WINNER: POST OF THE YEAR 2013
Thank you, GTA Forums Community!
This is strictly opinion based, though I have tried hard to corroborate my opinions. Your counter-opinions will be respected if also corroborated and presented intelligently.
Story events of GTA IV and V will be discussed, caution yourself against spoilers.
(I typed this out on multiple computers, please ignore the format inconsistencies.)
One of the main complaints of GTA V was that the story was inconsistent, lack-luster and overall, just had NO idea what it wanted to be. Every major reviewing company just spewed their 9's and 10's onto the title, and not one, seriously, I can't find any review that prizes the game on its character and story dynamic.
GTA IV was the perfect demonstration hybrid of story-telling and gameplay. Its criticism stemmed from the game being "too grim/gritty", which is why we got the San Andreas 2 that was GTA V focusing more on gimmicks and mission diversity than actual coherent and likable characters or dynamic and well-rounded story.
Rockstar has demonstrated their ability to fantastically intertwine story and gameplay into full experiences: GTA IV and its episodes, L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption, they need to return to this dynamic. GTA V struck me as taking the Call of Duty approach: An entirely too short and half-assed campaign and a decent multiplayer that would churn out more and more DLC for players to buy.
The Issues with V's Story
The Character Switch Dynamic
As stated, it all felt too gimmicky. The friendship dynamic between Michael, Trevor, and Franklin felt very forced. There was the three-player switch system. It was a fantastic concept, but I don't feel it was implemented correctly or to its full potential. It really went against Rockstar's philosophy of player freedom.
For example, let's take the Gruppe Sechs armored truck robbery.
All three characters were to have their niches. Michael was shown in the trailers as the gunman, Franklin the driver, and Trevor the pilot. Granted, you can't implement these roles on all the heists (especially with how few of them there were), but could they not have varied them from time to time a little?
I could play as Michael shooting cops over here, OR, I could play as Franklin shooting cops over HERE. What's the difference? What's my incentive to play as either? Well, Michael is given an LMG at the mission's start and he doesn't totally suck with guns (if you haven't been training Franklin) at this point. I guess that leaves Franklin out for the most part to most players.
What about Trevor? Along comes a helicopter, Trevor is tasked to shoot him down. Can't I let Trevor take care of that? No, the game forces you to switch to Trevor to take the thing down. (Which caused mission failure for me because the helicopter exploded, landed on, and killed Michael because I couldn't control him to move him out of cover.)
What about post mission? When moving Franklin to the getaway car? Can't I let him take care of that useless move and stash the truck as Michael? No. You are locked out of the other two COMPLETELY in this event.
This is just one mission. Recollect the numerous other times switching was either pointless, forced, or just unavailable.
Character Inconsistency: Protagonists
Franklin, at least my impression of the guy, his niche was to be the classic GTA "rags to riches/breaking out of the neighborhood" character, and a "hood gangsta" homage to people who played and relished San Andreas. I'm fine with him either being or not being a gangster, but what I wasn't fine with was how Rockstar presented the character. They hyped him up in the trailers as the driver/racer/gangster. His trailer depicted his hood missions (all four or five of them) shooting Ballas, walking around with Chop (who had SO much potential as a mission asset but was really forced against when missions made him cut away) wearing green gang colors, and engaging in daring police chases. What happened? He joined up with Michael to be a Vinewood-Hills inhabiting millionaire.
But wait, Franklin wanted this, correct? He wanted to make his "paper and not get killed". But wait, most of his clothing options are still trashy, sagging jeans, backwards thug caps, green hoodies. He is forced onto his green Bagger in most missions and switch events. He uses street slang and can still do most side missions for people in the hood. His only friend besides Michael and Trevor is Lamar. Which one is it? Is he the professional bank robber who uses sophisticated firearms with multiple attachments to hit up million dollar government buildings? Or is he the hoodie wearing, green motorcycle riding, Chop sicing CJ homage that Rockstar hyped the players up on?
Additionally, wasn't he supposed to be the getaway driver/street racer? When did he drive during a heist? Maybe the gold getaway in the U.D.? Or the cash getaway in the jewelery store? BOTH events he was driving his OWN vehicle, not the typical getaway driver roll.
Michael, IN MY OPINION, IF THE GAME WAS INEVITABLE TO CARRY THE THREE-PROTAGONIST DYNAMIC THE WAY IT DID, should have been the only protagonist this game was about. The game, since the first trailer, I felt unofficially made Michael the "main main character". This is the criminal we haven't had a look into the life of yet: the bank robber and the retired professional. We had hitmen Niko and Claude, gangbanging CJ, biker Johnny, mobsters Tommy and Toni, this bank robber niche was something totally left alone and untouched. Besides, what do Claude, Niko, CJ, Tommy, Toni, Vic, and Luis have in common? (Never played Chinatown Wars and I think Johnny really deviated from this forumula.) They're all "rags-to-riches 'breaking out of the neighborhood'" stories. Michael has it all! The mansion, the cars, the money, the connections, the skills, where do we go from here? What's going on with fifty-something year old Tommy sitting on all his coke and money in Vice City? Or CJ managing a rapper whose career has gone over a couple decades quite successfully?
Michael was very unique. He took therapy sessions, had a successful legal day-time career. It could have been even similar to Max Payne; the man whose greatest enemy was himself. Michael also plays into Rockstar's themes of money and capitalism, when will Michael realize the money doesn't matter? Could he have an epitome half way through the game and pursue something unique and different? It would have been very interesting to find out.
Trevor (This one gets pretty critical, bear with me)I hate Trevor. I mean, as someone who relishes stories over dumb gags and gimmicks. I HATE Trevor. This is the worst protagonist BY far, to the GTA series. Trevor is the antonym of a dignified, story-driven game. Talk about inconsistency. He's bat-sh*t crazy when killing on his "rampages", he's slightly loose but composed enough to function during heists, and he takes the sane, moral high-ground in the Nigel and Minute Men side-missions. The dumb gimmicks of waking up extremely far from any mission activity drunk and in your underwear wore off after like... one... maybe TWO times... He shares that similarity with Luis. They and other characters say they're crazy, that they're murdering maniacs. But why? Neither of them have in-depth or interesting back stories. Luis was like... in prison for a bit, and Trevor flew planes and grew up in Canada. It would have been far more interesting to have maybe... a Hannibal Lector, Dexter Morgan-like character. The maniac, the serial killer in disguise, the one who relished blood and gore but acted like a normal and well composed man on the surface... not the "LOL HE'S WEARING A DRESS AND KILLING PEOPLE" psycho.
You CAN like characters for "being bad." Going back to television, Dexter, Walter White, Tony Soprano, they're "bad guys", they're ammoral and do bad things, but they have these motivations and moral codes that make you sympathize with them. Think of past GTA protagonists: Johnny Klebitz and CJ wanted what was best for the gang that reared and took care of them, Johnny in particular had a sense of morality he wouldn't violate, and none of his missions were really for the sake of just making money or trying out a dumb gimmick. Johnny and CJ. They even had to kill their mentors, their "family" they had done everything to protect and save. Niko was kind and respectful to the likable characters on screen, and resentful and questioning of the assholes, like Faustin and Bulgarian. Tommy, and yes, even Luis to a degree had a cheesy, tacky element to their games which made their quests of financial gain forgiveable and even entertaining.
Trevor was RUINED as a playable character for me from the start.
Poster Peachrocks put it excellently in his quote an another post:
"I actually really wanted to like Trevor, I really did. He's probably the only character with a background and a significant amount of dialogue that I actually dislike.
My first impressions before the game out of him were low. I was like 'oh great a character with practically no depth', I wanted to pleasantly surprised. I wanted a method behind his madness. I was surprised alright... and it was anything but pleasant and I resented every time I was forced to use him. The online missions were just salt in the wound.
As for Trevor murdering Floyd the point is that it was completely unnecessary. It was merely there so he gets to go on another rampage showing how much he 'doesn't care what other people think'. So what man? You've only demonstrated that in practically every scene you are in...
He never really needed to go back there and even if he did only to pick Wade up (only for him to be absorbed in the strip club never to be seen again), Debra could have just been a never seen character and only serve as a conversation point with Floyd. His murder was completely unnecessary and served no purpose.
Or yet again that entire sequence could have been written completely differently. It's yet another scene that made it impossible to sympathize with Trevor and we ARE meant to sympathize with him. With any protganist good or evil you are usually meant to see their reasons and motives. You might not agree with them but they are still clear to see and you still generally want to be on their side when you see the story from their point of view. In Trevor's case we are borderline commanded to feel sympathy for him.
Take the entire sequence with Patricia. 'Everyone always abandons me?' Funny how hitting your friends and actively being deceitful while being a self righteous prick has that effect without feeling remorse for any of it? Yeah... no.... The entire Brad ordeal has a chunk of this as well.
Trevor wasn't even the main target of Michael's deception either it was just a side effect, Michael chose between his criminal life and his family. That was it. Indirectly he did not choose Trevor so sure he could interpret it as a betrayal but he did not ask Dave to go and have him killed and make sure he was dead as to make his 'disappearance' complete. If anything he probably had to convince Dave to spare him. In fact Michael's mercy on Trevor is the sole thing that causes him so much grief in the first place. This makes Trevor's self righteousness all the more nauseating.
Furthermore he killed off Wade's friends for no reason as well just so he could have someone he could manipulate and then claim to him they abandoned him as to give him a false connection to Trevor. Feel so sorry for Wade being under that asshole's thumb.
As for Rockstar wanting to try something different that is definitely true. However it is not away from the protag 100% wins because Niko and Johnny both paid a heavy price in their respective plots. Trevor's solo design was meant to absorb the mindless average destruction crazed GTA player, they succeeded and sure... I can't deny there are some aspects to him I like but the rest of what I've said completely cancels that out."
On a very personal note, this argument bears little weight, but it shall be said nevertheless:
Killing Johnny was one of the worst writing decisions Rockstar ever made, from a company that nails it 99% of the time. I have bitched about this on many posts, and yes, I'm doing it again. What was the purpose? To show people "DRUGS ARE BAD, M'KAY?" To show people "O DAM TREVUR CRAZY"? If anyone played the end of TLaD, you'd KNOW Johnny wouldn't get back together with Ashley, let alone get into drugs. Clay and Terry were just overkill. The Angels of Death OWNED San Andreas. Why would The Lost move into enemy territory and rebuild a club only four members strong? And of course, all the principles and ideas of the Lost we were meant to believe in TLaD were completely shat on. "BUT HEY TREVOR GETS A SPARE SHOOTING GALLERY LOL, SCREW YOU EVERYONE WHO BOUGHT AND RELISHED TLAD."
You can read more of our whining and ranting here: http://gtaforums.com...gta-v-spoilers/
They didn't have to be friends
Think of the movie, Pulp Fiction. Rockstar could really have taken a page from the multiple-main-character dynamic.
Now we're onto something. The dynamic of switching was too forced when just "shoot guys over here!" or "shoot guys over there!"
What would have made for a more challenging, interesting story dynamic is something like Niko, Johnny, and Luis. There's that removal from each of their stories. Luis was an antagonistic figure to Niko and Johnny who both directly and indirectly affected them on not necessarily a personal basis. Niko and Johnny thought the other one was cool, but Johnny kidnapped Roman, and Niko killed Jason and supposedly Jim.
For those who saw Pulp Fiction *SPOILERS BELOW*,
think of how GENIUS that story was. We got a feel for who Vince was for a good half the movie, and then just saw him blown away by Butch so nonchalantly. Did I get pissed? No. We knew who Vince was, but we also knew who Butch was. Butch had his own story and agenda, contrasting with that of Vince, Jules, and Marcelus's.
Even something out of sequence like Pulp Fiction would have been interesting. Starting with the ending like Max Payne 3, or something of that regard.
Trevor and Micheal's cooperation was REALLY forced, up until the end. Trevor despised Michael, he and Lester even formulated Brad's prison break that would have made Michael the fall-guy. But, if you chose ending C, Trevor and Michael are at each other's throats at the mission's beginning, and at the ending are good pals reunited again.
Pushing Weston over a cliff was fun, but is that action enough to make Mike and T BBFs again?
What would have been far more interesting is that if Trevor was not such a sh*tty, more interesting character that gave you incentive to sympathize with him... and have him work AGAINST Michael. Maybe he could have contracted Michael's yacht to be stolen, without knowing it was Michael's? Maybe he could have worked for Madrazzo and been real chummy with the guy to have that interesting confliction between Michael's side and Trevor's side.
Maybe Franklin didn't have to follow the belabored "rags to riches" story line, and stayed a Families gangsta? Michael needs a howitzer to wage war on TP Enterprises' band of meth heads. Michael calls Lester. Lester contracts Franklin to steal the thing.
Michael could have had the more interesting heisting missions focused around stealth (STEALTH IS THE MOST HORRIBLE, BROKEN, UNUSED MECHANIC IN GTA V, GG ROCKSTAR), while Franklin could be the "run into the warehouse and kill all these Chinese gangsters smuggling weapons" guy. Franklin and Michael were essentially one of the same at the game's end, both haughty, rich guys with nice cars living in Vinewood Hills. However, Franklin's clothes still consisted of wife-beaters, sagging jeans, backwards ballcaps, etc. He should have stayed a gangster, that would have left the SA fanboys happier.
Going back to Niko and Johnny. Franklin and Michael could meet and seem compatible on the surface, and be working against each other knowing, or more interestingly, not knowing it. That would leave a lot more options of choice left to players. Maybe at the end or toward it, they could have had a revelation. Michael could have found out something minor like Franklin being the camera man in one of Traci's "films". Or something major, like Franklin could find out Michael killed Lamar under God-knows-what circumstance.
They didn't have to be friends, and it would have been more interesting if they weren't. R*'s prior examples of GENIUS character writing have shown they're capable of making three likeable-yet-hateable characters that would leave the players to choose some very difficult sides, if they had to.
Imagine if we had more choice in GTA IV. I didn't want Niko to kill Jason once I knew Johnny's side of the story. But then what would happen? My pal Niko would be in deep sh*t with Faustin, while Johnny's brother is still alive to crusade in their futile war against the AoD. If Luis had more reasons to like and sympathize with him, what would I want? Maybe kill Packie and leave Niko without the diamonds or Gracie? Or could I shoot at Tony as Niko, leaving Luis scrambling as Packie and Niko ran away with the diamonds and the ransom girl?
Character Inconsistency: Supporting Characters
Our three choices for the game's ending weren't really choices. If you sought the most fulfillment, you're obviously going to have chosen C knowing the circumstances around it. Even after ending C, did it leave any of you scratching your heads going "huh"? I mean, WHO WAS THE MAIN ANTAGONIST?
Surely it couldn't have been Weston, why are we pushing him over a cliff? Every antagonist just felt so forced compared to previous titles.
Take a dynamic like Vlad and Dimitri with Niko. They give off their negative auras at the beginning of the story, reasons for the player to hate them. Niko exhibits a negative attitude toward them, as the
Now Madrazo and Michael. The guy goes to Michael's house, beats him with a baseball bat, has his trash mistress spit on him, and then Michael goes to fetch him some money. Okay, Michael's being a submissive little pussy to this guy we're clearly meant to hate, something's gonna develop, right? Okay, Michael and Trevor are in Madrazo's house. Trevor's giving off a negative response to him, but Michael's still being a little whimpering dog. What now? We're gonna run missions for him? Michael's gonna defend the man when Trevor insults him?
OKAY, NOW Trevor took Madrazo's wife. Are we gonna kill her? Ransom
her? Madrazo's sending guys out to kill us. NOPE. WE'RE GONNA GIVE HER
BACK! No consequences to us, no consequences to Madrazo. What did we
get out of this? Some love relationship between Trevor and Patricia
that's gimmicky and we're supposed to find funny?
You could argue it's more "realistic" to submit to the Mexican drug
lord, but this is a game, it's fictional. There are tons of moments of
unrealistic events we just take because it's a Grand Theft Auto game.
How come I can kill several hundred cops and just sleep in my bed to
be acquitted of my charges? It's a game. Give the player when they
want. Let us kill f*cking Madrazo, who's an irritating, greedy,
domineering asshole that they make you run missions for in
multiplayer. Or hell, let Madrazo kill Michael, give ONE of the
characters some consistency.
What about ending C? "We're taking heat from every authority on the
gang and federal level. Let's just KILL EVERYONE! Oh, we gotta make it
a triangle. Uhhhh, Stretch appeared in two missions and was kind of a
dick to Franklin, obviously as much of a bad guy as Haynes. Let's KILL
HIM! HE'S EQUALLY A BAD GUY! Then there's the Chinese boss, also
appearing in a mission or two with no real personal connection to
anyone except having been pissed off by Trevor's business practices.
Gotta kill him too! What about Weston? They ULTIMATE FINAL BAD GUY
BOSS! He was introduced toward the end and screwed the trio out of a
few car payments. Let's make him THE CINEMATIC FINAL BOSS!"
If anyone, Haynes, should have been the only antagonist, or at least
the one pushed over the cliff. He was introduced earlier, he was a
dick to Michael, and Michael was a dick to him. Sorta like Niko and
Dimitri. Or it could have been a more interesting "harmonious to bad"
relationship. Like Dave could have betrayed Michael instead. Like
Sonny and Tommy. Billy and Johnny. Big Smoke and CJ. Hell, even Niko
was apprenticed to Dimitri early and, and sympathized with him.
These shined a little bit more than the protagonists and antagonists,
but there were still definite flaws.
What has pretty much made every previous GTA game and their stories
was their casts of characters. They all really played into and
supported the games' themes.
Lavish and outlandish Lance Vance, Love Fist, Kent Paul, Rosenberg,
and Phil Cassidy supported the 80's cheesy action of Tommy and Vic in
Gritty, grim, contrastingly optimistic and dynamic Roman, Lil' Jacob,
U.L. Paper, Ray Boccino, Faustin, and may more added the
uncompromisable flavor to each of Niko's escapades.
Which characters are we left from in V? Running off some of the
positives: Lamar, Lester, Ron, Michael's Therapist, Chef, Wade, Floyd,
Solomon, Lazlow, Dave, and Michael's family.
How did we see Trevor's "pals"? Lester, Ron, Wade, Floyd, and Chef.
They were all interesting, but how much time did they see? And for
what? See Wade, Ron and Floyd just cower under Trevor's dominion after
he was such a dick to them? And we're supposed to sympathize with
Michael is left with no side missions other than the weed fella and
Mary-Ann, (both of which were shared with Frank and Trevor.)
Who are we left with to pick the brain of the more complicated
protagonist? The therapist (I apologize, his name escapes me now, Friedman? I think) was
a great gateway, and Michael's therapy sessions were limited but very
interesting. Michael's family dynamic was also one that could have
been explored a lot more. No other protagonists have families or
stable (if you can call Michael and Amanda that) or serious
relationships to speak of.
One of the more interesting missions to me was when Michael reuinted
with his family after beating the sh*t out of Fabian. It seemed, just
for a moment there, the story would take itself seriously.
But no. They went back to cheap gags and gimmicks. Making Jimmy,
Traci, and Amanda totally out of touch, antagonistic assholes to
Michael. How were we supposed to sympathize with Michael who wanted
the best for his family? Could we not have had a more serious
epiphanywith his kids and wife?
Franklin's only real friend outside of his and Michael's circle was
Lamar. He was a good comic-relief character, but unlike someone like
Jimmy or Wade (at least his retardation provided a little bit of
believability to his behavior) was quite believable. We also got to
see a good deal of him in both GTA:O and singeplayer.
The Lack of Niche
I very much appreciated GTA IV and its episode's ticket to the
environment. Even in a place as seemingly bland as Liberty City, we
got to live it in three fantastically contrasting and unique ways.
Niko was our middle ground. We got to see a little bit of everyone
from rich Pegorino's lavish mansion to Jacob and Badman's sh*tty
apartment. Johnny and Luis were our extremes, and their games were
presented as that. Johnny was the true low-class, grit, and danger.
The themes of political discourse GTA is so prided for were very
apparent in his dealings with Congressman Stubbs. We lived in a dirty
clubhouse blaring incessantly loud death metal. The weapons were
rag-tag and credible for what you'd find on the streets: pipe bombs,
sawn-off wooden shotguns, modified automatic pistols, etc. The
vehicles (AN ACTUAL DECENT VARIETY OF MOTORCYCLES) were very different
to that of IV. Ignoring the plethora of both sport bikes and choppers,
we had rusty and beat up tow trucks, vans, and utility trucks. You
worked within your own gang, small-time and believably, only dealing
with petty gang wars (until that memorable but very cheesy finale of
storming the gates of Alderny State Correctional.)
Moving onto Gay Tony, the whole game was cheesy glitz and glam. We had
the highest tier in weaponry, explosive automatic military grade
shotguns and and sniper rifles, remote-detonated plastic explosives,
and guns literally made out of gold. The vehicles were the most lavish
of sports carts. The HUD and map were literally pink. You did missions
either in your down-town nightclub or for billionaire Arab playboys.
What niches were we left with in V?
Old, retired bank robber, young and spritely bank robber, and a filthy
The map of V was one part of the game I absolutely hold in the highest
regard. It was just made with such love, care, and detail. How come
nearly all of our missions are in Los Santos? Blaine County is
SPRAWLING. We're out of Sandy Shores COMPLETELY after Trevor's sub-par
introductory missions. What about the sprawling fields and vineyards in
the middle of the map? We don't even see those. I just found out about
those areas playing GTA:O.
Michael is the suit-wearing, air conditioning and bug repellent
loving-urban professional. Franklin loves the same class as Michael,
but has just been brought up with a lower standard.
Trevor has unfortunately been our only key left to believably explore
the desert, clothing beyond hoodies and suits, and vehicles beyond
sports cars and luxury sedans. But how often are we given the
incentives to explore out there? Most all Strangers and Freaks
missions as well as story missions take place in LS. Trevor even lives
in Floyd's place and the Vanilla Unicorn for the majority and epilogue
of the game. Whenever I randomly switched to him, he'd USUALLY be
f*cking around in LS.
Blaine County and its niche had so much potential, and so little of it
was realized. Did it feel right hunting deer with suppressed,
high-powered, military grade sniper rifles? Where was TLaD's pipe
bombs and wooden sawn-offs? Where was San Andreas' unscoped hunting
rifles? Where was Vice City's revolvers and wooden assault rifles?
We were left with super high-tier, gunmetal, attachment-loaded guns
that are not credibly found in the hands of back-country rednecks or
Moving to GTA:O, we still find our options really limited. We cannot
make any vans or city utility vehicles personal (without heavy exploit
which certain posters might or might not have engaged in), we are
limited with TWO damn choppers, leather jackets loaded with dumb
racing stripes, and suits that don't even have matching pants. The
Social Club is LOADED with mafias, motorcycle clubs, and other crews
and gangs that aren't just San Andreas fan-boys or skinny-jean wearing
Strong opening, weak middle, horrible ending
(This section onward is inexplicably double-spaced on my computer, if it is on yours, I apologize) GTA V seemed very much as though it were going to be a strong, story-driven and exciting game. The trailers showed three distinct protagonists. Little did we realize that EVERY heist and heist-style (neglecting the very anti-climactic U.D.) was shown in the trailers: The Jewelery Store, The Armored Truck Robbery, the FIB Building kidnapping, the FIB Building Robbery, The Merryweather Job, and the Paleto Bay score. The Strangers and Freaks missions were only given to Franklin and Trevor as well, as riveting as it was to tow cars five times in a row and smash real-estate signs.
The game started out with the past setting of North Yankton, a very detailed environment that would automatically fail the mission if you stepped out of bounds in the Brad grave discovery. It seemed as though this were going to be a major theme and explained, and it was relatively. Not really how Michael was allowed to be acquitted of all past crimes in exchange of boosting Dave's career, but that's not the point.
Franklin's own story took over, and the "repo man by day, gang banger by night" took about a few missions that WERE very entertaining to throw out his niche of driver and gangster completely. But I digress, seeing him and Michael was a very interesting dynamic, especially when you only played as the one character for a long period of time, proving once again the switch system could have been implemented a lot more proficiently.
Nevertheless, the early part of the game was a very coherent, enjoyable experience. We had an antagonist-type, Madrazo, introduced. We took special care into surveying and preparing for the jewelery store heist.
And when all was said and done, along comes Trevor. He's pissed off, hellbent on revenge, but what does he do? He casually jokes around with Michael when they decide to go beat up Lazlow for the sake of Traci. They chum and joke around, but then Trevor gets MORE hostile to "new" Michael, oddly enough, as time progresses. It metamorphosizes from a silent resentment when Trevor thought Michael was no use to him to all-out anger and hostility towards the end after Michael earned Trevor some very successful scores and proved his trustworthiness.
The game also experienced that identity crisis: the boundary between games like San Andreas and Gay Tony, and games like IV, TLaD, and III. It didn't even find that happy equilibrium like Vice City did. I'm speaking of the game's overall theme and tone. What is this game's theme? Is it the "just have some crazy fun" like San Andreas? I mean, Michael and Trevor are shooting fantasy clowns and aliens, Michael gets knocked out and wakes up in a morgue very inexplicably, three men in bomb defusal suits murder an entire town's police force and hop a train to freedom, hippies build us space cars, we shoot down a passenger plane in the middle of the desert and no one turns a blind eye, and GTA in general is just the "cops forget your whole identity after you hide a couple minutes". What was with the police? Why were they so difficult? To replicate realism? Realism in the game where you can harbor an RPG and scores of ammunition in your anus?
Was this game intended to be a serious story? The betrayal and dispute between two former friends? A strong statement about corrupt police and capitalism? A game where you're very prone to gun damage as is realistic? I couldn't figure it out. Not even at the ending that was grim, bleak, and serious. Ending C at least, Michael and Trevor were supposedly f*cked due to having pissed off the entire Chinese Mafia, the FIB, the police, Merryweather, and Weston's goons. But wait, we can just kill a few dozen of them in a warehouse, kill the big players, and be golden? And Michael and Trevor are good friends again? And Franklin and his past life and friends are all settled? It just didn't check out to me.
Compared to the past GTA's, even all the past Rockstar titles, this game really had an identity crisis. It would have been passable, IF Rockstar did not hype it up for a good three years as an exciting story with sophisticated characters and events. Hell, even the multiplayer was horridly unfinished and still continues to be.
What did you think of V's story? Agree? Disagree? Suggestions? Problems? Questions? Concerns?