Tag: Rockstar Games
ZOMG!! GTAV!! GTAV!! YOUGUYS!! SERIOUSLY!!!
Fuck yes. Here’s the trailer…go get your Lubriderm and tube socks.
Hellz to the fucking yeah. Grand Theft Auto returns to Los Santos next spring, trading in the whiney bitch Serbian and his fat cousin for what looks to be three actually likeable protagonists. Near as I can tell, the three playable characters in GTAV look to be a jaded ex con, a street hustler who wants to be more than some dumb gangbanger and a psychotic if not slightly retarded redneck. I’ll fucking take it.
Yes, three playable characters. Not much has been said about the dynamic between the three other than the fact that you can switch between them at different times, and you never know what you may be getting into. For example, someone mentioned somewhere that you could switch to a playable character and instead of finding him where you left him, he may be in the middle of a high speed chase on the freeway or something. This looks like it will add some chaos and maybe even urgency to the game without becoming annoying like all of Niko’s girlfriends from GTA IV did SOOOOO quickly.
I like that GTA V looks to be cashing in on narrative, as well. Gamers may not notice, give a fuck or even want it to happen, but video games are artistic expression, and their single player campaigns are becoming much more than “mindless diversions,” rather they are evolving into thoughtful engagements. There looks to be a dysfunctional family dynamic, a baby mama drama dynamic and an out of control geeker yelling at people and throwing fire dynamic…if such a thing exists.
However of all the positive things we saw in the trailer, the thing I’m most excited for are the vehicles and their associated accessories…namely helicopters, planes and parachutes. I know…I know…you all saw the dude drive the jeep out of the bay of a C-130 at 5,000 feet and then jump out of it. That’s the fuckin stuff right there. I can’t tell you how many times I abandoned perfectly good jets and planes in San Andreas just to be able to jump out of them. Good on Rockstar for bringing the fun of free fall back.
Of course, planes and parachutes were notoriously missing from GTA IV…and honestly I thought the inclusion of helicopters was fairly superficial in that game as well. As funny as Brucie is, I didn’t want to take him with me on every heli ride, and WHY THE FUCK couldn’t I access the Heli from the Helipad over Brucie’s body shop?? Again…painful, disappointing shortcomings of GTA IV that GTA V should hopefully help us forget.
At the same time, we also saw MILITARY GRADE fighter jets in GTAV Trailer 2, which were present in San Andreas, but difficult to get at. Of course in Vice City, it was as simple as getting an armored car and barrrelling your way through the guards to the Apache…now, I’m not hoping for a F16 in my garage or anything, but I’d like to be able to use the military grade stuff on an open setting, outside of the framework of the SP missions.
…bringing the Jet Pack back would also be frigging awesome, but I’m not trying to get too greedy here.
Now, you’ll remember in the first trailer, we saw the hills and mountains outside of Los (Angeles) Santos, and we saw people hiking. While hiking was not my first choice of free roam activities in San Andreas, and the Badlands or whatever they were called weren’t very inviting, I do fondly recall searching for Bigfoot after the rumor spread that there was one living on Mt. Chiliad. It’d be great to have that and/or some urban myths to explore in our free time, and after LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption, I have hope that Rockstar will give us more to do in our free time away from missions than three weird “Friend Missions.”
Of course, I will always hope for more than is likely possible to be included in the game, but I like what I see so far and I can’t wait for the next trailer. I don’t want to wish winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years away, but I’m also getting antsy for Spring to be here so I can get back to Los Santos. Grove St. 4 life, bitches.
So it’s been a while since I noticed that Rockstar most likely wasn’t going to make good on their promise to be “very, very good to PS3 gamers” in 2010. Unless of course, you count their releasing the PS3 versions of RDR and it’s DLC packs at the same time as those for 360 as being very, very good to PS3 gamers…in which case I’d suggest that you’ve led a pretty pitiful life if that is indeed what you think.
Now, it’d be really easy for me to just sit here and hurl vitriol at Rockstar for turning their backs on the fans who made them in the first place. I (as well as many others of the original Metal Milita) did it to Metallica for years, and once they realized the stupidity of their move, they tried to “go back to their roots,” which only resulted in their original fan base continuing to scoff and their newfound fanbase deserting them in favor of the lastest Nickelback offering.
However, rather than just being a negative Nancy like I was some turd obsessed loser from Marin County who wonders if squirrels feel love…I actually have an idea that can A) Help Rockstar make good on their hollow claim of actually giving a crap about the people that they owe their success to, and B) get them back in the good graces of PS3 users whose distaste for them has kept them from purchasing Episodes from Liberty City or Red Dead Redemption.
Five Words: The Grand Theft Auto Collection. Well okay, that’s four words and an article, but there it is. This is a good idea not only because GTAIII was an actual revolution in gaming that millions of gamers still enjoy playing, not only because GTA Vice City was a revolution in the concept of Free Roam/Sandbox adventure, and not only because San Andreas is the best game Rockstar (or Take Two Interactive for that matter) has ever come out with.
It’s a good idea because it would require very little in terms of capital investment and the return on that investment could be entirely astronomical.
Of course the defining characteristic of the Playstation 3 isn’t it’s Cell Processor or the superior graphics that it enables, it’s not the totally free to play online experience, it’s not Playstation Home which is just now looking like it wasn’t the worst idea since Greedo shooting first…
…it’s the Blu Ray. Not only could Rockstar jam GTA3, VC and SA on one Blu Ray, but they could probably also find room for ports of Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. And honestly Rockstar, you wouldn’t even need to do the HD upgrades that Bluepoint did for the God Of War Collection. Just port the games to PS3 as is and you can even sell it for $50 instead of $40.
I guarantee you that it will sell just as well if not better than the God Of War Collection, and it will provide a positive diversion from questions like “Hey Rockstar, how long has LA Noire been in development and will it ever actually release?” or “Gee, Rockstar, what ever happened to that AGENT game you were supposed to be working on?”
And then you’ll be able to make some money while pretending LA Noire and AGENT don’t exist while we wait for you to crap out your next GTA clone like Red Dead Rimjobs or GTA5. Seriously Rockstar, make it happen. This will make up for the dibacle that was your EfLC expansions, it will soften the blow of LA Noire going multiplat, and it will erase any bad blood over AGENT, which we all know you’re not really working on anyways.
Get to work, you fucking Swedish bitches. Let me know when it comes out.
In honor of the imminent PS3 and PC release of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, I thought I’d throw another retro review out there for you all. If any of you actually read and/or remember the gasket I blew a month or so ago about this release, here’s a bit of a continuation of that.
The title should make this understood but yes…there will be spoilers in my review of a game that I think is two years old but might actually be less, as I apparently don’t really have as tight a grasp on the concept of time as I’ve thought I had.
Almost two full years ago, I arrived at GameStop at 10:45 pm and sat outside waiting for the midnight release of Grand Theft Auto IV. I’ve been a fan of GTA since first playing GTA2 about a million years ago, and I couldn’t freaking wait for GTA IV to come out. GTA IV promised a lot of things. A more immersive gameplay experience, a more accurately detailed Liberty City than GTAIII and LCS had allowed, and of course one would normally expect graphic and content upgrades, creating a deeper gaming experience overall.
I dunno. Maybe we were all spoiled at just how monumentally awesome Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was…but GTA IV kind of pales in comparison. Actually no…go ahead and strike the “kind of” bit…GTA IV definitely pales in comparison to San Andreas.
GTA IV follows Serbian national Niko Bellic as he arrives at port in Liberty City to start his life anew in America. Gamers, casual and hardcore alike have praised Rockstar Games for their portrayal of Niko Bellic as the game’s protagonist. I don’t have time to get into all the adjectives, but the guy was as fawned over as any video game protagonist ever has been.
I’m here to tell you that’s all a bunch of bullshit. Niko Bellic is an annoying, complaint spewing fuck who outwardly blames other people for problems that he created and compounded long before other people’s hands were on them.
…and it starts right away. The way Niko tells it, he came to America to live with his cousin Roman Bellic, who in letters and emails has told Niko that he achieved the American Dream, was filthy rich and got wildly fucked by 19 year old nymphos every night.
In actuality, Niko Bellic was on the run from an Eastern European mobster named Bulgarin who wanted to kill him. Of course the reality of this doesn’t occur to Niko as he berates his cousin Roman…who we come to find out that all he owns is a small cab company and lives in a roach infested hovel under the L trains in Brooklyn.
Roman’s out of control gambling habit isn’t really doing him any favors, either. All of that serves as fodder for Niko’s ridicule throughout the course of the game, proving again that bitches who live in glass houses are the first among us to throw stones.
Seriously…Niko’s a mess. He’s all butthurt about some shit that went on in the Bosnian Wars, he’s got EuroEast Mobsters out to collect his head and everything he touches turns to shit before it spontaneously combusts. And Niko is bitching about it the whole…fucking…time. Bitching, bitching, bitching. If it wasn’t for his ever present Don Johnson three day beard stubble, I might have thought Niko was a menopausal chick. All this fucking guy does is complain.
As he starts meeting people in the criminal underworld and other industries various and sundry, it becomes obvious that he views everyone (sole exceptions being Jamaican drug runners Little Jacob and Badman) with disdain and contempt. He can’t keep his bitchy little sarcastic jabs to himself, which become more awkward than entertaining very quickly. To be honest, I’m not sure why some of the people he mouths off to in the game didn’t at one point just shoot him between the eyes. I know I would’ve.
Being that this is a GTA game, Niko ends up taking “work” from a bunch of different assorted lowlifes, gradually moving up from dealing with simple street muscle to working with mob bosses and covert government officials. Since Niko needed a central reason for being the game’s protagonist, Rockstar tacked on a weak “revenge” angle that gets mentioned maybe five times throughout the 30 plus hours of the game.
Quick updater on that: Niko served in the Bosnian Wars, his unit encountered some sort of atrocities and shit, Niko is perpetually butthurt by how these atrocities affected and/or “broke” him, one of the grunts in his unit betrayed them, resulting in the death of most of his blah blah blah blah. Bottom line is he was wronged by a supposed comrade and is looking to find and kill him for it. Genuinely original stuff we’re talking about here.
Of course, he had no concrete evidence that the guy’d be in Liberty City before leaving Europe to save his ass…ERRRRRRRRRRRRR…to join his cousin in what he thought was a lap of luxury…but not only was the guy Niko thought betrayed him living there, it turns out he was just a lucky homo. Even more incredible is the fact that the guy who actually betrayed him was there, too. Call it a happy coincidence if you want; I call it weak writing and uninspired implementation of said weak writing.
Anyway, backing off of Niko Bellic for a moment, the game itself is what’s being reviewed. If Grand Theft Auto San Andreas had never come out, then this game would be awesome. Liberty City is now a pretty damn good representation of New York City, even going so far as to have Boros. The graphics and textures are all huge upgrades from all of the previous gen iterations, but honestly they’re about as good as the graphics found in most multiplatform games released nowadays. The graphics are in no way superlative…I put them about on par with the graphics in Star Wars: The Force Unleased.
For all it’s hoopla, GTA IV is still a mission based driver/shooter. In fact, the fabric of the game is basically the same as all GTA games from GTA III forward. You start in one Boro and slowly you get work from different bosses throughout the Boro. As missions progress, you gain access to new areas and new bosses.
You can drive a cab for money, you can be a vigilante for money, you can enter into races for money, you can run around and find various weapon pickups scattered around the city or you can buy weapons as they slowly become available at your local Ammu-Nation arms dealer. The radio stations have fairly good music and banter that is really nothing more than overly condescending satire of the American culture…so it’s pretty much business as usual for the franchise.
Bear in mind…that in and of itself makes GTA IV a very good game. As a man who paid $50.00 USD for State Of Emergency, I can safely say that I’m a fan of Rockstar’s work. GTA games have always been fun, even GTA2, which was basically a game for the PS that looked like it belonged on the NES. Even that game kicked all kinds of ass.
GTA IV however suffers from being the first full GTA game to come out after Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. GTA IV’s representation of New York City is both detailed and expansive. The environment is simply huge. It’s still not quite two thirds the size of the environment in San Andreas, and it doesn’t have nearly as much stuff to do.
There’s no planes, there’s no parachutes, there’s no casinos or card games despite Roman’s gambling habit (card games in particular being a weakness for the pudgy cabbie) taking center stage more often than Niko’s little bitchassness quest for revenge does. You can still play pool, but the physics regarding the table’s pockets are so fucked up that even if your shot is dead solid perfect, it’s likely that you’ll miss it. Games of pool can take up to 30 minutes to play, usually because the computer controlled NPC is worse at the pool game than humans are.
You can date girls as before, but the “benefits” of dating these girls simply isn’t there in GTA IV. Used to be that if you ended up in the hospital that you’d lose all of your weapons. In GTA SA, you were able to date a girl who worked at a hospital, enabling you to keep your weapons after dying. Well there’s a girl who has the same function in GTA IV…the only thing is that regardless if you date her or not, eventually you stop losing your weapons after dying…rendering her useless and making the trouble of dating her pointless.
There’s one girl you date in GTA IV that is supposed to be able to call off the cops as they’re chasing you…but honestly every time I’ve been in a jam and called her for help, she’s told me that there was nothing she could do and I’d have to find a way out of trouble myself. Bullshit, is what that is.
This game is about where the series should be if Vice City had been the last GTA game. Unfortunately however this game is drastically smaller in size and in terms of things you can do than San Andreas was. The level of character customization in GTA IV is an absolute joke compared to San Andreas. Basically if you played the previous games and liked buying multiple properties, buying multiple businesses, liked the turf wars and other assorted things…then you will be disappointed by GTA IV, as none of that shit is there. None of it.
Another thing missing from GTA IV is the top notch voice talent. Previous games have seen voice actors like Michael Madsen, Frank Vincent, Michael Rappaport, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Kyle McLaughlin, Samuel L. Jackson, the late Chris Penn, Ice-T, Jenna Jameson, Peter Fonda and a laundry list of premium Hollywood talent…and that was a big part of the charm of the games.
This time around Rockstar gave us a bunch of nobodies. Not even Nolan fucking North makes an appearance in this game’s voiceover. The most famous person I saw in the cast list was Coolie Ranx, who played Little Jacob…but dollars to donuts says most of the people who play GTA IV have no fucking idea who Coolie Ranx is.
Then there’s multiplayer. I can sum up GTA’s multiplayer in three words: ”tacked on garbage.” GTA has always been an auto aim game, and multiplayer is no different. Game hosts have the option of turning the auto aim off, but they simply choose not to. There’s no real lobby to speak of, the interface isn’t at all intuitive and there’s no quick and easy way to see who among your friends is online and what they’re doing.
Add to that the facts that GTA IV’s MP sees the quality of graphics sink to near PS2 levels, and the physics (which are spot on and awesome in single player) degrade to a level that slightly hovers over “ridiculous.” To be honest, if GTA IV’s online had been made into one big MMO with different areas that can trigger missions or matches, that would’ve been awesome. As it stands, GTA’s online MP is just a tacked on afterthought, put in there to artificially raise the replayability of the game.
Overall, despite its many…MANY flaws and shortfalls, the game’s very good. But it’s not great, it’s not excellent, and it suffers from being inferior to its most recent previous generation iteration. Grand Theft Auto is a great looking GTA game, and while it’s not nearly on the same level graphically as games like Gears Of War or Uncharted, GTA has never been about the graphics.
You can still shoot random pedestrians, get into gunfights with the police in the middle of the street, lead Blues Brothers-eque car chases through New York City, fuck a prostitute and then kill her to get your money back…but GTA IV doesn’t really make any huge leap forward, in my opinion. Again…many gamers and reviewers were dick riding Rockstar Games, praising Niko Bellic as a character, but again…he’s a whiney little fuck. Yeah, he’s tough as nails and just an epic badass; I’d definitely want him on my side in a gunfight…but he whines like a 3 year old girl. Loud and often.
Carl Johnson from San Andreas had both a more complex character and compelling story to him than Niko…and he wasn’t some precocious little bitch, either. Tommy Vercetti from Vice City wasn’t really a complex character but he was more engaging and entertaining than Niko was.
“Claude” from GTA III isn’t quite as good a protagonist as Niko, but it’s not really by a large margin…and that guy didn’t even fucking talk.
On the whole, GTA IV is a very good game. The shooting and driving mechanics were revamped but it’s very easy to adapt to the changes. The environments are larger, more detailed and quite honestly a great representation of New York City. There’s some great missions and phenomenal characters in this game. That said, upgrades in graphics and the amount of content allowable aside, it’s a step backward from San Andreas in just about every respect.
Very good game, but it’s not up to where the GTA standard should be in this generation of console. The lack of recognizable voice actors, character customization as well as clothing and vehicle customization options leaves the feeling that the game is missing a few things.
…and the multiplayer is simply embarassing. GTA IV gets an 8 out of 10.
I know…it’s the highest scoring game on Metacritic ever. That’s a bunch of shit. It’s the most overrated game in the history of games…and I’m talking clear back to the creation of Backgammon, which as I understand it may have come out shortly after the wheel.
The game is good…very good…if you’re a fan of the GTA games, it’s certainly worthy of a purchase due to the fact that it’s GTA and there’s so much to do in the game. Problem is that San Andreas was and is a better game than GTA IV. If you never played San Andreas, GTA IV will probably rock your world.
If you have played San Andreas, GTA IV will leave you wanting more. Of course, Rockstar is conveniently releasing the Episodes from Liberty City expansion(s) for PC and PS3 next month…but if paying $40 for last year’s Xbox 360 sloppy seconds isn’t really your thing, then you might just want to wait for the next GTA game to come out.
Who knows?? GTA V might actually be as good as or better than San Andreas was. I wouldn’t count on it, but as the New York Lotto says: Hey…you never know.
What do you think about GTA IV and/or Episodes from Liberty City? Please feel free to post a comment or even drop into the forums to lend your opinion to the matter. Thanks and good gaming.