Back on the streets
July 9, 2013 5:01 PM   Subscribe

The first official gameplay video for Grand Theft Auto V has been released. The highly anticipated open-world game, which lets you control 3 different characters, will be released in September for the PS3 and XBox 360.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (111 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can spend your in-game money on "responsible" stuff such as tattoos and fast cars, or "risky" stuff such as LA real estate and stocks. Sublime. :)
posted by the cydonian at 5:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [12 favorites]



You can spend your in-game money on "responsible" stuff such as tattoos and fast cars, or "risky" stuff such as LA real estate and stocks. Sublime. :)


I wonder if the tattoos and cars will work like they do in Saints Row, where they raise your Style rating, which makes you gain XP faster... which actually is pretty responsible.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's a link to the video where you just have to give a (fake) age to Rockstar Games instead of all your personal info to Google.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:32 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


i'm very excited for this game, but the marketing-drone voice over for this video is embarrassingly bad. and it's not a wink-wink, tongue-in-cheek send up of market-speak. i'd love that. what they have is a boring-as-hell, introduction-to-our-product, press-release-bullet-list narration that almost ruins the cool stuff they're showing. color me stunned that the houser brothers let this happen; GTA previews are typically amazing.

"the game world is beautiful... massive... and diverse". ugh.
posted by bruceo at 5:39 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]




Part of me still thinks of GTA as the series I used to play as a 5 minute demo when I was a kid and depressed, running over people until the time limit ended and my little pixelated guy exploded. I haven't been able to get into any of the 3D GTAs since my mind resists making this toy into a world-beating, super-produced series. That said, I'm currently playing 2 GTA clones at once, so i'll probably pick this up before getting literally lost in it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:44 PM on July 9, 2013


Are there any missions where you're hired by underworld gangster rail enthusiasts to settle a disagreement by riding the subway all day collecting cell phone camera footage of that abandoned set of tracks which lead to a long-abandoned portal that totally exists despite what the official track map would have you believe?

Because that would be awesome.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:46 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


the marketing-drone voice over for this video is embarrassingly bad

I had the same reaction, yeah. It's weird. I thought maybe we were going to get 45 seconds in and then hear a record scratch and then some (probably equally embarrassing but at least tonally explicable) over-the-top YO MAN CHECK THIS SHIT OUUUUUUT hollering or something, but, nope. Just totally bloodless, fixed-smile PR delivery, even on lines that were clearly written to have a little bit of sass to them.

My wife's initial theory, there: it's a safety play by Rockstar to try and undermine the usual "IT'S A PROSTITUTE MURDER SIMULATOR FOR TEN YEAR OLDS!" reporting narrative. It would, in all fairness, be hard for someone to watch this trailer and get their think-of-the-children heartrate as high as you'd otherwise expect. And all the gamers can still see the ooh fuck yeah stuff under the hood, so, hey.
posted by cortex at 5:53 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


which lets you control 3 different characters

Silly me for imagining one of those three different characters might be female.

(though I admit the world of the game looks amazing)
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:53 PM on July 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


I've never tried GTA. Is it basically It's a Good Life using a game controller?
posted by gwint at 5:53 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]



I've never tried GTA. Is it basically It's a Good Life using a game controller?


God, I wish... that would be more... Pocket God? Scribblenauts? Maybe Prototype? GTA is more... embodied. You have to physically attack something to kill it, and you can't transform things into other things, I don't think. Maybe in Saints Row or Skyrim.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:56 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


With the addition of the VR headsets and omni-directional treadmills, how long until we model real cities and begin to commute and interact in the virtual space overlain on the real one? If a person in the city were wearing Google Glasses, she could interact with your avatar as if you were there.
posted by troll at 6:00 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wasn't really interested in this at first - I really loved San Andreas and really hated GTA4. But then this trailer looked kind of cool and then the five seconds of multiplayer they showed clinched it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:03 PM on July 9, 2013


My wife's initial theory, there: it's a safety play by Rockstar to try and undermine the usual "IT'S A PROSTITUTE MURDER SIMULATOR FOR TEN YEAR OLDS!" reporting narrative. It would, in all fairness, be hard for someone to watch this trailer and get their think-of-the-children heartrate as high as you'd otherwise expect.

A nice theory, but the think-of-the-children-omg-bbq-games-are-evil crowd are not known for making any effort to understand or try the games they criticize. Actually watching a trailer before pronouncing moral judgement involves too much work.
posted by zachlipton at 6:03 PM on July 9, 2013


It's funny, but I bought GTA4 and then signed up for Playstation Plus. Sony was nice enough to give away Infamous 2 and Saints Row 3, and compared of those two I ended up finding GTA4 just...boring. I played for about 20 minutes before I was overcome by yawns. I'm more interested in SR4 than GTA5 at this point.
posted by mullingitover at 6:04 PM on July 9, 2013


...dammit. I'm finally going to have to break down and buy my first console since the PS2.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:08 PM on July 9, 2013


Hang on--- buy fast cars?
posted by Hoopo at 6:12 PM on July 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


You mean you can't beat the shit out of prositutes? Do I really need to watch a trailer to know that you can do this in a GTA game?
posted by Brocktoon at 6:12 PM on July 9, 2013


Actually watching a trailer before pronouncing moral judgement involves too much work.

But watching the trailer is basically all the research done before writing up a phoned-in column about That New GTA Game, and the lack of red meat to build it off (or, if they're working a little harder, even the contrast to the redder nature of the previous cuts of meat) may mean less obvious a line from point A to point B.

I'm curious about what explanation may actually get forwarded for the odd-in-its-banality narration, in any case. I don't know who the target demo is for this presentation.
posted by cortex at 6:21 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


i'm very excited for this game, but the marketing-drone voice over for this video is embarrassingly bad.

This is how Rockstar has been marketing its games for quite some time now. Its early gameplay trailers for LA Noire and Red Dead had the same tone- a very calm and almost professorial narrator describing game features. Rockstar really tries hard to go for the "we're smart and we publish smart and thoughtful games" vibe. This is all part of going for that marketing angle.

I have to say, usually they're successful in both areas. LA Noire and Red Dead were masterpieces... GTA IV less so, but hopefully this one will be a little more fun and clever like San Andreas was.
posted by Old Man McKay at 6:24 PM on July 9, 2013



I have to say, usually they're successful in both areas. LA Noire and Red Dead were masterpieces... GTA IV less so, but hopefully this one will be a little more fun and clever like San Andreas was.


LA Noire was dull as dishwater... I just hope that Rockstar doesn't lose site of the fact that they're making games and not Serious Crime Films.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:30 PM on July 9, 2013


LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption, weren't developed by the GTA devs, Rockstar North. Red Dead Redemption was developed by Rockstar San Diego. LA Noire was by now-defunct Team Bondi, published by Rockstar.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:43 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope you can fly a little helicopter up underneath a hotel overhang and then descend underneath the map and fly around the netherworld listening to cops crash around overhead like you could in Vice City, because that's the best feature in the whole franchise.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


The gameplay preview with banal narration is industry standard, isn't it? Saints Row IV's gameplay preview was in a similar style, and that's a game about being a super-powered alien-fighting gangster president. Or take the newer Blizzard games - they go with their usual tone (cinematic, "epic") in trailers and commercials, but do the dry narration thing with gameplay and new feature previews.

I think the idea is to remove all ambiguity about what's actually in the game, given how deceptive game commercials and trailers can be. The trailer gets you to say, "cool, planes," while the gameplay preview calmly reassures you that, yes, you can fly planes in the game. That's also the reason for the "captured entirely from in-game footage" note.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


There was some gameplay in that video, and it did look pretty neat. But as to most of the video, for the thousandth time, cinematics are not gameplay.
posted by cribcage at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2013


I have to admit that before watching this video I had no plans to buy this game, and after watching it I would consider buying this game.

The dialog (at least what's presented here) is snappier than I expect from games, I think they might get some good mileage from the three-main-characters thing gameplay-wise, and the narrator's voice is oddly soothing.
posted by ook at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


we'll get the game and i'll probably have some fun in it, and even though i knew the gender makeup of the protagonists, i'm still totally bummed that it's 3 guys and no women.
posted by nadawi at 6:59 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "LA Noire was dull as dishwater... "

I could not agree more. I finished it just in case there was something there eventually, but nope.

I was referring to it as my "homework" after the first two to three gaming sessions.

Back on topic.. So, no PC version for GTA V? That's becoming a problem for me since I don't want to buy a console. It's not necessarily a bad thing, really. The way the PC versions have been going the last few years, the ports are horrible. I'd rather have no PC version than wasting cash on a crippled or crappy afterthought of a port. BTW, I haven't played GTA since III so if this (console only) has been standard ops for a while, please forgive my ignorance.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:59 PM on July 9, 2013


I worry that like a movie trailer, this ad just shows all the good parts. Like the sports minigames. Will they be just as fun as the bowling in GTA IV? And maybe the shooting will be as awesome as GTA: San Andreas. Just saying that for all the richness and beauty in the worlds, the GTA games have been a long way from having fun game mechanics. Just Cause 2 does the open world thing better, Saints Row 3 does the driving and mayhem way better.
posted by Nelson at 7:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Any one of those three protagonists a woman?

Please?
...
posted by Phalene at 7:03 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


i have faith in the mini games - rockstar's table tennis game is fantastic.

and, Phalene - nope! i'm sure there are plenty maiden/mother/whores, though. ugh.
posted by nadawi at 7:11 PM on July 9, 2013


Raise your hand if the first thing you're going to do is jack a motorcycle and see how long it takes to drive from one end of the map to the other.

*raises hand*

Also: HEISTS! FUCK YEAH HEISTS!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:14 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is how Rockstar has been marketing its games for quite some time now.

They've actually started a whole trend of those kinds of trailers! In meetings, we call those 5 minute super-detailed ads with robot voice narration "game 101" or straight-up "Rockstar" trailers. It's like an obligatory AAA marketing beat now.

Live-action and CGI and cinematics trailers are about blowing your mind and/or establishing the vibe of the game, gameplay trailers are to manage speculation on the game's quality (I would bet that Assassin's Creed one was put together in response to questions/rumors about combat on their forums), and 101 trailers are the game's elevator pitch.

The idea is to cram all the sell sheet messaging into one video to put on store pages like Steam and game websites and such, cause words are so hard to read. The script is stilted because it's the only way to get all the info in there, and the neutral narration is easier to dub for worldwide campaigns than game dialogue or whatever.
posted by Freyja at 7:16 PM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Joey Michaels: "which lets you control 3 different characters

Silly me for imagining one of those three different characters might be female.
"

Maybe there's an easter egg that turns the three guys gay? That would be awesome.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:19 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wasn't the protagonist in one of the previous iterations "Gay Tony"? Was that not legit?
posted by eugenen at 7:25 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cycling?!
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:36 PM on July 9, 2013


Gay Tony was an NPC in an add-on to GTA4, not a playable character.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:41 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


which lets you control 3 different characters

So it's basically a remake of The Lost Vikings?
posted by straight at 7:48 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oh, three star police chases, how I have missed you.

San Andreas was the most fun I've ever had playing a video game. From the panoply of vehicles to control (no, YOU drove the train around and made all the stops!), to the realistic renderings of the cities (I paid my first real visit to San Francisco two months ago, and could at least orient myself in the city based on San Andreas), to the Wire-esque social satire ("Blame society, man!"), I couldn't get enough of it.

And for some reason, I could invest in Carl as a protagonist in a way that other GTA protagonists seemed bland.

Excited about GTA V is all I can say.
posted by dry white toast at 7:49 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


They should put in a Carbon Footprint Meter on the HUD that will penalize you if it gets too high in order to encourage the use of more bicycles or at least get you to steal more sensible cars. Additionally they need to offer your character ethical shopping choices. Who knows under what condition clothing purchased at Binco or ZIP were made in. Also more gardening missions. And a Take Back The Night Rally. And for god's sake can Cluckin' Bell get a vegetarian menu? And I don't mean just a token salad.
posted by sourwookie at 7:51 PM on July 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


This GTA V wallpaper from Rockstar sums up my view of GTA gamers accurately.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm no expert so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would a GTA player be wearing a headset?
posted by cribcage at 7:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


How do you call someone gay without a headset?
posted by Justinian at 7:59 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Any one of those three protagonists a woman?

Its okay, I am sure the DLC will be centered on a lesbian coven.
posted by rosswald at 8:03 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only play roguelikes.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:14 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


am i the only one who liked vice city the best?
posted by nadawi at 8:20 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm no expert so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would a GTA player be wearing a headset?

For the immersive first person experience.
posted by troll at 8:26 PM on July 9, 2013


No, I loved Vice City. San Andreas was too damn big and I am bad at video games. This led to hours of driving back to my objective.

I liked GTA 4 a lot, But spending 3/4 of the game bowling or on dates really soured it. I'm a badass, why am I going bowling.

Ever since Bully, Rockstar has made a concerted effort to subvert all their games. Instead of gleeful expressions of cartoon violence, They became peckinpah-esque meditations on the corrupting nature of violence.

I am really expecting GTA V to be a 3D Hotline Miami. You win the game and they make you feel like shit for having played at all. They never told you to kill people. They presented an environment where it was possible and you did it all on your own.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I did GTA4 a lot, but I actually didn't do hardly any of the dating things. I did a couple to see it, and then went "this is lame" and ended up going around running people over. Because running people over is awesome.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:37 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


You do realize this is a novel, right? One with a million endings.

Someone has to do the soap opera/drama version of this.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:38 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]



I am really expecting GTA V to be a 3D Hotline Miami. You win the game and they make you feel like shit for having played at all. They never told you to kill people. They presented an environment where it was possible and you did it all on your own.


Thing is, this would carry more weight than in games like Spec Ops: The Line, where you literally are given no choice but to kill people and then the game makes you feel like shit for it. Open world games give you a choice - you don't need to kill innocent people, you don't need to drive like an idiot, and you don't need to go on murder sprees. The Tim Rogers' reviews of GTA4 and Saints Row even point out that your character WOULDN'T do that, which causes some pretty obvious ludo-narrative dissonence.

So assuming that this GTA game still gives you the freedom to act like you're in GTA and go off and have homocidal fun (which I'm not sure it will), it has a few options for dealing with that.

1. The Saints Row way, where your character (or one of the characters) is presented in-game as a gleeful psychopath who really will joyfully run over pedestrians.
2. The Spec Ops: The Line way, where the game indicts THE PLAYER for acting like a sociopath. As Tim Rogers points out, because these games have 'innocents' in them and gives the player the choice whether or not to harm them then that will have some sort of moral force and bite.
3. The Sleeping Dogs way, where the game punishes the character both narratively and mechanically (lose XP and bonuses) for killing innocents.

There's also a fourth option, where you're simply not allowed to murder innocent people, but at that point the game would cease to be GTA (which is honestly what it's felt like since the series made the jump to 3D).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:40 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really only played GTA 3 some. I'd just hang out where the mafia and the inner city drug cartel were shooting another. I'd just grab money and weapons from the victims.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:42 PM on July 9, 2013


Ironmouth: "I really only played GTA 3 some. I'd just hang out where the mafia and the inner city drug cartel were shooting another. I'd just grab money and weapons from the victims."

You were a born lawyer, Ironmouth.
posted by mullingitover at 8:43 PM on July 9, 2013 [19 favorites]


Does anyone know if the GTA V graphics will be better on the Xbox or PS3?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 PM on July 9, 2013


Ironmouth: "I really only played GTA 3 some. I'd just hang out where the mafia and the inner city drug cartel were shooting another. I'd just grab money and weapons from the victims."

You were a born lawyer, Ironmouth.


It has nothing to do with that. I'm not a huge fan of killing sprees against innocents.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:46 PM on July 9, 2013


: "Ironmouth: "I really only played GTA 3 some. I'd just hang out where the mafia and the inner city drug cartel were shooting another. I'd just grab money and weapons from the victims."

You were a born lawyer, Ironmouth.


It has nothing to do with that. I'm not a huge fan of killing sprees against innocents.
"

Oh same here, but I'm able to distinguish actual people from crudely-rigged NPCs in a video game.
posted by mullingitover at 8:50 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Right, the characters in GTA games are never blank slates. there is a specific narrative Rockstar is going for.

The problem is that in a game the mere possibility of doing something is an inducement to do it. There needs to be some sort of consequence for your actions. The world needs to change in some way when you break the narrative.

I would add and eternal darkness style sanity system. The more innocents you kill the more hallucinatory the world gets until the game itself is unbearable. Sort of similar to Hotline Miami, where things go slowly out of whack as you progress.

The odd thing about Hotline Miami is that in order to progress through the developer supplied content you need to kill people, which sort of undercuts the "you took it upon yourself to kill people" message. After all, it is a game we are intended to play and they only give you one way to do it.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:54 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would add and eternal darkness style sanity system

I'm not saying I would put a sanity meter. Just that the game would change. Dirt and grime clog the streets. Pedestrians look differently, maybe appear to leer at you. You start to hear whispers. Eventually you have hallucinations of past victims.

I think it would be pretty cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sleeping Dogs was everything I ever wanted in a GTA game and more. Likeable protagonist, completely new non-U.S. city that's so beautifully rendered it's a true pleasure just to drive around in, melee that's actually fun, and if you're a fan of HK cinema it's like your own personal love letter.

A man who never eats pork buns is never a whole man!
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:05 PM on July 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Sleeping Dogs really was a fantastic game -- I hope Rockstar took a look at SD's melee combat and fluid on-foot navigation mechanics and learned a few lessons from it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:08 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying I would put a sanity meter. Just that the game would change. Dirt and grime clog the streets. Pedestrians look differently, maybe appear to leer at you. You start to hear whispers. Eventually you have hallucinations of past victims.

I think it would be pretty cool.


I don't want to be too obvious in spoiling things, but one of the games I've mentioned in this thread does all these things.

I just think GTA needs to be decide what kind of game it wants to be - a fun open world fuck up or a drama.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:10 PM on July 9, 2013


My friend got me GTA III&Vice City double-pack for the original X-Box.
I found the vehicle control horrendous.

I never played San Andreas. Said friend showed me a little of GTA IV, and it looked kinda cool, but I still felt the cars handled... stupid. IIRC, it was a little better than III, but not much.

I really want to try Saints Row someday. III or IV, either or both. The supreme out of control bizarreness of it all just really appeals to my own warped sense of humor.

GTA V looks HELLA fucking cool. But again - the vehicles. Honestly I think if it wasn't for shitty vehicle controls, I would love the damn games.

LA Noire was meh. The driving was pretty shitty there, too, even though it was a different studio, it seemed a lot like a GTA driving style.

Speaking of Just Cause? FUCK YEAH! Now *THAT* is what I want some goddamned driving controls to be like. Maybe a little tighter than that, but I feel way more in control of those vehicles than the GTA games I've played.

So does SA and IV both have shitty driving or are they improved? Is there hope they finally fixed that shit in V or has anybody heard the devs saying the controls suck and they fixed them?
posted by symbioid at 9:11 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The odd thing about Hotline Miami is that in order to progress through the developer supplied content you need to kill people, which sort of undercuts the "you took it upon yourself to kill people" message.

Yeah, but Hotline Miami didn't have a pretension that you were supposed to have rejected violence within the game or anything; it merely took the tack that the violence and really the whole situation was pretty darned fucked. Not moralizing at the player or at games so much as declining to ignore how super violent and amoral the whole thing is and treating that as something with a visceral and psychological cost to the character.

Compare to Spec Ops, which I thought was really pretty interesting in some ways but which really did feel like a big bullshit ride of impossible moralizing ("really, what you should have done was stop playing instead of shooting anyone" is not a workable pitch from a game that's selling at retail for major platforms) that was notable not so much for being overly clever as it was for just being done at all in a genre that doesn't really do that sort of thing much.

Spec Ops wanted to have its cake and eat it too. Hotline Miami just says "holy shit, murdering a cake and eating it is, man, this is kinda fucked, also a glass of cold milk is about to murder your girlfriend maybe you should kill it with a pool cue?"
posted by cortex at 9:18 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Silly me for imagining one of those three different characters might be female."

Grand Theft Auto 3 had a cheat code where you could turn yourself into other characters. I used to cycle through them until I turned myself into a blonde hooker, then I would go on a bazooka rampage. Good times.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:22 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


am i the only one who liked vice city the best?

I think the plot of Vice City was much much better than the plot of GTA3, but Vice City was so flat that I found driving around boring as hell.

San Andreas, on the other hand, I probably logged 20 hours just driving from Pretend LA to Pretend SF to Pretend Las Vegas over and over again, listening to the music. I bought the soundtrack to it on the cheap off of a GameCrazy employee who got it for promotional purposes, and I listened to it in the real world.

I just had to remember not to park my car by slamming the wheel hard to one side and yanking on the hand brake

I think I would rate them San Andreas, Vice City, with GTA3 and GTA4 fighting for last. GTA4 is much prettier, but just... boring, somehow. I think it's because I found driving around pretend Manhattan so, so dull, and the ridiculous disconnect between Niko's cutscenes, and Niko's in-game wanton murderdeathkilling.

Also having to go bowling with your cousin was the worst idea ever.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:22 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I liked Chinatown Wars - does anyone else remember that one? The other modern GTAs just felt too overwhelming.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:30 PM on July 9, 2013


I don't want to be too obvious in spoiling things, but one of the games I've mentioned in this thread does all these things.

Ahhh I think I found it.

Yeah, but Hotline Miami didn't have a pretension that you were supposed to have rejected violence within the game or anything

I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't seen the end but I believe it is a bit of meta commentary.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:36 PM on July 9, 2013


I would rate them San Andreas, Vice City, with GTA3 and GTA4 fighting for last. GTA4 is much prettier, but just... boring, somehow.

Agreed, but I'd note that Ballad of Gay Tony redeems GTA4 somewhat by being so wonderfully over-the-top and also because parachutes. San Andreas is the best example of the series as An Important Piece Of Work, I think. So far. Fingers crossed. I have great hopes for this game.

Again: HEISTS HEISTS HEISTS IS NO ONE ELSE EXCITED BY HEISTS
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:48 PM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm no expert so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would a GTA player be wearing a headset?

Because those are the children of one of the protagonists and I assume he'd be playing something that wasn't GTA.
posted by sourwookie at 9:53 PM on July 9, 2013


For the first time you can control three different characters!

But they're all dudes.

Well they won't get this lady's money then.
posted by egypturnash at 9:58 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


TOTALLY EXCITED BY HEISTS!
posted by nadawi at 10:12 PM on July 9, 2013


A PROSTITUTE MURDER SIMULATOR FOR TEN YEAR OLDS

This is the sort of (marvellous) phrase that one might have found in a dystopian-future science fiction story 30 years ago or so, a dire warning of Things to Come, and the idea would have seemed a little shocking.

Now it's like: yeah, and?

This place we have found ourselves as a society would have filled Young Wonderchicken with a kind of cultural-schadenfreude glee, grinning upwards into the pelting hail of rubble; Old Wonderchicken just isn't sure.

That said, I'll be playing the shit out of this when it comes out on PC in like 3 years.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:18 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


am i the only one who liked vice city the best?

Vice City was the last good GTA, and San Andreas the first nail in the coffin. The over-serious focus on gritty grimdark urban drama is just tiresome. Every game, they go further down that hole. Meanwhile, the mirror universe where Rockstar focused on making the games awesome instead of painful is still exporting the Saint's Row franchise, so it's fine.
posted by kafziel at 10:34 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't know who the target demo is for this presentation.

Lazy journalists writing articles for local papers.
posted by empath at 10:54 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Tim Rogers' reviews of GTA4 and Saints Row even point out that your character WOULDN'T do that, which causes some pretty obvious ludo-narrative dissonance.

I'm working my my through Archer, and have concluded he would make a great open world game protagonist. Instead of having conflicts between the cutscene character behaviour and game behaviour, his ultimate dickishness and propensity for amoral rampages means the two would mesh perfectly.

It's something that Prototype tried, but without Archer's douchey charm it's a tough sell.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's a side mission in Saints Row 2 where The Boss does something so dickish and psychopathic it totally makes sense he'd do... whatever I do when I'm having a bad day and decide to rampage around Stillwater. But it felt like CJ and Niko wouldn't do that, and now I'm playing Sleeping Dogs and I can't even hit pedestrians 'cause there's no way Wei would.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


3rd Street Saints 4 Lyfe
posted by juv3nal at 12:57 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have very rarely had the chance to play GTA games. But one of the few times I have, I 'jacked the nearest cab and proceeded to essentially play Crazy Taxi for the next hour, I could that in the series' favor. I did play Retro City Rampage today, thought it was fun.
posted by JHarris at 1:18 AM on July 10, 2013


I turned myself into a blonde hooker, then I would go on a bazooka rampage. Good times.
posted by Ursula Hitler


Gonna go ahead and ding that one as eponysterical.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:43 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]



Again: HEISTS HEISTS HEISTS IS NO ONE ELSE EXCITED BY HEISTS


There were a handful of heist missions in San Andreas, but I never got into 'em much, except for the required ones. Is there some kind of new mechanic (multiplayer?) that makes them more appealing?

(By "heists" I'm talking about hijacking freight and robbing banks, etc.)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:49 AM on July 10, 2013


There were a handful of heist missions in San Andreas, but I never got into 'em much, except for the required ones. Is there some kind of new mechanic (multiplayer?) that makes them more appealing?

Well according to this here video in the front page post, you plan the heist yourself and can switch control between multiple characters.
posted by empath at 1:59 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


'You decide what to spend your money on, anything from sensible investments like tattoos and fast cars, to risky ventures like stocks....'

Cut to character browsing through BAWSAQ.com, a stock trading website.

Another little unexpected (and incomprehensible to non-Scots) easter egg paying homage to Rockstar's Scottish roots in an otherwise very American themed video game.
posted by redskythinking at 3:59 AM on July 10, 2013


I'm not scottish and I get the joke. It's not like ball-sack is some scottish term.
posted by empath at 4:17 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The funny thing, looking back at GTA 3 is that it hadn't really discarded its somewhat more arcadey roots from 1 and 2, which were really just toys with little missions tacked on to give the player something different to do when they got bored of running over civillians. GTA3, for instance, still gives you money for running over pedestrians, indeed causing any kind of havoc. It has a plot, but only just, and is randomly mean: for instance, in the late game, when you've annoyed the mafia, you can basically never go back to the street you came from, because you will die in moments from the concentration of firepower directed at you.

Vice City retained a lot of the joy of 3, setting in the 80s with some lovely style choices. Although the odd choice to have a buddy cop plot really didn't make sense (seriously, Vance just sort of turns up and becomes your friend for pretty much no reason, so the later developments don't make sense). San Andreas was an awesome world, but made so many irritating choices: the hunger and strength systems, for instance. There is a mission in San Andreas which one must pass to progress, in which one must do flight training. This mission is really, really hard. You have to do a loop the loop in the plane, which tended to end up with me crashing into the ground. Repeatedly. The worst thing about this is that you never have to bloody do that again. It is a skill which takes a lot of repitition to acquire, which you are then never required to apply again! Infuriating.

Unfortunately a lot of mission design in GTA is like this, providing "do it again stupid" gameplay in place of an actual challenge.

In GTA4 they've fixed some of the original problems, but added others. As others have commented, the game has a very serious plot (a pretty good one actually) which has dissonance with your actual actions. During your quest to get revenge, crippled with guilt from the war, you murder hundreds of people in the quest for a diamond, for example. The combat system, which is actually smarter than previous games, actually can make this a bit of a drag. Its a pretty decent cover system, but when you have to fight hundreds of enemies in a row as some late missions force you to do, it begins to be a bit dull. And of course, the friendship missions, which are really annoying. If you want certain in game benefits you have to tolerate these, especially Jacob, who's gun dial up system is really useful for time saving in late game (particularly getting body armour).

Playing Saints Row 3 was really a revelation. Your avatar is so much tougher, and health regnerates slowly, with so many different weapons and enemies making combat a much more mobile and dynamic affair which is still challenging but less boring. There are tons of mini-games but they are rarely mandatory (you have to do a few occasionally to push the plot forwards, but its your choice for the most part). The plot is insane, and rather entertaining. The missions are really fun and clever for the most part, and can be solved in different ways (for instance, late in the game, theres nothing to stop you from calling up for a tank as back up) which GTA usually deliberately prevents you from doing (try blocking a route you know you'll be racing down in GTA. It can be done, but only by fooling the game's systems). Its not a perfect game: there are too many mini-games pretending to be missions during some parts of play, and the plot doesn't always work (there are some things the boss does which I don't really buy him doing), but its incredibly fun.

Long story short, I'm looking forward to SR4 a lot more than GTA5.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:22 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Silly me for imagining one of those three different characters might be female.

I agree, but the ten-year-old in me knows that this character would probably mostly be exploited for the "voyeurism" function.
posted by fungible at 5:34 AM on July 10, 2013


BitterOldPunk: "Again: HEISTS HEISTS HEISTS IS NO ONE ELSE EXCITED BY HEISTS"

Very excited about the idea about planned heists. The heists in GTA:SA were flat and boring. Looking at the video, these heists seem like interesting, plot based heists, unlike anything in San Andreas.

Heist is one of those words that quickly loses meaning when you say it twenty or so times.
posted by Sphinx at 6:30 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


empath: 'baw' in place of 'ball', as in 'i'm gonna punch empath in the baws' is undoubtedly Scottish, so good on you for you getting it non-Scottish person!
posted by redskythinking at 6:30 AM on July 10, 2013


bawsaq was also in gta 4
posted by nadawi at 6:34 AM on July 10, 2013


I'm trying to get excited, but the idea of having to manage three people is making it hard. I loved (like lose your job and spouse to drugs love) GTAIII and IV. I played a lot of San Andreas, but never finished. It was where certain (most?) games started to feel like work to me. I picked up the last one out of loyalty and couldn't get into it. On the other hand, I loved Sleeping Dogs, so I have no idea how to feel. I just want to kill cops, I don't need to worry about some asshole's lung capacity. Killing cops on foot is inefficient anyway.
posted by yerfatma at 7:38 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heist is one of those words that quickly loses meaning when you say it twenty or so times.

As opposed to "smock".
posted by yerfatma at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


cortex: "My wife's initial theory, there: it's a safety play by Rockstar to try and undermine the usual "IT'S A PROSTITUTE MURDER SIMULATOR FOR TEN YEAR OLDS!" reporting narrative. "

gtavtrailercomments gets to the nut of this with this called-out youtube comment on tumblr. (warning, youtube comments reposted on tumblr, is like a two mirrors set on opposite sides of dog turd)
posted by boo_radley at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2013


I'm a little surprised how many people are talking about plot and story in the context of GTA.

GTA3 was a revolutionary game. I don't think anyone disputes that, whether or not you happen to think it's a fun game. It was a major shift in the way video games were conceived, and that shift has, in hindsight, proved to be important and widely emulated. But nothing about its importance had anything to do with plot or story. To the contrary, its importance was the "sandbox" element. That's not mutually exclusive with plot or story, but it certainly doesn't have a lot to do with them.

For me, that's what the GTA franchise is. Having an historic, iconic product tends to define your brand. The deeper GTA gets into plot and story, the farther it gets from pure sandbox—and to my mind, from its brand. It's the opposite of what I'd be looking for from a GTA game.

I'm not much of a gamer, really, so I suppose I'm not the bullseye of their target audience. But boy, that sandbox stuff is wonderful and can draw me back in. I've lusted after a true Star Trek sandbox. Choose your ship, then just go have fun with a five-year mission: explore random planets, fire rockets across the Neutral Zone at your leisure, point your ship at the Delta Quadrant and then just let the game run for six months...
posted by cribcage at 8:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think Red Dead: Redemption is really the best of the Grand Theft Auto games. Such a beautifully realized open world. The slower pacing hides a lot of the game mechanics problems that GTA games have been paced with. And what an amazing setting, story, graphics. Even the acting is good. Total breath of fresh air for a game. The interlude where you go for a long ride with a lonesome cowboy song still sends chills down my spine.

Well according to this here video in the front page post, you plan the heist yourself

What I saw was that Mission #8 had two options, #8A and #8B. In #8A you'll go through a series of scripted events in a tiny little building where you press X at the right moment to release some sleeping gas. In #8B you'll go through a series of scripted events moving from outside into a tiny little building where you press A at the right moment to shoot guys in the head. I hope I'm wrong, but it's consistent with what "open world" means to Rockstar.
posted by Nelson at 8:42 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: PROSTITUTE MURDER SIMULATOR FOR TEN YEAR OLDS
posted by slogger at 9:05 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: peckinpah-esque meditations on the corrupting nature of violence
posted by slogger at 9:42 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


: "I'm working my my through Archer, and have concluded he would make a great open world game protagonist. Instead of having conflicts between the cutscene character behaviour and game behaviour, his ultimate dickishness and propensity for amoral rampages means the two would mesh perfectly."

Mother of god. Archer game with cel-shaded graphics and sandbox-type gamplay?! With all the cast doing voices? Please, video game gods, make this veritable money-printing machine happen.
posted by mullingitover at 11:46 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


GTA3 was a revolutionary game. I don't think anyone disputes that, whether or not you happen to think it's a fun game. It was a major shift in the way video games were conceived, and that shift has, in hindsight, proved to be important and widely emulated. But nothing about its importance had anything to do with plot or story. To the contrary, its importance was the "sandbox" element. That's not mutually exclusive with plot or story, but it certainly doesn't have a lot to do with them.

but sandboxes existed before GTA3... what kinda stuns me is how many of the sandbox games today have the same basic gameplay as the 2D GTA, which I remember downloading slowly on AOL
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:37 PM on July 10, 2013


There is a mission in San Andreas which one must pass to progress, in which one must do flight training. This mission is really, really hard. You have to do a loop the loop in the plane, which tended to end up with me crashing into the ground. Repeatedly. The worst thing about this is that you never have to bloody do that again. It is a skill which takes a lot of repitition to acquire, which you are then never required to apply again! Infuriating.

This and the RC plane missions were so damn frustrating. Once I passed these, I almost began to enjoy the game again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:57 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Scottish angle is something I never tire of bringing up with my first year media students. GTA is something most of them have at least a passing familiarity with, and pointing out that the series is basically a remediation of American cinema and television about urban crime, rather than a representation of actual experience of American urban crime makes explaining Baudrillard's simulcura much easier.

And when that fails I just show them a clip from Miami Vice with an expectant look on my face.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:17 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


And oh, Red Dead Redemption. My housemate came home from work on the day I bought it and asked "How was your day?" I'd been hunting deer and varmits for about 7 hours, so pretty awesome was my response.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:19 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]




They've all been comedies.
posted by empath at 9:50 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of COURSE it's a comedy: it's literally The Three Stooges.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:09 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


PLEASE let there be an in-game ability for one of your characters to hit the other with a pie oh dear god please
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:10 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]



PLEASE let there be an in-game ability for one of your characters to hit the other with a pie oh dear god please


I think that's a weapon in Dead Rising.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:18 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm also a bit worried about those three person missions. If your companions are not immortal when you are controlling them, then that could turn every mission into an escort mission as your AI friends do something appallingly stupid when you stop controlling them...
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:04 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


metafilter: two mirrors set on opposite sides of dog turd
posted by moorooka at 2:31 AM on July 11, 2013


Vice City is in my top 10 games of all time. I loved every minute of it. San Andreas was awesome at first, but once I found myself endlessly driving across the map for the 10th time to complete a rather boring mission, my enthusiasm for that game and for the series in general waned. Didn't pick up the next version.

This, however, looks amazing to me and I'll be pre-ordering. I disagree with the sandbox comment above, because (by looks at least) this game has both the huge sandbox, and the missions to keep the story going. And I'm with BitterOldPunk-- HEISTS!
posted by cell divide at 2:36 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


You guys are selling me on this, but I'm worried I'm too old to try to manage three characters doing three different things during a heist, so if it turns out you can co-play on XBL, I demand help.
posted by yerfatma at 4:42 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of COURSE it's a comedy: it's literally The Three Stooges.

Um, that didn't work out so well for Nethack.
posted by JHarris at 5:43 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]



Of COURSE it's a comedy: it's literally The Three Stooges.


So an improvment over GTA4, which only had one Stooge.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:07 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


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