Jimquisition: To Play The Villain

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And this is why one of my favourite games on the original Playstation was Tecmo's Deception. The goal was to resurrect the devil and gain his powers by killing innocent people. You start out with a plot for revenge but end up being despicable throughout the game.

Villians are often the best characters and i love playing as a villian. Though the escapists review seems to be less of "i dontl ike characters" and more like "look at me im a big boy now, look how i dont like the kids stuff" than anything.

I'm not into villains but I think that's largely because I have had some fairly villainous things done to me. Don't want to get into it. I certainly think it's a practice underdone in the virtual market, and would probably be a good experience for people to avoid doing in the real world if they could get it out in a game. I think it's just hard to write it in.

That being said, my favorite game may very well be fallout 3, if not one of the earlier fallouts, and you can be pretty villainous in that series.

Hhmmm . . . what to say, what to say . . .

I like Pulp Fiction. It's about junkies, mobsters, murderers and people of all sort. I enjoy them. I find them entertaining. I enjoy a good villain, even a psychopath, provided the entertainment value is there.

I have been waiting for GTAV to come out on the PC, rather than getting the PS3 version. I haven't played it yet, but, to see what all the, "they're unrelatable and unlikable psychopaths" fuss was about I've watched a few streams of people playing the game, in the background, as I went about my day. The VGA play through by Fraser and his girlfriend Becky stood out, in my mind, as part of the complaint was that the game was sexist, and misogynistic from some reviews.

I watched these two play through this game, and enjoy it, enjoy its characters. They fully realized Trevor was a psychopath but found things complex enough, entertaining enough and even, sometimes, likable enough, in Trevor. It was interesting to see these two people play. The contrast on Fraser and Becky's opinions of the game, versus journalists both male and female tell an interesting story about what men and women think. They liked the characters, after a fashion. I found them villainous, but enjoyable as well.

It's a steady reminded that reviews really are individual opinions. It reminds me that when I look for reviewers to follow, I don't just pick any reviewer, I pick a journalist that has similar tastes to my own. It's not that other reviewers are wrong, it's that I have particular tastes that many don't share and I need a source of information that both covers mechanics and 'taste' in regard to story and characters. I respect the Escapist's review of GTAV and its opinions even though I've found I don't agree with them. I don't think the score is an issue, other than that, 'scores' in general . . . I don't put much stock in. The opinions in most reviews, by my measure, are things that should stand alone without the need for a scoring system.

So, I disagree with the review. Yeah. Oh well. It's not a terrible review, it's a needed review for people with tastes of that particular thread. If one doesn't agree with it, realize it for what it is, and find a journalist that does their job with just as much integrity, but has tastes in things closer to your own. That helps get a measure on whether a character or story is truly disgusting, by your own standards, and then lets you concentrate on the dissection of the game mechanics, which are the real make or break.

Okay ignoring the gay furry porn because after i heard that furries and bronies don't get along i'm trying to stay on the furries good side, why exactly are people complaining about playing pieces of shit in GTA V? Did anyone actually think Niko Bellic was in any way moral? You understood what drove him to be the way he was and you understood he regretted it, but in the end he still killed multiple people over Brucie's roid rage, he still took contract assassination missions, he still had a habit of driving on sidewalks, destroying testicles, and expertly shooting drivers in the head when he catches them turning without signaling.

Eh, i haven't played GTA V yet both because i'm shit broke right now and also because i'm on a bit of a strategy bender at the moment and was planning on trying the last two X-Com spin-offs i haven't played; UFO: Aftershock and UFO: Afterlight. If the gameplay is as good or improved from GTA IV and the story is interesting i'll check it out.

But for that info i'll probably wait for a Yahtzee review to land or for a chance to rent it first.

Funny you should completely skip the Payday games in this one. What about the Command & Conquer Tiberian games or Heroes of Might and Magic?

And speaking as a furry, I'm disgusted that you should be so unfortunate as to be disgraced by the sick fucks sending you gay furry porn. I mean, what prompted this?

There are plenty of different ways to have a protagonist who isn't the unequivocal good guy (i.e. his moral failings are definitely in excess of the players) and it's weird how few genuine villain protagonists there are compared to how often it seems to be advertised as part of the game.

I am slightly sick of the badass characters who "just happen" to do good whilst always saying that they are motivated by more selfish reasons. This is a "have your cake and eat it" situation, allowing the character to have the things we like in villains and heroes.

It's difficult to make a good game where we don't in some way want the protagonist to succeed, because by playing it we are helping them do so. With almost villains like Captain Walker (Spec Ops: The Line) a lot of the most horrible stuff you do unwittingly and there's the vague hope that you may get redemption by playing on

It's worth doing but

I think the genuinely good guy protagonist (who isn't bitingly sarcastic/cynical or an alcoholic or have dark secrets/ history) who saves people because he actually wants to help is a threatened protagonist type too. It's always a dark cynical badass who "ain't in it for your revolution" just the money and then ends up winning the war on his own anyway.

I tend to dislike playing as a villain. Even in game were the options are do-gooder or douchebag, I tend to gravitate over the "good" choice (like Mass Effect or Infamous). I think most game are not really well balanced to be played both ways: if I am a bad person, NPC will generally give me less quests and less rewards.

The ones I have a problem with are games were I play as the villain but the game insists on calling me a hero. For example, by the mid point of God of War 3, I was actively rooting against Kratos. I knew I couldn't let the enemies kill him or it was a game over, but I ended up hating the protagonist a lot more than their nemesis, and the game trying to hammer down the point I was in a righteous fight really felt unearned. By the time he tries to redeem himself through Pandora (after killing her father and fucking her stepmother), I knew that I had to just stop thinking of him as a character and more like an avatar that moved through the script. GTA 4 had a similar problem to me, since the troubled, nihilistic portrait of Niko Belic had little to do with the way the game expected me to experience it.

Sean Deli:

I love Niko to bits. Even though his name is as unsubtle as it gets. "Niko" sounds Eastern European, but is not an actual Serbian name.

Niko would be an acceptable shorthand for Nikola - a a popular serbian name.
You know - same as that very little known Serb, Nikola Tesla.

It comes from "Nikovo", Russian (Niko is a Serbian, mind) for "Nobody".

Not entirely correct. "Noone" in Russian would be "nikto" (никто). "Nikovo" is Genitive from "nikto".


Lord Hosk:
huh... alright, I guess... some people juggle geese.

My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled.

[quote="ImBigBob" post="6.829099.20191146"I liked the previous GTA games, but I'll be skipping GTAV, especially now that I've played games like Just Cause 2 and Saints Row the Third, where I get to cause all the mayhem I want without feeling bad about it.[/quote]

In no way is this a criticism of the poster's choice to skip GTA V, but this sentiment pinpoints why I've felt GTA V has the right approach to its violence. If a game's design going for adult violence, if they want a mature take on it... then shouldn't it be, to varying degrees, repugnant? Is this not why in real life we are taught to recoil from violence?

I read Greg's article, respect his opinion and - full disclosure - I have not played GTA V yet myself. His criticism of the torture scene seemed to be largely due to the game not letting the player look away. GTA games have always been cinematic in nature, by which I mean they pay a great deal of attention to where they point a camera and why. I can't help but think, given the game's tendancy towards social satire, that they way they presented this was in some way a reaction to popular culture's tendancy to cut away from torture scenes. To allow audiences to look away from acts which are horrific but all too often accepted both in fiction (Jack Bauer in 24) and real life.

Just my two cents.

When I saw the age verification thing, I thought "Oh God, what has Jim done this time?!" Oh, so he reads gay furry pornography, that's what the age verification is. Well at least he didn't show us the pictures, but Jesus... As for the subject matter itself, well, I was talking with a friend of mine, how there apparently is a "controversy" around this new Grand Theft Auto game, which didn't register with me because I'm not a GTA fan, nor do I think there's anything really shocking or surprising about the idea of controversy in a game that's mean to be controversial. I do agree, though, villains are fascinating and I typically like them more then the heroes. Doesn't mean I'll enjoy playing as them, though really, it depends on what the villains do...

If you're playing as a villain it shouldn't surprise anyone that you mainly attack other villains, rather than someone who can be classified as good. For example if in a game you were a drug dealer trying to build a criminal empire you'd mainly be fighting other criminals for control of their territory rather than the police (who are likely to crush you unless you're a Columbian drug baron).

OK I get why people send him gay porn but why furry porn?

Because it was gay furry porn.

I'm sorry to hear that you have to deal with that kind of "funny" fanmail, Jim... As always a great episode, looking forward to the new one each week. Thank God for you!

I gotta say, I've been really enjoying the narrative of GTA 5 so far (about 35% completion). Like Jim said, Niko Bellic kind of came off as hypocritical in GTA 4, but the characters of GTA 5 are refreshingly unapologetic about their evil actions, and Michael in particular tries to confront the reasons for his psychopathic outbreaks with his therapist. I loved the line in one of his therapy sessions "I probably killed someone on the way here", kind of a wink to the player :)

Totally fricken awesome! The 1st thing I did with Trevor was give him Lynch's skullet haircut, after the "Flying on soda" scene I decided Mike was Kane.
Dead Men is one of my favorite games if only the way the player learns about the "evil" of the charectors throught conversations and their own actions.

No spoilers but Kane is your typical "F*&% you! they got ma FAMILY!" anti-hero and Lynch is the women and children butcherer recruited to help. by the end I wanted to hug Lynch and throw my hat in with the countless mobsters after Kane.
Dog days was shit though

I googled that comic and read some of it, it's actually quite hot! I love that sort of lavish, indulging, joyful, powerful celebration of sexuality!

No, the only one who epically missed the point of Rockstar's franchise is you. The point is that it's their franchise, and if they want to make protagonists that players are meant to hate, then they can fucking do that because it's their franchise. So why don't you tone your arrogance down and stop trying to tell the developers of the franchise what the point of their franchise is? It is theirs, not yours, they can do with it as they please and you have no authority in the matter.

Except that games are an interactive medium, and the player's input is as much a part of the whole as what the developers produced. If people are playing it for a completely different reason than to further the developers' side of the narrative, then that side is no longer an integral part of the product. If that dissonance itself were the point, like in say Spec Ops: the Line, then that would be another matter.

Besides, in any medium, it is the audience's experience, not the author's intent, that matters. An "artist" can throw paint onto a canvas and say it's a statement about human suffering, but if nobody else sees it that way, then the artist has at best failed to convey his point and at worst is just talking out of his ass. Otherwise nobody would ever be qualified to say whether a piece of media is good or bad, because if the creator says it's good then it must be! That's extreme example, but do you see where I'm coming from here?

It's okay that other people like that sort of thing. Personally, I don't.
And just as there might not be too many true 'villain hero' characters in games, there's not that many good heartwarming stories, either.

Personally I really distaste those sort of games and don't really enjoy them. I never have. I never really liked the Grand Theft Auto series and haven't been looking forward to Grand Theft Auto V. And I've also never been interested in the Saints Row series. In fact I find the whole Saints Row franchise gross and don't want to go anywhere near it. Despite any apparent diversity. It's a nice gesture that Saints Row is diverse as people claim it is. But that's the only nice thing I can say about it. It's gross and I don't want to have anything to do with it.

May I just say "yuck" yet again to get that out of my system? It especially disturbs me that it seems like they try to make the immorality of characters in games like Saints Row "cool".

In the "heroic power fantasy" that you speak of, it isn't so much the morals I have a problem with so much as the power fantasy itself. In fact, like you've mentioned, the power fantasy in games often only takes away from the heroism in many games. Creating dissonance. They could make a moral game with a moral protagonist, but instead, out of need to make a power fantasy, they cheapen the morality of the hero in order to make them powerful or "badass".

Heartwarming stories make me feel comfortable. And maybe while it is good to be challenged in some way. It feels deeply satisfying to read a heartwarming tale. And how many games today are truly heartwarming? I think I've seen enough shallow power fantasies from both moral and immoral characters. I would like to see something for once that plays on empathy properly and isn't an excuse to be a badass.

That's the real problem. It isn't that too many characters are heroes. It's that morality and empathy are just a tagline excuse to be a badass. To make the player feel strong. To give the player a sense of dominance. Special, and more important and more worthy than other people. Many of these games may be supposedly about heroes, but the majority of the gameplay tells a different story. Which is to not only not be heroic, but to be not empathetic at all.

For all that people attempt to justify and defend the use of the "damsel in distress" trope in games. I see very little empathy portrayed in video games though gameplay or narrative at all.

Good points about Saints Row. I missed the brutality of being the bad guy after Saints Row 2. The reason the game worked so well wasn't just because it didn't take itself seriously, (which is what Volition caught on to which is why they turned the silliness up to 11,) it was the contrast. I mean okay, you have those silly time-wasted things and some humour in the main story. But you couple that with having the protagonist do some utterly brutal stuff that makes you feel uneasy. I mean the whole Brotherhood story arc: You blow up a dude's shit, burn half his face off, murder his girlfriend, cripple his best friend for information that you already know, and then wipe out the rest of his gang before corning him, stabbing him in the neck and finally killing him after blowing up his favourite toy. And all because he didn't give you enough of a cut from a deal he was letting you in on out of kindness! Then there's that brutal scene when you bury a kid alive while he pleads for you to kill him - a kid who is demonstrably over his head and clearly acting out just to try and get attention from his father. You're the psychopath among psychopaths, you were the Joker arriving in the criminal underworld, and that's what made it interesting.

You didn't get that contrast with Saints Row 3, (haven't played 4 yet.) It was just silliness. You were a cartoon, your enemies were cartoons, you we're all pretty much on the same levels of being 'bad'. The only thing resembling a bit of a shock was one of the twins getting her neck snapped - but by the established bad guy, making you the de facto good guy no matter how many prostitute assassins you killed. In all its desire to provide constant stimulation it became boring. Entertaining but just unsatisfying and empty.

Edit: Fully understand the opinions of people who don't like exploring things as admittedly foul as Saints Row by the way.

Hey, I was eating.

Interesting points as usual. I agreed with Tito's review (if true, I haven't played the game myself yet) that it's offputting to have such realistic violence depicted as part of scripted sections of the game with no attempted justification of the character's actions. Harmful? No, but it might not be good storytelling, and storytelling's become incredibly important to GTA and even rockstar as a whole. This doesn't mean a character must be an anti hero or the lesser of two evils, only that there's a story behind how they got there, whether they were put in a corner or wanted revenge or even simply had a normal job and life for a while and one day decided that he wanted more, and decided to simply take it.

But Jim's got a point, perhaps true villainy doesn't have a motive or excuse or even explanation, it simply is, and being put in those shoes could be interesting. So maybe I will pick up GTAV at some point after all, just not whilst it's still full price.

As for other games with villainous protagonists, I haven't finished it yet, but the more I play sleeping dogs, the more I find myself agreeing with the stuffy police liason that Wei's going off the rails, and that's very interesting to and play as.

if you dont like playing the villain then why the fuck would you buy a game about shooting, robbing, and killing?
its very clear that in the trailer you will be playing as bad guys robbing banks and such
the fact that it was given a lower score for something you knew about going into it makes no sense
its like if i ordered a burger then gave the resturant a poor review because my burger had meat in it

What can we possibly send him (that's legal) that tops that!? I don't even know.

You've broken me, Jim! Completely and utterly!

Too fucking funny.

Vore furry porn?
Come on this is the internet, ask me a hard question.

Back on topic it's always fun to hear about villains. It would be nice if we got a batman game we're we played one.

How many news shows would read western doujin to their audiences.

I won't be getting GTA due to hipster-ism mainly, but I hadn't ever thought of being forced to play the 'bad guy' before. I know Bioware or some other developer had gone on record being upset about how much work went into the 'bad' side of moral choice games while so few people ever took that route. I do suppose I'd prefer that to another Uncharted or MGS wherein we beat our chests for self satisfaction. I guess it'd be cliche at this point to point out that games where you're secretly the bad guy a-la

are nice as well. But then Yahtzee just finished mentioning that amnesia is an awfully tired trope in games these days.

A shame Overlord 2's controls were so wonky. I rage-quit after my seafaring vessel strayed out into the riptide one too many times.

Jim should review Super Columbine Massacre RPG for us.

Personally just not that interested in playing a true villain, just because generally villains are completely unlikable and therefore boring. If I don't like the character, why am I playing the game? This is the problem I had with the Saints Row games, and such. The good guy is nice and the anti-hero is boring as hell, what I really like is games that move beyond ANY of these archetypes, to someone with understandable if questionable motivations that don't include being a badass and do include making you truly consider how good or bad that character is.

But I can't think of any games that do that, beyond ones with a little bit of roleplaying.

What about games where it's not explicitly clear whether you're on the side of good or bad? One of my favourite things about The Last of Us is that the adverts/ marketing for the game made Joel out to be a heroic rugged survivor (whether they did this intentionally or not I don't know) but as you play the game it becomes increasingly difficult to see his actions as heroic in any way, particularly towards the end.

I like games where you play as a hero AND games where you get the chance to be the bad guy but games where you have to interpret your characters actions (but not necessarily directly manipulate them) are such a rare treat that I invariably find their stores the most interesting.

+1 for Zorg. That said, I have a bone to pick with what you said about Saints Row 2...

Steve the Pocket:

It reminds me something my short story professor said. If a story makes you feel uncomfortable, it's doing its job right. Stories aren't always there to hold our hands, sometimes they're there to punch you in the gut.

Except the point of making sandbox-game protagonists villains isn't to make the player hate them; it's to keep them more in tune with the sort of behavior players will already be indulging in, i.e. wanton violence and destruction. Once again, Rockstar seems to have epically missed the point of their own franchise.

Who died and put you in charge of what the point of a villain protagonist is supposed to be? The point of making any protagonist is for the people writing the story to write the protagonist how they want the protagonist to be. If Rockstar wanted to write a protagonist that the player is supposed to grow to hate (and they certainly did want that, just take a look at Trevor), then they didn't miss the point of what their own game is supposed to be at all.

No, the only one who epically missed the point of Rockstar's franchise is you. The point is that it's their franchise, and if they want to make protagonists that players are meant to hate, then they can fucking do that because it's their franchise. So why don't you tone your arrogance down and stop trying to tell the developers of the franchise what the point of their franchise is? It is theirs, not yours, they can do with it as they please and you have no authority in the matter.

RJ 17:
Michael is basically a carbon-copy of CJ from San Andres, so I really don't see how his character is anything different from the norm.

You spelled Franklin wrong. ;)

Go play Saints Row 2. The guy's girlfriend did not tie "your friend" up behind a truck, nor did the guitarist do anything wrong to you. If you think Saints row was supposed to be a story of righteous revenge, you are the reason kids shouldn't play these games.




He wasn't complaining about GTA 5. He says several times he likes playing the villain.

Watch the video before whining about it perhaps.

He said he hates the characters but that's what makes playing it all the more compelling. Maybe don't cast yourself as the authority on who is allowed to play which games.


what he said was these people were villains that he not only didn't like, but didn't like what they were doing. Kane and Lynch for example. Didn't like the concept of shooting up innocents for the sake of it. However, by definition, playing the game requires you to participate in the story and that action. A subtle form culpability, by the way. Not in the Kane murdered someone therefore you are a murderer way, but in the idea that by buying the game and playing it, you can't distance yourself from saying you support it. Saying you don't like what the characters are doing WHILE doing it sounds weak.
"Oh I'm sorry, the game made me shoot you. If I had a choice, I wouldn't but its the plot so oh well."

That's my point. If you find the characters so repugnant that the very idea of them winning is sickening but then you play through the game, which requires you leading the characters to victory...well guess who doesn't get to claim neutrality?

Hint: You.

Kid, it's a game. He says he likes playing characters that do things he would never do IN REAL LIFE because he can do it in a video game.

Try to think about this and understand this, you are saying he is somehow wrong for paying for games with "bad things" but why? The characters are not real, he is not supporting murder or torture by paying money for the games featuring these things.

I noticed you "snipped" your comment out, the comment where you said nothing like you are claiming now but instead complained that Jim says he doesn't like games where you play bad guys.

I am guessing you watched the video since posting that and realized you jumped the gun but instead of admitting your mistake you are pretending you never said that to begin with, problem is anyone that wants to can still go look at your comment.

I would say I like playing as a Villain, but from Gregs review the protagonists just sounded lazily written.

I like it when a had guy and villian has just cause, even if it comes down to some mental disorder. What makes a bad guy even better is playing witness to their downfall, Capt Walker from Spec Ops and Walter White from Breaking Bad are two such great cases.
I felt the protagonist from Saints Row was cartoony, and I will lament that I found a lack in motive to be something I found lacking in the character. I eventually came to the conclusion that the character was driven by a psychological need to be top dog, in that the character wasn't trully content until they had control. Over time however the protagonist grew tired of their lacking influence, hence the need to rise from gang boss, to celebrity, to the president. Until their wouldn't be anybody who could oppose their influence.

But with that said I'm mostly not interested in GTAV because I've already played Saints Row. I don't care how technically profienct it is, just sounds sort of boring, especially in contrast to what can be in done in SR.

I'll leave it at; a faultless hero is as boring as the cartoonish villian. The best Villain is the kind that sees himself as the hero, but a dick just being a dick, eh.

Yes from Tito's review they do sound lazily written, but they are far from it.

Look I love people having a wide spectrum of opinions but most of the things listed in his review are not matters of opinion but demonstrably false, like him claiming the "Life Invader" mission had no context or explanation, that's a flat out lie. Now I can assume that maybe tito accidentally skipped a few cutscenes or something but even that is just unprofessional to base your entire review off of.

He says the characters have no real motivation, again that's demonstrably false, each character has their own motivations. You may not agree with Trevor's motivations or call it "illogical" but he's a meth head with psychological problems, him having a perfectly logical mindset would be pretty dumb and irresponsible considering you really shouldn't try to glamorize meth use.

EDIT: I love that you say you want deep character motivation and hate "lazily written" protagonists but then say you love the saints row series. The protagonists motivations in that series always boil down to "I want to take over the city" and "I have been wronged, let's kill person and take over the city"

How deep and riveting.

I'll be honest my only issue with playing the villain is the premise of the game. GTA is seen heavily as a sandbox, a "do as you wish" style of game. In that respect it seems silly that it forces you to play as villainous characters. Skyrim was also a sandbox but never forced you to do well...anything really besides get passed the tutorial.

GTA however forces you play as some questionable characters and won't let you skip the cruel elements, such as the torture scene. Either focus more on the story and characters or be a true sandbox and let us at least have the option of not being a dick and I'll be happy with it.

Every GTA game had you playing a criminal psychopath.

It doesn't "force you to be the villain" in fact this is the one GTA game where you can really just roam around helping people that are being mugged or attacked.

In other GTA games the closest thing you could do to being the good guy is getting in a cop car and murdering people that the police deem ok to murder.



3. Even if it were, Yahtzee would have to give it an amazing, orgasm-inducing review to convince me to buy it at release price.
4. It's the annoyingly hyped up game of the day no one will care about in a few weeks. Anyone remember Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite? Yeah, didn't think so.

Wooooooah nelly! I don't know about you but I find it hard to take every single Yahtzee opinion (or the opinion of any critic for that matter) as gospel and base ALL of my purchasing decisions around him. I think I was a bit soured by his outright dismissal of The Last of Us and complete misunderstanding of what it was all about.

As for BInfinite, that's still considered by a hell of a lot of people to be one of the best games this year and, indeed, this generation. I for one still care about it, and I'll almost definitely still care about GTAV for a long time coming.

It was a ladder carrying simulator where the one NPC you're supposed to protect doesn't need you because she is invincible and undetectable. Also the story was just a retread of the themes from The Walking Dead, and pretty much every piece of zombie media ever made. "Man is the REAL Monster", yeah, we get it, we've heard it so many damn times already. It was a boring game that offers nothing new or interesting.

Still, you're spot on about taking the talking heads of the internet as the final word in what one should buy.

Wait, who would play a GTA game and be surprised that the main character(s) are evil. I remember Mr. Sterling did a thing on bias back in the day (FF13), but shouldn't someone who wasn't biased to not like GTA not have been put on the review for it?
On that note: I am always surprised when people say some of the GTA protagonists are likable. As Darth Vader esc villains they are likable, but as actual moral people hell no. While playing through the first 8 hours of GTA 4 I kept getting this feeling that the game wanted Nico to be a good guy. Which seems pointless given how he had viciously murdered dozens of cops and civvies and that's not counting random chaos. Unless Nico stops the Martians from invading he is a horrible evil person in my book and if the game ended with him being given the Hostel treatment I would feel he had it coming.

There he goes again bragging about the porn he gets for free :/

OK I get why people send him gay porn but why furry porn?

Well if your into regular porn chances are you like hentai and if you like that it isnt a great step to furry :p
Maybe they just wished him to experience new things he may not know that they exist!

I very much agree with Jim's stance on this. That is not to say that I very much enjoyed GTAV's characters, but that had really nothing to do with their morallity.

I didn't really like playing as any of the chatacters in GTAV because I didn't really connect with any of them. They were all pretty scummy people, and by and large I enjoy playing that kind of character, but to me it felt like they were all scum, just, you know, because. They do unpleasant things because it fits the tone the developers wanted rather than their actions flowing as a natural extension of their personality and I wasn't that invested in it.

I found playing as the protagonist in Saints Row 2 compelling, primarily because my character did terrible things, but I was fully invested every step of the way. When he killed Jessica, I understood and shared that desire to take that revenge. Rather than have the protagonist kill someone in a messed up way just because it was a convenient way to reinforce that the character is fundamentally unpleasant, it instead chose to give you an insight into the characters personality. We got a glimpse of how the protagonist reacted to being wronged, the lengths he went to in order to achieve his revenge demonstrated how little he valued life, and through this I understood a little of what made him tick and was able to connect with his motivations.

Don't get me wrong, I thourally enjoyed GTAV and will doubtlessly have hours more fun with the game, but none of the moments in GTAV, even the much discussed torture scene (which as I have said to at least a dozen colleagues who have made SAW comparisions - without playing the game -, is not as bad as it has been made out to be), have had the same level of impact on me that murdering Jessica or burying Shogo Akuji in SR2 had. Why? Because none of my character's actions in GTAV resonated with me, and thats fine, just being evil for the sake of it is fun, but it isn't deep.

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