I bet Rockstar isn't happy about the comparisons with Saints Row. That game has come up in enough articles and posts about GTA IV to show that SR certainly earned its spot next to it.
In the same way redneck rampage was just like doom 3, sure.
Here's my date story... it wasn't a date ender, but it was pretty hilarious to watch. After having been thoroughly unimpressed with the bowling "simulation" (Jesus... League Bowling from 1989 is a million times better), Michelle and I get a little too close together while walking down the steps to the car. She gets her foot tangled with Niko's and ends up taking a huge spill... rolling down the steps and landing in a heap at the bottom. Pretty sure she was grunting and cussing all the way. I was looking for the "laugh button" because it was just ridiculous to watch! Of course she gets up and just walks to the car like nothing happened. /me thinks "Yeah, this is a typical videogame."
Originally Posted by Coca Cola Zero
I was mildly disappointed when I tried opening the car door from her side hoping Niko would be a gentleman and let her get in first, closing the door behind her, but no dice. He runs around the other side and they both get in on their own. :(
I need to play it more before saying Tom is exactly right, but he basically said all the same things I did in my first post about the game last night, so I guess I wasn't too far off? :/
"GTA: Still Nuthin' But Bitches `n Hos!"
Originally Posted by TomChick
Way to raise the bar, Rockstar.
When I read that, I actually had to pause a moment to consider if you meant in GTA or IRL.
Originally Posted by TomChick
Actually, I'm still not sure.
I'll just note that the recent Conan console game, which is pretty gory, has Conan rescuing chained nubile topless damsels in distress who utter incredibly lame "sex-ah!" come-ons like "Crush me with your love!" when freed, with is both eye-rollingly and giggle-inducingly bad.
Originally Posted by EpicBoy
Of course, Conan was probably desperate for the merest fraction of the attention and notoriety of GTA. Post-Hot Coffee, I'm not too startled Rockstar is a bit skittish about America's tolerance for nudie bits.
geet off mah layund!!
Originally Posted by Moore
This may be a little thing, but the subtle affect is nice. I like how the exposition in the game isn't all in the cut scenes. You learn a lot about motives and characters while you are driving and walking, etc. It isn't like the old formula where you had cut-scene time(known as bio/drink time) then game time, then cut-scene, and so on. Even Bob gets a bit of character depth just from this mechanic. Plus it keeps the "KOSMOS length" cut-scenes to a minimum, at least so far...
The driving does feel awfully loose, but you can get really good at drifting corners relatively quickly if you do a lot of offensive driving through town. I don't think its the be-all end all mecca of video gaming like reviewers have led us to believe. But, I didn't do Crackdown or Saint's Row, so this is a noticeable improvement to me over GTA3.
I do have to say the game has some serious problems. The biggest one for me is on Projection TVs displaying 1080i. I can't read the hints that pop up and I can't see my star rating or cash. Also, why is it so hard to see what's on your cell phone? I've tried adjusting the display. Also, the mp is not as easy to set up as reviews made it out to be. I was able to set up a game, but When I started a party. We could figure out how to migrate to a particular game type without losing everyone in the party.
I haven't read through this whole thread yet, but can someone kindly describe what Volition did with Saint's Row that further improved on the open-world design?(Or what makes it get mentioned everytime this genre is discussed?) I've only really read Tom's 'Quarterlies' blurb of it a few years ago, but I'm so lost whenever it gets a comparison credit. What did it do so right exactly?
Oh and having recently struggled through much of San Andreas recently, it was very disturbing how far the quality level of the game seemed to dip once you left the confines of South Central Los Santos. Just as I was making a name for myself, carving out my piece of the map and spreading my colors, upgrading my skills and starting to finally learn my way around the seedy ghetto; the game rips -everything- away from me.
It plops me into the middle of some foreign land that stretches on for eternity, removes any and all sense of exploration and progression structure(missions become rigid and forced - race twice in a row, perform these robberies back-to-back) and any and all ancilliary activites are gone for a good many hours. The narrative tone dips tremendously too, the gangsta vibe was well established and handled creatively in the early-goings, but that attitude doesn't work as well when dealing with David Cross' mumbling nerd ruminations, or the freaking Chinese Triads! Packing up my car with a bunch of hippies, geeks, and surfer bro's on one particular mission reached a level of disconnect and silliness that stole away my care to push on.
But this is about GTA4. I love GTA4 so far. I love Niko and Roman and even that scumbag Vlad in ways that San Andreas makes NPC interactions feel like a parody to this brilliant setup.
But I still want to know more about Saints Row!
Yea, something is either wrong with my TV or the game. My ammo count and money indicators are cut off on the edge of the screen, not to mention that everything is so tiny I am squinting merely feet away from a 36" set. Icons on the minimap are a humorous joke. I need to pretty much pause constantly to see where everything is. Just way too small otherwise.
Originally Posted by Shieldwolf
Saints Row had a good aiming/combat system. Added the GPS system. Added a Taxi system much like you see in GTA4. Added a cell phone that you could call Taxis, Ambulances, or friends to come help you on missions. Had a car garage that you could store multiple (50) cars. Could trick out cars and save them forever, even if destroyed could get it back at garage for small fee. Could add random gang members to your party easily with the push of a button as you drove/walked by. Had an instant restart for story and non story missions. Some other stuff I'm forgetting right now.
Originally Posted by BDGE
The biggest knock against Saints Row was the writing which some people didn't like and really isn't as good as R*'s, as well as that it was a blatant GTA clone, which really alienated some people for some reason.
Man, Tom is crazy. I can't remember the last game where not only am I not buttoning through the cutscenes as fast as possible, I'm actually looking forward to them. Well, okay, God Hand. But before that? No memory! It may not have ever happened except for when it happened in Giants: Citizen Kabuto. And the soundtrack? It's fine. I think maybe it's terrific. Look, I like Saints Row more than everyone on this board. Combined. And also Crackdown, though I'm willing to admit that I might be Crackdown fan number eleven or twelve. But, c'mon for chrissake. I mean, jee-zus.
I *will* give Saints Row two things:
-The in-car aiming and shooting is better in SR. Not sure why Rockstar didn't just go with their system. Holding that left bumper is a big pain in the ass.
-Darts is not a suitable replacement for Insurance Fraud. Saints Row has the best side missions of any sandbox game. So far, six hours in, that's the area most lacking in GTA4.
Both of those complaints are semi-major. For all I know, though, the side missions will open up as I progress. Though I doubt they're gonna reach SR levels of greatness. Though I'm not sure why I doubt that. Though I still do.
As far as the nipples go, maybe the designers don't think nipples are attractive. Because they're not really if you've ever been in the unfortunate position of looking at one close up. And as far the larger issue of the person surrounding the nipple, I've got a theory that explains everything: Maybe the guys at Rockstar just don't like women. Personally and IRL, I got no beef with women. Heck, I like em so much I married one when I could have simply taken the path of least resistance and married another man. But I'm not gonna presume to impose my value system on Rockstar. It's like in Tom's favorite movie Land of the Dead: Who are we to judge their zombie lifestyle? Speaking of which, Tom's favorite movie is Land of the Dead.
How To Go
What Saint's Row did wrong: Juvenile and ridiculous theme. Life in the ghetto as portayed by frat boys who have listened to too much Slim Shady.
* Multiplayer was horribly buggy, laggy, and awful.
* Quality of writing not near the GTA series. Passable, but GTA series is much better.
What Saint's Row did right: Everything else.
* Driving was tight, controllable, fun. Physics of cars and crashes was fun. You could be ejected out of your windshield and others could get ejected out of theirs (pretty rare).
* You could use the left stick to drive (this includes accelerate and decelerate) and use the normal fire button to shoot. This meant you could shoot almost 360 degrees around your car (only with one handed weapons). If you tried to shoot say, behind you to your right, it would blow out your own windows. Driving and shooting was generally perfect. When in the passenger seat you could use any weapon.
* GPS/routte in car (IV copied this). Also worked on foot.
* Shooting on foot was like Mercenaries. Third person but it worked perfectly. No zoom though. I hear SR2 will have an over the shoulder zoom ala most third person shooters (including IV). Lots of good indoor missions too.
* MP3 player on you at all times so you could listen to any in game radio track/mp3. In the car or on foot. All were available for purchase from a record store. Some GREAT selections. Many great hip-hop and rap songs, plus tons and tons of opera and classical. Even had Bossa Nova!
* Lots of fun side missions. One where you racked up insurance fraud by falling in front of cars or crashing your car into others. Mayhem where you just destroyed stuff. Drug dealing protection, escorts, lots of stuff. Tagging and hidden item collection from GTAIII/GTA SA. Hitman missions. Many more.
* Recruitable men (and women!)/homies. Take up to what, 3 at a time? Also you could call "homies" on your cell phone and they'd show up to you with a vehicle and armed. Same thing with dialing 911 got you an ambulance (I think IV copied this) and you could also dial cabs.
* Territory control similar, but not exactly like, GTA:SA. Take neighborhoods by taking out customized strongholds. Fight pushbacks against neighborhoods under siege. Earn money from all this.
* Cars stayed in your garage forever. You could have at least 50 (maybe more?) cars in your garage. Most cars fully customizable, so you could spend money getting the kind of car you wanted then save it. Novel!
* Lots of character customization. Even after you started the game (plastic surgery and barbers) Entire looks, plus tons of wardrobe. Also, wardrobe change was instantaneous, no retarded 10 second animation while it loaded.
* Restart mission as soon as you failed it (GTA IV uses this now).
* Getting killed or busted ONLY costs you money. You lose NO weapons either way.
* Lots of funny easter eggs, like Zombie Lynn, Chicken Guy, destroying armored cars, etc.
* You could rob ANY shop at night. Break in then open the safe. Smash the register. Also, you could rob any store during the day. Great fun.
(sorry forge, we answered at the same time. :)
I've got the same problem, Shieldwolf. They've pushed all the HUD info out to edges, where RP TVs tend to get a little fuzzy. Then, they made the text all in 8 pt. type, so it's neigh impossible to read. I can make out the cell phone now because I've moved to the larger font, but I still don't know how much cash I have. Bad design, that, assuming everyone has a Plasma/LCD HDTV.
Originally Posted by Shieldwolf
Otherwise, I'm really enjoying the game so far. The little details are fun: I watched a 15-minute (?) Ricky Gervais stand-up bit on TV in my room. I thought that was cool.
I'd have liked to have had a replay camera/recorder like in Halo 3. There's bound to be a lot of those "wow, cool!" moments (like when I jacked that Cavalcade last night and the passenger wouldn't let go of the door!) that would have been fun to have been able to save.
Wow thanks guys. Seems a lot of what I find GTA4 to do so right(ie. cellphone) was already implemented in SR. I'll definately check out the game sometime.
One of the other things about Saints Row was that the developers to some degree got what was fun about the genre and made missions around that random stupid stuff people did. Insurance Fraud is an example of this. Likewise Rampage (think that's what it was called) where the mission objectives are just about doing as much property damage as you can however you can in a time limit. Same deal with the carjack missions where if you get into any car with a passenger you could start the carjack mission which turned instantly into a police chase. You want to drive around and avoid the police, ok here's an instant mission for that.
They definitely figured out the "game" part, whereas I think Rockstar wants to make an "experience". Consider that all the side missions in SR utilized the open world; and how many in GTA already do not. Which is weird.
Originally Posted by forgeforsaken
As long as they both keep making these games, I'm fine with one being more gamey and the other more immersive (if occasionally clunky in execution).
I played for about 90 minutes last night. Initial impressions:
* All the cars I've jacked so far appear to be riding on bald tires with a load of concrete in the trunk. If that's not the case, then I am at a loss to explain why a car traveling at 30 mph needs 500 feet to come to a stop. I've given up on missions until I figure out the driving mechanics.
* If I'm this badass Systema-trained ex-soldier, as early movies seem to indicate I am, why am I unable to subdue an old man using the kick and punch buttons? I wasn't expecting Condemned in my GTA game. Likewise, I'm going to wander the street taking on random people until I get a handle on the combat controls.
GTA IV may eventually be the winner when it comes to overall game experience, but right now Saints Row is the superior game in terms of getting into the game quickly.
I'm only four hours in, so maybe it changes, but right now San Andreas seems to be a much bigger leap over it's predecessor than GTA4 is.
Originally Posted by Mordrak
There can be no argument on this. You get a gun in the first 5 minutes in Saints Row, and in GTA4 it takes, what, over an hour?
Originally Posted by noun
Yeah, I'm only a couple hours in so far, but I'm also disappointed that GTA didn't copy more gameplay refinements from SR. That said, I'm finding GTA's setting and characters to be far more compelling than SR or what I've seen from SR2. I'm sure I'll play it more.
One of my chief complaints about GTA so far, though, has been it's lack of respect for the safe area for HUD elements. They seem to love hugging stuff right up against the very edge of the screen, to the point where it's easy to miss. The bottom part of the cell phone UI is cut off on my TV. I thought keeping things away from the edge was a requirement, although I could be misremembering. Either way, it's bad form and I don't see a reason for them to break convention.
Edit: Ahh, I see someone else mentioned the HUD too. I fail at reading.
Traded Gears for Mario game
I'd say the evidence is fairly overwhelming at this point.
Originally Posted by Erik
At the risk of derailing this thread it should be noted: SR has a much more satirical feel than GTA ever had. GTA started, at least, taking itself as seriously as Scarface while SR is more in line with The Fast And The Furious.
Damn, I have both Saint's Row and GTAIV sitting here, with only a few hours in on SR, and you guys are making me want to play SR instead!
Grand Theft Darts?!?
It's funny because I just spent ten minutes telling my friend about all the things that have been bothering me about GTA:IV and feeling guilty the whole time, because everyone seems to be in love with this game. And I jumped on here and read Tom's assessment and was like, "Thank F'ing God!"
First of all, I really, really like this game. It is drop dead gorgeous. Seriously, just stupid pretty. And it gets so much right that, like Tom, I'm going to push through and hope it gets better. I'm sure it will. (It does, right? Right?!?)
But so much of what I loved about GTA has suddenly disappeared. What incentive do I have to explore this beautiful city, walk down the random alleyways, climb the top of buildings, take my time to look around, if there isn't anything to find? Where are the secret packages, the random weapons, etc? The secret missions? I know, it's not realistic to climb to the top of a tall building and find a snipers rifle, but it's FUN! And if I'm sacrificing fun for realism, it's not a trade I want to make.
And the driving is really... slow. It's like driving through molasses. My favorite part of the GTA's was driving around until I can find a fast car (or better, motorcycle) and looking for the stunt jumps. But because everything is so sloggy here, when I'm going "fast", it doesn't feel like I'M GOING FAST!!! You know how, in the old GTAs, when you crash your fast-zip-zip vehicle and the only thing around you was an delivery van and you'd jump in just so you could be driving instead of walking. And the van was slow, but you didn't care, because you were only it in until you could get back to a fast vehicle? Well, all the vehicles in GTA:IV feel like that van to me. Maybe it's just because I've been playing Burnout: Paradise. How is it that grand theft auto made the driving less fun?
And when I complete a stunt jump, what do I get? A small, white Times-New-Roman-font text at the bottom of the screen saying "You have completed a stunt jump" or "You were unsuccessful". Boring!!! Where is my ta-DAAA!!! I donít even get a little music burst?!?
And it a small thing, but when you get into a vehicle, the above-car perspective should change to the center of the vehicle. Right now, it stays on the driver (so the vehicle is off to the right). This makes it very difficult to 'thread the needle' with the oncoming traffic. Again, more realistic at the cost of fun.
Also, like Tom, I loaded up my Xbox360 with a music set just for this game and was disappointed.
These minigames are total garbage. Are you telling me they dropped all the secret missions for... fucking darts!?! Enough said.
And one of my favorite-favorite-favorite things in prior games was the missions where you steal a list of cars and deliver them in exchange for some sweet-sweet ride. I haven't gone through the game enough to know if there is a mission like this (and don't tell me), but if there is not, then all I can say is... Damn! And I suspect it's not in there, because we no longer get the names of the vehicles, so how would I identify the vehicles to steal? Double damn!!!
One other last thing, because everything looks so good/real now... I can't find the new clothing stores! I keep walking up to storefronts and pushing on doors that don't open. How do we tell which doors you can open and cannot? The icon on the map doesn't seem to appear until you 'use' one of the locations. I don't want to break out the paper map every time I want to buy a damn pair of glasses.
Whew!! I really needed to get that off my chest. Thanks.
Still, like I said above, I'll play it to the end regardless. And they get a lot right.
Not to derail (as well as repeat myself as I've said this before), but I really, really loved that part in San Andreas. It was like in FF7 where you play for hours in a town (Midguard) and there's one singular moment when you finally step out and realize that there's a whole world out there you never knew about.
Originally Posted by BDGE
Thank goodness I'm not alone. At this point I'm taking it on sheer faith the game gets super awesome later.
Yeah, they should have tried a female protagonist maybe this time around.
Originally Posted by metta
They seem to think anything gay is automatically funny.
EDIT: I like the game a lot, but as long as this is the whining thread -
Scarface had better music.
Also color me surprised I can't make my own playlist/use my own music.
Last edited by BlueJackalope; 04-30-2008 at 09:25 AM.
Honestly, I much prefer GTAIV's combat system to Saints Row. The combat in Saints Row was fairly trivial and I had little trouble mowing down entire gangs. GTAIV makes improvements on the annoyingly rigid gunplay of the last GTA game I played, but it's a nice slowed down and less twitchy pace than SR. It forces you to get yourself in a good strategic position and hold your ground rather than just run in guns blazing.
SR wins the driveby shooting controls, though. GTAIV's is awkward and could have benefitted from something slicker.
The music on the radio is good, but I'll agree with Tom that there are just too many humor bits in there. They're mostly entertaining, but it gets to be a bit much and sometimes you just want to listen to some music. The lack of custom music playlists is pretty surprising, though I'm OK with just using their stations.
I'll say this - I was planning on revisiting the PS2 version of the GTA games, but I don't think I'll be able to after this, and not just because of the graphics.
This is in the game. Talk to Brucie.
Originally Posted by Mink Staccato
I think the biggest change this time around is that GTA IV is for the hardest of the hardcore player. Whatever was left of its accessibility is long gone now. My wife used to play a lot, just killing and running people over. She's too intimidated now to even try.
Still... Normally I agree with Tom and respect his opinion. But sorry, Tom, you got this one wrong. Too harsh. The only thing I can agree with is that driving has been changed for the worse.
I agree. I used that opportunity to reinvent myself (new clothes) as it expanded. Which, really did play to the themes of the story because....
Originally Posted by Jazar
By the time I picked up Sweet from the police station, my character looked totally different, decked out in a casual suit and driving a fancy car. He looked nothing like Grove Street boy he started out as. That and all the time outside of Los Santos increased the impact of Sweet's speech.
The biggest mistake I think they made was letting you engage in the turf war that early (or at least letting you theoretically take the town), before that incident. I would've seriously been pissed if I had spent hours taking over Los Santos to just lose it. Though, I can see the point of that as well.
Bummer. Still, it sounds like a great game.
Originally Posted by Kevin Grey
Last edited by Mordrak; 04-30-2008 at 09:43 AM.