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Do you find GTA IV's story "depressing"?

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Poll: Do you find GTA IV's story "depressing"? (122 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you find GTA IV's story "depressing"?

  1. Yes (44 votes [36.07%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.07%

  2. No (78 votes [63.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.93%

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theGTAking101
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#61

Posted 06 February 2016 - 04:49 AM

I think it's different with the GTA series because there's an expectation that the games should be be silly and wacky so even though a game like RDR has a more depressing story it doesn't seem to register as much. The best thing about GTA IV IMO is it balances its lighthearted and serious moments perfectly.

 

If you watch every single cutscene how many are truly "depressing"? Funnily enough (no pun intended) I find Niko to be one of the more humourous protagonists despite his back story. He's full of epic one liners and generally messes around with his friends. The times where GTA IV puts this aside and wants to take itself more seriously are those moments of betrayal or revelation, but that's what makes Niko such a great and well rounded character and how his story revolves and evolves around him.

I like that despite how much Niko has been through, he can still joke around with his friends. It's really funny when he uses sarcasm around the people he doesn't like.

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PhillBellic
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#62

Posted 06 February 2016 - 05:06 AM

 

And the Revenge ending is way more satisfying and in my opinion, it's the choice Niko would make, rather than Deal.


Both endings make no sense. Poorly designed choices.

 

I couldn't agree more. Options A and B made no sense whatsoever, and I think were a last minute Rush Job. Even Option C was full of Plot Holes, and left me with more Questions than it Answered. :^:


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#63

Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:24 AM

 

 

And the Revenge ending is way more satisfying and in my opinion, it's the choice Niko would make, rather than Deal.


Both endings make no sense. Poorly designed choices.

 

I couldn't agree more. Options A and B made no sense whatsoever, and I think were a last minute Rush Job. Even Option C was full of Plot Holes, and left me with more Questions than it Answered. :^:

 

 

You know he was talking about GTA IV right?:p

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#64

Posted 06 February 2016 - 06:26 AM

 

 

 

And the Revenge ending is way more satisfying and in my opinion, it's the choice Niko would make, rather than Deal.


Both endings make no sense. Poorly designed choices.

 

I couldn't agree more. Options A and B made no sense whatsoever, and I think were a last minute Rush Job. Even Option C was full of Plot Holes, and left me with more Questions than it Answered. :^:

 

 

You know he was talking about GTA IV right? :p

 

Really? S*it! I thought he was talking about V.

 

Derp.

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#65

Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:26 AM Edited by Osho, 06 February 2016 - 08:27 AM.

Its a very simple point, the choices are really similar in nature to V, except you have two options than three. So, the criticisms about V endings to an extent apply in case of IV as well, I don't know why is it so hard to understand. V came latter, but IV already made a weak option that really made no sense to include, i.e., to choose between Kate and Roman.
What's the point of adding Kate into this?
It makes no sense other than that R* wanted to rip-off the 'High Noon' thing of forcing an inner conflict of picking one side, in order to make the right decision where the hero picks the right one and goes back to confront the bad guys and does the opposite of what his fiancee suggests, and postpones his honeymoon [ in IV its shown as Roman and Mallorie's honeymoon ] and in this case, seeking revenge [ killing Kate, Niko's fiancee ], and thus the deal ending quite obviously is a stupid choice as it'll turn Niko Bellic even a bigger loser than he was, by not seeking revenge.
But unlike the movie, when the showdown and intense drama begins with the hero after taking this decision, in IV these choices to the ending come in the very end after wasting 30 hours of drama and Niko Bellic's whining and dealing with his constant conflict of the same old broken record, the deal ending appears to offer no logical conclusion with enough thought put into it, to make sense as to why should I pick Kate over Roman?
For money, or loosing everything, even Kate who can no longer be dated, after reaching at this point in the long campaign?
What a f*ckin joke in the name of choices. Just seems like R* wanted to rip off High Noon, and nothing else makes sense in giving these choices.

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#66

Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:00 AM

You tell someone: "It's a story about this guy who moves to America partly because his cousin promised him this awesome life, but that turns out to be crap. He's really looking for someone that betrayed him and killed all his friends back home during the war. He constantly runs into trouble in this city, and his overall life is pretty sh*t. He finds the guy and doesn't feel any better about it afterwards like he had hoped. At the end, his girlfriend is killed by a bullet that was meant for him, from a guy that wanted him to do a deal with his old enemy. He was sad at first, but he remembered that she wouldn't put out for him, so it wasn't that much of a loss. He gets his final vengeance and finally starts living the american dream.

Fixed :p

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DWAYNEFORGE
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#67

Posted 06 February 2016 - 12:24 PM

no not depressing but serious 


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#68

Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:25 PM

Not depressing but realistic. No happy endings or something like that.

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#69

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:05 AM

Serious, yes. Depressing, no. I prefer the story being serious than stupid and boring like GTA V

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#70

Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

Yes. A not very bright shell-shocked ex-soldier is devastated by war in his own country, he flees to LC to make a new life for himself with his cousin, and he is thrown into a world of needless murder, crime and, ultimately, the deaths of many of the people around him. His quest for redemption just puts him in the middle of more death and destruction. His friends are junkies, depressives and drug dealers, murderers and thoroughly unpleasant people.  He never achieves true happiness, the woman he has feelings for betrays him and uses him to her own ends. His cousin, potentially, is killed, before achieving his own happiness. 

 

There's never an up point in the story that isn't immediately followed by a massive downer. 


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#71

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:02 PM

Yes. A not very bright shell-shocked ex-soldier is devastated by war in his own country, he flees to LC to make a new life for himself with his cousin, and he is thrown into a world of needless murder, crime and, ultimately, the deaths of many of the people around him. His quest for redemption just puts him in the middle of more death and destruction. His friends are junkies, depressives and drug dealers, murderers and thoroughly unpleasant people.  He never achieves true happiness, the woman he has feelings for betrays him and uses him to her own ends. His cousin, potentially, is killed, before achieving his own happiness. 
 
There's never an up point in the story that isn't immediately followed by a massive downer. 


Exactly. Guess what other amazingly written game leads to tragedy? Red Dead. Both dark stories with dark endings, actions have consequences. And typical of well written stories, there's an aesop to take away from it, keeping it memorable (as your above description proves).
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Fuzzknuckles
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#72

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:09 PM Edited by Fuzzknuckles, 11 February 2016 - 12:12 PM.

I wouldn't say it's particularly memorable, all that guff in the middle with Playboy X, Elizabeta and Dwayne is entirely forgettable. And the stuff that happens around Firefly Island. I've played the story through four times and I only really remember the opening and closing chapters. For the most part it's a dour hellride through PTSD. 

 

Red Dead Redemption is not in anyway close to IV in it's bleakness, and it's not in anyway thematically consistent with IV. While there is indeed a tragedy, there's also... Redemption (incredible, I know). 

 

But that's besides the point here, the question was whether I thought IV's story was depressing and I did and still do. 

 

Red Dead Redemption is leagues ahead of IV in terms of writing and character development. In IV, Niko goes from being a one dimensional character to a one and half dimensional character. He is forever trapped in a mire of self-pity that he seems to really f*cking enjoy wallowing around in. 


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#73

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:24 PM Edited by Cheatz_N_Trickz, 11 February 2016 - 12:25 PM.

IV is not about seeking redemption though, as you claimed, Niko's looking for closure, which happens regardless of the choice you make. I think Red Dead is just as dark as IV, because of the underlying message, the redemption has a price, John is doomed from minute one.

IV and Red Dead are both on par in writing quality, both leagues ahead of that other one. Niko and John are the most fleshed out protagonists Rockstar have ever created. There's a reason both characters have recieved similar praise because of their development.
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Fuzzknuckles
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#74

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:37 PM

I disagree, but that's the beauty of the internet, right? RDR is often, frequently in fact, quite uplifting. John's story feels more like it counts for something in that virtual world. Niko is just another numbskull criminal in a city bursting to the guts with them, and as such, I find it very hard to care about what does or doesn't happen to him. He's not a particularly sympathetic character, I don't find I can identify with him due to him being so mired in his own suffering. 

 

The closure he gets is optional, remember. If you choose to kill that special someone, it doesn't really change anything, just as it doesn't when you spare him. So to me it feels like Niko is given many interesting choices, but the outcome of them is always entirely inconsequential, apart from a few S&F missions. He has an impact on many events in the city, but like Indiana Jones, most of these things would have happened without him, save for the museum mission.

 

He's just not particularly interesting and his impact on the world is minimal. Marsden makes a difference in that world and gets the redemption he's looking for, or forced to find, more accurately. It's just a massive shame that we had to carry on without him in the end game, as his son is a weedy little prick.


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#75

Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

I just couldn't help but see parallels between Niko and John the whole time I was playing Red Dead. They're both just doing what they have to do, for personal reasons. For Niko, he must work for scumbags to find what he's looking for, and for John he must help scumbags for the exact same reason.

Niko still gets closure on his past, both ways, but I don't see the choices as intending to be anything other than just alternatives, they're not meant to be game changing. Just like Red Dead and V have alternate outcomes.

I don't share this "impact on the world" notion of yours, but that's different interpretations isn't it? At least I think IV and Red Dead, like all great stories, have that element of interpretation.
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#76

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:00 PM

I just couldn't help but see parallels between Niko and John the whole time I was playing Red Dead. They're both just doing what they have to do, for personal reasons. For Niko, he must work for scumbags to find what he's looking for, and for John he must help scumbags for the exact same reason.

Niko still gets closure on his past, both ways, but I don't see the choices as intending to be anything other than just alternatives, they're not meant to be game changing. Just like Red Dead and V have alternate outcomes.

I don't share this "impact on the world" notion of yours, but that's different interpretations isn't it? At least I think IV and Red Dead, like all great stories, have that element of interpretation.

That's the thing - I'm not sure Niko has to do what he's doing. He's decided to go after someone for revenge, or closure as you put it. 

 

John doesn't have a choice, he's forced into it, and even though that should make for a very bleak narrative, it's actually filled with levity thanks to characters like Nigel West Dickens, who bring an eccentricity to the events. Roman, however, is just a stereotyped breast-obsessive and although he's meant to provide some comic relief, he's actually really annoying. 

 

In RDR, the moments of levity aren't necessarily always followed up by a sucker punch that removes the humour. In IV, every time there's even a hint of a ray of sunshine in Niko's life, it's immediately stomped on. Interestingly, Niko's journey mirrors the journey of the V fans on the V boards quite well. As soon as something looks like it's going well, it gets pissed on. 

 

Such prescient story telling by Rockstar there. 

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MiamiViceCity
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#77

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:31 PM

I believe with GTA IV the underlying message is crime simply doesn't pay. That's why in the end whether we choose deal or revenge we'll still get a large sum of money, but lose someone close to us.

 

The whole story is built on the philosophy of the American Dream. I wouldn't say Niko doesn't have to be doing what he's doing. Yes he comes to the country looking for revenge, but he's also lured in by Roman's lies and deception which quickly lead into Niko realising what he had be doing all along. This in turn forces Niko into helping him out with his gambling debts and it's a constant snowball effect.

 

I've always seen Roman as Niko's optimistical opposite. He lives in a world of fantasy hence why he finds himself in trouble most of the time whereas Niko has more realistic and cynical views of what's going on around him.

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#78

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:33 PM Edited by Cheatz_N_Trickz, 11 February 2016 - 01:34 PM.

@Fuzz

But Niko does have to do what he's doing. That's where you're missing the point of his character. He needs that closure by finding Darko, it's that important to him, personally. The only difference with John is that finding Bill isn't personal. To Niko, he doesn't have a choice either.

I prefer that IV always stays gloomy though, it adds to the atmosphere. But it doesn't mean there isn't humour, Niko's reactions to Brucie's antics are priceless. I the fact that Roman and Niko disagree with each other on almost everything, but they're always on the same page, sort of thing.

I personally don't see the levity of Red Dead, John is just far too focused on his mission for that, and unlike Niko, I don't think he laughs once. Not that there isn't humour, but it was way more subtle. John's sarcasm was just the exact same as Niko's for example.
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#79

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:44 PM

Not the whole story is built on the philosophy of the American Dream. For the most part, it feels like an excuse used to do errand works for different people in a different setting. I think IVs story is way too overrated than it should be. It has a great, promising start like in every GTA but it doesn't take too long to feel "been here, done that" vibe throughout the major portion of the story.
Well written, sure. But nothing new about the story, which is what makes it least interesting for me.
Mafia 1 sh*ts all over Niko.

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#80

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:46 PM

That's an interesting take, though I maintain that he doesn't have any motivation other than his personal ones, which are entirely selfish and not something that are, well, an obligation. While I see your point and I admit, I hadn't considered that before, I think it's still something that he could have chosen not to do - it's a convenient inroad to the story, though, so it serves its purpose pretty well in that regard. 

 

I'm going to replay some RDR this weekend I think. I've been meaning to do so for ages. I think you're way off in saying that John never laughs, he definitely does, as I remember the sound of his laugh and thinking "damn, that guy has a dirty laugh", but I can't remember the scenes or context. I seem to recall him laughing a few times in the opening chapter though, before he goes down to Mexico. And possibly in Mexico as well. By the time he returns to the northern parts of the map, he's a much more embittered character as the pressure to deliver for the federales has increased, and that last section has always felt darker to me. But generally, I think that IV's humourous elements are always slightly tarnished by the gloom. 

 

To be clear, I like bleak and  I like gloom and I'm not averse to a depressing story, I just find that in IV it's too much, too bleak and filled with unsympathetic characters who have forced themselves into their own little depressions. The MacDrearies in particular... just, damn. So much sadness in one family. 

 

Niko suffers more than most central protags, in games generally, but in GTA specifically, he just has the worst time. As highlighted before, the thing that should have turned out well for him, his relationship with Michelle, turned out to be utterly false and he was being used. So that, the biggest glimmer of hope and the chance for happiness, was yanked out from under him as soon as he started to get somewhere with her. His encounters with S&F characters are always tainted with something sad or bleak. He just never catches a break!

 

Side note: This is one of the most interesting discussions I've had on here in months, thanks.

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BlackSnow176
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#81

Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:46 PM Edited by BlackSnow176, 11 February 2016 - 01:51 PM.

For me, it's always been somewhat depresssing, but that's not necessarily bad thing.

 

GTA IV is more serious and realistic than other GTA stories in terms of story, and in the end Niko most certainly loses a close person he cares about (either his cousin or Kate). Also you meet all those dark and shady characters, you deal with personal loss and betrayal, while trying to find the one person who sold out your friends in the war and Dimitri who betrayed his closest friend... You end up doing things you don't want to just because you have no other choice. You're forced to do horrible things to innocent people on multiple occasions, and you're given a choice whether to do so. If other games were comedic and light-hearted, GTA IV is more of a drama than anything else.

 

GTA III is also somewhat dark and gritty, but it doesn't take itself too seriously.


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#82

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:34 PM

@ Fuzz

I'm currently playing RDR now, i'm up to the Blackwater segment of the story and John has not laughed at anything. He manages a sarcastic smirk every now and then, but he's just as Irish says; "angry and feck ugly" throughout.

But alas, I don't see this as a problem anyway, I don't expect John to laugh. The way you see IV's story as too dark is the reason I stick with it. For me, Roman and especially Brucie provide the perfect dosage of humour for the story IV tries to tell without going OTT. The McReary's backstory is exactly as you put it, also, what about Roman's mother? You might not know, but that is dark sh*t. And Marnie, she is just the perfect represenatation of how corrupt Liberty City is, and Niko sees this as soon as he steps off the boat.
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#83

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:35 PM Edited by Donut, 11 February 2016 - 02:38 PM.

The story themselves are up for debate, but I find Red Dead Redemption's ending to be more depressing. John works the whole story trying to redeem himself, with his family and the law, and when he finally seems to have redemption, he is killed. Then Jack is left all alone 3 years later with no family, just the sins of his father. Beecher's Hope, obviously a metaphor for the Martson family's hope, is dead and abandoned. Jack has nothing left but revenge on an old withered man. Did he really redeem John? And nothing is more sad than when Jack tips his hat at his family's grave on a rainy day, and mounts a pale horse.

As for IV, there is a glimmer of hope in the Revenge ending, which is arguably cannon. It's all speculation, but I like to think that Roman starts his tavern and things get better for Niko. There is still hope in the end.
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#84

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:43 PM Edited by Niobium, 11 February 2016 - 02:46 PM.

Whenever someone dislikes GTA IV's story because it was too "depressing" really annoys me. What did you expect when buying a game with "Grand Theft Auto" in the title? A barney simulator? No, a game about being a criminal in the gritty and dangerous Liberty City. If it wasn't for having that dark and misty feel, then Liberty City would lose all of its character. Niko's story went perfectly with the environment, as well. 

 

i agree. i don't understand the people who complain that niko is depressed about killing people but he kills people anyway. first of all, he has to kill people because he was dragged into the criminal world and doesn't have a choice. killing people and doing crime is the only way niko can make money and survive. secondly, the player playing as niko and killing people for no reason in free roam isn't even canon. i don't know what idiot would think that if i decide to beat up taxi drivers to death in free roam, it's canon.

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#85

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:46 PM

@ Fuzz

I'm currently playing RDR now, i'm up to the Blackwater segment of the story and John has not laughed at anything. He manages a sarcastic smirk every now and then, but he's just as Irish says; "angry and feck ugly" throughout.

But alas, I don't see this as a problem anyway, I don't expect John to laugh. The way you see IV's story as too dark is the reason I stick with it. For me, Roman and especially Brucie provide the perfect dosage of humour for the story IV tries to tell without going OTT. The McReary's backstory is exactly as you put it, also, what about Roman's mother? You might not know, but that is dark sh*t. And Marnie, she is just the perfect represenatation of how corrupt Liberty City is, and Niko sees this as soon as he steps off the boat.

Dammit, now I have to replay it just to see if that 'ornery old cuss ever laughs! I was certain I recall a handful of chuckles from him. 

 

If there were some up notes in IV I'd find it easier to tolerate, but it just hammers so many down notes after more down notes that I find it becomes wearing after a while. In a couple of play throughs I had to force myself through the Macreary family's section as it's just so... meh. It's certainly a merit in IV's favour that it can elicit this kind of reaction, whether the reaction is negative or positive. 

 

As depressing as I find IV's story, it really pales in comparison to Manhunt. I don't think I've ever had a harder time making my way through a game. 

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#86

Posted 11 February 2016 - 02:57 PM

The story themselves are up for debate, but I find Red Dead Redemption's ending to be more depressing. John works the whole story trying to redeem himself, with his family and the law, and when he finally seems to have redemption, he is killed. Then Jack is left all alone 3 years later with no family, just the sins of his father. Beecher's Hope, obviously a metaphor for the Martson family's hope, is dead and abandoned. Jack has nothing left but revenge on an old withered man. Did he really redeem John? And nothing is more sad than when Jack tips his hat at his family's grave on a rainy day, and mounts a pale horse.

As for IV, there is a glimmer of hope in the Revenge ending, which is arguably cannon. It's all speculation, but I like to think that Roman starts his tavern and things get better for Niko. There is still hope in the end.


This. I actually can't stand to play RDR after the main story. There is nothing and nobody good left in it. At least with IV, there is the sense that Niko will be able to move on, and there are still plenty of people still alive that care about him. Basically, Niko actually has reasons to live, Jack doesn't.
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#87

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:06 PM

This. I actually can't stand to play RDR after the main story. There is nothing and nobody good left in it. At least with IV, there is the sense that Niko will be able to move on, and there are still plenty of people still alive that care about him. Basically, Niko actually has reasons to live, Jack doesn't.

Make a save on the homestead and ignore the missions that come after it. Live life as John and don't let that son of his get any action. 

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#88

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:11 PM Edited by Cheatz_N_Trickz, 11 February 2016 - 03:12 PM.

Way ahead of you lol, but as Jack, the game is unbearable.
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#89

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:28 PM

Totally agreed, he sounds like a little bitch. 


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#90

Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:32 PM Edited by Donut, 11 February 2016 - 03:34 PM.

Totally agreed, he sounds like a little bitch.

He's still only 19. I'm alright with Jack, his personality leans better toward the Honor system than John does. John is on a redemption path, I can't see him murdering women tied up on train tracks. Jack, however, may have went a little crazy... Or he's not, but is furious at the system after what happened and decides to be a crook like his father. OR, after looking at his gun in the final duel, he starts his own path of redemption.

Really have gone off topic tho xD
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