Picking on Rockstar Games

♪ Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – Main Theme ♪ It feels wrong to come down on Rockstar, which is one of few AAA studios to actually put out a quality title, every time. But even the best games can be improved, and I think, naturally, when you make a game on this scale, you tend to screw up some things. Uhhh… Replayability is something they kind of neglect. The first time I beat Red Dead, I was like, “Alright, that was awesome!” The second time through though, I went: “Oh, yeah, you’re just dicking around with horses and cows for the first hour of this game.” The second time through Max Payne 3, you notice you can’t skip the cutscenes. Grand Theft Auto IV, you realize that nearly half of that game– it’s just driving to and from missions. All of this menial stuff that you weren’t really paying attention to in your initial playthrough is a launch to the forefront when you have to do it again. Even Grand Theft Auto V, which takes huge strides on making it’s pacing more efficient, is still plagued by missions, that are just straight up not fun. Remember this one? Where you have to drive to the tow truck place, get in the truck, tow somebody’s car, and drive back to the place? Probably not, because it was so fucking boring that your brain tried to suppress it from your memory. I think there are some pretty obvious ways to cut down on the more tedious aspects of these games. Like how about, instead of having that drive to two different places to start a mission every time, what if you just drove to where
the mission actually takes place? How about missions that go like this? What if you just delete those? ♪ GTA IV – Main Theme ♪ Let me ask you something. Have you ever got into a car with somebody and you both didn’t immediately start babbling about nothing? Not in these games, you didn’t. Why? Why do these violent criminals transform into social butterflies, the second they get in a car together? It hurts the whole experience, because the quality of writing just drops off once you get in the car. [Michael] “You… are a hipster!” [Dunk] Rockstar? No. No! Bad! Michael does not know what a hipster is. [Trevor] “I hate hipsters.” [Dunk] Trevor, especially doesn’t know what a hipster is, and yet, here we are! two guys in their 40’s, who have grown incredibly estranged from anything remotely modern, talking about how Trevor is a hipster. Or what about when they actually start talking about something interesting, but then they just stop on a dime, when you reach your destination? The rain pierced my vessel like knives as thunder cracked through the air. I felt the water tremble beneath me, when a foul beast emerged from the blackest depths of the sea. It was my uncle, Goongalar! Okay. See you later, Franklin! Now we all know that every single game must have an open-world, otherwise, it isn’t a real video game. But as Rockstar’s games become more and more scripted, they’re starting to make less sense as open-world games. GTA V’s Los Santos is kind of bittersweet. On the surface, it is incredibly polished and detailed, but what’s disappointing is that only a fraction of this massive map is utilized in meaningful ways, and there isn’t much incentive, for players to actually dig into it. The meager amount of collectibles there are have been seemingly dropped in, at random, the stunt jumps are ruined by this lame-ass, slow-mo camera, and there is a vast abundance of blank empty areas, with nothing going on. It feels more like a backdrop to the campaign rather than a world that was meant to be thoroughly explored. Now, to put this video in perspective, let me say, these first three issues are
pretty minor, in the face of this one– Rockstar… What. What. The. What. The. Fuck? Generally, when somebody wants to play an online game, they want to turn it on and get into a match within a minute. Overwatch, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone. All of these games are very quick, to get you into the action. Then you have Grand Theft Auto. When this game first came out, it worked just like GTA IV and Red Dead in that you had to load into the single player for a minute and a half, then you could select multiplayer and you had to load again. So, it’s already taking THREE minutes just to get online. But now you have to actually find a match. Here we go! (funky music plays)
“Populating Lobby” “Populating Lobby” (phone rings) [Lamar] “Ay, you there?” [Dunkey] “Nope!” (music continues) “Populating Lobby” “Populating Lobby” “Populating Lobby” “Populating Lobby” “Populating Lobby” Okay, so it’s taken us 8 minutes, to get into a match… and it’s a 4v2. Rockstar… What the fuck? [Outro]
♪ GTA San Andreas – Main Theme ♪

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