GTA IV vs. Saints Row: Missions

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Filed under: Game Reviews 39 comments

Let’s look at a couple of typical missions from each of the games:

Grand Theft Auto IV

You (main character Nico Bellic) are working for some crazyman who sends you to kill a member of a biker gang. Like most of the missions in this game, the events here are bound up in the main story arc and the things you do here will have repercussions down the road. The cutscenes are wonderfully executed, with no less strength and drama than you’d find in and Quentin Tarantino movie. The camera work is stylized and compelling. While 3d models aren’t quite able to emote with the potency of a real live actor, I am constantly amazed at how far they’ve come.

Once you start the mission you head to where the target is hanging out and a cutscene plays. (Just in case you thought you were going to try to stealth-kill the guy before he could see you coming.) Your target spots you and hops on a nearby motorbike, speeding away. Whatever vehicle you might have used to get here has been towed to the lot at /dev/null. But nearby is a motorcycle and a friendly message telling you to get your amoral Serbian ass on the thing and get after the guy. Once the chase is rolling, messages start appearing explaining how to shoot from a bike. This is still pretty early in the game, and unless you’ve gone out of your way to roam around the city this may well be your first time riding a motorcycle in the game.

A car fishtails and cuts across both lanes of traffic. If you’re following him closely (that is, if you’re doing a good job) the car will slam into you and send you over the handlebars. By the time you get back to the bike and get it extricated from the fender bender your target will be gone and the mission will fail. (And in case you haven’t caught on, the car is a scripted event that will happen every time at the same point, making you fail the mission. It’s a useless “gotcha” moment that requires foreknowledge or luck to avoid.)

The biker weaves around through the streets, denying you a clear shot at him. More messages keep popping up, giving you tips on shooting and following. So, you’re trying to keep an eye on the map to see where your target is headed, read the messages that keep appearing, swerve around obstacles, and line up your target so you can spray him with bullets. This seems like an awful lot to ask of players during the tutorial for the motorbike.

I haven’t confirmed it, but I’m pretty sure there is a police car that – like the car crash before – is scripted to appear for no other reason than to mess you up. If you happen to be close on your target and hosing him down with gunfire (that is, if you’re doing what the on-screen prompts are telling you to do) then as you round a corner a police car will pass by in the background and get hit with the spray of bullets. This earns you an instant wanted level, and now you will need to drive, aim, shoot, navigate, dodge obstacles, and dodge the police as the attempt to run you off the road.

If you fail the mission, you’ll be left with whatever problems you started. You’ll have to escape the police if they’re after you, then heal up, and buy more bullets. Then you must drive back to the house to re-start the mission and skip the cutscene. Then you must travel to the destination and skip another cutscene. Sometimes its faster to simply re-load the game, but in either case you’ll have to muck about for 2-4 minutes to get back to the point where you can have another 45 second run at the mission.

I became frustrated at how impossible it was to kill this guy, and looked online to see what I was doing wrong. It turns out that – despite the fact that the on-screen prompts tell you to shoot him – there is no point in doing so. The target is invincible, the tires on his bike can’t be popped, and he can’t fall off the bike. You just need to follow him to the end of his run where he stops in the park and loses his magical invulnerability so you can fight him and a dozen of his buddies. It’s a tricky fight because you can’t be sure on your first time what you’re up against. It’s not clear where you should stop your bike and where you need to go to seek cover. There are a couple of spots that look good, but additional guys show up after a few seconds and surround you. It might take a couple of tries to get it right. (That is, a couple more trips to heal, restock, drive, restart the mission, drive, chase, etc.)

This is the very essence of DIAS gameplay. It’s designed to foil you until you can beat it not with skill, but with foreknowledge. The distracting messages that appear are only there to goad you into doing things that will cause you to fail the mission. (Following him too close and trying to shoot him.) The game pretends to be an open sandbox world, but it’s constantly changing the rules on you in the background and cheating to make sure you do a mission the one “correct” way the designer intended. This is not a freeform game. This is a guessing game, and if you guess wrong the penalty is that the game pisses away a few more minutes of your time.

As I said the last time I deconstructed a GTA mission:

The author of this mission isn't designing a game, he's writing a movie scene, and I'm acting as a stuntman who isn't allowed to read the script. I have to feel around for the railroad plot and figure out my place in it.

Saints Row 2

One of the rival gangs has a bunch of their crew being let out of prison. They’ve been loaded onto prison buses and are being taken – along with a huge police escort – to a more or less arbitrary location. If the buses reach the checkpoint you fail the mission. It’s all very mechanical and doesn’t make a great deal of sense if you think about it too much. (Too much = any value greater than “none”.)

So how do you beat the mission? The answer is: Any way you like. There aren’t any hidden tricks going on. No cheating on the part of the game. The buses aren’t made of something bulletproof but not fire proof or vice-versa. It doesn’t force you to use an unsuitable vehicle or inefficient weapon. There is no arbitrarily imposed time limit aside from the need to prevent them from reaching the finish line. You can use whatever you think to bring with you.

That’s not to say the mission is a cakewalk. (Well, it can be, with the right approach.) There are a lot of police escorting the buses, and they will do their best to protect the buses. But there are no artificial restrictions on how you can approach the problem.

When you fail a mission in Saints Row, you are offered a choice:
1) Instantly go back to the very start of the mission. (Good if you want to change tactics and get a different weapon / vehicle.)
2) Restart from checkpoint. (Thank you thank you thank you.)
3) Exit the mission. (Bored? Not having fun? That’s okay. There is lots to do and the game isn’t trying to be a jerk to you. Go have fun with one of the other four dozen activities in the game and come back when you feel like having another go.)

Some missions are indeed a bit tricky. But you feel like you’re playing a game of skill, not a guessing game. (And unlike GTA, you can change the difficulty any time you like.)

I blundered into the bus mission with a dumb car and and not enough bullets and failed it, like I deserved to. Then I had an epiphany and realized I’d been counting on the game to do my thinking for me, because GTA had never given me much license to think on my own. I restarted the mission and picked up a fast car that would handle well on the dirt roads. I’d been saving a handful of rockets for a special occasion like this one. I ran down the buses and pegged them with my rocket launcher. Boom. Another bus came along, and I chased after it to blow it up. I had too many police after me to line up a rocket, but I had a decent car and enough ammo to get the job done. It was a chaotic battle as I followed along while the police did their best to smash my vehicle, run me off the road, or shoot me dead. In the end it was a race to see which would explode first, the bus or my car. Boom! Mission hilariously successful. (And any time I like, I can go back and replay that mission. If I think of another approach, I can try it.)

Compared to Saints Row 2, the GTA IV gameplay is just laughable. No checkpoints. Stupid gotcha tricks. Lots of lost time restarting missions. Lots of unfair bending of the rules to railroad the player into a predetermined solution. All this, and the game imposes a single difficulty level on all players, as if everyone had the same skill and thirst for challenge. GTA has been dragging this Neanderthal gameplay around for over a decade. They’ve updated the graphics, the cutscenes, the plot, the radio stations, the mini-games, and the voice acting, but they’ve never gone and tried to make their asinine guessing game more fun to play.

In GTA IV, the mission designer has all the fun, designing something for you to enact. In Saints Row 2, the designer just fills the world with toys and you get to do the creative part.

EDIT: A couple of people reminded me of the “replay mission” option in GTA IV. I never used it, for all the reasons Solid Jake points out below:

You mean the restart mission button that takes you all the way back to the very beginning of the mission minus all the ammo you used failing, with no body armor and a significant chunk of your cash gone? And that's only if you died, if you got arrested then all your weapons are taken away as well.

It's so useless that it might as well not exist, since most players are just going to reload their game at that point.

A true “retry” option would let you retry from your initial state, not the worse one post-failure. And even that takes you back to the start of the mission, not the start of the action. In the mission I cited above, you still had to drive from the house to the biker to get things rolling again. It’s this deliberate squandering of the player’s time that makes the game such a chore.


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39 thoughts on “GTA IV vs. Saints Row: Missions

  1. zcline says:

    I am so glad to see you writing this. I feel exactly the same, and for other reasons as well. Saint’s Row 2 doesn’t take itself seriously, and is a better game for that. You can simply do whatever you want, more or less however you want, including wandering around in a hot dog suit capping whoever you please.

    GTA4 is a better movie though.

  2. Mike says:

    This series is summing up neatly why GTA IV languishes in a drawer, untouched in months and still unfinished, despite many (many) hours invested in it. SR2? Finished the main plot in days, but it still gets broken out to goof off with…pretty much weekly. Because it’s just more fun to play.

  3. straechav says:

    Spot on review, nice change from the whining. GTA is better story, but the gameplay is one of the most annoying things about it. Never played SR2, tho. Personally I never had problem with that GTA mission because I’ve played almost all GTA’s (only Vice City and San Andreas to the end, tho) and they have had that particular “invulnerable chase” ploy for ages now.

  4. quicksilver_502 says:

    the GTA mission you described was irritating but i feel it was in the minority. certainly i found it generally enjoyable.

  5. Robyrt says:

    I spent a LOT of time in GTA 4 using the “restart mission” button that pops up after you fail, which you don’t mention for some reason.

    And that first motorcycle chase is one of the most unfairly scripted quests in the game. The usual strategy of “ride up alongside them and fill them with bullets” works for most car chases, but magically not this one! Because there is a Plot Point waiting for you at the end of this pointless chase!

  6. krellen says:

    Having recently read Free Radical, wherein you posit the same thoughts about AI that I have always held, I find this an interesting topic. It’s like GTA are the old AI designers, and SR2 is TriOp, taking a new, more organic approach to the subject (like it seems the cops learned not to let you get a clean shot off after you blew up the first bus with your rocket.)

  7. GuiguiBob80 says:

    I remember that GTAIV mission. Here’s the breakdown :

    1) ran down in a post and lost the target
    2) ran in a car got back on the cycle lost target
    3) went slower to stay on, couln’t get a shot, managed to keep up and arrived at the ambush to get myself killed
    4) ran in something
    5) ran into another f/%$ car

    ?) followed to the ambush to realize I had no more health left so I ran away a bit, they didn’t follow so I gunned them down with them standing around doing nothing.

    At least I got my revenge on the guy who designed the mission. Still Entierly agreed there. That’s why I stopped playing GTAIV. Stuck at a mission I have no idea how to do and tired of retrying.

  8. mixmastermind says:

    I admit tat the average mission in GTA IV is crap. However, some are downright brilliant, due to the way they are designed (“Blow Your Cover” being one). I would say that Rockstar North either needs to add more openness to the mission design, or think out their missions better.

    Also, I for one didn’t even notice the scripted elements. Maybe that’s because I can’t ride a motorcycle in that game, so I’d drive slowly, and I’d stopped viewing the police as any sort of credible threat by that point. Still, if one person is horribly frustrated by the scripted element, and another doesn’t even notice them, then they shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

  9. Sesoron says:

    I thought it when Yahtzee did his review, and I’m thinking it again now: Saints Row 2 would be completely sold to me if only I didn’t have to get that bloody $300 accessory in order to play it.

    Give up? The accessory is an XBox 360. Because I don’t have one. *zing*

  10. Marcel Beaudoin says:

    Hmmm, this is encouraging me to try out Saints Row 2 for my 360. Playing GTA IV seemed too much like work to me.

  11. Arthur says:


    Thank you for calling GTA out on the cheating! It was precisely this sort of thing which made me quit on the very last mission – as well as the mission being frustrating, it’s possible to HIT YOUR TARGET IN THE FACE WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER and they still don’t die. I put a review here:

    Bottom line: not only does GTA IV cheat, and cheat to an extent I could have sworn none of the previous games did, it cheats in a lazy and sloppy fashion so that it’s fairly easy to catch it out if you begin to suspect that it’s screwing with you.

  12. gebiv says:

    Your reviews on how fun SR 2 is to play actually got me to plunk down some of my hard earned cash to play it. (It even got Fallout 3 shelved for the time being) And I have to say it’s been worth every penny.

    I’ve always had fun playing the GTA series, but mostly when I was just toolin’ around goofing off. And SR 2 does an even better job at that aspect of the game.

    So, just wanted to say thanks for letting me know how much fun the game is.

  13. Zel says:

    It’s not very fair to take these missions as examples of the whole games.

    I’ll admit some GTA4 missions were frustrating, especially the missions supposed to teach you how to play, but most of them can be done a lot of different ways. The car you arrived in is there, parked nicely along the walkway once the cutscene is over. You still have all your weapons and lots of money to buy ammo and armor. The missions are usually short, what kills the replay value is the loooooong drive you have to do at the beginning of each. If you could skip it, trying again wouldn’t be so bad. Scripted elements can be annoying but make for interesting missions. It wouldn’t be much fun if you could just blow everyone up at the start with a rocket launcher, would it?

    On the other hand, I remember some missions in SR2 where the game seems to enjoy crippling you. Setting you up surrounded, outnumbered 10 to 1 with car running you over if you try to take cover ? It does it at least three times (cemetery, shopping mall, arena). Hidden rocket-launching enemies killing you in one shot ? They’re here too. Respawing enemies until you hit the checkpoint ? Ohhh yes they’re here, and with cars. Misleading instructions ? One particular mission has you following a prisoner transport to free its occupant. You are told not to destroy it, but to complete the objective and stop it you have to … shoot it down. You can’t block it. You can’t pop the tires. You have to … destroy it.

  14. Hannes says:

    I recently finished the unfair, buggy, annoying and sadly addicting thing that is GTA:San Andreas and I will never touch it again. Needless to say that I am not remotely interested in trying GTA4. Too bad Saint’s Row is console-only.

  15. Mr. X says:

    I played the first Saints Row and after doing so, wondered how anyone could have liked Grand Theft Auto in the first place.

  16. Traska says:

    Amusingly, I skip all of that mess with GTA by downloading a save game before I start playing. I hate the missions with a passion, but I love the sandbox. Completed save game = best of both worlds.

    Am I missing some of the fun? I have no doubt I am. Do I miss growling with frustration as I chase the stupid train on a dirt bike just to be told I suck at driving by my backseat rider who can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a SMG? Not in the slightest.

  17. Dys says:

    I hope you remember this post next time you complain about poor narrative.

    Not played Saints Row 2, which is incidentally on Steam now for those without consoles, but I have played GTA4. While some of the missions are heavily scripted, it tends to be when a plot oversight leaves the game needing you in a certain place to watch its plot but has no obvious way to get you there.

    As a counterpoint, I recall a mission where you have to go take a picture of some guys on a basketball court, send it to Playboy and he tells you to kill one of them. I suspect you could walk in guns blazing, but there are dozens of them and no cover. Didn’t go well when I tried it. But I did find that down the street there’s a convenient building with ladders up the sides, at just the right range for a sniper shot. Was that railroading? I don’t know, seemed like a good idea to me.

    In general when plot conflicts with gameplay, GTA4 will put the plot first. SR2 takes the other approach. Inevitably SR2 will be the more fun to play, but perhaps in the end a little hollow.

  18. Nick C says:

    This is the same argument that people have against Bethesda’s games. They make good gameplay, and try to do a good plot to keep you playing. Bioware games on the other hand, give you a delicious plot fest, then sprinkle it with a little free roaming and side quests. Both work great as they are, but I’d love a game, GTA style or otherwise that gives amazing depth of play without sacrificing story and railroading me.

  19. Sam says:

    Wow. You just made me really wish I had a console that Saints Row 2 was created for. Ah, well. It’ll just have to be put on hold like the other games for consoles that are too expensive for their own good.

  20. Kell says:

    “the designer just fills the world with toys and you get to do the creative part.”

    This should have been happening in game design years ago. Years.

    What I find particularly interesting in this compariosn between GTA4 and SR2 is that it is the major major quintriple-A megafamous title that is crippled with gameplay fail, and not the lower budget ripoff version.

    Is it that the devs working on the bigger titles get lazy, or is it that only less inventive ( i.e. less talented ) devs get hired for titles like this, or is it interference from non-devs ( i.e. producers, executives etc. ) throttling innovation for the sake of safe sales?

  21. Solid Jake says:


    “I spent a LOT of time in GTA 4 using the “restart mission” button that pops up after you fail, which you don't mention for some reason.”

    You mean the restart mission button that takes you all the way back to the very beginning of the mission minus all the ammo you used failing, with no body armor and a significant chunk of your cash gone? And that’s only if you died, if you got arrested then all your weapons are taken away as well.

    It’s so useless that it might as well not exist, since most players are just going to reload their game at that point.

  22. LintMan says:

    @Dys – Shamus isn’t complaining that GTA has a strong plot/narrative, he’s complaining about how it is frequently implemented in the game, where for some missions the player must rigidly but blindly follow a scripted set of steps, and the penalty for not following the unspecified script is failure and a lengthy do-over process.

    None of that is a requirement for a plot-heavy game – it’s just bad game design and bad writing. Writing a story for a game is not the same as writing the story for a movie and then just forcing the player to go through the motions the movie main character would.

  23. Daktylo says:

    I keep finding myself coming back to the fact that Rockstar released Bully, which does not have this blatant cheating system (and is fun because of it), but GTA always seems to want to throw it in. Notice that Bully seems to be cropping up frequently lately as rerelease and expanded editions?

  24. mc says:

    Typo: “in and Quentin Tarantino movie” – sorry, grammar police are ever-vigilant.

  25. Ryan says:

    One word: Exactly. I’ve felt like [whatever is the gamer version of a philistine] for years because I hate these freaking GTA games. Yet reviewers keep telling us that these damned things are the ne plus ultra of gaming (making me suspect that they haven’t actually, you know, played the awful game).

  26. Sean Riley says:

    “In GTA IV, the mission designer has all the fun, designing something for you to enact. In Saints Row 2, the designer just fills the world with toys and you get to do the creative part.”

    I want you to break into Rockstar HQ and staple this sentence to every damn door in it.

    The odd thing is? Even as late as the last freaking game (San Andreas) this wasn’t much true. Grand Theft Auto played like Saint’s Row. GTA broke away from the successful formula, and it’s boring as a result.

  27. Joseph says:

    I’ve downloaded a few GTA demos over the years… Not sure I’ve finished a single one without reaching a heavily scripted ‘gotcha’ mission which made me quit. I listen to the praise people give to these games and I wonder if they have any idea what words like ‘open-ended’ mean.

    I can’t stand these games.

  28. Miral says:

    It’s comparisons like this that made me buy SR2 and avoid GTA4. (On the other hand, I haven’t actually had a chance to play it yet — I need to free up some space on my hard drive [and schedule] first.)

    Now I just need to hope like hell that the PC version isn’t as broken as reports claim. Or at least, not as broken on my PC :)

    Of course, another reason why I avoided GTA4 was because I got stuck really early on in GTA:SA and never recovered. (I finished GTA:VC, though. I wonder if the gameplay has gotten worse or if I was just more patient back then.)

  29. Musoeun says:

    And I’m just puzzling over whether the initial praise for GTAIV’s cutscenes was actually praise of them, or taking a dig at Tarantino. Ah well.

  30. MadTinkerer says:

    I played San Andreas quite a bit, and loved just driving around checking places out, whether it was the great (for the time) scenery, the fast food joints (seeing how quick I could gain maximum weight), or other many interesting places to visit. I started playing through the plot but gave up before I unlocked the second city. Which is funny: despite it being a “sandbox” you can’t just drive there until you unlock the second city by playing through the linear and looooong plot. So I waited until one of my brothers played to near the end and copied his game.

    I also engaged in some very fun random mayhem as well, of course, but for me the main point of the game was cruising around and seeing the sights.

    I haven’t played Saint’s Row 2 yet, but it sounds like my perfect idea of a GTA game is somewhere between SA and SR2.

    The fact of the matter is, San Andreas made me pine for Ultima VII. In U7 you have the whole world to explore, and one of the biggest challenges is finding the plot. When you do find part of the plot, as a bonus you get an extra detailed dungeon to fight through (there are lots of plot-unrelated dungeons as well) and get a little more of the best loot. The best loot can only be obtained by playing through the plot, or cheating, and most of the plot happens in the order you stumble across it. On top of which, “plot areas” and characters comprise less than 10% of the whole world.

    The Ultima games were the original sandbox games, and I really wish someone would make a sandbox fantasy RPG in the same vein. (The Elder Scrolls series doesn’t quite count, for reasons too numerous to explain here, but let’s just say San Andreas reminds me of U7 and Oblivion doesn’t.)

    Kell: “”the designer just fills the world with toys and you get to do the creative part.”

    This should have been happening in game design years ago. Years.”

    It WAS. It’s the reason Richard Gariott (of Ultima fame) was considered such a superstar they had to add his name as a prefix to Tabula Rasa. I didn’t get to play TR enough to find out if it was really Ultima-esque or not before they shut down the servers forever. Shamus’ review didn’t seem to indicate so, though.

    I have a feeling that if it was more like Ultima VII (something interesting everywhere), it might have done better.

  31. Skyy says:

    Ah c’mon man, I get that you don’t like gameplay on rails, but GTA IV does has a “restart mission” button that pops up whenever you fail (ie, target gets away, you die, get busted, etc). Just gotta wait for your cell phone to pop up. Inconsistencies like that really bug me about reviews, because it ends up looking like you have an agenda to push, which is “hate on GTAIV”, even if that’s not true.

    I like GTAIV, specifically because it’s one of the few big game series that does take itself seriously. The storytelling is great, I felt a connection to the characters, and overall it’s like a really long movie that you’re playing. You’re not free to do whatever you want in the missions, but that’s the trade-off between good story and a sandbox game. Those Tarantino-esque cutscenes you were praising? Good luck setting those up if a mission could end in one of 50 different ways, half of which the developers themselves probably couldn’t come up with.

    And for the record, I completed that mission the first time through without a problem. I did see the cars popping out at me (which happens in a number of chase scenes in GTAIV), but you can avoid them if you’re quick enough, which makes for great cinematic flair if you manage it successfully the first time. Maybe that’s the point; GTAIV is made for fans of the series, who are good enough at the game by this point that those “tricks” and “cheats” just make for really breathtaking moments like that. For everyone else, they just become cheesy when you have to redo a mission for the 20th time and see the same car pop out at you, and instead of gasping, you just roll your eyes and play your Simon Says.

    1. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

      GTA:IV takes itself as seriously as Saints Row.

      Seriously, if you watched the TV in the apartment it spouts crap about republican space rangers killing everything because they are patriotic, and shows about rich people with dogs in their vaginas. Not to mention twat internet cafe (spelt Tw@) and all the bs between characters.

      by the way, I completed the mission on my second time, which I was clever enough to set up a good car nearby so I could avoid the bike (which is what caused me to lose the first time) and I never got close to the guy anyway as the drifting is horseshit and my car just does a 180 everytime, plus I kind of not avoid cars anyway. I also managed to knock one of the bikers off their bike and followed the other bikers to the park, wiped them out easily (just rollin’ and shootin’ with the pistol) and walked back to finish the other guy off.

      Oh and I never noticed the lack of money from the replay system, I don’t know why.

      But Saints Row is so much better than GTA yet people call it a GTA rip-off.

  32. Murzin says:

    Mad Tinkerer has it right.

    if you want to experience REAL sandbox, play ultimas 3-7.5… he basically created real sandbox games and everyone else was left trying to catch up. the problem is people think that bethesdas RPG series is sandbox and even remotely RPG. bethesda games are a sandboxy action game, much less focus on the RPG.

    i think the biggest reason why there are no developers making true sandbox games and especially RPG sandboxes is that its expensive with very little payoff to the developers.

    that to me is what most companies do not get. gameplay is king. make the plot work with the gameplay. thats what origin did. thats why they became a giant. its sad that you dont find games like that anymore. everywhere you go is plot/quest related. that is NOT sandbox. in origin games, only about half of the world was plot/quest, the rest was exploration.

    they were serious when they said “we create worlds” that has become lost. they created functioning worlds, and built the story around it. people had homes, walked back and forth, worked in their stores. people ridicule them for “baking bread” being a major point in those games, but its far more important than people realize. its not that food did not have a high value, if the attention to detail that made them true sandbox games.

    if you want to do a sandbox game, you have to be able to “bake bread” otherwise, its not a world, its just an environment.

  33. acronix says:

    Someone else has pointed out already that the restart button is just some kind of junk not worth mentioning. Restarting means “start over”, but the developers make you “start over” but with all the penalties for failing the first time.

  34. Skyy says:

    It’s quite handy for the racing/escorting/stalking missions, which were, iirc, the only ones that I ever needed it for.

  35. Tizzy says:

    I think it’s a little bit unfair to say that GTA is not a sandbox game, as a matter of fact I’m sure it introduced a lot of casual console gamers to the concept.

    The problem is just that GTA gives you sandbox OR story, freeform play OR follow this very rigid structure (at least starting at GTA3, I remember the top down games as less story driven). It may actually be a good design decision: give something to everyone. I loathe the DIAS gameplay with a passion, but reading some of the posts above shows that other gamers can get behind that stuff, so why deprive them?

    As for me, I never completed more than 50% of any GTA and I stopped bothering with a very annoying mission way back in Vice City. I sympathize with Shamus, since I like my games to have stories too (whether they take themselves seriously or not), and I felt locked out of the GTA stories because I couldn’t be bothered to jump the particular hurdles. I’d pretty much given up on this whole genre, but this post certainly kindled my interest in SR2.

    So thanks for the review, btw.

  36. WJS says:

    Huh, I think I did that GTA one wrong, I’m pretty sure I just grabbed the car I came in and rammed the little punk off the road first chance I got. It’s pretty funny what a Cavalcade does to the rear fender of a bike, I remember he flew a hundred feet face first into a road sign. Of course that’s nothing compared to your options in Saint’s Row. The best way to destroy a prison convoy? A Tornado.

  37. Loonyyy says:

    I think I know the mission from GTA IV you mean, is it the one where the Russian crime boss wants you to kill the biker who’s been seeing his daughter? That’s the motorcycle tutorial one I think. I was suprised at the ending you got for that one: I was in a gunfight with the guy on my third attempt (Stupid gotcha car) and hit him, I can’t remember if it was with bullets, or shooting out the tires of a neighbouring car.
    He crashed into a petrol station lot, and we had a shootout, (Unscripted). I shot him, he died, mission over. I completely missed the park fight, I don’t know why. But yeah, his tires did seem to be impervious to bullets, or maybe I just wasn’t hitting them.

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