Cautious Optimism for GTA V

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Blogs, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

I was one of the seemingly few people who didn’t like Grand Theft Auto IV. I didn’t like the characters, the gameplay, or the story. The characters and the story were boring and extremely slowly developed. The gameplay wasn’t as fun as I had hoped going into it with all of the praise it was getting. Finally, the game overall was way too serious. It’s a game that is supposed to be about having fun and going around shooting people, but it was very dark and bland. However, I have an unexpected optimism for Grand Theft Auto V. It seems to be changing and improving on the problems I had with it. It has three main characters, all of whom have different stories and have to work together in some way. Rockstar has said that the game will be much faster in story and hopefully that also means in character development. Finally, the gameplay trailer that was released recently looks very interesting. I have a certain cautious optimism for the game in that it will probably be like GTA IV in combat and such, but I hope it is much more refined, and altogether, much more fun.

First off, the characters. In GTA IV, Niko Bellic didn’t interest me. Maybe I’m alone on this, but I felt that he had very slow character development and I overall didn’t care for him. GTA V looks like this changes. The fact that there are three different main characters makes this a much different story for me. Even if there is a character that I don’t like, I can switch to a different character that I like. This should add variety to the gameplay. The game will hopefully develop the characters faster than in GTA IV. Rockstar said that the game is much faster than GTA IV, hopefully meaning that the characters will also be developed more quickly as well. Plus, the characters look diverse and interesting, each with his own personality and own background that lets them have different skills and different personalized stories. This could add some kind of side story to the main story or a side topic in the main story. However, this all depends on how Rockstar choose to approach the three characters part of the game. I am optimistic that they will do something great with the story, but I hope that it isn’t much like the story, in pace and overall content, of GTA IV, as I probably won’t be interested.

The story and the characters go hand in hand with each other. Therefore, if the characters intrigue me, the story should also intrigue me. So, I am also optimistic that the story will be interesting as well. Rockstar said they will make the pace faster which will engage me unlike the story of GTA IV did. I am also optimistic that there will be interesting missions and huge consequences for the player in the game, possibly even a choice or morality-type system. Whether it be choice of how a mission ends or just how you play it, I am always all for choice, and this is no different. There should also be details into the character’s lives and backstories. The game should detail who these people are and why we should care about them. The characters should mean something to us and I am confident that Rockstar can make that happen. To go along with the character development, the game should be action-oriented. As I said, the game is called Grand Theft Auto, so the game should involve huge heists and large shootouts in vehicles and on foot. GTA IV didn’t satisfy me in this aspect of the game. Its story was incredibly slow and, for me, uninteresting.

The gameplay in GTA IV was the best part of the game for me, although that’s not saying much. It was fun to shoot random people around the street or go flying in a helicopter around the city, but Grand Theft Auto IV’s main competitor, Saints Row: The Third, beats GTA IV in gameplay in spades. Saints Row 3’s gameplay was what made the game great. GTA IV doesn’t have that special gameplay. It is too dull and serious compared to Saints Row 3. However, Rockstar has said that the combat will change in GTA V. Hopefully, this means the game will be more fun to play than GTA IV was. One promising thing about the gameplay trailer was the activities around the world. In the trailer, there was a full-fledged golf game, tennis game, scuba diving, mountain biking, and more. While GTA IV had some activities like this, it wasn’t enough for me. Assuming there are more than these, there would be a lot of activities around the world to take up my time. Even if the main story gameplay isn’t great for me, these activities hopefully would be enough to cancel that out in a way. Plus, the stock market and real estate options look interesting. Also, the driving in GTA IV was one of my least favorite parts of the game. It was much too stiff and difficult to control. Hopefully this is fixed in GTA V.

Finally, the fact that there are three different main characters can add a new layer to gameplay. It can make the game much more open to player choice and easily replayable for three different perspectives. In missions, all three characters will have different roles, so, assuming the game doesn’t force you to play as one of the characters, it will be free for the player to decide who they want to play as. As for the open world with the characters, it will provide three different perspectives of the world that the other characters may not see. There was one possibly annoying aspect of the game mentioned in the trailer. The switching between characters drops the player in to what the character is doing at that point in time, whether it be getting chased by the cops, or riding a bike. This could take some of the choice out of what to do with the character at that point. You may not want to do what that character is doing, but have to finish or change to a different character. For example, if you are dropped in to someone being chased by cops, you can either try to run away or possibly switch to a different character. This may also take some of the difficulty out of the game, as you may be able to switch away from a character out of a mission when they are in trouble.

The final reason I didn’t like Grand Theft Auto IV was the world in general. It’s not the world as in Liberty City, but the tone of the game and the world in that respect. GTA IV was so dark and gloomy for a game that is supposed to be insane and fun. It took away from the experience completely. As compared to something like Saints Row: The Third, it is so much less fun because of how dark it was and serious it took itself. The new trailer for GTA V looks to hopefully change that and I am optimistic that it will, but I can’t be sure. The trailer talks about the ridiculousness of the game, but it still looks like a Grand Theft Auto game. The game does take a new approach with a new color palette which makes the game look much more crazy and fun than GTA IV. The activities around the world should also help to fix this problem. It should be more open to doing fun things like sports or scuba diving or even investing in stocks. Hopefully these activities are pulled off by Rockstar because if they are, the game would become so much better than GTA IV.  As for the world in general, there should be more humor and overall craziness that happens randomly. There were spurts of it in GTA IV, but it should be a commonplace in the series’ new installment because it, also, would make the game much better than GTA IV.

Grand Theft Auto IV was a huge disappointment in my eyes. It was too dark, its story was slow and uninteresting, and the game was overall just not fun. However, I am optimistic that GTA V will change that. From the looks of the trailers already released for the game, it looks to fix many of Grand Theft Auto IV’s problems. It seems to be much more colorful and crazy. Rockstar has said that it will move much faster. And it seems that it will be much more fun with everything to do around the world. While it is still a Grand Theft Auto game and it probably hasn’t changed entirely, which would disappoint me, I am still cautiously optimistic that it will turn out well. The gameplay trailer looks very promising and I am confident that Rockstar can pull it off. Grand Theft Auto V looks like it will turn out better than Grand Theft Auto IV from everything released so far. Everything about it looks better. I am hoping it will end up being that good and I am cautiously optimistic that it will.

What do you think about GTA IV? How do you think GTA V will turn out? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and PI!



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