Monday, 22 July 2013

How Much is Too Much Redux - GTA V

Time to sound completely out of my mind.

Hello again everyone. I trust your week was good, or hopefully at least tolerable. Although the future still promises to be a busy one for me, I can't help but feel that I should still take as many opportunities as I can to write down both news and thoughts, and what I'll be sharing today is definitely one of the more prevalent thoughts that's been rolling around in my head as of late.

I believe that I've said it before, but it bears repeating: even though Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a great game, I could not finish it. I got about maybe half to two thirds of the way through, making it to the third state (I think it was state) before I just couldn't continue. Perhaps it's a more personal failing than anything else, but I believe that there just comes a point when the amount of content becomes overwhelming to the point of determent, rather than improvement.

I think this is part of the reason why I tend to prefer action games more often than not these days. Certainly when I hear about games with huge immersive worlds part of me is excited, but another part of me goes, "man, there's so much to do, how are you going to actually get around to doing all of it?" The argument can be made that you don't need to do everything of course, but I believe that somewhat defeats the point of it being there. That's just the kind of gamer that I am.

To that end, when I saw this trailer for Grand Theft Auto V:


Part of me was amazed, which was surely what they were going for. Another part of me was instantly turned off, which is something they most certainly were not going for. There's going to be so much in this game. Even the main campaign is going to include on the fly switching between three characters; beyond that there's stuff like scuba diving, golfing, cycling, bounty hunting, flightsuit using, and probably plenty of other stuff.

The point I'm getting to though, is how many of those things are going to have a point that ultimately doesn't even really make a difference in the ultimate progression of the story? Is there going to be a point where you need to win a golf tournament to get some ins somewhere, or compete in cycling in order to frame someone or some shit? If not, then yeah, it's cool that those things are in there, and even more so that they aren't just shoehorned in. But at the same time holy shit, isn't there already enough to do? Considering the colossal scope of nearly every GTA game after 3 (and maybe Vice City, which was large but manageable), it's not like there's a lack of gameplay in any of these games.

I truly do realize how absolutely insane this must sound. Hell, I acknowledge that this Grand Theft Auto game will probably be amazing, lauded by critics and adored by audiences. A lot of people will like the fact that there's more to do than ever before. However, I can't help but wonder if being so overwhelmed is the reason that I've moved away from certain genres like RPGs and instead stuck with games that I know offer shorter, more concise experiences.

Ultimately, I don't think there's anything wrong with a grand scope. I think the question is though, where does it end? And will there be a point where a person simply gets dropped in and says "Okay, I'm lost"? That latter one is something that I'm deeply afraid of for a lot of reasons, the least of which is the fact that as more and more games vie for less and less of my time, I don't think I can afford to faff about anymore. Sad, but true. Maybe that's just how it goes though.

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