Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Blog Banter: Quitter!

Posted by deckard47 on April 30, 2008

Welcome, welcome to the 5th installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel! Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

I don’t quit many games, to be honest. I don’t normally buy games unless I’m sure I’l like them, and even if they’re flawed, I generally plug away until they’re done (see all the Jedi Knight games, Rebellion, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, Thief 2, etc.). However, just today I quit playing a game, and I don’t plan on picking it up again any time soon. Thus, the memory of its faults is fresh in my memory.

The game is Grand Theft Auto IV, and I’m not sure why I thought I’d like it that much in the first place. The 3rd game (I only played the first two a bit, and sucked at them) was impressive, scope-wise. Driving around and finding jumps and hidden packages was pretty awesome, as was chasing/being chased by the cops. Then of course, there was the fact that Rockstar had purposefully gone out of its way to make an offensive, stunningly stupid game. I mean, if there’s a game that makes your I.Q. drop faster than Halo 3 Deathmatch with the beer bong crowd, it’s the most recent form of GTA.

It’s sad, because Rockstar, when they aren’t being gigantic assholes, racists, homophobes, or misogynists (or really any other kind of horrible “ist”/”phobe” person), are obviously a talented team. This new Liberty City is pretty fancy to look at, and it’s incredibly immersive. The effects, the people wandering around, the city, it all delivers at a very high level.

Thank goodness Rockstar stuck to their guns when it came to story and game features, huh? It’s so pathetic that there are so many perfect or near-perfect scores out there. It’s equally pathetic that so many reviews are lauding this game for its “humor,” “writing,” and “plot.” For instance, this is from IGN: “Don’t worry, GTA’s famed over-the-top action and tongue-in-cheek humor are intact.” What?! I can’t really stress how wrong they are. If you like offensive, 2nd grade humor, terribly hackneyed plot twists and characters, and a “big budget” story that plays out like an amalgam of “Goodfellas” and “Eastern Promises” as written and directed by Michael Bay and Eli Wroth this is your game.

What I mean to say is, this game world is brilliantly created, and then they have to go and add in alarming little-boy-fantasy strip clubs. They have to make it so the only people who you can pay for sex are women. They have to make it so every single character is absolutely terrified of being called gay. I guess people think this is “authentic?” Um, so are male strip clubs, gay and lesbian bars, and any number of other non status quo-acceptable meeting places or social venues, that will never appear in a Rockstar game except as the butt of a joke about hilarious gay people. Also, every character is a horrible racist or sexist stereotype. Every one. Which doesn’t make it ok (as some contend), it makes it stunningly thorough in its cruel depictions of whatever group or person.

Honestly, I should save this all for a review, but I have this Blog Banter post, so this is it. This game stopped me from playing its better parts, because the only way to enjoy it would be avoid the story entirely. I could do this, and it would involve some effort, but even avoiding the story leaves me with Niko’s cousin, Roman, and his constant narrative on the merits of “titties,” college girls who just want to have sex, and other exciting yet forbidden things having to do with the ever elusive Woman. Children shouldn’t make games! This game makes me realize how much the game industry is being held in thrall by 14 year old (maturity-wise and age-wise) and otherwise emotionally stunted males. I know they aren’t the only ones buying and making games, but people think they are, and it’s ruining one of my favorite pastimes, for me and all people out there with brains, taste, and a sense of how damaging this material is.

Until someone else makes an incredibly intuitive open sandbox modern city simulation, that respects all of its viewers, Rockstar can forget about me buying their shitty games. I haven’t felt this stupid, offended, unclean or pissed off in a while. Thanks, Rockstar, here’s one more game I’ve quit before finishing. Happy?

Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Silvercublogger, Unfettered Blather, Triage Effect, Gamer Unit, Delayed Responsibility, Man Bytes Blog, CrazyKinux’s Musing, Zath!, Draining, Game Couch, 8-Bit Brigade, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy


6 Responses to “Blog Banter: Quitter!”

  1. Jason O said

    Try Crackdown. While not as much to do, you still have all the GTA essentials (free-roam, vehicles, etc.) but you get to be the good guy for a change.

    I think some of the enthusiasm for GTA in this market is over the top. We’ve had Mercenaries, Spider-Man 2, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and Crackdown as quality sandbox titles. Sure, Spidey can’t get in a car and drive around town, but why would he?

    GTAIV doesn’t seem to have changed the formula all that much, so I don’t know why people are so excited. Haven’t I played this game at least twice now? Does Saint’s Row count? That would be three times now. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the “humor”, I’m tired of the racism, I’m tired of brutalizing people, the sexism, the list goes on.

    Yeah, you quit, I didn’t bother. There are good sandbox games coming down the pipe and a few already here. At some point people will get beyond the Rockstar brand, just not going to happen right now.

  2. deckard47 said

    Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I’m not sure why I thought this game would be different (although my paper is paying me to review it, so it’s not a total loss, I suppose). I really want to try Crackdown, I heard so much good stuff about it, and I’m really itching for a wide-open game that isn’t GTA. Oblivion is nice, but it’s not quite the same.

  3. silvercube said

    I won’t be playing GTA, but I do like your viewpoint on this stance : )

  4. bs angel said

    As someone who is currently considering purchasing this game, your observations are really quite valuable to me. Everything you listed are reasons why I don’t think I will like this particular game. But the buzz that it has generated, from the forecasted sales to the perfect reviews to absolutely everything that has played a part in the hype, has me so interested. There must be value in there somewhere right? That is what I keep telling myself. I’m really starting to wonder though, …

  5. Sam said

    It’s always amazing just how _bad_, ethically and aesthetically, the dialogue and scripted action in the GTA games always is. High budget means just more blaringly and emphatically bad–like a three-year-old with a lot of money who really likes _Scarface_ and _Goodfellas_ made it, instead of a poor three-year-old. But, hell, it’s going to be the most popular game at least of the year if not of like all time, right?

  6. Triage Effect said

    I just finished playing GTA4 for about an hour. While I do appreciate how open the game is, it made me long for games like Fable, where you can choose whether to be a hero or villain, and other important decisions that affect the game.

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