There is no doubt in any gamers mind that Rockstar are king of the sandbox. GTA IV has sold over 17 million units to date with the GTA brand selling over 100 million copies world-wide. However, with all the 10/10 reviews, huge playable areas to explore and addictive multiplayer aspects, there’s still a few things we feel GTA V needs to iron-out, in order to maintain its crown (remember, GTA IV was released back in 2008).
Our first GTA V article will focus on something players never think of at first, but are drawn into as the game progresses. Our first focus is the relationships of GTA. What did you think of your characters love interests in GTA IV? How did you feel about it in Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption?
Put simply, Rockstar seems to love leaving the player high and dry when it comes to relationships. Rockstar seem to want the player continuously chasing a love interest, (to no avail) to then suddenly find themselves stuck in a totally different relationship that they’ve had no time to grow an emotional attachment to.
Spoiler Alert. Please be advised that the following contains relationship spoilers for GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption. If you haven’t completed these games, please scroll down to the safe zone.
GTA IV worked its character development magic rather early into the game. Niko soon found himself with Karen, a relationship that was the result of a successful match-making plan by Mallorie. The relationship lasted for quite a while, with numerous opportunities to take Karen on hot dates throughout the first part of the game. Karen even took your relationship “to the next level” by regularly inviting Niko into her apartment. This made the player feel that Karen was the main interest for the games protagonist….but that wasn’t the case.
The second part of the game sees Karen reveal her real name (Michelle) as she finally confesses her cooperation with the government, to report on Niko’s illegal activity. After this point, Niko can no longer contact Michelle. Rockstar even tease the player with a potential rekindle when the two unintentionally meet for another of Niko’s missions. But sadly the door firmly slams shut on that chapter, this being the final time Niko interacts with Michelle.
Niko is now suddenly thrust into another relationship (which the player has no control over) with Kate (Packie McReary’s sister).
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption did the same. After the games main protagonist (John Marston) is shoot at the very beginning of the game, you’re then nursed back to health by Bonnie MacFarlane. You spend most of the game interacting with Bonnie and getting to know her more, until the player is suddenly reunited with his wife (Abigail Marston). The player knows and therefore feels little about this major character and the situation is made worse by Bonnie’s body language once John and Abigail set off from the MacFarmane farm to their home. It is at that point clear, that Bonnie feels something for John…something many players were lead to believe they could explore further.
End of GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption Relationship Spoilers ———————————————–
Do Rockstar feel such a long-term love interest would interfere with such a games main story? Do they feel such a thing would weaken the main protagonist or even boar the player? Is this simply a view that those who “live by the sword-die by the sword” deserve no happy ending?
We think such a long term love interest would be a new way forward for GTA V, but what do you think? Could such a thing even strengthen a main character, allowing them to protect, rely on or work with such a character?
Let us know your thoughts on the relationships of GTA IV as well as your opinions on what should be in GTA V?