David Jaffe's Hypocrisy and GTA IV's Problem

In an opinion piece in response to David Jaffe's recent remarks about GTA IV being too artistic, Anthony Perez of SmashPad writes:

"What confuses me is how his reaction to GTA IV differs from statements he's made in the past. In an interview with GameSpot in March, Jaffe was asked, "What do you want to do before you die?" Jaffe ended his response with the following:

"I want to try to make a quirky game that really is about emotion and pushes people's emotional buttons. I don't wanna do it now, I want to do it after I make a lot of money, you know, because I don't think anybody will buy it. But I want to try to make that game, because I want to go to my grave knowing that I took a swing at that. Is this medium capable of that at the level I want it to be? I don't know, but I want that to be my goal."

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InMyOpinion4240d ago

Sony probably paid him to badmouth GTA IV, in order to downplay the upcoming DLC for the 360. Or maybe he just doesn't like it... ;)

TheColbertinator4240d ago

Sony wasting their money to change what a guy is saying? LMAO

No wonder they don't buy exclusives XD

InMyOpinion4240d ago (Edited 4240d ago )

Was a joke people. Pulling the old far-fetched conspiracy theory.

@Steven Colbert - While MS are paying Italy and Spain to provide false sales numbers for the 360. Buying out countries is no biggie when you have bottomless pockets and a business ethic that would make the devil afraid of the dark. =)

Pennywise4240d ago

You spend so much time spewing garbage out of your mouth, no one wants to hear your stupid jokes.

Kleptic4240d ago

I didn't find any of what Jaffe said as hypocritical...and GTAIV IS a lot more artsy than past GTA games...all the 3D games have had their own style, usually based off of multiple movies...until SA, which was just this crazy over the top thing with touches from nearly all genres of entertainment...

then GTAIV stepped way back into this sort of indie film area...that was ambitious...but overly boring...and to me, that was the biggest problem with the sets up like it has some incredible message to offer...yet never delivers it...its more mature, less over the top, yet still satirical...and the combination of those three just didn't fit for me...but, based on reviews, it was well recieved...I could almost guarantee though that most of those reviewers, if you would ask them now, would admit that they may have been a bit too generous after the initial shock of the game went away...

I think that is what Jaffe meant...yet when he was speaking about his own game ambitions...was not referring to something along the lines of GTAIV...of all the GTA games, I think GTAIV tries the hardest to push emotional buttons, and falls the furthest from that...the other games did such a good job pissing people off, or making them laugh, or whatever other emotion you can think of...where this one was like 'lets have a serious look at poverty, or being haunted by your past, etc.', and it is told in such a poor fashion...that the wheels started to come off relatively quickly...

I could be wrong though...I just didn't get the connection between what jaffe said about GTAIV recently...and what kind of game he would like to make eventually...they didn't seem to be in the same vein...

AnthonyPerez4240d ago

Hi, I wrote the article.

I think we actually agree on many points. I do see your point about the three warring ideas within GTA IV of being serious while trying to remain satirical. In the article I state:

"I don’t know what game Jaffe played, but Grand Theft Auto IV is far from “artistic.” More cinematic? Yes. More serious than previous entries in the series? Definitely. In fairness, that’s probably what Jaffe meant, but it’s also a discomforting and odd statement from Jaffe." [considering what he later said]

I closed by saying:

"n some respects, GTA IV aspires to do the same minus the “quirky” element. It is true that GTA IV did take the series in another direction from its typically over-the-top origins to a more serious world with more limitations than we’ve previously seen from the house the Housers built, but considering Jaffe’s interest in “pushing people’s emotional buttons” you would think he would admire what Rockstar attempted to accomplish.

It’s debatable whether GTA IV accomplished that goal with its attempt at a deeper story. In my opinion - and mine alone - I believe it just missed the mark. The middle of the game is loaded with unnecessary and quite dull missions that halt the story’s progression, and the game suffers for it. Where I agree with Jaffe is that GTA IV dances with mediocrity towards the middle of the game by not offering the same amount of unrestrained mayhem as in previous games. There was also a ton of optional activities missing that were not replaced by playing pool with Little Jacob or throwing darts with Roman."

Personally, I'm interested in seeing games evolve and offer social commentary through its stories. I actually do crave more enthralling experiences that make you escape into a different world with characters you care about. Too many games just glaze over the story and hardly even touch on their characters. "He's a badass" is used way too often and my stomach churns when someone describes a main character in that way.

AmpedMan4240d ago


Agreed. I had the same reaction once I got about halfway through GTA4. Bubbles.

Harry1904240d ago

Don't base this on what you read in the Play UK blog. That was not an interview. He did not say that he found GTA4 too artistic. What he really said can be found on his blog. He said that he was taken aback by GTA's new direction and that he was not really a big fan of this. To put this into context, he mentioned this while he was talking about Saint's Row.

However, he is a loudmouth at times.

JayTee09024240d ago

He's a loudmouth, but I love it personally. Like the article said:

"Jaffe is one of those industry figures whom I love and hate depending on which quote of his I hear. He’s candid and his outspokenness is actually refreshing in an industry where you likely hear PR spin and corporate jargon spit out endlessly as if anyone gives a sh*t about how a companies “portfolio” is shaping up."

CenturionElite4240d ago

I also think David Jaffe is somewhat right, but I am torn. I missed the "GTA-ness" that was missing in GTA IV, but when the story picked up and was at its best, they delivered on a crime story better as good as I could hope for from a game.

I wish it wasn't so melodramatic, and I wish the game didn't take itself so seriously at times, but...I guess I just have mixed feelings about how I walked away from GTA 4 after the end credits.

AlexQuevedo4240d ago

I feel the exact same way about the game. I've tried to dissect it left and right, but when someone asks me for my analysis of it I don't even know what to say. I like and dislike so many of the same things. So I just say "I though it was damn good."

blueleopard4240d ago

I really don't think GTA IV left their roots all that much. It seemed they were so preoccupied with the graphics and story that they lost sight of more minigames in exchange for stand up comedy and TV shows that get old real fast because they don't change. They're not dynamic in the way that random gameplay is.

CrashSpyro1234240d ago

No, the decision to make it less over the top was definitely intentional. They kind of wanted to do what Chris Nolan did to Batman with the Dark Knight. That's not a comic book movie, that's a crime drama. (still awesome though, and getting that on bluray for my ps3 :D)

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