Hard to believe that GTAV is the culmination of 5 years, $265M dollar budget, and the accumulated knowledge and skill of the entire GTA series and RDR. Wow.
First, the GOOD: The graphics, the virtual world design; it's beautiful and really does represent 5 years of hard, dedicated work, research, and accumulated skill. The flying is good. The underwater world is a nice piece of design also.
The SO-SO: Gameplay balance, lack of good side missions, some aspects of the cops.
The BAD: Storyline, short SP game, pedestrian reactions, police dialog, almost all aspects of GTAO, no way to explore military base, no way to access interiors or certain other functions outside of missions. North Yankton is a linear corridor throwaway.
First, the ridiculous and disgusting Rockstar non-marketing in 2012 made me madder than hell.
Then when the game came out and I, a half-assed casual gamer, fairly breezed through the main mission storyline and got to the end and I thought, "where's the beef??" -- I could not believe that 5 years of thought went into this game.
The I found out that this game has the biggest budget of all video games and in fact a bigger budget than almost all movies. I thought, where did all that money go???
Then I hear that out of the $265M, an obscene $150M went to "MARKETING" !!!!! WTF!!!! F*ucking Rockstar did not spend a dime on marketing in 2012. How, how, how could they claim to have blown $150M on the 3 to 4 months of actual marketing they did, leading up the September 2013. I blew a gasket. What an obscene waste of money!!!! That money should have gone to game design!!!
Here's what I think the budget breakdown was for GTAV:
$ 150M Marketing (wasted)
$ 85M Virtual world design (well-spent, a beautiful world, congrats to Aaron Garbut!!)
$ 2M Single player gameplay design
$ 2M GTAO design
$ 1M Storyline development (this is being generous - I think they came up with it during lunch)
$ 5M Scriptwriting (lots of words, about half of them good, and then there's Lazlow, good and bad)
$ 5M Voice acting (lots of lines to speak, some of it was great, some was so-so)
$ 10M Soundtrack (Tangerine Dream, at least the name; it was OK)
$ 5M Radio music licenses (not the biggest names in the business, but some music fit well)
So you ask if I am disappointed. Yes, I have to say, I am disappointed. Partly, I just expected more; I expected a masterpiece. Partly I was pissed off by Rockstar's bullsh*t in 2012 and I will never forgive them for that. Then the cinematic trailers, full of cutscenes (including the "gameplay" trailer) and camera angles that we can't create, further deceived us about the nature of the actual game and the resources in it.
Nonetheless, this is what we have. I'm going to play GTAV (single player) for a long time, exploring and trying to optimize my battles with the cops. I feel I may get tired of it sooner than the past GTA games and RDR. That's probably a good thing. I have a life to get back to.