like "Kill random innocent in a horrible death to continue" It really bothers me on a personal level.

AngelBlackChaos:
I had a bit of a conflict with God of War for this reason as well. When I have to be forced to push a man begging about his wife and kids up to be sacrificed, yeah, it bothers me. As a person, I don't sacrifice others for my own gain. In many games, killing innocent people is pretty iffy to me, but when a game is specifically like "Kill random innocent in a horrible death to continue" It really bothers me on a personal level.

Well too bad because this game isn't written around what YOU want. The main emphasis is the narrative, that's all that matters, and how dare you think that as the PLAYER you have any right to complain that your own character acts in a way you never would. How else could we all see what brilliant story writers theses guys are if your character only ever got to do what you wanted? Sheesh!

You know I think player participation is exactly the albatross that's holding the whole genre back. From now on I vote that except for a few button clicks players shouldn't be allowed to be involved in the games actions what so ever.

Psychobabble:

AngelBlackChaos:
I had a bit of a conflict with God of War for this reason as well. When I have to be forced to push a man begging about his wife and kids up to be sacrificed, yeah, it bothers me. As a person, I don't sacrifice others for my own gain. In many games, killing innocent people is pretty iffy to me, but when a game is specifically like "Kill random innocent in a horrible death to continue" It really bothers me on a personal level.

Well too bad because this game isn't written around what YOU want. The main emphasis is the narrative, that's all that matters, and how dare you think that as the PLAYER you have any right to complain that your own character acts in a way you never would. How else could we all see what brilliant story writers theses guys are if your character only ever got to do what you wanted? Sheesh!

You know I think player participation is exactly the albatross that's holding the whole genre back. From now on I vote that except for a few button clicks players shouldn't be allowed to be involved in the games actions what so ever.

I never said it was. Rude much?

Secondly, its like any other piece of media. I can like or dislike anything within a game, piece of art, or movie without killing the writers anyone else. Stop acting like an opinion equates as much. I can have an issue with a part of a story, and still say a game is good.

You really need to calm down.

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