Archive for GTA V

Why the Success of GTA Online is Actually Bad News

Posted in Gaming these days ..., The Latest with tags , , , , on July 26, 2017 by Rabidgames

First of all, this is the perspective of a disgruntled long-term Rockstar fanboy. GTA Online is fun for many, sure. It can be fun, and that’s all fair and square if it’s your cup of tea. But unfortunately, it’s also a giant money machine. Which is also the biggest problem if you don’t give a flying fuck about it. Because post-launch, GTA Online is all there is while once the campaign is completed, there is nothing but a few consolation outfits, weapons or vehicles.

For GTA Online however, we have heists, stunt tracks (to be fair, these are really cool), businesses to make you some money, property to buy, and so on. For some inexplicable reason though, everything is that absurdly overpriced so you have to grind for a decade to be able to afford the good shit … or you just give Rockstar some cash and you’re set. Great, eh?

Somehow however, Rockstar forgot its roots. The company forgot about the GTA V singleplayer part of the game, the part that used to be the meat and the reason to play Grand Theft Auto. What happened to it? Blinded by the easy cash of GTA Online? Too lazy to come up with a story and/or characters for a DLC campaign? To be fair, the GTA V campaign has its moments, but it has been missing something, as if the developers decided to start there and then focussed on something else rather than flesh it out completely with … you know, aliens or post-story heists. Something else meaning a certain online component …

Whatever the reasons for the decay of the campaign, it is bad news for us old-school single-player Grand Theft Auto fans. And not just that – can you imagine the focus will now NOT be on the multiplayer of Red Dead Redemption 2? Sure, Rockstar has made a shitload of money with GTA Online, but who gives a fuck? Apart from JRPGs and the glory of The Witcher, where are the big open worlds with compelling stories and satire (we can always go back to Just Cause, Saints Row (after 2) or Wildlands, but well, their stories are not their strong suits)? Where is the stuff that once made Rockstar great, where has their DNA been in recent years? Has Rockstar smelled easy money and lost its ways? Well, Red Dead Redemption 2 will soon tell us if Rockstar still follows their legacy or if they sell out for quick cash. Fingers crossed!

Rabidgames sighs: Let’s hope Rockstar won’t be remembered as yet another company that shits on their past and instead delivers soulless chunks of game that might look pretty but is devoid of substance. Looking at you, Dragon Age 2 and Destiny …

 

 

GTA V or The Next Generation Take-Off

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , , , on November 18, 2014 by Rabidgames

There has been lots of talk about next-gen gaming … and let’s face it, most games failed to impress when it came to the next gen part: Watch_Dogs had some great ideas but failed in execution, Destiny fell flat in terms of story and content, and Unity fell victim to FPS implosions and bugs. Let’s not even that patriotic army recruiting app thingy from Activision … The only game that has been able to bring something new to the gaming table was Shadow of Mordor with the Nemesis system – until now!

Grand Theft Auto V returns and it takes the world by storm – the graphical updates alone are astonishing and would have been worth praising GTA V, but more traffic, more pedestrians, animals, more dense foliage and the new water physics scream GOTY. And then, just to top it off, there’s first person mode for more immersion – cool on foot, cooler in cars, but beyond awesome in helicopters and bikes. And if you return to the PS4 or the One, you can simply import your GTA Online character and you get shitloads of extra stuff unlocked online as well as offline. Now THAT’S how you treat your fans!

Rockstar came to the next gen, saw the state of affairs and conquered it all by setting a new benchmark – and not just by flicking the finger to all the other remakes out there, oh no, GTA V is a behemoth of technical prowess and content that puts all other games so far into place. NOW, the next generation has officially started.

Rabidgames applauds: Simply put: Rockstar 1, the rest 0.

42 Reasons to Buy GTA V … Again

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by Rabidgames

We all know Grand Theft Auto V is a masterpiece. But there is way more to the game than most of us know even after playing it for dozens of hours, and why not relive or experience those moments on a next-gen console?

Hang on, that’s just 41 reasons to buy GTA V again, right? Well, reason number 42 is the alleged (not yet confirmed but neither denied) cockpit driving camera. That alone might be well worth buying the game a second time! Plus, you know, denser traffic and more pedestrians, more wildlife, more weapons, more cars, more foliage, overhauled graphics and physics etc. It seems bringing the game to a new generation CAN mean more than just buffed up graphics … now who would have thought that?

Rabidgames cannot wait: It is time to discover San Andreas on the PS4 (or maybe on the One if you prefer). Knowing Rockstar, we might be in for a few surprises as well! Maybe we can finally hunt down Bigfoot!

 

November Will Be Gamergeddon!

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2014 by Rabidgames

So far, this year has been a game drought … We had Watch_Dogs and Wolfenstein, but that was more or less it, wasn’t it? But come November, we’ll all be drowning in games – long, big games …

Let’s have a look at Rabidgames’ wanted list:

11/11
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Rogue

18/11
GTA V
Far Cry 4

21/11
Dragon Age Inquisition

So … who can afford to buy 5 AAA games, 5 big releases, let alone play them, if they are released within 2 fucking weeks? Let’s not forget there’s also a time before November with FIFA 15, Alien Isolation, The Evil Within, Shadows of Mordor, Sherlock Holmes, Raven’s Cry and WWE 2K15 looming …

Honestly, are publishers dumb? This question goes out to Ubisoft especially: How stupid is it to release two Assassin’s Creed games at the same fucking day? And even more stupid to release Far Cry 4 one week later … Have they lost their mind? But in general, why the fuck are there virtually no games during summer, but comes September, the gaming world gets crazy?

Mind you, these are just the games Rabidgames is interested in … there are more out there …

Rabidgames is scared: Most likely, one or two of the above games will not make it on the day 1 purchase list. Why? Because no one on earth has the time to play 5 games at the same time, of course! Different publishers too dumb to take a look at schedules – fine. But Ubisoft is just insane … makes you wonder how they’ll justify that decision …

GTA Online or Between Awesome and WTF???

Posted in Hands On, News with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by Rabidgames

So, GTA Online

First, remember when Rockstar praised the heists in GTA Online? They’re not there yet, they’re just free DLC down the line. And they were the only reason Rabidgames has been interested in GTA Online

Apart form the heists, GTA Online is basically … well, an online version of GTA V: You’re in southern San Andreas (Los Santos and Blaine County), you can move around freely and rob stores and buy vehicles, weapons, garages and safehouses in freeroam mode, or you do either co-operative missions that get stale quickly (some are alright, some are outright stupid – why chase after 2 moving cars for half an hour for a meagre $3000 reward? And why the fuck do enemies spawn 10 meters from our team) or you do classical MP stuff like races (rally is truly hilarious and a welcome addition, while GTA races now feel like Mario Cart 18+), death matches or 2vs missions.

However, there’s a catch: Each time you die in GTA Online, you have to pay. The more money you have, the more you pay. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cash or in the bank, you’ll pay. The catch? It also accounts for missions. Have fun playing deathmatch, earning $2000 while losing $10000. This is bullshit! It stinks even more if you look at the fucking micro transactions Rockstar introduced into GTA Online!

Getting money becomes tedious grinding after a while, and you get the occasional message to just buy it with real money. This is fucked up! Dear Rockstar, by buying GTA V, Rabidgames also bought GTA Online. It’s been shipped with the game so it’s part of the game, right? And yet, there have been obstacles thrown at us so we can progress slowly (yes, there are easy missions which can be repeated again and again and again, but where’s the fun in that?) – or we pay!

Alright, we have not enough content, and we have mindless grinding … anything else? Oh yeah, GTA Online is broken 50% of the time you want to do something! Dear Rockstar, you definitely saw and heard what happened with Diablo 3 and Sim City, and you did the same mistake. Yes, some issues are understandable at an online launch, fair enough – but staring at the first race not even starting for hours upon hours is blatantly ridiculous! So is losing ALL your progress. While it is fine to play beta tester for some F2P game, it is not fine after shelling out 40 quid! If the gaming industry wants to be all adult and professional, fine, but please, act that way, too!

Rabidgames yawns: Yes, if you play with friends, GTA Online can be hilarious. For a while. But then, you realise there are no noteworthy missions. Hefty penalties for playing deatchmatches or any competitive modes but racing. Everything is expensive and needs grinding – or paying real money – a no go! Maybe the heists will change the perception of GTA Online, but for now it is simply not good enough – and doesn’t live up to the hype.

GTA V or The King Reclaims The Throne

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , on September 18, 2013 by Rabidgames

7 hours into GTA V, one thing is clear to Rabidgames: THIS IS GTA!

Gone are the uncontrollable cars, realism and cousins … over-the-top action, hilarious ideas and endless fun is back. San Andreas surely seems to be  where the strengths of the GTA franchise come truly alive.

And we need a new definition of alive in video games: You can aid or stop random crimes, help strangers (and freaks), or you start a gang war and let the cops, the gang – and your dog – fight it out! Or you do some missions brimming with ideas: You’ll bring down houses, crash parties, hunt down people with the help of your dog and you’ll tow trucks, try to raid security trucks, race sports-obsessed women or fast cars – mind you, all of this happens within the first 5 hours!

And then, there’s GTA IV’s protagonist San Andreas: Los Santos alone is breathtaking, especially at night. Oh, and the sea: Swimming looks amazing, but diving is just beautiful. But there’s also the desert, mountains, so much more to explore …

Rabidgames drools: GTA V is everything we wanted – and more. It easily claimes the sandbox throne, and itf nothing goes wrong, the title best game ever is awarded to GTA V as of today. Okay, back to the game now …

GTA IV: The Good, The DLC and The 10 Things GTA V Should Do Better

Posted in Revisited with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by Rabidgames

GTA IV was probably one of the most hyped games ever. Just look at metacritic to see the love it got (most of it deserved, make no mistake), and let’s face it, we all giggled like toddlers experiencing the new Euphoria engine for the first time. But the love for GTA IV proved to be a slowly fading one for Rabidgames … the game was nice to look at, but there was a lack of variety beneath the skin. But luckily for us, the younger sibling GTA V awaits.

THE GOOD

Simply put, GTA IV’s Liberty City was an amazing backdrop. You get the feeling of a nice vibrant city (more about that feeling later) that is full of life, opportunities, and of course tons of violence. The amount of detail put into the city is pretty much awesome. Niko Bellic is an interesting character with a troubled past, albeit not a perfect one (“I’m tired of killing, that’s why I keep killing” is all he is), and some other characters are pretty decent, too (although there are some mightily annoying ones, especially cousins).

GTA IV shines in one regards: satire. Be it the overall story arch of the American Dream, be it some hilarious missions (remember killing that lawyer?), the TV and comedy shows, radio stations and especially the in-game internet which made the most awesome fun of capitalism, consumerism, patriotism, and above all the war on terror … All this kind of stuff made GTA IV one of the best satirical observations of the contemporary USA, and it proved that gaming can pull off a Breaking Bad, too (you don’t have to like the protagonist in order to like watching or playing it).

The story of GTA IV itself was also pretty good; there were some emotional moments (most of them rather sad – sometimes, you have to kill harmless and nice guys), and the endgame picks up the pace perfectly. Plus, there are some memorable missions (bank robbery, anyone?). The important here is the internet again – you will be able to get the complete picture of the meta story of Liberty City’s criminal empires only if you read the news from the beginning and if you played all the DLCs. Nice touch, Rockstar.

THE DLC

The Lost and the Damned

Basically, GTA IV goes Sons of Anarchy. If you don’t mind death metal, dirty bikers and some nice middle finger anarchy, well, tough luck, brother. The missions are pretty team-oriented and pretty much fun. Of course, the horrible bike mechanics ruin the many, many group rides; what good are hardcore bikers if they are too dumb to stay in position? Yeah, morons with patches. Maybe the Angels of Death should have won …

The Ballad of Gay Tony

Finally, we leave gritty apartments and dirty motorbikes. Glamour is back! Even more, the missions are more varied and finally, we were able to blow shit up big time! However, the stupid fight club showed how incredibly abysmal melee combat was in GTA IV … If you look past that, The Ballad of Gay Tony felt like an old-time GTA where fun was written with a capital F!

THE 10 THINGS GTA V SHOULD DO BETTER (and the likelihood it’ll happen)

10. More than one damn city without anything else

GTA IV was just the city of Liberty, well, City. And New Alderney (industrial part, downtown, suburbs and the Leone’s old run-down mansion). Just a big city, no deserts, no forests, no proper waterways, mountains or even a proper beach … after the vast San Andreas, this felt like 3 steps back. Now the good thing is, GTA V will have all of this, and maybe more (don’t we all want to finally meet Bigfoot?).

Likelihood: 100%

9. No more collectible shit without any rewards

In San Andreas (and earlier games as well as the later Stories games), you had to find many different collectibles, and you got in-game rewards like free weapons and stuff. In GTA IV, you had to shoot dozens of fucking pigeons – to get a fucking stupid achievement for killing all of them (was it 666?), oh, and a helicopter … Let’s hope GTA V does a better job.

Likelihood: 50%

8. What about decent movement?

Oh, poor clumsy Niko! Remember when you wanted to climb some stairs or you wanted to walk though a door, but clumsy Niko decided to miss everything in sight? Even poor John Marshton in Red Dead Redemption suffered from some eye leg coordination hick-ups (albeit not as clumsy as Niko). And as mentioned before, melee combat was an atrocity!  Will we be able to walk like human beings in GTA V? We’ll see, we’ll see …

Likelihood: 20%

7. Remember San Andreas had RPG stats?

Okay, first: The getting fat or muscular thing went over-the-top. We don’t need that. But experience in driving, shooting, flying or maybe even fucking would be a good thing – and GTA IV delivered none of this. Zero, nada, nix. Thankfully, at least some basic RPG stats will be back in GTA V. Level up, boys!

Likelihood: 100%

6. Dynamic shoot-outs

So, a normal shoot-out in GTA IV was taking cover, waiting for enemies to leave cover, shooting them, rinse & repeat. In other words, boring as fuck if you weren’t a Gears of War fanatic. While GTA V will have the same cover mechanic, switching between the characters tactically should make the shoot-outs more fun.

Likelihood: 60%

5. We want planes

Yeah, we know Rockstar though the GTA IV map was too small to have fun with planes, and, oh, there was just one airport. First: Fuck that! We had plenty of fun with planes in Saints Row 2 in one city, didn’t we? Luckily, planes (and fighter jets) will be back in GTA V! Hooray!

Likelihood: 100%

4. No more scripted missions

Remember how the same vehicles crossed your path? Or even worse, how couldn’t kill that cunt on a motorbike you were chasing? Yeah, scripted missions were a big fucking pain in the ass in GTA IV! Dear Rockstar, we don’t want this shit!

Likelihood: 40%

3. Vehicles should not feel like dead weight on ice

Goddamn it, if there’s ever a GTA where the handling at top speed is shit, and braking in the dry feels like sliding on ice, well, play GTA IV. Driving was horrible and not fun at all. Let’s hope Rockstar learned from that dumb idea of “realism” …

Likelihood: 70%

2. Fuck realism, and fuck that cousin!

Realism in GTA IV meant the following: Horrible car mechanics (see above), cops pestering you after firing one shot, no cool vehicles like planes or tanks (yeah, Niko was not supposed to handle them, man, are we glad CJ could), no more outlandish missions (ah, that jetpack …), and then, those fucking friendship bullshit: “Cousin, let’s go bowling!”, “Niko, why haven’t you called me” or “Hey, let’s grab a bite!” For fuck’s sake, it’s GTA, not the bloody Sims! Dating to give a fuck in San Andreas was only worthwhile because of the extras, but in GTA IV, it was just annoying like hell, especially if you called a so-called friend and had to drive to the other end of the fucking map to meet that cunt! Let’s hope friendship in GTA V involves a shitload of killing!

Likelihood: 80%

1. Empty world with almost no exploration value or things to do

Remember the one cool easter egg in GTA IV? The heart? Good, then you know almost all of them. Exploring in GTA IV meant driving from one part of the city to the next one. That was it 99% of the time. And then, where were the interesting side missions, interesting activities, hidden stuff, the paramedic/cop/taxi/fire fighter missions? Nope. What about customisation? A dozen outfits, no hair, tattoos or car customisation! Safe houses, businesses or many cool guns? No, no, no. GTA IV was hellbent on denying us the very fabric that made San Andreas great. Fortunately, GTA V will include tons of stuff to do! Fuck yeah!

Likelihood: 100%

Rabidgames puts the rant into perspective: To be fair, this might feel a bit harsh. Yes, GTA IV was fun. But playing it a second time is not at times – you know the annoying missions, you hate the clumsy walking, the awful driving, you get bored easily when not on missions. Yes, GTA IV is one of hell of an awesome open world action game with a serious and strong satirical undercurrent. But it falls flat on its face as a sandbox game. And GTA and sandbox used to be synonyms – and who knows, they could be again …