Why Rockstar Games deserves your respect
In a world where Electronic Arts and Capcom royally piss off their whole fanbase with DLC and Activision is Activision, there is one big publisher who tries just as hard to make games as they do to make money. That publisher is none other than Rockstar Games.
Let’s face it, they could have just churned out Grand Theft Auto after Grand Theft Auto, but they decided not to stick in the safety zone and actually experiment. First they gave Grand Theft Auto 4 a mature realistic storyline and then they go and try something semi-new with Red Dead Redemption. Sure, there are plenty of valid reasons to dub it Grand Theft Horse, but trying something totally new without incorporating something that already made them famous would just be plain reckless. They moved further away from the Grand Theft Auto formula by teaming up with Team Bondi for L.A. Noire and while it wasn’t perfect (in a lot of cases because the developers were more open minded than the fans), again you can’t help but have respect for them for trying something different when they could have just made tons and tons of money with Grand Theft Auto.
Speaking of Grand Theft Auto, a numbered title may seem uncreative, but it carries a certain “official” feeling with it. Rockstar Games has only put a number on Grand Theft Auto games that truly brought something new – Grand Theft Auto 2, for instance, brought the respect system which added a sense of direction and something resembling a plot to the game, which gave it a lot more depth. In fact, it would be a lot of fun to see Grand Theft Auto 2 re-created on a modern console. It’s pretty obvious what was brought to the table with Grant Theft Auto 3. With Grand Theft Auto 4, Rockstar Games made an attempt at realism and immersion. While that didn’t go over well with everybody, you can’t deny the fact that that’s something that took major testicular fortitude on Rockstar Games’ part.
Let’s take a look at their DLC. Rather than put out shovelware DLC like a lot of publishers do nowadays, they gave us awesome expansions like Grand Theft Auto 4: Lost & Damned, Ballad of Gay Tony and Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. Those expansions are every bit as good as (or even better than) some of the “sequels” out there because they brought enough content to make full-fledged games.
Their release schedule has been very convinient, with all of their major games since Grand Theft Auto 4 having been released well outside the worst time to be a gamer, especially if you’re on a budget – the holiday season. When everything new comes out at the same time, deciding what you’re going to have the cash and/or time for can be downright stressful. It’s great that Rockstar Games is not part of that.
Now they are bringing out a franchise that everyone seemed to have forgotten about – Max Payne. With Uncharted being on top of the third person shooter genre on the PS3, hopefully Max Payne’s comeback with modern technology can give the PS3 flagship a run for its money in terms of cinematic story-driven gameplay. Let’s not forget – Rockstar Games got there first. With enough promotion, hopefully this game gets enough recognition to be a third person shooter that gives the PlayStation people a break from Uncharted and the X-box people a break from Gears of War.
Bottom line is Rockstar Games may not be perfect (Max Payne movie anyone ?), but they have certainly earned a lot of respect from the gaming community by constantly giving us something new when they could just make millions off what already works. They deserve all the sales they will get for Max Payne 3