Rockstar Games needs no introduction but if you do need one, go check out their wiki page. You would need to, if you’ve been stuck at home with your face buried in books all the time right from the age of 13 till now.
Let me cut to the chase. Rockstar has made some of the most memorable and fun games that I’ve played.
Why are they so epic? Well its because most of the games they’ve made (or those I’ve played anyway) are open world. Yeah, I hate playing those sucky “close world” games where you’re supposed to just take a predefined path. That’s not entertainment! That’s boring.
For eg, NFS : Carbon (I don’t have the titles after that)
I’ve always fancied myself as a pretty good virtual driver, but when I do lose control while playing NFS Carbon , there is absolutely no interaction between car and whatever barrier it hits.
I mean, of course there’s interaction – that’s why the car stops. I mean there’s no “real” interaction. The realism is missing. I can ram my car into the pavement, but I’ll be stopped by some invisible wall, and the cops chasing me will either ram into me or just keep going forward. Then I can turn around and go the other way.
That’s just plain stupid.
But hey, its just a racing game so fuck realism. If that’s the case then why use real-life cars? Why have reflections? Why even use gravity? Why can’t the cars just take off if I press the accelerator and probably eject purple-hippo-pillow-pizza when I brake?
If you’re going to do something, do it satisfactorily is my motto. NFS doesn’t satisfy me. It sucks.
But Rockstar is on a whole new level. The idea of a sandbox type game where you can do whatever you want is not exactly groundbreaking, and especially not so when they released GTA 3 : Liberty City.
But it was the best at the time and fun as hell. They decided to go epic from the time they started making 3D sandbox style games.
You could literally walk out of any car and walk into any car and throw the driver out and drive away.
You could shoot anyone down. You could get chased by policemen or be a cop yourself.
Yeah, looking back now, Liberty City looks pretty badly limiting as you could not even swim then or fly helicopters. But it was open world. You could do anything and it was so much fun.
Since I played a pirated/bootlegged version of Liberty City, I never really heard the ingame audio because it wasn’t there.
The same applied for Vice City, the next installment in the series, where you could still not swim but could drive boats around the numerous islands, as well as have bodyguards after a point in the game.
Vice City was more refined and the in-game world was bigger than Liberty City. It had different cars, and freaking bikes and scooters, so it was undoubtedly a step above GTA 3.
And the best thing about GTA : VC was, the more involved in a shootout you became with the cops, the more hysterical headlines (yes, headlines) will become. If you reach a 6 star wanted level, the newspapers will blame the police for being useless and all that and it’s generally fun to know you’re being reported about in the newspapers. I did not just say that 😐
Then came that badass GTA : San Andreas, the best game ever made, ever.
GTA San Andreas was so much..fun. I have no other word for it. It was fun. You could literally do anything in this game : drive a train (!), fly, swim, drive, go on boats, walk, run, cycle, eat, change clothes, work out, get tattooed, get a different hairstyle and go between any of the 3 cities in this game : Los Santos, Las Venturas and San Fierro, as well as the numerous small towns and villages and ghost towns inbetween.
It was just so freaking epic.
I never got around to doing the missions as my computer was a trifle slow at that time, so I just d/led the saved game off the internet and voila, I could play in a map 5 times as big as Liberty City.
With the numerous, numerous cheatcodes available, you could absolutely just modify the game to suit your needs.
If I just wanted to drive around, I entered “ghosttown” and all traffic dissipated and vanished. If I wanted to fight and have a shootout, I put in “bifbuzz” and all kinds of gangs entered the scene. If I wanted to fly a fighter jet, I entered “jumpjet” and :
It’s just unbelievable and the music in that game is no less. I have got most of the songs from 3 particularly favorite stations of mine, K-DST, Radio-X and Radio Los Santos. That’s how good it is.
K-DST represented classic rock and the DJ was Tommy “The Nightmare” Smith, voice by Axl Rose of Guns N Roses. HOLY SHIT! The songs on KDST are literally, the best ever.
Radio-X represented the nascent rock music of the 90’s and they’ve got some really, really great songs too. Radio Los Santos was hiphop. ‘Nuff said.
So yeah, the best thing about GTA SA was, without a doubt, the music. It was based on the early 90’s California, and the period music from then was impeccably selected.
Rockstar is just awesomely good at what they do.
A common mistake people make, is think San Andreas is GTA V and Vice City is GTA IV, because GTA 3 is Liberty City.
That is incorrect. GTA 3 is the beginning of a trilogy that includes 80’s Miami (Vice City), 90’s California (San Andreas) and 2000’s New York (Liberty City). That’s why you have a lot of characters from each game in other titles as well : such as GTA 3’s mute protagonist who returns in San Andreas.
And then, yes, the another epic title : GTA IV.
This is missing a lot of the cool things GTA SA had, including flying and driving trains, but what the heck, its so much better in terms of graphics and game play and sound.
Sometimes GTA 4 becomes a little boring, but that’s nothing that can’t be solved by fighting with the police and trying to escape.
However, the ragdoll effects included by Rockstar in this and helped along by their new R.A.G.E game engine sometimes irritates me to the core. I can’t drive a bike without crashing, falling down and dying. That’s annoying, but I’ve heard they’ve fixed that in their subsequent release GTA : The Lost and the Damned, which is an expansion pack and not a stand-alone game.
Rockstar have also made 2 more AWESOME titles : Red Dead Redemption, based on the 20’s Wild West America, where you drive horses instead of cars; and LA Noire, based on 40’s LA.
Since I have not played those games I am not in a position to comment on them, but after seeing a bunch of YouTube videos about them, I can guarantee to myself that Rockstar is literally the only game company moving in the right direction and providing us with great entertainment.