Wednesday, January 24, 2007

GTA Autopsy

I was getting a bit worried that my latest game Passenger was starting to turn into another GTA clone. Which it is. But it's my GTA-clone, and I can claim I wrote it! However, it also gave me reasons to think about the flaws in GTA that I can hopefully improve upon, and there are a few. Off the top of my head:-

* The camera - They slowly improved this from GTA3 - 5, but it's still a pain. Try running down the road, stop, turn 180, and then run back. You can't see where you're running! What's the point in that? It ruins the immersion as you realise you are playing a game and must think about how to get the camera to spin round.

* Targetting - I prefer direct control over my targetting, old-skool shoot'em-up style. Simply pressing the "target" button and letting the computer target for you takes all the fun out of it. Where's the skill?

* Character movement - This is actually quite cludgy. I've played San Andreas all the way through, and I think the last mission is probably the most frustrating, which is a combination of probably all these points but mainly this one. If you compare the slick control of, say, a Mario game (sorry), you can see that there is no fine-grain control. It's just a case of move, spin round, press target, shoot someone, hope they don't kill you first, and repeat.

* Frustrating missions - I realised a long time ago that most of the missions, IMHO, aren't that much fun at all. They are more frustrating than anything, and the only incentive (and it is a strong incentive) to complete them to continue the story. And I have nighmares about the missions that involve radio-controlled vehicles.

Needless to say, GTA is an amazing game, but the most fun I have out of it is by playing simple "antagonise the police" games. Anyway, I won't let Passenger end up with the same criticisms.

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