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ChengizVlad09

Battle of The Universes; What's your favorite?

2D Vs. 3D vs. HD Universe  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. Favorite GTA Universe?



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ChengizVlad09
Posted (edited)

The existence of the different Universes in Grand Theft Auto is mainly there to articulate the technological progress through which the franchise is going.

 

Whether we are talking about visual advances, implementation of the more complex and more sophisticated game engine - as the obvious parts of it - or something more subtle as their canons being set apart from one another and classified into different Universes - the reason why Claude doesn't exist in LC of GTA 1 or LC of GTA IV - strangely, something that many of us still having troubles wrapping head around.

 

However, having different Universes is also an ideal measurment not only to gaze upon the entire franchise as a whole, see it progressing forward and change, but also to properly view its joining parts and try to understand specific rules and ideas that its creators had in mind while giving life to any specific game.

 

So, inevitably one has to ask; are things linear after all? Does the ruthless technological march forward ultimately brings better gameplay, better story and structure, better narative? Is having 'awesome graphics' directly tied to having more horse power at creator's disposal? Or does beautiful graphics needs an artistic touch first and foremost? Can we exclusively thank all that technology for bringing us advanced systems, mechanics and physics? Or do activities and modes we can engage into - something that open world in general and GTA as a franchise is so dependant upon in bringing us " living, breathing and sprawling " sandbox - really need all that advanced technology or is the artistic and ingenious programming something that comes first?

 

Simply put; does it mean that having a newer Universe automatically mean better games? 

 

All games comprising particular Universe define that Universe, but even more so, the Universe itself defines all those games, it's just a matter of perspective, whether we are looking at it during its creation or retrospectively after it's finally done.

 

Be free to discuss everything in relation to your personal favorites, any specific game and its aspects such as graphics and visuals, story and narrative, mechanics and physics, game modes and activities, but don't forget to put it all in the appropriate context and try to compare it properly. Be free to go step beyond and view things out of the box by thinking about the ' business ' side of things, or what's the role of the financial and marketing models and how are they affecting creation of the games and universes as external factors, if there's a connection in there in the first place. 

 

How is all that, said above, affecting your favorite game, your favorite Grand Theft Auto Universe? Is your minion perhaps separated from what you consider the very best Universe? What you think was the mistake or perhaps, could have been done differently? Enlighten us with some cunning thoughts.

 

Of course, vote for your favorite in 2D Vs. 3D Vs. HD Universe poll.

 

 

 

Edited by ChengizVlad09

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American Venom

HD.

 

The only games I'm really fond of outside of that are GTA III and Vice City. Even if the HD era/universe has been a bit hit and miss with TBOGT, GTA V and GTAO, GTA IV and TLAD are strong enough to carry it on their shoulders. Those games rejuvenated my interest back into the series after I was growing tired of the 3D formula.

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Male01

V and Online are serious handicaps for the HD Universe and when ignoring them, Liberty City is the only place that has been used. SA is more realistic than V when you don't care about blurry textures and low-poly models, which happen to be in V. Although there are many Attention To Detail videos about V, most of these details either don't really apply to gameplay or the realism is cancelled out by a terrible decision from Rockstar.

 

The 3D Universe focused more on gameplay than graphics and thus have the fun things like flamethrowers and chainsaws. CW is an exception because it's a 3D Universe-style game that takes place in the HD Universe.

 

Even without counting the one game that was too ahead of its time to have actually been finished (SA), the 3D Universe still has many great features that are absent in the HD Universe (excluding CW).

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FearThoseWhoFearHim

HD (GTA IV)

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TheSantader25
Posted (edited)

The 3D era. 

 

First off I gotta say I never played the 2D games and I never intended to do so. My interest in gaming started when games went 3D. I never had interest in 2D games of any series. Games going 3D was when I realized this is finally the entertainment I was looking for. 

 

So why does the 3D era win? Firstly I consider LCS the weakest game in the series and while VCS had a couple of bright ideas it was nothing new but we can easily look at these two games as "extras" because they were intended for different systems.

 

The 3D era wins because every game was an improvement. They kept most of what they had built in the previous games and developed upon it. The gameplay was prioritized over narrative as it should be with any game. Unlike the HD era where R* used the story as an excuse to minimize the gameplay(like the lack of Planes, Parachutes in IV) they used the story as a tool for more gameplay opportunities(Gang wars and GSF recruiting in San Andreas). Another problem is that the HD R* simply focus a lot on things that aren't worth the effort. Things like having two different dialogues for a mission in case someone fails might look cheesy at first but when you really think about it, was it really worth it? The resources could've gone to more important aspects first. The problem with the HD era is that most of the improvements and technological advancements come with a price. As an example, we have better animations but they cause unresponsive late controls in some cases. 

 

In the end better graphics, details and more advanced map designs are surely a good improvement but if these could simply be "added" to the progress R* already made until San Andreas instead of "starting from the beginning again" it would be awesome but unfortunately that's not the case and IV+V are both a few steps forward and a couple backwards. This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy them. Both V+IV are among my top 10 favorite games of all time but the missed potential they had makes me sad. I enjoyed V more than IV due to it being more loyal to the GTA franchise(IMO) but even that game missed a LOT of opportunities. 

 

We can only hope for a better future. If GTA VI manages to capture both the pros of the 3D era and the HD era I'll be one happy man but seeing how obsessed R* are now with Multiplayer modes and Narrative driven gameplay, that's highly unlikely. But hey I'm open to surprises. 

 

 

Edited by TheSantader25

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iiCriminnaaL 49

The HD era.

 

Despite considering TBOGT and V as weak entries, IV and TLAD stand out very well. The storytelling is very strong, the game's mechanics, while not without their flaws, are unmatched, and the overworld is indeed a breathing city.

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ChengizVlad09

@American Venom @iiCriminnaaL 49

 

 Interesting opinions about TBOGT. Why do you guys find it to be 'weak'? I mean it has been a while since I've last played it, but in terms of its quality I simply cannot separate it from TLAD, maybe even IV as well. Sure, you might be more fond of these two, like the story better, or general theme - bikers and all for example - but the formula, physics, mechanics and everything else is still pretty much the same? I mean, I see no objective reasons why would TBOGT be that much weaker..

 

I do agree on V and 0nline though, especially that multiplayer joke.

 

@TheSantader25

 

As always, so many good points man. I remember thinking after beating SA for the first time; " wow, if this game is this good, then what monster we'll get in the future? ". I was 'slightly' disappointed to say at least. I would say that LCS is indeed the weakest amongst them - not counting GTA ADV. Honestly the entire 4th Era of HDU reminds me of that game, except for the superior narative and couple of other mechanics RAGE/Euphoria managed to get right.

 

That RAGE engine and Euphoria, despite being quite potent, proved to be quite a burden as well, again, at least to my not so savy eye. It's like everything moves way to slow and with some kind of totally unnecessary and unwanted delay. In practice, it has its moments, but honestly bad overcomes the good.

 

I try to distinguish story and its structure from the narrative, maybe I'm uncultured swine, could be a language barrier, I don't know, but that's the reason I like stories from 3DU better than the stories from HDU. Basically, every story consist of literally the same parts, for the sake of simplicity, begining, middle and end, while narrative is something a bit bigger or something used to articulate that story and bring it to life. If anyone understands this last one, then it would be understood why I like 3DU stories more on one side and acknowledge HDU narrative as superior on other side.

 

In regards to story and everything related to it, 3DU games unlike HDU games, are perfectly exaggerated, just like everything else there. In HDU every single aspect is trying to be as serious as possible - especially through narrative and the only last bastion of exaggeration is found in humor.

It is amazing how 3DU stories have that ability to appear chameleon alike: you can take them to be serious as much as you like, while their character will still remain bright and goofy. I think it's due to perfect exaggeration. It's amazing.

 

 

 

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iiCriminnaaL 49
Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 5:47 PM, ChengizVlad09 said:

 Interesting opinions about TBOGT. Why do you guys find it to be 'weak'? I mean it has been a while since I've last played it, but in terms of its quality I simply cannot separate it from TLAD, maybe even IV as well. Sure, you might be more fond of these two, like the story better, or general theme - bikers and all for example - but the formula, physics, mechanics and everything else is still pretty much the same? I mean, I see no objective reasons why would TBOGT be that much weaker..

In terms of character development and inconsistency when it comes to the main theme.

 

First, it showed up as nightlife centered, but quickly turned into some crazy Hollywood movie with golden helicopters, military-grade weapons and nonstop explosions. And when it comes to the few more chilled out missions, they're generic drive-to-A-and-B missions without any sort of action just to fill more space, which was a reason why it felt longer than TLAD for most people.

 

Most of the characters are underdeveloped, and try-hard when it comes to humor and "fun", especially considering the franchise is centered around the crime underworld.

 

A sample of that is Ray Bulgarin, who was previously shown as a ruthless Russian mobster back in the vanilla game. His friendly attitude towards Luis was overdone, to the way where he felt too silly for a crime lord. Not to mention how he kept screaming like a mad child during his threatening phone calls. That made it impossible to take him seriously. Yusuf Amir was no different. Previously referred to as a serious business man in the vanilla game, as opposed to the crazy boy who plays with his father's money in TBOGT.

 

It was also a cheap shot to completely ignore already established Dominican drug dealers, namely the leader, Willy Valerio, and another member, Teddy Benavidez, and replace them with Armando and Henrique.

 

If you can spare some time on more reading, you can check this to see more details regarding why I consider TBOGT a weak entry, especially compared to TLAD. Some points are subjective, since that post was originally based on personal taste, but there are a couple of objective ones as well, such as the story holes TBOGT caused, the low number of criminal activities, the lack (but still not total absence) of character backstories, and more.

Edited by iiCriminnaaL 49

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ChengizVlad09
Posted (edited)

@iiCriminnaaL 49

 

I glanced over it, no disrespect it's a bit too much text for my short nerves, I'll definitely try to consume it all properly in some coming occasion, I'll even constantly keep getting back at it while I'm writing this. Nevertheless and again, with huge appreciation for your thoughts worded there, answer I was hoping for is not entirely there as far as I can see and here's why.

 

Starting from your Plot, Characters/Cast view, it is so hard to tell what's better, simply because I, or anyone else can come up with the same argument and list of reasons why TBOGT could possibly be better than TLAD. Honestly I, personally cannot set them apart in that sense. All that can objectively be seen is general quality they both possess without any doubt in terms of their characters and plot development and everything that has to do with that, it's just a matter of perspective whether you like tough, greasy and mean biker bastards or slick, tanned and equaly mean nightclub owners and managers. Rough and hardcore men living on the two wheels scraping for glory by living according to their principles or fancy, never-rich-enough and always wanting more cunning snakes that will brake your bones just the same, but in a different manner. You said it yourself even; " It's subjective, sure, but many people can't deny that the first one is the more interesting. " Honestly, there might be a significant number of people that prefer TLAD's tone, setting and theme, its characters and the way the story and protagonist's campaign progresses over the one TBOGT has to offer and that's just fine - I'm one of them too, believe it or not, from what I can recall anyways - but I just can't see why all that necessarilly have to be better when there's definitely no palpable and real merits for it. In all honeaty looking deep inside the DNA of both, I see 2 pretty much the same games in terms of their characters and plot, and as well as the narration that encompasses it all, only they appear as ideal contrast to one another, and I think that was actually Rockstar's intention initially; high-life vs. low-life, but with the same outcomes and implications, carrying the same inevitable fates, no matter whether you earn your money hustling in the fancy night club or riding freely with your gang, you are surrounded with the same feces regardless.

 

In terms of the environments, sadly it's the same thing I think, especially considering it's the same city, so it all boils down to pretty much the same comparison and contrast as the one I tried to visualize above: what do you preffer more, moist of the basement or fresh and unpolluted air watching down the peasants from your penthouse balcony, but still having to fight the same fights no mater where you sleep, whether you prefer to ride rather than to drive, or live by the code or be spoiled half-rich a-hole that seems not to care or understand.

 

" Meanwhile in The Ballad of Gay Tony, enemies are suddenly placed behind you as soon as you move the camera to another side " 

 

Now, this is what I was looking for. If true, this is the real thing that is visible and palpable enough to set them apart quality wise. This could be the sole reason why section 1 is better in TLAD. This isn't the matter of perspective and it has its roots in technical execution - programing the game mechanics and modes and it clearly makes more sense to see your enemies rather to guess where they'll spawn, at least in 90 percent of the cases.

What made TLAD memorable for me even, as a clear and proven winning modes and mechanics - something visibly better, well executed and above all, something entertaining and really suitable for that world. It would be without any doubt the gameplay categories under the Environment section and they are as follows: 13,12,10,9,8,6.

 

With others, I can either agree partially or disagree, they might come under the subjective eye of the player, but for section 4 I must say, you clearly got that one wrong. Not because champagne drinking and dancing is better than the arm wrestling, it surely sounds less interesting as a gameplay mode at least :), but because you should have compared it to Cage fights of TBOGT and that easily can be one of the most entertaining gameplay aspects of HDU. Sadly, R* almost never wants to pay full attention to separate gameplay aspects they create, but regardless I'm pretty certain it beats the hell out of arm wrestling in technical sense and entertaining wise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChengizVlad09

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iiCriminnaaL 49
Posted (edited)

@ChengizVlad09

 

I agree with you for most of the parts. That's why I mentioned in my previous reply that the post I linked is actually based on personal taste more than objectives, but it's still not empty from objective points.

 

34 minutes ago, ChengizVlad09 said:

Not because champagne drinking and dancing is better than the arm wrestling, it surely sounds less interesting as a gameplay mode at least :), but because you should have compared it to Cage fights of TBOGT and that easily can be one of the most entertaining gameplay aspects of HDU.

I compared them to champagne drinking and dancing because I find the last two as TBOGT's replacements of arm wrestling and gambling.

 

As for cage fighting, I stated that this was one of the things I liked the most about TBOGT in my long post. I didn't compare any activity from TLAD to it, simply because that's a brand new feature that TBOGT benefited from in which TLAD doesn't have an alternative activity that compares to it, and thus, an aspect which TBOGT tops TLAD at.

 

Anyways, there's a point I (as well as many people) consider a weakness, which is Luis' inconsistency:

 

On 4/5/2018 at 1:34 AM, iiCriminnaaL 49 said:

Johnny Klebitz > Luis Lopez - The former not only has a well developed personality and written in-depth that everyone knows in his character, he's also WAY less hypothetical than Luis. Yeah, every protagonist is hypothetical in some way, and that's quite natural, but Luis just takes the cake alongside Victor Vance; "So, who do you want me to kill, boss?", a few days later: "I'll fight anyone, do whatever, but I ain't a contract killer.", a few days later, again: "I like killing for money". Not to mention that he always puts it out that he doesn't want to get sent back to prison for dealing drugs with Armando and Henrique, yet he keeps helping them out on that nonetheless, not only in the Drug Wars minigame, but also during the story.

 

There're some more considerable errors, but that's if were're taking it as a part of the GTA IV saga, and not just for it's own.

 

On 4/5/2018 at 1:34 AM, iiCriminnaaL 49 said:

...

 

...Another example of the messed up hype is the forced appearance of the golden Buzzard during 'Not So Fast', even though Luis' original perspective of the diamond deal in the Libertonian was previously shown in TLAD's credits, but was completely changed in TBOGT, which was followed by that pathetic nonsense sky shootout to add for some more action. Not to mention the replacement of the Ancelottis with the LCPD in the same mission. And did I mention that the diamonds were reported to be found in the city's dumb, whereas in TBOGT, they were shown to be found in Meadows Park? Also, what's up with Armando and Henrique coming out of nowhere, whereas Willy Valerio and Teddy Benavidez don't have any role? And don't get me started on Mori Kibbutz's mystery, whom we didn't get not a single hint of during all of Brucie's missions and hangout sessions. On the other hand, Billy, although not by name, was mentioned in standard IV's reports, and Jim (while has a continuity error)Jason and Ashley have already made appearances. As for Brian, Terry and Clay not showing up or getting hinted of, that's because Niko isn't even a friend of Johnny, and excluding the diamonds' issue with Klebitz and Fitzgerald, he doesn't have anything to do with The Lost MC's lieutenants, and since Jeremy (obviously), Thorpe and Simons weren't involved in that neither, they didn't need to show up. When it comes to Angus, you know... that crippled dude cannot participate. That said, the reports of TBOGT's events were nowhere as detailed or accurate as TLAD's in standard IV neither.

 

...

 

Tom Stubbs III > Yusuf Amir - According to IV, the latter was originally meant to be a serious businessman, which was only changed in The Ballad of Gay Tony, turned into a complete crazy and silly man who plays with his dad's money to chase his cartoonish goals.

 

Edited by iiCriminnaaL 49

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ChengizVlad09
Posted (edited)

@iiCriminnaaL 49

 

Sorry I overlooked that part, I immediately clicked on the highlighted word to check it out, I thought you were trying to be completely objective about it. In all honesty these two are pretty much close in regards to their story, narrative and characters when it comes to quality and execution of it all, again, not counting who prefers what and why, but what could set them apart is certain set of gameplay elements, modes and options which really brings biker life under the spotlight properly and ultimately entertain us, which is the main point. 4th Era was the peak of storytelling no doubt, I'm just having hard time understanding the shift from gameplay as the backbone of the franchise (2D/3DU), to story and narrative, something definitely more suiting to linear games.

 

The entire HDU is heavily based and defined by telling a story, rather than building a gameplay aspect of it, or having a story line as a sidekick to general gameplay. In the end, the entire gameplay could be wrapped up and understood through its main story missions, or at least the greatest amount of it, main characteristic of linear games. I see it as a thing that defines HDU games and telling a story is a king there...

Edited by ChengizVlad09

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ChengizVlad09

In regards to story aspect - but not exactly its techical sense and narrative - I find it awesome how stories of 3DU games are connected and intertwined, how many prominent characters appear in numerous different games. I don't deny thorough and believabe voice acting of numerous actors of HDU games - which was intended to bring more seriousness to characters - but there's a certain weight in having Samuel L. Jackson as Tenpenny. Just that fact alone sparks my imagination more then entire performance of respected actor who gave voice to Michael in V for example - not to devalue their acting even the slightest. 3DU was riddled with all kinds of pop culture references from movies to music, to politics and all other various aspects of everyday life through the decades and that was so binding and entertaining.

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Lioshenka

Renderware.

 

I haven't played the 2d games that much - the controls were terrible compared to the other games available at that time.

 

I found Rage to be a disappointing - maybe if R* put enough efforts into it originally it could have been a success, but we're not almost 10 years into it, and nothing has really been done to the appalling gameplay. As I said before - it was a table tennis engine, it should have stayed a table tennis engine.

 

Such is my disappointment with Rage that I will not be buying the next GTA if is uses the Rage engine. If anything, I'll buy it second hand 5 years after it's been released.

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Laker23

3D.

 

Maybe I'm looking at those games with too much nostalgia, but when I look back and compare them all objectively my fondest memories are with the 3D games, despite IV being my second favourite in the entire series.

 

For me V really made this choice a lot easier. As much as I like that game there were also so many things that annoyed me to a great degree, and I can't say that about any of the other entries, 3D or HD.

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ChengizVlad09

@Lioshenka

 

Couldn't agree more about the Renderware. So simple, yet so fitting and adequate. I cannot say that RAGE is total bs, it has its moments, hell, I know I can't get to technical about it, but strictly from the consumer standpoint, I am not impressed. It just seems to me it burdens the entire gameplay way too much, especially making controls clanky, unresponsive and kind of heavy, something that their latest title - RDR2 - proved once again.

 

@Laker23

 

I just hate it when people get 'accused' for being nostalgic, as if that's the only thing, the only reason for liking some game. I mean, sure that's actually a feeling that might accompany my entire view of certain title, but it's only one part of the entire experience. Argument such as that is completely invalid most of times mainly because I stll play those games for which I'm being accused of being nostalgic about and a top of that I immensely enjoy them.

 

 

Edited by ChengizVlad09

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