Identity Crisis? - AshaMan3000 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Identity Crisis?

Along with a large number of you I've been following the development of Grand Theft Auto 5 with an eagerness for more and more information.  Lately we've been given quite a bit of information about the combat, large-scale heists, areas of interest, and most importantly, the three main characters.

Everything about GTA5 looks to be shaping up to be at or better than expectations (which are quite high) but I worry that they may be biting off a bit more than they can chew in regards to the tale.  Lets face it, the exploration is going to turn out awesome as Rockstar knows it's business when it comes to filling large open-worlds with sweet, sweet content. The combat will also likely turn out well with the added lessons they learned from their experiences with Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3.  They only place it seems that the title may stumble is the story.

While the ability to switch between characters pretty much at will unless on an active mission may mitigate some of the concerns I have, the idea of three-games-in-one keeps popping into my head as I follow the previews and reveals. I like the idea of Michael's character.  The semi-retired gangster story-arc, full of Sopranos-style references, seems likely to turn out being my favorite of the three interweaving tales they appear to be penning.

And that is my core issue with Rockstar's approach to GTA5's story.  I don't want to play a game where one of the characters becomes my favorite.  Or worse, two are good and one is dramatically less so (I won't say bad as I've got faith in them).  If I find myself liking one or two more than the other(s), I'll soon be blurring through certain parts to get to the 'better' content with a different protagonist.  That's been an issue with games I've played in the past.  Rarely does a game pull off having multiple playable characters in a single-player story without one being better than the other.  I've been disappointed before by titles I've anticipated and I'd hate for one part to pull down the experience of the others.

Trailers featuring Franklin also look interesting to me although parts of it almost look like a different game from Michael's.  The idea of bringing back the Ballas and the in your face brutality of the combat, not to mention the wildly different backdrop, promise for a grittier side to the mafioso style adventure of Michael.  I'll likely enjoy this one as well as the rags to riches and gangland war themes they seem to be going for are interesting topics to me.  Unless it gets overboard stereotypical it'll likely turn out to be a fine time and while I'm sure they'll push some boundaries with the content, I hope they avoid anything that would bring undue absurd criticism of the industry from those who don't understand it.

It shouldn't be a problem but it'll probably come up in at least a few newscasts after release for ruining America's children or some such nonsense. It IS a GTA title after all, so the odds of someone coming after them seems a pretty easy conclusion.  It likely won't actually affect the industry in the long-term, but in the criticism heavy world we live in I'd like to see them bring a compelling tale to the table rather than some cliche ridden 'gangsa' bit.  hopefully they succeed.

Trevor's tale of peddling meth and going all-out crazy in the badlands areas of the game look like yet another scene change for the game.  While the sequences we've seen look to be full of action I find myself disliking him for the bits of personality shown.  I imagine my parts playing as him being wildly fun, but ultimately less enjoyable as I worry I won't be able to get into his back-story or motivations.  For reasons due to personal taste I lean towards the first two characters more than our balding arsonist friend.  At that leads back to my biggest (and only) concern about how GTA5 turns out. 

Can characters in a multi-part tales be more enjoyable than the others without hurting the overall experience of the game?

Odds favor me enjoying the entire play-through of Grand Theft Auto 5.  I know the game-play and setting are going to turn out amazing.  There's almost no chance I'll be let down by either of them.  The idea of interlocking storylines for three characters who you can switch between practically on the fly sounds pretty cool on paper.  Will they be able to pull off a game that makes for a great action experience that has compelling tales for all three of the guys you control is the real question.  They've done it before as Jolt mentioned to me earlier with all of the dlc for GTA4 but I still worry that at the end of it all I'll be looking back on one or two awesome parts with one that I raced through just to get back to the guys I ended up liking better.

Anyone else have a character that looks like an early favorite contender?

Can games not suffer if one part ends up less enjoyable (or at least compelling) than the others?

For what it's worth, Trevor doesn't look terrible, just less fun than Michael and Franklin according to my taste in themes.

Any of you dislike Michael or Franklin for reasons I failed to mention?

Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen!

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