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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-08, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Default Thoughts of GTA and its future in gaming

Hey there folks

With almost all of use having played and cleared (and placed back on the shelf) GTA4 now, I've had time to think over the game and the series so far.

When GTA3 was released, it was a huge event in gaming history.
GTA3 almost invented the open-world sandbox style of game that often clogs up todays market, making it a landmark game.
Before you followed a story in games, one which you followed in a nice little line, and did what the game told you.
GTA3 changed that. It gave you a WORLD to play around it. The game reacted to how you wanted to play. You didnt have to do the story, you could just enjoy the jacking cars and the other various "activities" around the city.
Then Vice City and San An came out. They of course were not the giant leap forward 3 was, but they acted similar to an expansion pack. More the same, but with extra bits glued on. Vice City had its great setting, Scarface story, chainsaws, bikes and Choppers.
San An was a technological marval, have 3 entire citys in one game (along with mountains, woods and a mini mexico). Along with that it added planes, a huge range of guns, ability to change your characters stats and respect, girlfriends, video games within the game itself, and gang wars.

As I said, it didnt shake the foundation of gaming, but it added alot to an already great thing.

Then comes GTA4.

Now dont get me wrong, GTA4 was a GREAT game. I'm completely happy with buying it and would highly recommend it.
But to me, it felt a bit lackluster. Now with VC and SA, I didnt expect so much to be added as they had limited hardware. But GTA4 had next-gen power behind it. I thought this was the next leap forward, that something great and new would be added.
When I actually played it, it was just a combination of the last three games with better graphics. Now, this is not bad. Infact its still better then most games out there. But it lacked innovation.
There was nothing NEW in GTA4.
Stripclub? Like anyone cares once their over 12 years old.
Mini-games? Nothing new, and I'd rather be playing the real game.
TV? Entertaining, but I have the internet for funnys, I dont wanna skwint at my TV.
Cover system? Nice, but long overdue. It was broken and useless anyway.
Social system!? I'm playing a game! I wanna sit back, chill and kill. Not run friends around town pretending to have fun. I have real friends for that !
Online? Its only fun with friends. Either way I was expecting to be able to go round robbing banks and stuff. All you could do was kill each other.

Otherwise, there was actually LESS. No planes, smaller city, less weapons, no style/stat system, no gang wars and no insane missions involving jet plane battles and storming the hoover dam.

The only huge thing that was added was the eye watering story. Niko was the best character in all the games so far. The story was deep, moving and had a powerful message.

On retrospect, I kinda thought GTA4 would be more then ended up.
I'll only consider buying the next game if their is some kind of overhaul to the sytem...

Anyway, what do you all think? I'm curious if I was the only one who was dissapointed.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-26-08, 06:22 AM
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I thought it was a good game, and the story was great for me up until the final mission (I've played through three times, killing and not killing certain people every time); I won't ruin it for anyone that hasn't gotten to that point but the fact is that unlike the last three GTA games this one does not end on a "happy" note. No matter what Nico does he loses something important and can never truly be happy. (Which makes his final comment all the more true and all the more sad.)

I was disappointed with the lack of planes and customization, but at least they did not take huge steps back like not being able to swim, then there would have been problems.

I actually really enjoyed the whole social system, sure we all have real friends for that but in the game, interacting with certain people enough got you some good bonus's; like little John's specialty or Dwayne's backing you up (had the hardest time with him though, he always called when I was busy and wasn't ever available when I wasn't.)

Overall, it lacked a lot of the goodies from San Andreas and Vice city, but it was a good game overall that seemed to be reaching out to different things. It was a lot more realistic than the last two (sure being able to change your stats would have been nice, but working out takes more time than it took in SA, even if in game time is tons faster than real time, plus with the game being more realistic, you'd have to keep exercising to keep those stats up as well.) Some of the stuff that wasn't there I can understand, but I'd rather it be like this as opposed to being really half assed and rushed had they put everything else in.

Damnation is paved on good intentions; subtle and sugar coated or blunt and honest
A hero is someone who steps up when everyone else backs down.
Popularity is what people strive for when they lack the strength to be themselves.

Seriously, is it really that hard to write reviews without spoilers?

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-27-08, 06:51 AM
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Saint's Row 2 will be coming out this October, and it really is the perfect title for you if you were frustrated with GTA4. The over the top, action packed gameplay is a good alternative to what GTA4 had. People often refer to Saint's row as a GTA Clone, but it was so much more than that really, it brought it's own innovation to the table. now its going in a completely different direction and trying to differentiate itself. There is room in the genre for more than one action crime game, and theres no reason why you can't enjoy both.

~ Engelus
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-27-08, 11:45 AM
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hmmmm i think this time round it was more of a graphical push for them, also some good work on physics, a specially with the car's and the locational damage they take.

As mentioned previously, after that for me there didnt seem much innovation which they are normally good for.

but still it's got a very good story behind it, which i think is very important, i'd rather go with a very good story and poorer world, then an amazing world to play in but no story line, pointless roaming is good for a time but only for so long after that back to the story
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