QUOTE(GtaReborn @ Nov 19 2012, 20:18 )
So, to sum up Jolly, what are you exactly complaining about GTA IV? I don't see anything wrong with Niko Bellic. It's a cool anti-hero.
My main complaint is that Rockstar lined up three dreary and gritty characters that made gameplay a little sluggish. One sourpuss is fine, but three humorless protagonists just isn't enough variety. Niko did have a few funny lines, but he was hardly a breath of fresh air. I get it. Liberty City is supposed to be dark and gritty. But even Gay Tony, which could have been bright and fun, had Luis Lopez as it's protagonist. He was even less cheery than Johhny Klebitz.
This is why I really wanted to see GTA return to Vice City. I pretty well knew if it was San Andreas again Houser would have rolled out another killjoy like CJ. Claude "Silent Guy" was a sunnier gent and he didn't talk. GTA did well Tommy Vercetti, Tony Cipriani and Vic Vance. After looking at the trailer for GTAV I'm not optimistic. What looks like the lead protagonist might have some potential, but the other two don't appear to be more than ancillary characters upgraded to playable status. It's too early to say. But the old crazy guy seems like Rockstar kidnapped him from the trailer park from Postal 2, and the young guy seems to be as complicated as a sheet of paper.
I can understand why Rockstar decided on Los Santos. San Andreas had more mainstream appeal than Vice City, and fans seemed to respond very well to the contemporary setting of GTAIV's Liberty City. It makes money sense to continue that in GTAV. It seems reasonable that Rockstar would want to hold off on a return to Vice City as long as possible to work out the logistics of marketing the 1980s again to a younger group of fans. It's great that it worked out before. But estimating that the same novelty lightning can be caught in the same bottle twice in the same way is not a good strategy. Longtime fans will expect that GTAVI will be a return to the 1980s. Rockstar, IMHO, is buying time to do it right. And I don't blame them. Even for trailblazers taking risks is a high priced gamble. I can hear the moaning now from fans who would want smart phones, internet and LMFAO in GTAVI.
Don't get me wrong. I did like Niko. But after Niko I didn't care for the characters getting progressively more and more dreary. There is a way of writing characters that are tough as well as interesting. Klebitz was plenty tough but not nearly as interesting as he could have been. Luis Lopez was tough-ish, but about as interesting as my sock drawer. Which contains only socks. I do like Dan Houser's work. He and Rockstar games have made the gaming industry what it is today for most practical purposes. I will admit that he can write game stories pretty well. But he has his limitations. Most game designers are not good writers. Some jobs you need actual writers for. I don't really think that Houser writes everything. But you can't build a writing team in-house. A look at Rockstar's Jobs section reveals a preference for writing . . . code. I will say that graphic artists and programmers can and often do have some experience in writing. I know the Art Institutes of America have a gaming program that includes English classes. Yet, there is a difference between knowing how to write, and being a good writer. It takes an extra creative spark that can't be taught in the classroom. It may be that Rockstar actually hires people solely for their writing skills. I really don't know that much about their creative teams. But if it's a matter of the various graphic and programming teams helping Houser flesh out his vision than one can only expect so much. Granted creative people aren't always one-trick-ponies, but many of them are. I would not expect a room full of Jacks-of-all-trades or renaissance men. I would expect Houser getting a lot of uncreative feedback if this is indeed the case.
In the old days it was a lot simpler. Houser could do a lot of this stuff himself. But as the games have gotten bigger and the stories longer it has stretched the creative forces at Houser's disposal very thin. I can appreciate the time off from GTAIV to plan out V. Time allows a lower performance car to cover the same distance as a higher performance car can in less. But at the end of the race you still have a lower performance vehicle. I'm not calling for a rushed job by any means. But I would like to know if Rockstar has writers that don't have the first clue about 3DS Max, Maya or even Photoshop. If it doesn't maybe it can streamline the creative process a bit and produce characters and stories with more variety if they had writers with creative punch.
I don't know if I answered your question or just wasted your time. But this has been what's bugging me. The facebook idea is pretty good. I will take it up with the powers that be.