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GTAV single-player and general gameplay thread


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I bought GTA ChinaTown Wars on the Vita and my GTA itch is back after completing GTA IV a couple of months ago. I may well go back in tonight and continue with TLaD and/or TBoGT. People discuss about lack of sandboxing / overly relying on 'cinematic' stuff and the ability of Saints Row to take the fun crown or not until they're blue in the face, but regardless of all that I thought GTA IV was a monument of a game, I absolutely loved it.

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@sup3rted, aye, "zavvi" and "the hut" are both run by the same people, they're notorious for bad customer service and, at times, slow delivery. They can be quite cheap though so I sometimes use them when I'm not in a rush for something. They're a good last resort but I wouldn't make them your go to mail order site.

Zavvi is an odd one. I ordered Zelda Skyward Sword and Alice Madness Returns on the same day, both were listed as 'in stock'. Alice was shipped the same day and arrived 2 or 3 working days later (which is pretty good for a UK - Netherlands shipment). Zelda was sent out a day later and took something crazy like 2 weeks to arrive after receiving the dispatch mail.

I ordered Shinobido 2 for the Vita there the other day as I'm in no hurry to receive it, it was cheap and I had a 10% off voucher, but I'll never be using them if I want something quick.

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I bought GTA ChinaTown Wars on the Vita and my GTA itch is back after completing GTA IV a couple of months ago. I may well go back in tonight and continue with TLaD and/or TBoGT. People discuss about lack of sandboxing / overly relying on 'cinematic' stuff and the ability of Saints Row to take the fun crown or not until they're blue in the face, but regardless of all that I thought GTA IV was a monument of a game, I absolutely loved it.

GTA IV is undeniably a very, very good game but it isn't as sandbox-y as it perhaps could be, which I think is the point that people are making. Although it would be a different type of game in essence, it would be joyous to have a more Hitman style approach to doing your missions, rather than the very point-to-point approach of current GTA's. Even the very minor point of when you start a mission that the next part only triggers once you drive into the arrow / coloured circle of light. Would be nice if you coud use some of the tools at your disposal to plan and carry out things a little bit differently. If I know I've got a mission at a bank or something, why can I not land a chopper on the roof and try and rob it from up there, or go in a back door, rather than it only 'starting' once you go to the front door.

I still think that they should have some more DIY missions for money earning and what not too, like security vans regularly empty the vault in the banks once a month and you could plan your own heists etc. Again, I can't see it being something in GTAV from what has been said before but I think there's certainly a market for a game that did something along those lines.

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I've always said that what GTA really needs is 20 or so carefully designed, multi-faceted missions, rather than 75 rote missions where you just go from glowing arrow to glowing arrow watching little cut-scenes and performing simple tasks.

Take other open-world games like Red Faction: Guerilla and Far Cry 2. Nothing beats the feeling of preparing an ambush for the "destroy the convoy" side missions. Rather than an arbitrary timer, you've got the much more engaging time pressure of the convoy actually crossing the map. You select the ambush point yourself - maybe somewhere with good vantage points or a hairpin bend. You lay a trap of your choice - some IEDs, a hastily-assembled blockade made up of stolen cars. Maybe you need to get up high so you can rocket the first and last vehicles in the convoy, making the rest easy pickings. Then you wait patiently for the targets to arrive. "Waiting" in a scripted mission to move along is boring. Waiting to execute a plan of your own design is exciting. When the moment comes, anything could happen. It could be over in seconds, or you could get spotted in your poorly-chosen hiding place before the convoy has entered the kill-zone and end up in huge firefight. If you fuck up, you can try again with totally different tactics.

I'm dreaming though, because Rockstar don't make games like that any more, much as I love them.

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So much truth here.

I've been thinking about my ideal game. It would be a sandbox spy game, set in an a smaller but architecturally interesting city like Nice; you'd get a nice mixture of cobbled streets, wider avenues, freeways, and treacherous roads in the surrounding countryside. You wouldn't have an ambiguous endgame like "become rich", it'd be to find X person and kill them. You'd have a reason to accumulate money; safehouses, weapons, vehicles, equipment, contacts, assets, information. If it became clear you had to find a particular person, you'd make an asset or find an accomplice of theirs and follow them/ interrogate them. All of this would occur in real time, and you'd pretty much make the missions yourself. There would be no "and now you are doing a mission"—one minute you'd be driving a forklift truck through a crowded shopping mall and the next you'd think: well, now's as good a time as any to kill Target A.

Then you'd decide how to do it. Do you go in through his mansion's front door, or do you drive to a nearby beauty spot and shoot him through his bathroom window with a customised Dragunov while he's taking a shit? Or do you wait until he leaves in security convoy and wreak havoc at a choke point? Or, do you flip someone on his payroll so that they kill him for you? Or do you break into the warehouse of the delivery company that provides him with 25-year-old Scotch, open the package, and add a little strychnine?

One of my favourite missions was the one where Playboy X gets you to kill that fat cunt in the basketball court, because of the potential at which it hinted. But it held your hand the entire time, to the point that you may as well have just been told exactly what to do. The same goes for the mission where you kill that guy by shooting out his satellite dish to get him to the window, or call his homephone so he gets out of his chair.

Why do we have to have our hands held? Giving someone an objective (Find this person, steal this information) and letting them figure out how to do it is clearly the future of gaming, because that's gaming's distant past. If you weren't good enough to figure out how to complete an arcade game by yourself, tough shit. There's this feeling in the industry that everyone has the right to complete a game if they buy it. I call bullshit. Buying a game gives you the opportunity to complete it, provided you are smart enough to figure shit out. Can't work out how to infiltrate the Embassy? Tough.

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I liked the mission where you had to skydive on to the skyscraper, fight your way down, kill someone and then escape. But I thought they could have just given you the objective - assassinate whatsisface and left it to you to plan how you do it. There would have been a greater sense of accomplishment. And maybe he leaves the building from time to time - to go home to his family, for example.

As it stands, it's almost an on-rails shooter in a sense: there's only one way in and one way out. Now, it might be that in our alternate GTA the odds would have been against you if you took other routes into the building - but it would be great to be given the opportunity to find out.

[edit]

possible routes into the building:

rooftop (as it was in the game)

front door - but will lose element of surprise

abseil down the side of the building and smash into the office that way.

or see if you can pilot a helicopter such that you crash into the office.

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The handholding could still be there, you'd just have to 'call it in' on the in-game phone. Much like how you could use the codec to help you with sticking points in MGS2.

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GTA 1 had a nice sense of freedom to its missions, but they were isolated nuggets lacking a grand narrative, and became very samey after a while. It was really just about collecting enough money to get to the next city and squishing people. When all is said and done, I prefer the balance and narrative focus of the later games. The real problem is the movement and combat controls are a chore, so you are constantly having to redo missions. If the controls worked, I'm sure the urge to do it your own way would be somewhat diminished.

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Why do we have to have our hands held? Giving someone an objective (Find this person, steal this information) and letting them figure out how to do it is clearly the future of gaming, because that's gaming's distant past. If you weren't good enough to figure out how to complete an arcade game by yourself, tough shit. There's this feeling in the industry that everyone has the right to complete a game if they buy it. I call bullshit. Buying a game gives you the opportunity to complete it, provided you are smart enough to figure shit out. Can't work out how to infiltrate the Embassy? Tough.

This rings even truer these days since if you do get stuck you can easily find the solution on the internet, and a lot of gamers do rather than even bothering to try (their choice). Game makers should be well aware of this and come up with such challenges as you say.

And before someone argues "But what if I don't have the internet?!" - then tough, you will not infiltrate the Embassy, you will need to find a different way.

Great post Citizen Matt.

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Just to raise a few qualms on the GTA IV front -

I recently played it, and it felt like nothing more than a shoot-'em-up. It's a damn shame that a game that should have so many options seemingly refines itself to such a boring lack of opportunities.

Another thing that pissed me off, and this comes as more of a seasoned player of the series, is that it took me about an hour and a half to get past the introductory stages of the run-of-the-mill driving missions. I was doing a taxi mission for Roman an hour and a half into the game - now, it's easy to look, or glare back on something that was fresh nearly 4 years ago, but the pace was ultimately quite shit.

I want it to be more engaging. I prefer thinking about new aspects of video games than I do playing them now, and I thought, why can't there be a functioning economy in GTA? Why can't you have a direct impact on certain areas based on the actions you take in them? Like killing drug dealers in a certain area might keep it clean for a while, or the amount of havoc caused would ultimately make the area worse for wear, and bring drug dealers and prostitution in. It would be so easy to reflect some such system in a GTA game, down to the character models in the area, the cars being driven, the number of police.

This, to me, is how video games get intelligent, but it should be done without employing it as a selling gimmick, rather, making it just one aspect of how the game works.

I think we all have great ideas about how our perfect GTA would go, what would make it so engrossing. Is it that hard for developers to put them into action?

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I think we all have great ideas about how our perfect GTA would go, what would make it so engrossing. Is it that hard for developers to put them into action?

From all the posts I've read, I would say it would be pretty goddamn difficult at this stage yes. A game like Skyrim is crazily open, yet the actual mechanics of quests and NPC-AI are still fairly straightforward. Skyrim of course does show how some 'missions' can be approached in different ways, something that should have been standard in GTAIV.

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Yeah basically much of my annoyance this generation has been that the industry has been chasing blockbuster barely-interactive "experiences" that don't use the added grunt for anything other than graphics, rather than actually fulfilling the promise that stuff like GTA: SA set out.

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So with reference to all the talk about open/sandbox ways to complete missions, what is Saints Row The Third like? I've not played any of the series and am wondering whether it's worth a pop...

Personally i don't like the characterisation much and GTA's missions are much more "normal".

But i'm one of the few people that moans about it.

Its pretty much reached god-like status on here becuase its so much fun. Its certainly chaotic but its not done with any real surpise or guilt. You expect things to turn to shit and chaos to ensure whereas in GTA (certainly IV) - i found it more funny because its meant to be more serious. Its in no means a bad game though and the last one looks stunning at times. They really improved their graphics engine compared to the other two so i'd say its really worth a pop.

To be honest if you like Sandbox, SR, Just Cause 2 and latest Mafia games are all worth a pop now as they're all so cheap.

They all do their own thing really well.

I just prefer GTA's slightly more serious tone (but its only a videogame, etc).

I might add this new one looks set to blow me away again.

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I'm just looking forward to getting out into the hills again. This bit of the official announcement - "Grand Theft Auto V heads to the city of Los Santos and surrounding hills, countryside and beaches in the largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet create" - brought back many happy memories of biking around San Andreas, and travelling up Mount Chiliad.

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So with reference to all the talk about open/sandbox ways to complete missions, what is Saints Row The Third like? I've not played any of the series and am wondering whether it's worth a pop...

Broadly similar in being utterly scripted thirdperson shooter missions, they just feature dafter setups and a wider range of cocking around possibilities outside of the missions. There's not really anything out there that lives upto the potential of a sandbox city.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some leaked info which may or may not be true.

A member of the GameSpot forums posted a batch of new possible Grand Theft Auto V information which was given to him via a ex-Rockstar employee who was fired over misconduct. The information was deleted by GameSpot moderators and was retrieved via Ben Miller from the Examiner from Google Cache. The information could obviously be fake, but it’s well worth a read.

The protagonist will be one character, and one character alone. His name is (as some rumours said) Albert De Silva. He’s a half hispanic man who was once part of a crime family in Vice City. He decided to settle down and have kids in Los Santos. He has one son called Kevin De Silva who is your stereotypical CoD player. He’s lazy, useless and shouts racial abuse online and is really into FPS games. Kevin does admire his Dad though.

Multiplayer will hold 32 people on the Xbox and PS3. I wasn’t told how many were able to be on the PC. Just like in RDR, players will be able to form Gangs. These gangs are not ranked through XP anymore, but via Reputation. Instead of gang hideouts, you can do jobs that range from robbing a launderette to breaking into a military base and stealing state-of-the-art weaponary.

The Gang leader has much more control over his or her gang by being able to rank members of their gang and setting more specific objectives to specific members of their gang. Gangs can have their own terratory but this only applies to areas inside the city of Los Santos.

The map is about 5x as large as the GTA IV map and the City of Los Santos takes up just under half of this area (so it’s a bit bigger than 2 GTA IV Liberty Cities).

The map is (like most GTAs) seperated into three different sections.

Planes are flyable, they range from World War 2 fighter planes to Private Jets.

Cars and guns are customisable to an extent, for example, you can cusomise a gun to have a supressor on it and you can install nitrous into cars.

1. The protagonist is the “rich guy” from the GTA V debut trailer. You get to learn more about this man in the second when he talks about his troubles. You only see the protagonist twice in the trailer. First time is the side of his face and second time is when he is driving a Deceptor (Audi R8). The people robbing the jewellery store are just with the protagonist. He is driving the van ready to get away.

Gunfights are more realistic. When you are shooting a gun out of a window of a car, depending on how fast it’s going you will have troubles aiming due to shaking cameras.

The game is due in May 2013. A more specific date has not been decided because the game is still needing 6 months to be fully developed. They will have a playable demo at E3.

Police chases are now way more than either running or driving. Depending on how wanted you are, police may bring out riot shields and flash bangs. 5. When someone reaches 4 star wanted level, there will be a radio warning on some stations.

Radio stations now do traffic reports that are actually correct. So if you don’t know what route to take, you can check the traffic reports on your phone or the radio.

7. The in-game TV now has many more channels

The protagonist DOES NOT die unlike in the last two Rockstar games.

The underworld actually has a working economy that you can contribute too by buying and selling drugs, weapons and illegal cars in single player.

The protagonist can take drugs which will have some effects. But smoking weed on the streetwalk will lead to getting a one star wanted level.

Police cars will go after you if you’re obviousely breaking the speed limit. Having high speed crashes will also damage your health.

Wanted levels:

1 star – police follow you on foot and try to make an arrest. No sirens, no car chases (unless you are speeding).

2 star – police will still attempt to make an arrest. If a weapon is drawn then the police will begin opening fire. Police will use stun guns if a weapon is not drawn.

3 star – Chases begin and the police don’t care how they stop you, they just want to do it.

4 star – road traps, radio stations and much more hostile police.Even when you have evaded them, they will still search for 24 in-game hours for someone matching your description.

5 star – shoot to kill, arrest only if it’s made very possible. Even when you have evaded them, they will still search for 48 in-game hours for someone matching your description. Few missions become unavailable if you are wanted.

6 star – military vehicles come after you. Even when you have evaded them, they will still search for 72 in-game hours for someone matching your description. Some missions become unavailable if you are wanted.

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All sounds good to me. I look forward to mega chases with the military on my heel.

I do wish they improve the character control immeasurably, though. I want to be able to control the chap like he is an extension of myself, not have it feel like I am trying to control a puppet on strings.

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The thing about searching for a period of time sounds similar to Assassin Creeds "Infamous" system, where after doing something bad/public you're identified on sight for a while until you shake it.

I hope the gameplay actually requires use of some of the gameplay systems they put into the combat and cars. It was bizarre in GTAIV for them to model shooting through windscreens and shooting out tires and then put you up against cars that were completely invulnerable until cutscene X.

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