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Typhus

Recapturing the old GTA feeling

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Typhus

One of the biggest changes of the modern GTA games is actually the hardest to pin down. Because whilst the quality of the writing and gameplay have all remained pretty consistent in quality between different console generations, there is a huge difference between how the older and newer games feel. Now, initially I chalked this up to simple nostalgia on my part, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. The 3D-era games, even when removing the rose-tinted glasses, seemed to have a greater sense of history to their settings, due to how much lore the games established over the years, as well as a unique visual style which the modern era of GTA - with his on-again off-again emphasis on realism - seems to lack.

 

These are small things, but even as the gameplay and graphics have improved, the modern games just don't feel as fun, and the worlds Rockstar creates don't feel as memorable or as enjoyable to explore. Grand Theft Auto III, for example, even to this day still feels like a real passion project. And everything, from the game staff providing pedestrian voices, to the litany of movies references, to how obviously excited they were to try and make a sequel, is still incredibly charming - despite how archaic the gameplay is compared to V.

 

But, to avoid just ragging on anything new, I'd like to pose the question as to how Rockstar can recapture this feel for the next game. Is it something they should even try? Or are you quite happy with the aesthetic of the new generation of GTA games?

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Journey_95

I'm overall happy with the aesthetic of the HD Era games. The old feeling has a lot to do with nostalgia and the games just feeling very different because of the engine/graphic style (which would suck now so they moved on, unless you want GTA to have a cartoony look and feel).

 

I'm not sure what you mean with greater sense of history? What lore?
 

LC and LS + Blaine County were even more fun to explore for me since they are much more detailed & well crafted than the 3D locations and feel like real cities so I can't agree there either.

 

I don't think the old feeling will ever be recaptured. Maybe play LCS and VCS for that if you haven't since they give you a similiar experience and dont do much different.


 

Edited by Journey_95

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Sinner!
3 hours ago, Typhus said:

But, to avoid just ragging on anything new, I'd like to pose the question as to how Rockstar can recapture this feel for the next game.

 

That feel is your opinion that's in your own head, so I can't say how R* can recapture that feel in your mind.

 

This whole topic is designed to rag on anything new from what I can tell. 

 

 

 

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TheSantader25

IMO it's because of the timeline. The old GTAs are set in pretty interesting times that makes them unique. I don't think being "modern" has been such a good idea for GTA because the more modern you get the more intelligent security gets and that's not good for crime which is mainly the theme of GTA. better security in more modern timelines means less opportunities for R* to come up with interesting criminal activities that make sense for the timeline(although being modern can bring interesting stuff like the internet and hacking but I don't think it can make up for what's lost) 

Vice City(which is expected in GTA VI) is a good example. This city is based off miami which was full of criminal activities back in the 80s but now? Not so much. 

Edited by TheSantader25

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RedDagger

This seems like something that'd be better discussed if there was a more concrete base as to what the "feel" was in the first place, because that's a pretty vague thing imo; it's hard to separate from nostalgia and the childlike innocence of playing a 3D GTA for the first or second time. Personally I think the newer games had a similar sense of history, and they definitely held a unique visual style even within the more realistic graphics they had (like GTA IV's infamous "piss filter", or just in general if you see gameplay you instantly know what game it is by visuals alone; if you use "realism" mods that aim to tone the games in a life-like manner then it lets you appreciate the style more). There's also the problem that part of the feel may be locked in the technical limitations of the age - GTA SA wouldn't be the same with realistic physics or more modern animations; it all comes in part of a package. 

 

But in general with media, I believe there isn't really much one can do to recapture a feeling of something older (be it a game, a movie, music etc.) without directly copying it; instead the best you can ask for is something else which is great in its own way, which itself will have people asking for further entrants to capture the vibe of if done properly. I'd much prefer for a newer GTA to carve out its own feel instead of trying to match the feel of older games.

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SinYang

GTA III & Saints Row 3 to some extent are Arcade fun chaos, the focus is not a bank account grind or business sales as your a free agent/hired gun, death is treated like a joke from the start right down to the crushing Ped sounds and unrealistic legs/arms blowing off in explosions. Car crashes, Ramming, stunts are encouraged with cash rewards for destroyed vehicles/car crusher, fast forward to V/Online don't scratch your car for gold/cash wtf is this about anyway? something that should be kept in import/export only, no aircraft besides Dodo allowed GTA III to be Grand theft AUTO not AERO, Helicopters in VC were okay though SA took this too far with Jets, do you know any criminals with Jets?  gameplay differences. Nostalgia does not apply when they are such different concepts at the core. The funny thing is even as CEO with mass business, you are still doing crap pleb jobs with PostOP vans. No random car jacker peds? confirm action? atleast gave the illusion of the AI doing something. The Terrorbyte Drone brings back Toyz mission feeling somewhat.

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CHARMANDER50

 

What feelings? GTA players seem to have no correct recollection of 

emotions , spider sensei .

Faust must have played this trick on us for being nostalgic about a 

Game classic.

I am trying to recall the emotions, right now , I juz can't describe the 

perfect tab of playing in rainy days.

Well I better let Betty do all the emotional recollections.

 

Throwbacks flash on request this trick is about the game becoming 

a new sensation.

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Aquamaniac
On 8/26/2018 at 8:51 AM, Typhus said:

One of the biggest changes of the modern GTA games is actually the hardest to pin down. Because whilst the quality of the writing and gameplay have all remained pretty consistent in quality between different console generations, there is a huge difference between how the older and newer games feel. Now, initially I chalked this up to simple nostalgia on my part, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. The 3D-era games, even when removing the rose-tinted glasses, seemed to have a greater sense of history to their settings, due to how much lore the games established over the years, as well as a unique visual style which the modern era of GTA - with his on-again off-again emphasis on realism - seems to lack.

 

These are small things, but even as the gameplay and graphics have improved, the modern games just don't feel as fun, and the worlds Rockstar creates don't feel as memorable or as enjoyable to explore. Grand Theft Auto III, for example, even to this day still feels like a real passion project. And everything, from the game staff providing pedestrian voices, to the litany of movies references, to how obviously excited they were to try and make a sequel, is still incredibly charming - despite how archaic the gameplay is compared to V.

 

But, to avoid just ragging on anything new, I'd like to pose the question as to how Rockstar can recapture this feel for the next game. Is it something they should even try? Or are you quite happy with the aesthetic of the new generation of GTA games?

 

This might be nostalgic feelings, I have the same feelings, not with GTA, but with other games or genres that I used to play a lot in the past, there was never a FPS that I enjoyed as much as Quake II or Kingpin, all the great graphics don't impress me. I also favour the old Fallouts over the 3d titles. However I have no nostalgic feelings about GTA and enjoyed GTA V the most and still do, I played the older titles too, but not as excessive as other games. Do you get my point and do you have similar sentiments about other games or genres you used to play less?

 

Apart from nostalgia and in general, too much realism be it graphics or story wise might be not desirable since we're talking about games.

Edited by Aquamaniac

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Typhus
4 hours ago, Aquamaniac said:

 

This might be nostalgic feelings, I have the same feelings, not with GTA, but with other games or genres that I used to play a lot in the past, there was never a FPS that I enjoyed as much as Quake II or Kingpin, all the great graphics don't impress me. I also favour the old Fallouts over the 3d titles. However I have no nostalgic feelings about GTA and enjoyed GTA V the most and still do, I played the older titles too, but not as excessive as other games. Do you get my point and do you have similar sentiments about other games or genres you used to play less?

 

Apart from nostalgia and in general, too much realism be it graphics or story wise might be not desirable since we're talking about games.

See, that's the thing, I thought it might just me being nostalgic but I don't reckon that's the case.

Let me give you an example. I'm a huge Spider-Man fan, and for years my favourite game based on the character was the 2000 PS1 game. Now, I figured that was just me being a nostalgist and not giving new games their credit. But then LEGO Marvel Super Heroes comes out on the PS4, and I like it more than that old game, because it recaptured the carefree, colourful feeling of the first game. So it wasn't nostalgia, it was that the creative direction of most of the subsequent games had not captured the correct feel of the character.

 

I get the feeling that the same is true with GTA. There's something about it which isn't as fun. It honestly might be the break with the 3D era they made with Grand Theft Auto IV, that always left a bad taste in my mouth, and still does, especially when 80% of the modern characters and locations just don't feel as special as those featured in games which are technically inferior.

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Jabalous

Many factors play into what that feeling is, but one sure thing is that 3D-era GTA games are associated more with their respective periods, the 80s in Vice City and 90s in San Andreas. That, I believe, is part of the feeling that's missing from IV and V, both of which are contemporary and don't have a Historicity nostalgia/feeling attached to them. 

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PaddsterG2k3

What Jabalous said.

 

A period piece is better for the atmosphere as is a “rags to riches” story.

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FlacidJack

I recapture that feeling simply by playing the old GTAs, logically it's the only way to get the same feeling ...until the day comes when we can buy a time machine.

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PaddsterG2k3

I also think it’s about geographical progression. I’ll never forget the first time I saw “Welcome To Staunton Island” and when CJ wakes up in the countryside after being taken from LS. Even Niko having to leave his burning safe house in Broker too - that feeling of having to leave the area you grew to know - it’s part of the GTA feeling, in my opinion.

Edited by PaddsterG2k3

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American Venom
48 minutes ago, PaddsterG2k3 said:

I also think it’s about geographical progression. I’ll never forgt the first time I saw “Welcome To Staunton Island” it when CJ wakes up in the countryside after being taken from LS. Even Niko having to leave his burning safe house in Broker too - that feeling of having to leave the area you grew to know - it’s part of the GTA feeling, in my opinion.

I missed that in GTA V due to the open map. They tried it when Trevor first went to Los Santos, but it didn't feel the same having already spent a considerable amount of time there with Michael and Franklin. But generally speaking we stay put and not really forced out for a contextual reason to occupy a completely new area.

 

 

 

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Typhus
6 hours ago, PaddsterG2k3 said:

I also think it’s about geographical progression. I’ll never forgt the first time I saw “Welcome To Staunton Island” it when CJ wakes up in the countryside after being taken from LS. Even Niko having to leave his burning safe house in Broker too - that feeling of having to leave the area you grew to know - it’s part of the GTA feeling, in my opinion.

I completely agree with this. Improving player agency is great and all, but the locked islands were a brilliant way of encouraging players to explore the initial setting, as well as giving you a real sense of achievement and wonder once you found your way into a new area of the city. I still have very fond memories of playing Vice City and hearing Michael Jackson get interrupted by a hurricane warning.

To some it probably seems restrictive, but there's a lot to be said for a structured narrative and not showing your hand all at once.

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Shluffee
18 hours ago, PaddsterG2k3 said:

I also think it’s about geographical progression. I’ll never forget the first time I saw “Welcome To Staunton Island” and when CJ wakes up in the countryside after being taken from LS. Even Niko having to leave his burning safe house in Broker too - that feeling of having to leave the area you grew to know - it’s part of the GTA feeling, in my opinion.

This is exactly what they need to bring back to the next GTA!   I remember getting to the second island in VC before unlocking it and constantly getting wanted. Then when SA came out it would let you turn off cops completely and you could hit the casino in LV right after the first mission. But it was very exciting being in a place where u were not meant to be yet. And this was all before Youtube, so u had to figure out how to get there by yourself.

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Emmi

I agree with you OP.

Also in my opinion a cell-shaded looking GTA would be an amazing thing ... maybe a smaller-scale GTA for the Switch with that artstyle?

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Lioshenka

I don't think this will ever be re-captured. I can't let go of the feeling that circa 2006 Trevor went to the R* office, killed everyone there and they've been re-placed with new recruits. It's like even the old GTA developers have been wiped out just before GTA 4 came out, and I think without their expertise it's not possible to create something as amazing and truly captivating as an old Renderware GTAs. I can't really say what needs to be changed, but some of the things which I think will help to capture that feeling are:

- Different engine. The graphics need to be more cartoony or the lighting/shadowing needs to be toned down; the colours need to be more vivid

- The menu interaction needs to be instant. No fading between the screens. None of the having to log in Social Club, and the GTA 5 itself, and then confirm the validity of the license, and wait forever to start the game. Remember III/VC/SA? You click the icon, you click the New Game, within 10-15 seconds it's starts. Simples.

- Set the game in the past. Great thing about SA and VC was that they were set in the past during some iconic era/events, III although set in present had a very idealised version of it - so even if you have just launched the game for the first time it had that nostalgic feeling regardless.

- Scrap the stupid phone. Pager or only taking calls is more than enough functionality that we need.

- Bring the side missions back. Paramedic, rampages, all that stuff that nobody particularly likes, but it's there so you could spend ages trying to beat them.

- Make the game more challenging. No auto health re-generation, no auto-save. Harder missions.

- We need that "what if" feeling back. Remember how we tried to get to Stanton island by balancing on the beams of the Callahan bridge? Or trying to get into that tunnel on Shreside Vale? Or swim over the buoys to get to the Ghost town? Or try and get to another island through the barriers? Driving through the waves to see if Tommy will drown? Looking for bigfoot? Wearing different tattoos and clothing in a desperate attempt to crack the Epsilon code? Board the tram in San Fierro over and over again? New games lack that. You know exactly what you can and can't do.

 

I also agree with what the others said:

- Locking the islands and the geographical progression. Do you remember that first time you crossed the bridge to the Staunton Island or saw the skyline of San Fierro?

- Being thrown to an unknown location. Going to SF or being dropped in Angel Pine are some of my fondest memories of SA

- Arcade sounds and not taking death seriously

- Scrap bank accounts, stocks and all the incredibly boring stuff we can have in real life

Edited by Lioshenka

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KingAJ032304
On 8/26/2018 at 2:51 AM, Typhus said:

One of the biggest changes of the modern GTA games is actually the hardest to pin down. Because whilst the quality of the writing and gameplay have all remained pretty consistent in quality between different console generations, there is a huge difference between how the older and newer games feel. Now, initially I chalked this up to simple nostalgia on my part, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. The 3D-era games, even when removing the rose-tinted glasses, seemed to have a greater sense of history to their settings, due to how much lore the games established over the years, as well as a unique visual style which the modern era of GTA - with his on-again off-again emphasis on realism - seems to lack.

 

These are small things, but even as the gameplay and graphics have improved, the modern games just don't feel as fun, and the worlds Rockstar creates don't feel as memorable or as enjoyable to explore. Grand Theft Auto III, for example, even to this day still feels like a real passion project. And everything, from the game staff providing pedestrian voices, to the litany of movies references, to how obviously excited they were to try and make a sequel, is still incredibly charming - despite how archaic the gameplay is compared to V.

 

But, to avoid just ragging on anything new, I'd like to pose the question as to how Rockstar can recapture this feel for the next game. Is it something they should even try? Or are you quite happy with the aesthetic of the new generation of GTA games?

You are on;y saying that because every 3d gta game was connected in such a ridiculous and unrealistic way that it seems force. Like seriously Claude knows CJ AND Tony? He dated the same Catalina for almost a decade where they initially met back in San Andreas where Cat and CJ broke up? Also their were WAY more diverse settings compared to the HD universe such as 80s Vice City or 90s San Andreas or late 90s Liberty City and early 2000s Liberty City. It made the GTAs feel bigger than they actual were.

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KingAJ032304
On 2/13/2019 at 9:18 AM, Lioshenka said:

I don't think this will ever be re-captured. I can't let go of the feeling that circa 2006 Trevor went to the R* office, killed everyone there and they've been re-placed with new recruits. It's like even the old GTA developers have been wiped out just before GTA 4 came out, and I think without their expertise it's not possible to create something as amazing and truly captivating as an old Renderware GTAs. I can't really say what needs to be changed, but some of the things which I think will help to capture that feeling are:

- Different engine. The graphics need to be more cartoony or the lighting/shadowing needs to be toned down; the colours need to be more vivid

- The menu interaction needs to be instant. No fading between the screens. None of the having to log in Social Club, and the GTA 5 itself, and then confirm the validity of the license, and wait forever to start the game. Remember III/VC/SA? You click the icon, you click the New Game, within 10-15 seconds it's starts. Simples.

- Set the game in the past. Great thing about SA and VC was that they were set in the past during some iconic era/events, III although set in present had a very idealised version of it - so even if you have just launched the game for the first time it had that nostalgic feeling regardless.

- Scrap the stupid phone. Pager or only taking calls is more than enough functionality that we need.

- Bring the side missions back. Paramedic, rampages, all that stuff that nobody particularly likes, but it's there so you could spend ages trying to beat them.

- Make the game more challenging. No auto health re-generation, no auto-save. Harder missions.

- We need that "what if" feeling back. Remember how we tried to get to Stanton island by balancing on the beams of the Callahan bridge? Or trying to get into that tunnel on Shreside Vale? Or swim over the buoys to get to the Ghost town? Or try and get to another island through the barriers? Driving through the waves to see if Tommy will drown? Looking for bigfoot? Wearing different tattoos and clothing in a desperate attempt to crack the Epsilon code? Board the tram in San Fierro over and over again? New games lack that. You know exactly what you can and can't do.

 

I also agree with what the others said:

- Locking the islands and the geographical progression. Do you remember that first time you crossed the bridge to the Staunton Island or saw the skyline of San Fierro?

- Being thrown to an unknown location. Going to SF or being dropped in Angel Pine are some of my fondest memories of SA

- Arcade sounds and not taking death seriously

- Scrap bank accounts, stocks and all the incredibly boring stuff we can have in real life

See this is a great example of Nostalgia steering the wheel. Heres a hint:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 3D universe is LONG gone! It was fun while it lasted, but it's a new age and time for gaming and it NEEDS to move on rather than just reinitiating what the HD universe abandon for good reason. I started with GTA 4 all most of my nostalgia goes to that game, but even I DON'T like a  lot about that game. I played the HD universe 1st, than the 3D universe, than the 2D universe. By your logic we should COMPLETELY abandoned the 3D perspective and go back to the times of of money multipliers and arcady gameplay mechanics with braindead mute protagonists that didn't make us feel guilty or question every action we committed. Yes these are the protagonists that we play in bird eyes view that all look the same that ran over peds with rpgs shooting at cops running up to them to bust them. But we didn't because as fun as the 2D universe was, it was time to move on. Same applies to the 3D universe. REMEMBER! It was fun while it lasted but alas all good things have to end to bring new and fresh ideas to the table for the next generation rather than just rehashing old ones. This is why we are playing gta rather than a remastered Pong or Mario.

(Also for the "what if" one that's the internet fault for spoiling all the good secrets and EE in games so fast. There is A TON of stuff like that in RDR2 and even GTA 5 but give it a year or so and everything will already be found.)

Edited by KingAJ032304

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