Friday, December 13, 2013

Personality conflict

I tried. I really, really tried. Sometimes I hate being that guy who doesn't like something that everyone else does. It is not intentional, I have admittedly odd, sometimes indefensible taste as evidenced by my ability to play through terrible games in their entirety but walk away from Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the last great games of its generation, after only a few days of playing. There was no malice. I was not angry at the game. I just couldn't play it anymore. The least I can do is try to tell you why.

Grand Theft Auto 5 made a concerted effort to improve it vehicle controls. I will take their word for it but I found the driving to be functional at best and flying almost and that was before I made it to the helicopter. The helicopter was worse. After that mission I had had just about enough of Trevor so I switched over to Franklin's missions. A little gang banging never hurt anyone, right?

Trevor shows up because of course he does, they all go out on a drug buy that goes bad, there is a shoot out and a chase. Here is where this fell apart - most chases in GTA are completely unscripted events. 'Escape from the cops' is your only directive. Sometimes this works. The world they have created works well enough that cool things happen organically. But sometimes it doesn't work, and sometimes it is a train wreck. For example, I got into a slow car while controlling Trevor. Trevor's driving skill is pretty poor when compared to Franklin but there was no way to switch and no time to get a new car. What could have been a fast paced chase turned into the cops ramming me from behind until I drove down a giant water drainage pipe and jack knifed my terrible car.

No problem, I will get out and hide in the middle of the pipe. Nope, cops wandered in, single file, with no signs of stopping. My choices were to allow them to kill me and lose quite a bit of progress, make a run for the exit and fight them along side the rudimentary shooting controls, or turn it off. You can guess which one I chose.

My frustration with the randomness of the gameplay was only part of it. There is also an issue with the characters - not a single one had any redeeming features. Michael is a semi-reformed bank robber, his wife is unfaithful, his son is a layabout pot head and his daughter is intent on selling herself for fame. Franklin justifies everything he does by saying he is trying to better himself even if that includes killing innocent jurors because someone told him to and Trevor is a psychopath who uses everyone and everything around himself for personal amusement, up to and including sexually assaulting teddy bears.

I have seen far more of his ass than necessary and I only put in about ten or so hours.

Just being exposed to these guys was unpleasant and it made dealing with other frustrations impossible. I am not opposed to violent games. On the contrary, I enjoy shooting dudes in the face as much as the next guy. The guy doing the shooting should either be transparent to the player, see Gordon Freeman, or at the very least likable or someone that can be identified with. All three of these guy were pieces of shit, as was everyone around them. They were not people that I wanted to spend my leisure time with.

So I am going to play Lego Marvel Super Heroes instead. :P

No comments:

Post a Comment