Today the Internet was graced with two trailers. One is for the tried and true, elder, Grand Theft Auto V the other for plucky, young, upstart Saints Row: The Third. Which title deserves your time and attention? Watch these trailers and decide for yourself.
For many, Grand Theft Auto 3 was their first smash and grab sandbox experience. The game was both a good showcase of the power and potential of the PS2, and crossover hit beloved by gamers and non-gamers alike. With two highly successful sequels behind them Rockstar could have sold people a turd in a box, as long as it said Grand Theft Auto 4 on it. Luckily they didn’t, but in my opinion it could have been better. It featured frustrating mission design, “more realistic” driving physics, a cell phone that wouldn’t stop ringing, (usually a call from your cousin asking if you want to play some shitty mini game), and last but not least a main character who turns into an unlikable prick about halfway through the game. Regardless of my not-so-humble opinion GTA 4 got perfect scores from most sources that reviewed it and sold like a Teen magazine with Robert Pattinson on the cover. So of course Grand Theft Auto V was inevitable.
For GTA 5 Rockstar is going back to LA stand-in Los Santos. From the narration in the above trailer we can gather that the main character has moved to viagra online canadian pharmacy Los Santos to get away from his former life of crime. He is older, has children, and I already don’t like this guy. In a movie it’s easy to forgive a plot where a man puts his life and the lives of his loved ones in danger for money and power, because you have no control over what he does. ‘Powerful men making bad decisions that lead to their inevitable downfall’ describes the plot of every good crime drama. In a video games however, the best player characters are either blank slates like Mario or the guy from GTA 3, or over the top archetypes like Kratos or Tommy Versetti from GTA: Vice City. If I’m controlling a middle-aged guy with a family waiting for him at home, I wouldn’t make him rob banks and run down random pedestrians, I’d make him find a nice quiet 9 to 5 job.
In order to keep this guy going down the criminal path he’ll have to make decision independent of me, the player, for the sake of continuing the story. I don’t want to be THAT guy, I have a wife and kid and I’d never turn to crime to support them because I know that if I was caught the’d lose everything. I play video-games like GTA, after the kids in bed of course, to forget about the stress of my day not be reminded of it (it’s healthier than drinking). Perhaps, like in Breaking Bad, the plot in this game will leave to protagonist no choice but to continue his life of crime, only time will tell.
Rant over. Lets move on to something more light-hearted.
The first Saints Row was little more than a GTA knock off, but its second installment answered every critisism I had about GTA 4. Saints Row 2 was full of the kind of anecdotal gameplay experiences that made the PS2 era GTA games so much fun. Those moments you can’t wait to tell your friends about, like the time I used a truck full of raw sewage to fertilize the lawns (and houses, and people) in a nice friendly looking neighborhood, or the time a ran from the cops in a monster truck. Even Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation liked Saints Row 2, and he hates everything. So what can we expect for Saints Row: The Third?
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Volition Inc understands that if people wanted realism they’d look out their damn window. This game feels like a big playground full of all the best toys and they’re yours to play with guilt free. No wife, no kids, no mortgage, no responsibilities, just a city full of nonsense to enjoy. I love that they’re lampooning other hit games. Oh, and Burt Reynolds ’nuff said.
I fully realize I’ve made this article incredibly biased, but I am interested it hearing what others think. Post your comments about which game you think will win the open-world war below.