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Algonquin Assassin

The fun vs realism debate

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Algonquin Assassin

Over the years primarily since GTA IV released this has always been a somewhat hot debate, but it always makes me wonder why? I don't think GTA should get to the point where it's exactly like real life. That would be tedious and annoying quite frankly yet there's always at least one person who says something along the lines of "If you want realism go outside".

 

GTA IV was bashed at launch for being "too" realistic yet I've never really like it was. To me it's just more believable hence I find it "fun" to play.

 

There's also a tendency for people on here to lump the 3D era as "fun" and HD era as "realism" which to me is bullsh*t. Fun is an extremely broad and subjective feeling yet people always try to convey it's exclusive to the 3D era and the HD era gets banished for being too realistic.

 

So why exactly can't they co-exist instead of this segregation that seems to be applied?

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universetwisters

I think GTA 3 was the perfect balance of realism & fun. Sure, it wasn't the gritty and dark realism like GTA 4 was, but it wasn't crazy over the top action like GTA V was. That being said, I think GTA 3 and GTA Vice City were good examples of a mix between realism and fun. Not too much of one to outweigh the other and, at times, compliment one another.

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chrisscorsese88

I actually have to agree with you, fun is a subjective word described by someone who is enjoying themselves when doing a particular activity. This can easily co-exist with realism, when done right with the right game. For a game like GTA to have realism and be fun is not the same as a game like Watch Dogs or a racing game even to have realism and be fun. However, realism can be subjective to a person if all they think about is graphics alone for example, or gameplay alone, while others will base realism on both.

 

When it comes to GTA, I actually think GTA IV had the perfect balance of realism and fun, at least for me. GTA V is supposedly more realistic than IV, and while some people might argue with that, they say the realism takes away from the fun, or adds to it. Again, fun is subjective, so whether IV was more realism, or V does (based on graphics alone), it's honestly the gameplay that determines what is fun for me. A game can be as realistic as real life, or be based on Science Fiction entirely (playing a game as an alien, on another planet, etc.), however as long as the gameplay is good to me, I can have fun. So while I don't care much for graphics, a game can still have good graphics and have realism and be fun as long as the gameplay aspect delivers. So surely realism and fun can co-exist easily.

Edited by chrisscorsese88

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wiizardii

Well it's gunna change as gaming goes further, because when gaming does go further there will be better graphics, visuals, gaming mechanics, etc etc. And GTA will be one of does games, so it will closely somehow resemble real life aspects

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killdrivetheftvehicle

To call something a debate, you first must agree on what we mean by "fun" and "realism". Otherwise it doesn't make any sense.

 

I call fun a computer game which I like playing. Simple as that. From which parts the fun consists of, I have not a complete picture.

 

I call realism the kind of stuff that I don't have to learn by playing the game for a long time.

 

I would love a game, where you would enjoy the playing and would to be able to do stuff that works IRL. So that's my take on the balance of fun and realism.

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Vercetti42

I feel GTA IV handled fun and realism very well.

 

Firstly I am very well aware of the content cut from the game. (From SA) but to be honest that does not mean the game isn't fun for me. Some of it's features actually blended realism with fun. The ragdoll physics are a perfect example of that. Nothing is more satisfying than having Niko run around a ped and watch them fly around or have Niko himself fly out his car and fall to his death. Stuff like that were just awesome.

 

Another feature relates to the driving and damage mechanics. I had so much fun just wrecking up my car with the awesome damage mechanics. And the new handling (which everyone hated) made races so much more exciting.

 

Of course turning your vehicle density to 100 (on PC) and chucking a grenade into a crowd of cars was crazy fun too.

 

But then for me the realism made the game fun for me. For me the realism just immersed my self into the game. I had so much fun (unlike many others) just exploring LC and watching all the interesting and new highly detailed pedestrians. Driving around is another thing too although I still cause chaos in IV.

 

So yeah for me fun doesn't mean planes or jetpacks, it means just immersing myself in the game and causing chaos and playing through the story and side-missions. In that way I feel that I am getting most out of the game and I play through the story slowly mind you. (On my current IV save I have around 30 hours and I have completed only 45 out of the 90 missions or so)

 

That being said my opinion is an unpopular one. For most people fun in GTA is still going around on rampages,...etc and I definitely can't blame Rockstar for going with the route they did in V.

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Mister Pink

Quite simply, it's like going from V, enjoying the freedom of countryside, flying, modding cars and then going back to a grey city with no countryside etc... it was this retraction that pissed off gamers and the excuse at the time or at least what people thought was because it was "realism."

 

I reckon the realism thing is bullsh*t. IV is a natural progression from San Andreas in terms of realism. They're games don't look much different. I think IV was just a struggle for Rockstar. They were depressed after the Hot Coffee scandal. They were battling with new hardware, technology and couldn't make a huge map like before. They sort of imploded. Also, it would have been stupid to make fast cars with easy handling with such a tiny map. for next-gen so they made the driving difficult or "realistic" as some people like to think. Flying in fast planes was would have been pretty stupid given the map size etc. So what they did was condensed a GTA game and enhanced detail.

 

The detail in GTA always would have been upgraded. It wasn't some crusade by Rockstar to make some realistic game. They didn't have the means and morale to build a new engine on new hardware and make a map like San Andreas or V. It was a necessity in my opinion, not an art/game direction.

 

It was more serious than other GTA's. Serious, doesn't mean more realistic. Other GTAs like Vice City and San Andreas had a perfect balance of seriousness and light-heartedness for me. IV seemed just to be serious, all the way. I think that's why people thought it was more "realistic."

 

However good IV is, people were just baffled by the lack of rewards which is a driving force for gamers. It's play and reward. This was taken away. So many things that people associated with the evolution of GTA, thus making it GTA in itself were taken away. It didn't feel like a GTA for them. Doesn't mean the game was bad. It's still one of the best games ever made but the feeling of lost potential or maybe it's the feeling not having what we expected... From GTA to 2 to III to Vice City to San Andreas... the game got bigger, got more features, more weapons, more missions more cities more terrain and then IV was like going all the way back to III. It was kind of more like a HD remake of III with fancy graphics and physics than a standalone GTA game.

 

Also, the idea of fun doesn't mean bloody jetpacks. People always confuse this. For me driving in the countryside or driving from city to city was fun. Dressing my character in to different roles was fun...that freedom.

 

Freedom = fun. Many of the fun side things were optional in VC and SA. In IV, it's not an option. You see what I mean? That's the whole crux of it. If you don't like to do something, don't do it. But don't force us not to do it. Ya dig?

 

For some people, linear games like FPS's like CoD, Battlefield etc, is perfect for them. My brother is kind of like that. I think he likes the structure. He's be more academic in sense and I'm more creative. I think GTA IV was more "linear" in it's constrictions. I think this appealed to a new sort of gamer and brought in new fans of GTA that doesn't see fun in the freedom. That's just an thought I have. But some people enjoy the bigger picture and see things like jetpacks or car customisation as a creative tool in a playground of endless fun. IV seems restrictive to these types of people. It seems like it limits their imagination to have fun, whereas people with a more linear attitude loved the sort of constrictions of the game.

 

IV was great, just didn't seem like a natural evolution of GTA. Id like another game like IV. Just not called GTA. If Rockstar made an new IP, I'd love them to do something similar to IV. It's a different experience but for me not the quintessential, definitiive GTA experience.

 

Sorry for the long post.

Edited by Mister Pink

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Osho

You nailed it Mr. Pink!

 

So true. And, only a person with the strong affection for the series could understand what exactly the GTA was all about in 3D Era.

I definitely see Rockstar is focusing on making GTA in HD Era even more better, but honestly since GTA IV they seem to be less worried about preserving the spirit of the popularity of the series best, the 3D Era and how effectively it shared "the G T A" with the highly satisfying gameplay.

 

Rockstar clearly needs to be blamed for bringing sort of a difference ( a big change to the series ) forcibly by the combination of realistic feel and changes to the gameplay, far more appealing to the new players.

But, the same can't be said for quite many changes and the approach they chose, starting with GTA IV and followed in GTA V, for better or worse, I find the amazing freedom somewhere lost in the transition, IMO!

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Vercetti42

I think IV was just a struggle for Rockstar. They were depressed after the Hot Coffee scandal. They were battling with new hardware, technology and couldn't make a huge map like before

Not to mention rumors of EA buying R* but on the other hand this is one of the reasons I admired IV. They managed to deliver what (for me) was an absolutely top quality game in nearly every department despite their struggles.

 

 

It was more serious than other GTA's. Serious, doesn't mean more realistic. Other GTAs like Vice City and San Andreas had a perfect balance of seriousness and light-heartedness for me. IV seemed just to be serious, all the way. I think that's why people thought it was more "realistic."

I'm not exactly sure why people use the word "serious" for GTA IV. I don't think it's the correct term at all. I feel "matured" is more appropriate. Like you said VC and SA had light hearted fun while IV did have fun, just in a more mature way.

 

 

However good IV is, people were just baffled by the lack of rewards which is a driving force for gamers. It's play and reward. This was taken away. So many things that people associated with the evolution of GTA, thus making it GTA in itself were taken away. It didn't feel like a GTA for them. Doesn't mean the game was bad.

I think the rewards in the game are decent. Such as Dwayne's backup which is fun as hell for gang shootouts. But yes they certainly aren't as good as the III Era but I can live with it.

 

 

From GTA to 2 to III to Vice City to San Andreas... the game got bigger, got more features, more weapons, more missions more cities more terrain and then IV was like going all the way back to III. It was kind of more like a HD remake of III with fancy graphics and physics than a standalone GTA game.

I disagree and I disagree wholeheartedly.

 

For me "progression" does not mean "more features" I'd rather look at the quality of features. You can make a game with a billion of features and say that it has progressed more than the previous one but in reality the quality is much less than the previous. It's like a book, the first one is short but it's great, the 2nd one is longer but it lacks the quality the first one possessed.

 

This is something that I tend to be rather critical of SA. It was amazing for it's time (and still is) but i can't help but feel that Rockstar threw some features into it for the sake of content. Not all the features in the game were terrible but some of them felt so... incomplete. Like the courier missions. Valet missions were fun for that one mission but got boring quick. I honestly never even used many of the features that much. Still love the game though. One of the best games of all time for sure! (Still prefer VC and IV though)

 

 

Also, the idea of fun doesn't mean bloody jetpacks.

For this I applaud you sir. But for some people it does mean bloody jetpacks, atleast you can appreciate a game for something other than planes/jetpacks.

 

 

People always confuse this. For me driving in the countryside or driving from city to city was fun. Dressing my character in to different roles was fun...that freedom.

This is something that I loved about IV. I enjoyed roleplaying as an ordinary citizen taking Niko out in a great car with the awesome handling and soaking in the atmosphere. Sure it didn't have a countryside but IV still offers me the same amount of freedom as the 3 Era games.

 

 

Freedom = fun. Many of the fun side things were optional in VC and SA. In IV, it's not an option. You see what I mean? That's the whole crux of it. If you don't like to do something, don't do it. But don't force us not to do it. Ya dig?

I'm not sure what you mean by this, unless you are referring to the friend calls from Roman and others. They are still optional. You can decline and I actually checked the stats and the like of the friend, say Roman, doesn't go down much really. It's quite easy to bring it back up too.

 

 

For some people, linear games like FPS's like CoD, Battlefield etc, is perfect for them. My brother is kind of like that. I think he likes the structure. He's be more academic in sense and I'm more creative. I think GTA IV was more "linear" in it's constrictions.

For one I'd prefer a non-linear game over a linear game anyday. I rarely play linear games anymore. I don't see how IV was linear. Messing around with the new ragdoll physics was always fun. To me it's just as fun as any other GTA. I guess it just requires your imagination a bit more.

 

I guess IV appealed more to people who like attention to detail. Same goes for Mafia II. Brilliant city, great attention to detail yet so many people hated it while I loved it for what it was.

 

 

IV was great, just didn't seem like a natural evolution of GTA. Id like another game like IV. Just not called GTA. If Rockstar made an new IP, I'd love them to do something similar to IV. It's a different experience but for me not the quintessential, definitiive GTA experience.

In my honest opinion, GTA IV does indeed feel like a GTA. Liberty City felt like how a GTA should be. It was dark, gritty and centered around crime, the whole point of GTA. To me every GTA feels like a GTA, even SA though it had some slightly over the top stuff. (I'm looking at you Green Goo) It combined an amazing story with an amazing city and excellent gameplay.

 

 

Sorry for the long post.

No problem. Your post was excellent and had some good points in it. You certainly are a decent SA fan which is kinda rare. I rather enjoyed reading and countering your post. :)

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Algonquin Assassin

Quite simply, it's like going from V, enjoying the freedom of countryside, flying, modding cars and then going back to a grey city with no countryside etc... it was this retraction that pissed off gamers and the excuse at the time or at least what people thought was because it was "realism."

 

I reckon the realism thing is bullsh*t. IV is a natural progression from San Andreas in terms of realism. They're games don't look much different. I think IV was just a struggle for Rockstar. They were depressed after the Hot Coffee scandal. They were battling with new hardware, technology and couldn't make a huge map like before. They sort of imploded. Also, it would have been stupid to make fast cars with easy handling with such a tiny map. for next-gen so they made the driving difficult or "realistic" as some people like to think. Flying in fast planes was would have been pretty stupid given the map size etc. So what they did was condensed a GTA game and enhanced detail.

 

The detail in GTA always would have been upgraded. It wasn't some crusade by Rockstar to make some realistic game. They didn't have the means and morale to build a new engine on new hardware and make a map like San Andreas or V. It was a necessity in my opinion, not an art/game direction.

 

It was more serious than other GTA's. Serious, doesn't mean more realistic. Other GTAs like Vice City and San Andreas had a perfect balance of seriousness and light-heartedness for me. IV seemed just to be serious, all the way. I think that's why people thought it was more "realistic."

 

However good IV is, people were just baffled by the lack of rewards which is a driving force for gamers. It's play and reward. This was taken away. So many things that people associated with the evolution of GTA, thus making it GTA in itself were taken away. It didn't feel like a GTA for them. Doesn't mean the game was bad. It's still one of the best games ever made but the feeling of lost potential or maybe it's the feeling not having what we expected... From GTA to 2 to III to Vice City to San Andreas... the game got bigger, got more features, more weapons, more missions more cities more terrain and then IV was like going all the way back to III. It was kind of more like a HD remake of III with fancy graphics and physics than a standalone GTA game.

 

Also, the idea of fun doesn't mean bloody jetpacks. People always confuse this. For me driving in the countryside or driving from city to city was fun. Dressing my character in to different roles was fun...that freedom.

 

Freedom = fun. Many of the fun side things were optional in VC and SA. In IV, it's not an option. You see what I mean? That's the whole crux of it. If you don't like to do something, don't do it. But don't force us not to do it. Ya dig?

 

For some people, linear games like FPS's like CoD, Battlefield etc, is perfect for them. My brother is kind of like that. I think he likes the structure. He's be more academic in sense and I'm more creative. I think GTA IV was more "linear" in it's constrictions. I think this appealed to a new sort of gamer and brought in new fans of GTA that doesn't see fun in the freedom. That's just an thought I have. But some people enjoy the bigger picture and see things like jetpacks or car customisation as a creative tool in a playground of endless fun. IV seems restrictive to these types of people. It seems like it limits their imagination to have fun, whereas people with a more linear attitude loved the sort of constrictions of the game.

 

IV was great, just didn't seem like a natural evolution of GTA. Id like another game like IV. Just not called GTA. If Rockstar made an new IP, I'd love them to do something similar to IV. It's a different experience but for me not the quintessential, definitiive GTA experience.

 

Sorry for the long post.

 

I always like your posts Mister Pink and this one is no exception :)..

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Racecarlock

While it is true that realism can often add fun, in fact I love beamng and Far Cry 2's fire physics, there are certain realistic features that step directly in the path that people keep asking for.

 

Fuel. What is fun about getting fuel? Nothing. Nothing is fun about that. You press a button or two and then just wait. Boring.

 

Hunger. Same as fuel, except you sit through an eating animation. Why am I sitting here and watching someone eat? Why? I'm supposed to be out there stealing cars and dealing drugs and flying planes. How the f*ck is making me get a burger now and then supposed to make that more fun?

 

Traffic Laws. Oh yeah, because pedestrians calling the cops on you for standing too long wasn't enough. Really? Speeding and running red lights one star? Really? And you know that the cops would sense the crime in GTA V just like they do with every other crime whether it's stealthy or not. The police don't even need someone to call in. Someone invisible just reports everything. And while that is annoying on it's own, traffic laws would have turned this game into hell.

 

What if you had to get car insur... oh wait. They actually added that one. But only for multiplayer. Wonderful. Because one thing we definitely needed was to be able to design a car but then never take it anywhere for fear of it getting blown up. Why have it like in saints row where you can blow it up and fix it for some money when you could tediously buy trackers for every car but only online. Offline, well f*ck it. Apparently customization is useless now because taking your car anywhere is now too risky because if you drive it into a lake or blow it up, it's just gone. Like in every previous GTA, sure, but this was supposed to get away from that and do new things.

 

Dehydration, diseases, having to actually wait in the hospital, jail on every bust. Yeah, these would get in the way of fun quite fast.

 

Realism that adds fun can be things like realistic injuries on pedestrians. You shoot a dude in the leg, he clutches his leg and so on. How about being able to play arcade games? Where is that in V? That would be fun. Side activities like illegal fight clubs and casinos. Those are real. There's plenty of fun realistic things, it's just that no one ever suggests them.

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Tao Cheng

It's really based on what people demand at the moment. Me personally, I think every GTA game was great and it raises the bar each time they improve their realism, but it wasn't what I would call it actually "fun" on my terms. Chinatown Wars was the best GTA game I played since GTAIII. Sure it wasn't too great as GTAV, but I genuinely had fun with that game because it was different.

Edited by Tao Cheng

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Gnocchi Flip Flops

I feel the 3D-era games were more arcade than realistic but it fit because of the graphics and... it just felt right. It didn't feel like overkill, it didn't feel forced.

 

GTA IV was my favorite balance in the series though. It was a tee bit realistic or believable but it was also still very much fun and funny. The physics were more "realistic" if you will, but they could be hilarious at times too.

 

GTA V felt like arcade was forced and the balance was very screwed up.

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Gummy 

I think Vice City Stories was the most balanced between fun and realism.

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Lowi

fun>realism

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Zello

I think that R* should release one game based on realism and another that's silly to have a balance

IV was serious V was silly so I think that the next game whatever its called should be serious and more realistic

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Algonquin Assassin

fun>realism

 

The whole reason I started this thread is because of posts like this.

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Budweiser Addict

I think Vice City Stories was the most balanced between fun and realism.

This is the most agreeable post in this entire thread. I mean yeah we had missions that involved fighting off a bunch of bikini clad women and hacking into a house cleaning robot, but then we also had an amazingly detailed Empire Building system and a story that could be considered pretty dark for the 3D era.

 

All around I think VCS is underrated as hell, still remains the best GTA in the 3D era IMO. Maybe if the game got a bit more recognition than it did then we would have more games as balanced as it was.

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Zackyoung1

Well its a video game so its fun and its a realistic crime simulation game so its going to be realistic. Yes if it ever gets to were you have to pay taxes on your crib and put gas in your car and take your kid to school its probably getting to realistic, however I would really prefer GTA not become Saints Row with stupid "fun". GTA V was pretty realistic while staying fun, however I think there should of been a few more realistic features in it like a real stealth system and a fun parkour system, I hate how I would jump and hit something and trip and eat sh*t, it was really annoying!

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Blennerville

 

fun>realism

 

The whole reason I started this thread is because of posts like this.

 

 

But the man has a point.

I play(ed) GTA for the same reason I drink. To get away from the real world. Realism is a bitch.

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Zackyoung1

Would you rather play GTA fun realism or Saints Row stupid fun?

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Racecarlock

 

Would you rather play GTA fun realism or Saints Row stupid fun?

 

 

I play both constantly.

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Staten

 

 

Would you rather play GTA fun realism or Saints Row stupid fun?

 

 

I play both constantly.

 

 

Yeah, it's handy that both games are readily available, isn't it? It's almost like you don't have to choose.

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the ironic one

There are variety of people with different needs and quite often a single man has some different needs, either. And so do I. Sometimes I wont to play something realistic, sometimes I'd like to play something totally crazy, and another time I'd like something fairly realistic but a little bit crazy. That's why I like both GTA series and SR. However, I think GTA 3d universe games have the best proportion between realism and craziness. And some people, like me, have FUN playing realistic games. It's just different kind of fun. So, playing for realism may mean playing for fun.

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Drunken Cowboy

Why do people think you have to sacrifice fun for realism?

I want my guns to do realistic damage. There's fun challenge in having your back against the wall, not even knowing if you could survive a 2-1 gunfight. Knowing there is appropriate police action as consequence for your actions keeps things immersive and delightfully tense.

 

We're not asking to pay monthy mortgage within the game or have to go to court to contest a speeding ticket.

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Blennerville

 

Why do people think you have to sacrifice fun for realism?

I want my guns to do realistic damage. There's fun challenge in having your back against the wall, not even knowing if you could survive a 2-1 gunfight. Knowing there is appropriate police action as consequence for your actions keeps things immersive and delightfully tense.

 

We're not asking to pay monthy mortgage within the game or have to go to court to contest a speeding ticket.

 

 

There is nothing fun about the low health in GTA5 imo.

 

from my experience people who talk about realistic bullet damage in relation to games usually know nothing about what realistic damage really looks like.

GTA5 isnt even realistic, its just annoying trying to be realistic and failing.

The on foot mechanics are a great example, they are so annoying and in no way realistic. I dont fall down at every bumb in the road when i run outside, the PS2 games were closer to reality.

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Drunken Cowboy

 

Why do people think you have to sacrifice fun for realism?

I want my guns to do realistic damage. There's fun challenge in having your back against the wall, not even knowing if you could survive a 2-1 gunfight. Knowing there is appropriate police action as consequence for your actions keeps things immersive and delightfully tense.

 

We're not asking to pay monthy mortgage within the game or have to go to court to contest a speeding ticket.

 

 

There is nothing fun about the low health in GTA5 imo.

 

from my experience people who talk about realistic bullet damage in relation to games usually know nothing about what realistic damage really looks like.

GTA5 isnt even realistic, its just annoying trying to be realistic and failing.

The on foot mechanics are a great example, they are so annoying and in no way realistic. I dont fall down at every bumb in the road when i run outside, the PS2 games were closer to reality.

 

 

Never said GTA V hit the mark.

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Blennerville

A perfect example of fun > realism would be the planes/choppers.

 

They made them more realistic and now they are not fun.

 

They added a lot of unnecessary factors just for realism and it dulls the experience.

 

Flying a jet and banking and making sharp 180 turns is very disorientating due to the camera angle - they tried to make it more cinematic like you would see in a movie but it is not good for the gameplay.

 

 

The choppers are even more annoying.

Edited by Blennerville

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Journey_95

I think it should always be a mixture of those two

don't go all crazy like those green goo/jetpack sh*t in SA or even add f*cking aliens or zombies that sh*t

belongs to Saints Row

that series is basically only fun

GTA shouldn't be like that even though many fans (that are kiddies) want that

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Piggsy pls

 

I think Vice City Stories was the most balanced between fun and realism.

This is the most agreeable post in this entire thread. I mean yeah we had missions that involved fighting off a bunch of bikini clad women and hacking into a house cleaning robot, but then we also had an amazingly detailed Empire Building system and a story that could be considered pretty dark for the 3D era.

 

All around I think VCS is underrated as hell, still remains the best GTA in the 3D era IMO. Maybe if the game got a bit more recognition than it did then we would have more games as balanced as it was.

 

I agree, I always wondered why people didn't like this game. It basically gave fans what they wanted, VC again, 80's setting, music and culture, empire building, and a fleshed out plot that also expanded on VC's storyline.

 

This game and GTA CTW are very underrated IMO, we need more GTA games like those.

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