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View Full Version : What do you think of GTA IV?



FutureVenturer2
05-05-2008, 11:50 AM
I could care less about GTA IV. Over time, I've been thinking more and more about my preferences concerning video games. I would have to say that GTA IV is not in my uttermost interest to have myself play. It doesn't matter to me anymore about the ratings for a game. Well, you can say that it does, somewhat, but now, realizing that video games, in general, require more than just fun to become high art. It's just as Roger Ebert, a major book and movie critic stated. "Games can be considered art, but they'll never be high art." This is true, for now, because many developers think of games as presents for children and to have many people spend time on them, just to have fun rather than actually involve something that is even more important--understanding. The reason why fictional is inferior to non-fictional, from my point of view, is that it doesn't give us enough ways to help ourselves better learn things and to apply those very things to our lives. For instance, the reason why GTA games are not so appealing to me (sure, I'll still play GTA:SA, but that will be the last of GTA for me) is because it offers so many immoral things. What good is it to play as the bad guy if you're not actually going to go through the actual experiences that a real and bad person would go through? By simply making players have a lot of freedom, it implies that being bad, even if applying that to one's life, is better than following the rules and being good.

Many times, developers think of the good guy as a way of restricting gamers from further possible ways of freedom, but little do they know that bad guys, if you look at them in real life, are just as limited in their decisions. Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages, but unfortunately, Rockstar North never wants that to become addressed. Instead, they use their ways of tricking people into thinking of the bad guy as the ultimate path to freedom. If there actually was a video game that was very open-ended and had you being able to choose between playing a good guy and a bad guy, while also showing these realistic advantages and disadvantages which often aren't present in video games, it would help ourselves understand reality better and it would give us that many more reasons to not always choose the bad guy over the good guy, but to have ourselves first stop for a moment and think, "would I feel more comfortable as the good guy, who, by his/her decisions, is limited, but can find heroism and fame within one's self, or should I play the perpetrator--the one who shall have lots of choices open, but must be that much more careful?"

Mafia is a game that excells, overall, in terms of a game that is worth your time, money, and understanding. Many games are only thought of as narrative driving products, so this forces many of today's critics to only look for a reason on why a product is or isn't worth your time and money, leaving understanding the game(s) out of the picture, when it's clear that understanding them will open up even more reasons as to why a game is a good or bad pick for you to buy/rent. In Mafia, you witness the progression of a taxi driver who started out as a normal guy that is good, and went to the path of a gangster. In the end, he dies. This game is very remarkable for portraying the ways of a gangster in a realistic way, showing the great consequences of making that as your chosen path for living.

The public really does have a good reason as to why they hate GTA, particularly people that aren't big fans of video games. It's right for them to do this because they need to drive through the minds of developers that fun<understanding, in knowing that children and people require a good influence as to how they should live their own lives. By taking fun as the only important factor for a game, you're leaving out the many important points about why you're playing this and what good does it get out of you, other than just a good time spent enjoying yourself. Movies and books are already very capable of gettting people to look at more than just fun, whereas games have still yet a lot to do in the category of understanding. Understanding means to help us know what our developers were thinking when they created these products and it is also to help us change the way we see our world, in ways that paint a clearer picture as to what issues it's suffering from. Something we haven't seen yet, which I'd really love to see is to have a developer become inspired by Pablo Picasso's works, either Guernica or I could care less about GTA IV. Over time, I've been thinking more and more about my preferences concerning video games. I would have to say that GTA IV is not in my uttermost interest to have myself play. It doesn't matter to me anymore about the ratings for a game. Well, you can say that it does, somewhat, but now, realizing that video games, in general, require more than just fun to become high art. It's just as Roger Ebert, a major book and movie critic stated. "Games can be considered art, but they'll never be high art." This is true, for now, because many developers think of games as presents for children and to have many people spend time on them, just to have fun rather than actually involve something that is even more important--understanding. The reason why fictional is inferior to non-fictional, from my point of view, is that it doesn't give us enough ways to help ourselves better learn things and to apply those very things to our lives. For instance, the reason why GTA games are not so appealing to me (sure, I'll still play GTA:SA, but that will be the last of GTA for me) is because it offers so many immoral things. What good is it to play as the bad guy if you're not actually going to go through the actual experiences that a real and bad person would go through? By simply making players have a lot of freedom, it implies that being bad, even if applying that to one's life, is better than following the rules and being good.

I'm terribly sorry for putting together such a long post, but this will no doubt be my last and only one for this topic, so I hope that everyone of you will still take the time to read it, eventually.

JacksonL2007
05-07-2008, 10:00 AM
The best game i have ever played.

J_Frumpleberg
05-08-2008, 06:12 AM
I finally played GTA4 last night, and damn, it sucked!

Now, maybe its the RPG elements that make you start out sucking at driving, running slow, jumping like a white guy. Plus the cars are so sluggish they ruined the part I was looking forward to the most. And wtf, you have to enter the cheat codes through a phone? So annoying, at least it saves the ones you've used.

The game should be as fun as possible from right out of the box, and the slowness and inability to turn round corners really sucks. Give me Driver! And when on foot running from the cops, if you have to jump onto something, as soon as you do the guy stops and stands there for a second, all while getting shot.

Maybe it was the fact that I was playing it on an Xbox that made the controls seem so horrible.

Theres not much action or fun to be found, instead they've replaced that with realism. Sure, cars are that slow in real life, but this is a videogame! The way I look at it is this, if you ever watch a drag race (with normal cars) they all look so slow, but if you were to drive like that, it would feel insanely fast, and since they don't make [affordable] seats that replicate g-forces, they need to exaggerate the visual and audio experience to get the same feel.

And lets not forget the soundtrack, now I didn't listen to most of the songs, but I remember hearing the Black Crowes, and also Shawty Get Loose, or Get it Shawty, or some combination of Get and Shawty, anyway, its a ****ty song I've heard all too much on the horrible excuse we have for radio down here in VA. For some reason, one of the things I hate the most is hearing songs that I know all too well in movies or videogames. Thats why I liked GTA3, a game set in modern time that had songs I didn't know.

Games set in the past however, like Vice City or San Andreas, I do like hearing popular songs from that time period, it sets the time period well. Its gonna suck when, in the future, a game is set in 2008 and we all have to hear Panic at the Disco or some kind of ****mo music, and the generic **** rap labels are pumping out nowadays.

But if these things improve after playing the game and are indeed "rpg" elements, I might get it. But for PS3. Luckily the version I played belongs to my roomate. It was quite a frustrating experience though. I might just stick to GTASA until Driver 4 comes out.

FutureVenturer2
05-09-2008, 04:59 PM
I agree with you, J_Frumpleberg, in saying that the music is just too boring. Like movies, whenever video games use a licensed song, it usually won't give it a unique theme. With movies that had their own songs, the music composers created original songs that really helped fit their themes. This was done so outstandingly with movies like Bullitt, The French Connection, Dirty Harry, and many others. However, sometimes, the music can be licensed and still fit a movie's theme so extremely well. For instance, Platoon used the one song called "White Rabbit," really fit the part well. I personally loved Platoon. It was such a remarkable depiction of the Vietnam War and of war itself. Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Charlie Sheen were very good in this film.

But with most of today's video games, I would have to say that I only enjoyed a few games that had licensed music. Those games include Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, Bioshock, GTA:Vice City, and possibly a few others. GTA:SA's didn't appeal to me so much, mainly because it's full of too much rap, and I dislike rap, as well as hip-hop. My favorite genres are all the other ones (Big Band, Jazz, Opera, Blues, Country, Rock, etc.). Only have I enjoyed hip-hop a few times in all of my life, but from what I've heard, most of it has never appealed to me.

Now, about the RPG elements, I have to say that they really weren't so necessary. I do think that it was nice to have a big amount of customization options for the vehicles and for CJ, but the simulation and RPG elements were boring, and they never really appealed to me so much. Also, I've never realized that games need to deliver very well in terms of their own themes, which must connect as much as possible to reality, in order for games to truly be considered art. In my books, I now have been able to narrow down the huge list of video games that I've enjoyed and I don't rely on reviews any more as much (eventually, I'll stop following them completely). Fun is not the only important factor in all video games, but it is also pretty helpful if they connect to reality in interesting ways, and if they raise lots of questions about it. That's what I've found in games like Rez, Metal Gear Solid (1, 2, and 3), Mafia (a hell lot more realistic and moral than GTA in its storyline), and several others. If anything, I'd have to say that the games which really have made and will make the biggest impact are the games that have lots of fun, but which give people a better understanding of reality. If I'm going to play as a gangster, I want ever absolute way of feeling emotions and a real path for him/her, such that the game will actually look into morality, showing society (particularly gamers) what is good and what is bad in its world, which then can also influence each of us in good ways rather than bad ways.

Many games don't raise questions that later lead to our own understanding and that's one of the biggest flaws many developers (even those who know how to commercialize and sell their products very well) have made. Without an understanding that goes with a unique theme, games will be "near clones" of each other in many elements which they have. Therefore, genres won't develop further, due to this issue. Also, if we don't start seeing many games have mixed genres, the developers out there won't have much to add to their own concepts that will evoke emotions and raise questions, while also setting one huge tone or several tones that connect the game together to its main theme (e.g. war is a theme). It will make our understanding found in games much thinner and harder to find, as well as continuing to make us think that games are only about fun, when developers can just take those risks to have serious games or boring games around, which can actually educate us better, and if worked on over the years, they can eventually become as good resources for us to interact with, as much as movies have become good for us to watch and become educated.

InsaneDriver06
05-09-2008, 07:37 PM
Welcome back!

Yeah, I've played through GTA4 and I do like it, but you know what, it feels A LOT like GTA3, GTAVC, GTASA, GTALCS, etc. And I do mean A LOT.

But before I get into what's been regurgitated (or kept, why fix what's not broken?) I will point out what new features I've noticed having unlocked the final island. Let's see:

-Put on a helmet before riding motorycles. Neat, but revolutionary? Doesn't have to be.
-Cell phone features. Interesting way of arranging missions.
-New over the shoulder gun shooting: Best improvement BY FAR. Great job Rockstar.
-Nice over the shoulder camera view on foot.
-48 minute day/night cycle. I hated the short 24 minute one.
-Hot Dog stands in NYC can be accessed, along with Magazine stands for soda. Neat, not necessary.
-No vehicle customization. Hmmm...
-Cool "HEAT" mission, just like from the realistic Al Pacino, Robert De Niro heist-street gun battle movie. Very cool, best moment of the game IMO.
-And a bunch of other neat, small features that don't move the genre forward enough to stave off boredom for long.
-Seriously the best water effects I've seen in a video game. Highly impressive.
-Solid controls actually improved.
-Nico Bellic is an interesting main antihero.

And now what's been repeated:
-Tiny streets to navigate on make the game feel small, cartoony when driving.
-Same dull missions of follow this guy, drive here, drive there, drop this off, pick this up. Then again, how many ways can you make a mission? That's where the game stalls a bit.
-The cars and bikes control a bit cartoony. The emergency brake is over sensitive. Can't even compare to Driver IMO. Driver's vehicle controls RULE.
-A lot of the same cartoony pedestrian remarks, radio stations, billboards, storyline keeping with the GTA theme: fair enough and expected.
-Oh yeah, the police are not a challenge again, so if you want a serious car chase, play Driver.
-etc...

My main gripe is the "Deja Vu" feeling, like it's really GTA3 just dressed up in 360 graphics. My main gripe is the "Deja Vu" feeling, like it's really GTA3 just dressed up in 360 graphics. Get my point? There are some notable improvements, but overall, it feels like the same experience but for a different storyline. That said, if you LOVE GTA, you'll enjoy GTA4, no problem.

I'm just looking for something more serious control-wise, something like a DRIVER game. Driver's still the king of the car chase and THAT is what I'm really looking for as GTA4 collects some dust.

J_Frumpleberg
05-09-2008, 08:40 PM
Yeah, I had been watching videos of it for the past few days, and at first I was like, wow, this looks amazing, then I realized, its all the same stuff I have been doing in GTA ever since 3, just better graphics.

The biggest improvement I've seen is how you can drop grenades as well as throw them, for when you're being chased. I'm surprised I never thought of it because I always wanted to throw grenades at police chasing me.

Or rather, they could've just made the game control like an FPS already, thats its biggest downfall on foot, FPS games have the most intuitive controls for moving a character through a level and being able to look around while running full speed. WTF is taking them so long, stupid **** like this pisses me off, it should've been changed after 3! But still we have this crappy on foot control set-up where you can't get the thing to lock onto the next person in like. In fact, its a step back because I could actually cycle through targets in SA.

Also, I don't like the graphics, they're too realistic, and that carries on with the rest of the game, not cartoony enough anymore, its not GTA anymore, looks more like The Getaway

InsaneDriver06
05-09-2008, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by J_Frumpleberg:
Yeah, I had been watching videos of it for the past few days, and at first I was like, wow, this looks amazing, then I realized, its all the same stuff I have been doing in GTA ever since 3, just better graphics.

The biggest improvement I've seen is how you can drop grenades as well as throw them, for when you're being chased. I'm surprised I never thought of it because I always wanted to throw grenades at police chasing me.

Or rather, they could've just made the game control like an FPS already, thats its biggest downfall on foot, FPS games have the most intuitive controls for moving a character through a level and being able to look around while running full speed. WTF is taking them so long, stupid **** like this pisses me off, it should've been changed after 3! But still we have this crappy on foot control set-up where you can't get the thing to lock onto the next person in like. In fact, its a step back because I could actually cycle through targets in SA.

I see your point about the aiming controls. I do prefer straight manual aiming over auto lock, but you're right, the controls aren't precise like a real person's would be, where you can go slow or flick the gun in a heartbeat to the next target.

Part of the problem is you're looking into a TV box, which restricts peripheral vision, reducing your ability to react faster since you have to pan over while the guy's already shooting at you offscreen.

But yeah, GTA4 is more like GTA3 than I would prefer. I really thought GTA4 might reinvent the wheel, but not this time.

J_Frumpleberg
05-09-2008, 09:58 PM
If it was auto-aim that didn't let you know it was auto-aim, it would be cool, I hate how it locks on and then you can't aim for a headshot, or as I said, scroll targets.

As for the auto-aim I was talking about, in real life, its easy to point at stuff. So heres what I propose. Say theres a bunch of targets on screen, all you would have to do is tap the stick in the direction of the target and the cursor would immediately move to that target, but you could also hold the stick in that direction and it would scroll across the screen, for free aim, all without having to hold other buttons. Simple as that, a hybrid of lock-on and free-aim

Of course it would be more complicated than that, especially with a lot of people on screen, but just throwing it out there

And reinventing the wheel, they sure did do that, its more blocky now though

FutureVenturer2
05-09-2008, 10:19 PM
The first person camera view may soon be very much similar to that of the third person view, meaning that it'll be able to offer the same features and even more, all coming from a first person perspective. This is camera view is being taken to a whole new level, thanks to a fascinating game called "Mirror's Edge (http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/mirrorsedge/news.html?sid=6190497&om_act=convert&om_clk=multimodule&tag=multimodule;previews;title;7)," a unique FPS adventure game, which has you playing as a female protagonist that goes from building to building, on the rooftops.