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Grand Theft Auto V - Review Thread | Take 2

Deified Data

Banned
Jul 6, 2011
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In a few hours we will all play the game we've been deconstructing for days now and wonder what the fuss is about. We'll forget concepts like ludo-narrative dissonance, put the debate over overt versus implicit misogyny on the back burner, leave the true definition of satire to actual satirists and return to the only metric that actually matters: whether or not a game is fun and engaging to play.
 

braves01

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Nov 8, 2008
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Why don't you read the actual quote without taking it out of context like this.

Adam Sessler said:
"I can imagine, 200 years from now, like our reading of Dickens, the game will be regarded as a catalog of our contemporary travails, an accelerated reality bearing more truth than just gazing at our own reflection."

I don't know, it certainly sounds like he's envisioning a future where GTA V is as revered and studied as Dickens is for its social insight, thereby equating them in a roundabout way.
 

Draconian

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Feb 3, 2012
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Haha that Dickens quote is just awful. The only thing the GTA games should be looked at for in that context is over the top stereotypes of the time period. I'm not an English scholar, but I'd like to think Dickens' novels accomplish more than just stereotypes of people from the time period.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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It sounds like the reason Escapist docked GTA5 to a 7.5 is because the reviewer found all three characters to be completely deplorable, which I personally think would be a good thing for the same reasons. It didn't bother me in RDR much(fit the setting to me) but Niko was all over the map with contradictions, on top of further gameplay aspects such as the heist giving you loads of money and there being nothing to buy. An issue in itself, but further compounded by the sole motivation from many late game missions being he wants money...but he didn't!

This is more rockstar specific and not just Houser, but the pure game length was always an issue as well. Just dragged out, even in RDR where mexico was unneeded. 3 protags should be a hell of a lot to fix this as well. Fingers crossed anyway.
Did you read the Edge review? Sounds like they made an effort to address this inconsistency this time out:

I know that some of the reviews have been hard on the story but Edge's take on it made me somewhat hopeful since I had similar issues with RDR and GTA4.
You hit the nail on the head. GTA's character's are always one dimensional stereotypes taken to the extreme. They are usually funny but its just because of how ridiculous they are. All the gaming press always hold them up as some great example of game writing and characters but its just stereotypes X 100 that wouldn't fly in any other medium.

For what it's worth, I don't mind extreme characters at all. If I did, I wouldn't enjoy many of the games I do, especially absurd, over the top action games. I'm totally cool, and happy to indulge in, violent sociopath lunatic characters and over the top set pieces and scenarios. It's the mix of these characters and a narrative that takes itself way, way too seriously that I don't like, and why I had such an issue with Niko in GTAIV. Rockstar wanted to tell a gritty crime drama with a tragic protagonist, yet it's fucking GTAIV where murdered and carnage is embraced to the full. Max Payne 3 had the problem of making every character a seriously depraved villain/liar/cheat in order to give the narrative an edge, and it was just waaay too transparent and tacky for my liking.

No idea how it works in GTAV, but the impression I get is it's a lot more relaxed. Extreme, but aware of its extremes, and embracing the crazy.
 

LuchaShaq

Banned
Jun 10, 2011
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Carolyn Petit giving GTAV editors choice is a testament to how good this game is.

The shame is that she is so non specific with her criticisms that they literally mean nothing.

I'd be fine with a 1/10 review if the were explicit with their issues instead of buzz word vague nonsense.
 

somuchwater

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Oct 31, 2007
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I don't know, it certainly sounds like he's envisioning a future where GTA V is as revered and studied as Dickens is for its social insight, thereby equating them in a roundabout way.

Equating two things as social artifacts is not the same as equating them as aesthetic objects. It means they will/can serve a similar function in terms of the insight they give into a given socio-historical context. It doesn't mean that they are same in terms of their achievement as art. (Though, to be clear, I think suggesting that any two pieces of art from different forms can be 'equal' as art is dumb.)
 

Dougstyles

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Jul 26, 2013
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What the fuck. No way. QT3 must have been hacked.

I know, right? It's almost as if he isn't a single-minded trollbot whose only purpose is to make fanboys really upset about numbers!

This comes as quite a great surprise to me after he gave the last game I was excited about a bad score!
 

braves01

Banned
Nov 8, 2008
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Equating two things as social artifacts is not the same as equating them as aesthetic objects. It means they will/can serve a similar function in terms of the insight they give into a given socio-historical context. It doesn't mean that they are same in terms of their achievement as art. (Though, to be clear, I think suggesting that any two pieces of art from different forms can be 'equal' as art is dumb.)

Yeah, I don't mean to say GTA won't have value as a social artifact or that Sessler literally equated the two as art (or even otherwise), but the likelihood of GTA becoming a social artifact of such value meriting mention alongside Dickens is very slim. I'd guess it's eventual value as a social artifact will be more akin to something like an old dime novel's value as a social artifact today.
 

War Eagle

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May 20, 2011
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Sorry if this has been posted or asked, but can someone point me to some good PS3 vs 360 comparison videos?
 

GetemMa

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Feb 17, 2013
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See, now it's a conversation. Based on previous GTAs, I think its particular brand of satire isn't witty or clever. Also, satire is supposed to punch up, not down. GTA is so huge at this point that few things qualify, certainly not women as an entire gender. You need some kind of context for satire to work, some contrast. Carolyn is making the argument that that isn't there, so all that's left is gross stuff that WE know is gross, Rockstar knows is gross, but that alone doesn't make satire. Satire is making fun of the people saying the gross stuff. The target here is just, women. The intent doesn't matter, if it's not landing or if it doesn't feel like satire to Carolyn, it's hard to argue with her interpretation, but that doesn't mean you can't have your own.

I haven't played the game so I can't say if their current brand of satire is witty or clever. But I find it a little concerning that satire must "punch up." Who said that and who even adhere's to that? Satirists like Southpark, The Daily Show, or Portlandia certainly don't. It seems like an impossible barrier to place on artists, specifically influential ones. Placing certain people off limits because of their power status is pretty limiting and a seems like it would produce dishonest work. Being lower on the societal power ladder doesn't exempt anyone from satire.

As far as a lack of context, well of course the context is there. The context is our personal experience with the worst of American culture. If the satire isn't landing because someone can't find that context in their own experiences, then that is too bad, but it certainly doesn't mean that the content is deliberately railing against all women, which I find a little hard to believe.

I could be wrong, but Rockstar has always been fairly clever with their work and as far as I know Carolyn seems to be the only reviewer who has specifically called out this misogyny problem. Considering those two things, I choose to give Rockstar the benefit of the doubt but I can't wait to see for myself.
 

MattKeil

BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
Aug 4, 2004
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Yeah, I don't mean to say GTA won't have value as a social artifact or that Sessler literally equated the two as art (or even otherwise), but the likelihood of GTA becoming a social artifact of such value meriting mention alongside Dickens is very slim. I'd guess it's eventual value as a social artifact will be more akin to something like an old dime novel's value as a social artifact today.

Dickens' works were old dime novels in their day, essentially. They were serialized soap operas, often paid by the word. Hell, he wrote Great Expectations purely because he knew his popularity would keep his failing magazine afloat for a while if he wrote another novel, which is one reason it's so damn long.

Adam isn't saying GTA5 is great art (necessarily), he's saying that it encompasses so many themes and situations of today in one work of pop entertainment that it's easy to see people two centuries from now taking it as their easily digested "this is how it was" object of its time, in the same way that so much of our popular mental image of Dickens' time is dictated by Dickens' novels.
 
Oct 10, 2007
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The Escapist review is exactly what I fear the most. I can deal with janky game mechanics, what I don't want to deal with is deplorable main characters. It's a problem every Rockstar game has had this generation outside of RDR (for the most part). From Niko the cold blooded killer, to Cole the Adultery, I don't want to be these people.
 

GetemMa

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Feb 17, 2013
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The Escapist review is exactly what I fear the most. I can deal with janky game mechanics, what I don't want to deal with is deplorable main characters. It's a problem every Rockstar game has had this generation outside of RDR (for the most part). From Niko the cold blooded killer, to Cole the Adultery, I don't want to be these people.

It sounds like you don't want to play Rockstar games then because if you think the characters from GTA III, Vice, City, and San Andreas weren't deplorable you have funny standards.

I'm pretty sure I remember murdering defenseless crack addicts and terrorizing an entire haitian community by burning them alive in San Andreas, just to gain status and money. My memories of Vice City and 3 are a little more fuzzy, but I doubt the main "protagonists" were any less deplorable.

I found the escapist review to be pretty dim witted in this respect. Since when have Rock Stars characters not been brutal sociopaths?

It is strange what turns people off. I can disconnect from the fact that this game forces you to do awful things. I can take it for what it is (a videogame, a satirical one at that) but what I can't stand are the "janky" controls. Those are so much more offensive to me.
 

saunderez

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Jun 15, 2007
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The Escapist review is exactly what I fear the most. I can deal with janky game mechanics, what I don't want to deal with is deplorable main characters. It's a problem every Rockstar game has had this generation outside of RDR (for the most part). From Niko the cold blooded killer, to Cole the Adultery, I don't want to be these people.
Trevor is the most deplorable character Rockstar have ever created. He's also their best character with pretty much zero ludonarrative dissonance due to the fact he's supposed to be a psychopath. If you miss out on this game because you wouldn't do these psychotic acts, your loss.
 

Eusis

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Apr 15, 2011
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I also find he (and the rest of Rockstar's writing team) do a poor job of bridging play with narrative. GTAIV, and at times Red Dead, are particularly bad for this, where almost everything you do during free play is totally ignored and inconsequential of what happens in cut scenes. You can run over a thousand pedestrians in GTAIV, and Niko Bellic will still lament murder. You can massacre towns in Red Dead, and John Marston and Bonnie will still talk all friendly like nothing happened. I get that bridging a focused narrative with open, free form sandbox gameplay would be super fucking hard, but I really don't think Rockstar and Houser have done a good job of it lately.
Probably the best solution is to TRY to play nice during freeplay so it isn't so jarring (though auto-save screwed me over the one time I just wanted to dick around for the sake of dicking around), and admittedly it helps in Red Dead that you're riding around a horse rather than a car where it's easy to accidentally run over people, but in the case of GTAIV at least I think that just served to make the game less enjoyable if I had to worry about not creating that sort of clash.

But if GTAV's protagonists are sociopaths and psychopaths more akin to GTAIII or Vice City then I REALLY don't need to worry about that getting in the way of wild mayhem.
 

saunderez

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Jun 15, 2007
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But if GTAV's protagonists are sociopaths and psychopaths more akin to GTAIII or Vice City then I REALLY don't need to worry about that getting in the way of wild mayhem.
They absolutely are. Franklin seems to be the most grounded of the 3, but both Michael and especially Trevor are all kind of fucked up.
 

DjRoomba

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Feb 19, 2012
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yeah why would you want characters stupidly having a moral compass. It does not work with games containing the gameplay of shooting, large scale violence or the namesake grand theft auto
 

Bel_Air_Jeff

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Aug 23, 2012
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Something happening once doesn't count as a cycle. I'll be very surprised if V gets even a tenth of the backlash IV got.

I wouldn't, I'm actually going to call this game gets just as much backlash.
A bunch of my friends are already complaining on facebook about shitty controls and a bad opening.
 

Fjordson

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Jul 5, 2010
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I wouldn't, I'm actually going to call this game gets just as much backlash.
A bunch of my friends are already complaining on facebook about shitty controls and a bad opening.
=O your friends have bad taste. I saw the opening on a stream on Sunday and it's pretty great.

Can't comment on the controls yet, though.
 

civilstrife

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Oct 23, 2004
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I was so burned by GTA4 I have no problem waiting on the PC release for this one. And if reviews for this turn out anything like the reviews for IV (overwhelmingly inflated when compared to actual user impressions), I may skip it entirely.
 

(._.)

Banned
Jan 25, 2010
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scrolled through the OP. bloated AAA masturbation. Game looks awful, honestly. I can't take this industry seriously anymore. I'll play this at a friend's house and laugh at how jaded this franchise has become.
 

Bronetta

Ask me about the moon landing or the temperature at which jet fuel burns. You may be surprised at what you learn.
Feb 24, 2013
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Wow look at all those 10/10 scores. Didn't see that coming.

disliked GTA4 and RDR, I'll wait till a hefty price drop before picking this up
 

Bel_Air_Jeff

Banned
Aug 23, 2012
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scrolled through the OP. bloated AAA masturbation. Game looks awful, honestly. I can't take this industry seriously anymore. I'll play this at a friend's house and laugh at how jaded this franchise has become.

i somewhat agree with you.
 

XANDER CAGE

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Mar 21, 2011
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They absolutely are. Franklin seems to be the most grounded of the 3, but both Michael and especially Trevor are all kind of fucked up.

Michael and Trever are an interesting pair because they're both crazy; it's just that Michael stifles it and Trevor embraces it. It's a pretty common character pairing but it's cool to see it in between playable characters in games. Sort of a Batman/Joker type of relationship, only on the same side.

Unfortunately Franklin doesn't really have as interesting a relationship with either of them.

scrolled through the OP. bloated AAA masturbation. Game looks awful, honestly. I can't take this industry seriously anymore. I'll play this at a friend's house and laugh at how jaded this franchise has become.

This is a little bit pot/kettle.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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scrolled through the OP. bloated AAA masturbation. Game looks awful, honestly. I can't take this industry seriously anymore. I'll play this at a friend's house and laugh at how jaded this franchise has become.

How does it look awful? Big AAA games aren't my prefered way of gaming lately, but this game looks genuinely excellent from everything I've seen and heard and while there are some ridiculously written reviews out there, there are also a few really well-written reviews that explain the virtues of this game quite well.
 

Yoshichan

And they made him a Lord of Cinder. Not for virtue, but for might. Such is a lord, I suppose. But here I ask. Do we have a sodding chance?
Sep 1, 2006
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Swedish LEVEL
10/10


http://loading.se/news.php?pub_id=26947


Gamereactor (multiple reviews)
10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10


http://www.gamereactor.se/recensioner/123374/Grand+Theft+Auto+V/
 

Arjen

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Jun 29, 2009
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Are there any reviews that talk about the gameplay? How the save system works? How far the checkpoints are spread out? How the movement of the character and cars are?
I've read a couple, and they're all blabering about the scope of the city and details and yadadada. I can't take anymore of those.
 

BeastLeeAdams

Banned
Jun 25, 2013
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Are there any reviews that talk about the gameplay? How the save system works? How far the checkpoints are spread out? How the movement of the character and cars are?
I've read a couple, and they're all blabering about the scope of the city and details and yadadada. I can't take anymore of those.

The gameplay takes some getting used too. It's different compared to GTA IV, especially with aiming that actually increases the difficulty a lot. The switching takes some getting used, and even a couple hours in, im still a little confused about it. The auto aim is not relied upon at all. The save system works like your normal save system, in missions in will save automatically for you and the checkpoint system is very good, I even forgot it was in place at one point and makes the game feel a lot better, by not having to restart over constantly. You can also save whenever you want in free roam, by pressing up on your phone and going to the app. Character movement feels more natural, the cars however are just kinda hard to get used too. It's more like a sim than GTA IV, with sports cars being harder to control, and the motorcycle uses its own mechanics.