Average User Score: 8.1Aug 21, 2014This one should have been a 10 out of 10. If I could say anything to Rockstar it would be that to make the perfect game, all you have to do isThis one should have been a 10 out of 10. If I could say anything to Rockstar it would be that to make the perfect game, all you have to do is give me good gameplay mechanics and tell me a good story. That's all there is to it, so it isn't rocket science. By comparason with Rockstar's savage sendup of the immigrant experience in GTA 4, their story in GTA 5 is tame and dull. I stopped caring about all three of the characters about halfway through the game. I also found myself wondering where the satire had gone.
However, the city and vehicles may have been enough to save the experience for me had the money making aspects of the game been decent. Here you have properties worth $150,000,000 and no real hope of actually making that much money during the game. Yes, you can hang around and day trade for a year, and maybe get enough money eventually, but I will have moved on to the next Assassin's Creed long before that happens. But, you say, how about Franklin's assassination misssions and the opportunities you have there? Well, if you are offline, you only get two of them, which brings me to one of my biggest gripes, which is the manner in which the online features interfere with the single player game. I have lost patience with these constant attempts to force me to join some BS gaming community just to get the full value of my purchase in terms of the solo play. Playing offline locks me out of the BAWSAQ, which wouldn't be too bad if so many of the investment opportunities, offered by the missions themselves, weren't locked into it. It's a crappy thing to do, Rockstar, and I don't take kindly to it. It kind of makes me feel like you are trying to rip me off somehow. Strike one.
Then there is Chop. Apparently he can be trained, but not unless I download some BS IFruit App. Strike two.
Even the enormity of the map is problematic because there is no fast travel feature. Too, there is at least one series of challenge missions that is buried so deep in the game that it is unlikely to be found absent online prompting. Some people may find that sort of thing fun and engaging, I just find it cheap and boring.
While the idea of being able to switch between 3 characters is a nice innovation in concept, but given just how dull these three guys are, it is no substitute for good story telling.
So, while the game is pretty, I can't say that I have enjoyed it any more than I did GTA 4, and in fact, have enjoyed it substantially less.
All of those gripes aired, I am still going to rate it at 9 out of 10. I thought that GTA 4 was nearly the perfect video game and I don't think that GTA 5 improves much on it except in a technical sense, but the technical presentation of GTA 5 is mind blowing. The game is technically flawless, and I have never seen better graphics in any xbox 360 game ever. Given the expanse of the map, you'd expect some popup at least, but the way in which the installation and the play disc interact to take advantage of all the machine's capabilities, eliminates most of it. The audio is excellent and there is no end of variety among the available radio stations, although I have not yet found the talk radio of LS to be anything like as hilarious as that found in LC. I'll give Los Santos this much, the music is better.
Even given the dullness of the story and of the characters themselves, and even given the arguably crippling effect of tying ones ability to make money to his internet connection, GTA 5 is still a good time. There is definitely enough going on in Los Santos to keep one busy.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Dec 12, 2012Well, we waited a while, and here it is. First, the good. Within the limits of the architecture of colonial America, the game is gorgeous. NotWell, we waited a while, and here it is. First, the good. Within the limits of the architecture of colonial America, the game is gorgeous. Not as impressive as Europe or Turkey, with their monuments, but its still very good looking. Free running is easier and far less of a chore except that you can't pass within six feet of a barrel without the game deciding that you wanted to jump on top of it. But that doesn't matter much because the rooftops are so overpopulated with guards that you'll be spending most of your time on the ground anyway. Free running though the trees of the frontier is a pleasure, however. Ubisoft introduced a new naval mechanic, which deserves its own game. Finally, the world is huge and chock full of enemies to kill. All that is why I am a bit bemused at the games shortcomings. First of all, it is glitchy. Ok, it isn't a Fallout New Vegas level of disaster here,but I still wasn't able to liberate New York North more than 90% despite having done all the liberation missions. Ubisoft didn't put any view points there in an attempt to force exploration. I hope that they never do that again. I spent an entire afternoon mapping that pain in the rear part of town, looking for what I had missed. I found nothing. Then I gave up and went off to do some naval missions. When I came back, darned if North New York wasn't showing as being liberated. It seems that the game needs to reset before it will register the liberation of that area. Horse riding is a disaster. The occasional horse getting stuck in a watering trough I don't really mind, but I do mind trying to navigate on a horse that can jump fences but that stops dead at every tiny rock. The game also has the irksome quality of trying to hold my hand during missions. In previous games of the series I came to enjoy planning my kills and experimenting with different approaches, but ACIII mutinies whenever I do something it doesn't expect. Like my second grade teacher, ACIII can never resist telling me what to do and punishing me if I do anything else. Do anything that the designers didn't intend you to do and your game is likely to end. Full synchronization has become a way for the game to punish the player for not doing exactly what the designers think he should. It becomes a terrible bore very quickly. The combat system, which Ubisoft had nearly perfected in previous installments was badly dumbed down. I found the "time stopping" after a parry to be tiresome in the extreme. What, Ubisoft? it wasn't easy enough to begin with? The true strength of the AC franchise is its narrative and characters, which is one of the biggest reasons that I find myself a touch disappointed with AC III. The plot is, in a word, absurd. The overarching themes of liberty versus order and familial attachments versus perceived duty are satisfying enough, but the narrative strings together some pretty ridiculous plot elements. For example, I can't think of a single instance in which a Mohawk half breed with no experience with the military conventions of the day ever commanded a Continental Army in the field with no more than a few cursory instructions, which Connor does at the Battle of Concord. Nor can I imagine such a person, possessing zero nautical training, ever succeeding to the command of his own warship. Which warship, by the way, he keeps tied up behind his house as if it were a ski boat. These roles required years or decades of experience, which could not be acquired in a frontier basement. A guy like Connor might eventually make a decent platoon leader, but casting him in the simultaneous roles of brigadier general and ship captain is just too over the top to be believable. I appreciate that Ubisoft seems to have an agenda of inclusion, but if they are going to do that, then it has to work. The Connor persona doesn't work. The rather jarring notion of a person like Connor ever encountering the Assassins, much less becoming one, is something that could have used more exposition because, as he is, the Connor character requires too much suspension of disbelief. Too, Connor's naivete is as breathtaking as it is inappropriate for an assassin. He has no particular stake in the Assassins' mission.. He is all about his own parochial motives. In short, he just doesn't have the feel of an assassin. Ezio's story was immersive and compelling. Connor's story is a cartoon, and the problem stems from the fact that Ubisoft seems to have no vision of the assassins' order in the first place. We thought they did, but ACIII reveals the existence of an identity crisis regarding this franchise. The American Revolution might have lent itself to an AC story, but ACIII is not such a story. All that said, while this game is not exactly a jewel in Ubisoft's crown, ACIII is fun to play and worth the purchase, but ACII still remains the best of the series.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.0May 16, 2012Any game that requires the player to have a broadband internet connection in his home just to play the single player campaign gets a big fatAny game that requires the player to have a broadband internet connection in his home just to play the single player campaign gets a big fat zero from me.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.7Mar 24, 2012Right this minute, Bioware is holding the future of narrative video gaming by the tail. They have been holding it for five years, but theRight this minute, Bioware is holding the future of narrative video gaming by the tail. They have been holding it for five years, but the future is a rough beast and Bioware must seize it soon or it will break their grip and scamper away for someone else to catch. Bioware didn't just create a series of games in Mass Effect, they created a phenomenon in video gaming. Perhaps without understanding it fully, they created the concept of a game that could be entirely dependent on the actions of the player. When taken to a futuristic conclusion, it implies a game series in which not merely the narrative conclusions are dependent on player actions, but one in which the story itself that the player experiences depends on them. A game that offers multiple stories and experiences rather than one that simply tweaks conclusions. A narrative template comprising a whole universe that could be enriched over and over with new content. It is a breathtaking idea if only Bioware has the vision to see it. Mass Effect is a prototype, an imperfect exemplar of what such a game series could be. It was a good enough illustration of the concept that it was immediately embraced by gamers all over the world, but it is nothing like a complete realization. The technology will certainly require improvement before complete realization can be achieved.
The problem here, is not so much that the end was that bad. I believe that it was a horrible narrative choice, but ultimately that comes down to a matter of taste. The problem here is that at the eleventh hour, Bioware lost sight of the brilliance of their own concept and fell back on the past and on a final gimmick that turned the game's agile feet into clay. The prototype game of the future was hobbled by antiquated marketing notions. They wanted that last game to be all things to all people without taking into account just why the concept was revolutionary by itself. At the same time, though, they wanted it to be completely unique. Unforgettable was the word that Casey used. It was this awkward combination of marketing goals that was the downfall of the game. The multiple play modes.were, in fact, a stroke of genius. Had the mission structure lived up to the concept of the series ME3 would have been astonishing rather than merely very good. Had the game ended with multiple reflections of previous actions, the game would have been a nearly perfect experience instead of a trauma for so many. They didn't need the gimmick at the end to make the game unique, because they already had uniqueness built into the concept. Someone forgot that the concept depends on the player creating his own uniqueness.. In fact, this is a game concept in which the player creates his own experience. This is what mystifies me about Bioware's protestations regarding their alleged sole proprietary interest in the creative process. In creating this gaming concept, they gave up a bit of narrative creative interest to the gamer himself, so now I see little sense in miming surprise over this current controversy. In over 25 years of video gaming I have never seen anything to match the depth of emotional investment this game series has elicited from its fan base. I very much wonder whether the suits at EA have any genuine appreciation at all of the magnitude of Bioware's accomplishment in that regard.
With all that, Bioware is still on the razor's edge of inventing a whole new future for narrative video gaming if Bioware will commit themselves to seizing it. I have opined elsewhere that the franchise may be ruined already. That may or may not be the case, but the concept is alive and well if only Bioware will embrace it fully.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Mar 20, 2012I don't suppose that it matters anymore, but I'll toss in an opinion here. GTAIV was the game that got me into the console vidgame hobby. TheI don't suppose that it matters anymore, but I'll toss in an opinion here. GTAIV was the game that got me into the console vidgame hobby. The sheer depth of the characters and their stories impressed me greatly and convinced me of the merit of the video game as a narrative medium. It took me literally months to fully explore Liberty City and satisfactorily mine most of the humor and pathos to be found. As a British satire of American urban life, GTAIV was nothing short of genius. So when presented with yet another chance to experience Liberty city, I RAN to the store. EfLC certainly did not disappoint. Yes, it amounted to a couple of big expansion packs, but so what? I got all the humor, all the depth, and all the fun all over again. When I booted up TBGT and realized where Luis was and what was about to happen, and that I was going to get to watch it from someone else' perspective, I smiled to myself because I knew that I was in for a great ride. The mechanics were identical to GTAIV. Good, because they are complex and I was already familiar with them, so the game didn't try to force me to learn new ones in the name of novelty. Like GTAIV, TBGT and TLATD were story driven action titles. Great. Unlike GTAIV, I got a chance to understand more fully the forces that were acting on Nico by following two parallel characters. All three had a profound effect on one another, yet each was barely aware of the existence of the other two. When combined, these games represent the ultimate existential adventure. I have never been able to find a single meaningful criticism of these games.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Mar 20, 2012I don't suppose that it matters anymore, but I'll toss in an opinion here. GTAIV was the game that got me into the console vidgame hobby.I don't suppose that it matters anymore, but I'll toss in an opinion here. GTAIV was the game that got me into the console vidgame hobby. The sheer depth of the characters and their stories impressed me greatly and convinced me of the merit of the video game as a narrative medium. It took me literally months to fully explore Liberty City and satisfactorily mine most of the humor and pathos to be found. As a British satire of American urban life, GTAIV was nothing short of genius. So when presented with yet another chance to experience Liberty city, I RAN to the store. EfLC certainly did not disappoint. Yes, it amounted to a couple of big expansion packs, but so what? I got all the humor, all the depth, and all the fun all over again. When I booted up TBGT and realized where Luis was and what was about to happen, and that I was going to get to watch it from someone else' perspective, I smiled to myself because I knew that I was in for a great ride. The mechanics were identical to GTAIV. Good, because they are complex and I was already familiar with them, so the game didn't try to force me to learn new ones in the name of novelty. Like GTAIV, TBGT and TLATD were story driven action titles. Great. Unlike GTAIV, I got a chance to understand more fully the forces that were acting on Nico by following two parallel characters. All three had a profound effect on one another, yet each was barely aware of the existence of the other two. When combined, these games represent the ultimate existential adventure. I have never been able to find a single meaningful criticism of these games.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Mar 20, 2012This game is visually stunning, as are the other three in the series. From the moment I found myself standing on the top of the Golden DomeThis game is visually stunning, as are the other three in the series. From the moment I found myself standing on the top of the Golden Dome looking out at 12th century Jerusalem, I was hooked on this series. From ACII's portrayal of the narrow alleyways of 15th and 16th century Florence, to the claustrophobic feel of San Gimignano, to the expanse of 16th century Rome in Brotherhood, Ubisoft never failed to impress with how well they managed to capture the flavor of the renaissance Italian city-states. It was all topped, however, by the magnificence and the squalor of 16th century Ottoman Istanbul. While I will admit that I am one of those who could not care less about Desmond, Revelation's brief focus on his back story, combined with a goofy and gratuitous new game mechanic, was thankfully far outweighed by by the depth of Ezio's tale. I was also quite pleased to find Altair as a playable character once again and that the remainder of his story was told. While I still think that ACII is the best game of the series, Revelations does not disappoint in the slightest. The game play and combat mechanics are as entertaining as ever, and the narrative qualities of the game are first rate. I'm not one of those gamers who gets his panties in a wad if a developer fails to reinvent a game in every single installment. I feel that if a studio has a narrative structure that works, game play mechanics that satisfy, an appealing aesthetic and a decent combat system, then the studio should use what works to tell the story. That is exactly what Ubisoft has done. By the end of the game, I discovered that I had a bit of an emotional investment in Ezio, and I felt regret that his tale had finally come to an end. If there is any criticism to be leveled, it would have to be about the MacGuffins such as flags, feathers, data bits, etc., that Ubisoft chose to put into the games. It is a small thing, but it does have a tendency to take one out of the experience. Still, it's almost inconsequential and it does have the advantage of encouraging exploration. Well, ok, that and the new bomb additions. The fact that the people of Istanbul seem to enjoy leaving various components for making crude grenades lying around all over the place, and that the Ottoman authorities were oblivious to that fact seemed silly to me. Truth to tell, almost none of the new features that Ubisoft put into Revelations improved on the game very much at all, although I did take a guilty pleasure in the gimmicky qualities of the new hook blade and the zip lines. Again, those are small quibbles. In a world of poorly crafted, disappointing video game franchises, the incredible quality of the AC series shines brightly.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Mar 19, 2012I just got the Ultimate Edition, which fixes a few of the more glaring problems with this game (at least now I can actually finish it) but II just got the Ultimate Edition, which fixes a few of the more glaring problems with this game (at least now I can actually finish it) but I have to say that FO3 still beats it by a mile. I was originally worried that handing the project to Obsidian might be a bit problematic, but OMG! My original purchase was a complete waste of $60. The game was simply unfinished. I don't mean it was unfinished in an Alpha Protocol sort of way, I mean that this game was so technically inept that it was off the charts. The glitches that the game contained have been well documented by now, so I won't belabor them other than to say that both Bethesda and Obsidian should be ashamed of themselves.
The game that was trapped inside that horrible technical presentation wasn't half bad, and I have zero sympathy for those who complain that the graphics were dated. The Gamebryo engine is what it is, and anyone who played and enjoyed FO3 should have known what he would be getting. The problem wasn't with any of Obisdian's concepts, it was with the presentation, and I simply could not at any point set those deficits aside and actually enjoy the game. I do, however, greatly resent having to buy a game twice in order to get any part of the experience promised. Come the release of the next installment of the franchise, If Obsidian has anything to do with it, I'll likely give it a pass.… Expand