I previously posted an article about the original Grand Theft Auto. In it, I said that I was basically unable to play more than about an hour of the game. I received a fair amount of feedback on that so I would like to answer some of the comments I received. I am still planning on posting my thoughts on the sequel Grand Theft Auto 2 soon but I decided to this first.
Many argued that I was being harsh when I called the first game unplayable. Some argued that while the game isn’t fun anymore, it isn’t unplayable. Others said it was fun when they played it back in the day. One commenter actually attempted to help me enjoy the game more with a few tips and another questioned my opinion since I acknowledged it was not a review yet I had made a definite decision on the game based on an admitted small amount of time.
Let me address each of these one by one. First, for those who enjoyed it back when it was first released, I mentioned that some games don’t age well. While I didn’t play it back in the day, I do remember hearing about it back then. I was around 10 years old when the first game was released and I remember passing on it because it didn’t interest me. Now that I’ve played it, I can say that I was right to pass it back then. I don’t have a problem with putting myself in a mindset where game design is fifteen years older than what it is now. I can’t place myself back then exactly of course but I firmly believe that I wouldn’t have liked this game back then either. For those of you who enjoyed it back then, I encourage you to play it now and let me know how it went. Rockstar offers the first two games for free on their website now so it shouldn’t be a problem.
For those who said the game isn’t fun but still playable, hear me out. After posting the piece and receiving the first several comments, I loaded up the game again and gave it another try. I took into consideration the tips one commenter gave me and tried to play the game under an altered perspective. I managed to play the game for about 20 minutes before giving up. My opinion has not changed much but I am able to make a clearer case for my conclusion. When you say a game is unplayable, several connotations are implied. One of those connotations is usually that the game is broken in some way. I said that the biggest problem with the game was its controls and by such, I implied that the controls are broken. I would’ve agreed with this before but after trying the game again, I can say that they are not. I concede that. However, just because the controls aren’t broken or any concept of the game broken for that matter doesn’t mean the game isn’t unplayable. I managed to get the controls working somewhat using a keyboard but was never able to on my gamepad. This fact leads me to believe that the PS1 version of the game is downright broken, as it’s gamepad only. However, the fact remains that the controls aren’t good at all. Maybe functionally sound, but not good in any way. Coupled with the sheer lack of direction the game gives you, the lack of where you are, the abysmal graphics, the poor presentation, and the irritating sound and you have a game that may not be structurally flimsy but is unplayable. Oh and there’s no money or church in the first game. It only saves when you complete the area and move on to the others. LAME!
Finally, I am aware that I am making a concrete decision on this game despite my small amount of time with it (which now adds up to about an hour and a half). As with any kind of assessment, you should take what’s said with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, what I’m saying is an opinion and by definition can never be definitive. However, having said that, there are games out there that are so bad that you can’t play the game all the way through because you will beat yourself up for wasting your time on a mediocre game when you could be playing something good like Sleeping Dogs. Also, the moment you start playing a game when you know you don’t like it, it becomes work. What the piece was meant to be is a critique of a game that wasn’t a review since I hadn’t played a majority of the game and not initial impressions since I had no intention of revisiting the game. This is an assessment of a game that although you didn’t play a lot of, you gave a fair attempt at playing and you just couldn’t progress further. Everyone has games like that they’ve played. I just wrote about it and posted it. Also it was on a game that was part of a popular franchise. Unpopular opinion. Oh well.
I may post my piece on Grand Theft Auto 2 later today but chances are it’ll be tomorrow. I’ve already started it but since I took the time to write this, it may not be done until tomorrow. I may have to change the title of Unplayable because while the tips didn’t do much to improve my opinion of the first game, I can’t say the same of the second. Anyways, thanks for your feedback.
Peace and Love,