Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row are becoming more and more inclusive – and some players don’t like that

day 69:22Should I play it: The new installment of Saints Row stuns the Day 6 gaming columnist

The latest installment in the Saints Row video game series is out, the first in nine years. Our gaming columnist Jonathan Ore tells us why he found the technology outdated and the storyline less compelling.

Players have been desperate for information on what’s new Grand Theft Auto Game.

But when reports surfaced that the next installment in the video game franchise — which features hardened criminals wreaking havoc with car chases, gunfights, and lots of swear words — will star a playable female character, a wave of negativity on social media and YouTube soon followed.

“The fat feminists have now gone too far,” said one YouTuber.

“I can guarantee you, if it’s some bright bullshit, there’s no way it’s going to sell any better GTA5‘ complained another.

According to a report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreierthe sequel from 2013 grand theft auto 5 will feature a Latina woman as one of the main characters of the game. She will be one half of two characters inspired by real life crime duo Bonnie and Clyde.

The report also states that developer studio Rockstar Games is tweaking the next game’s humor. previous GTA Games have been criticized for jokes, some labeled sexist, racist, and racist transphobic. Rockstar has apparently committed to not “bashing up” marginalized communities as severely as in previous installments.

“People like me were very excited [for the new release]…. But unfortunately, as is common in the gaming community, some people were a lot more negative,” said Eleni Thomas, a writer for gaming and pop culture website Dexerto.

“As a result of that, there was a lot of sexism — things like people posting potential first mission ideas … for the female protagonist to do the dishes.”

The report of the coming Grand Theft Autoas well as the rocky response from some players and online commentators, is another example of the polarized discussion between fans looking for a fresh take on a long-running franchise and others reluctant to embrace fuller iterations of their favorite games.

Female leads are more common today

According to Schreier’s report, the new game is at least two years away from release. Rockstar and its publisher Take Two Interactive have previously confirmed that the new game is in the works, but have not released any further details.

The Bloomberg story cited more than 20 unnamed current and former Rockstar employees; The notoriously media-shy company did not comment officially.

day 69:58Grand Theft Auto 6 and the first female protagonist to shake things up

For the first time ever, there will be a fully voiced female protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series. This is exciting news for some, but a vocal group of fans have expressed they have no interest in playing as a woman. Based on these answers, gaming journalist Eleni Thomas wonders if Rockstar will stand behind their protagonist or bow to pressure from these fans.

The report notes a potentially significant shift, Thomas said, considering the series hasn’t had a playable female character since at least 2001 Grand Theft Auto 3.

Since then, game series with women and non-white protagonists have enjoyed growing popularity, such as The last of us and horizon.

But as big as these games are, arguably none of them have the cultural cachet of Grand Theft Autoa series that has grossed billions of dollars since its debut in 1997. GTA5launched almost 10 years ago still makes the monthly bestseller charts.

Image of a large hotel in Los Angeles.  Cartoons of three characters from the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 can be seen on the blank sides of the building.
Billboards for Grand Theft Auto 5 are seen at a Los Angeles hotel in September 2013. The series has a cultural cachet unmatched by most video games. (Nick Ut/The Associated Press)

Grand Theft Auto is an older franchise and I think in a way… it represents something like gaming culture back in the day,” Thomas said. .. the industry, the community and the players themselves.”

Saints Row stumbles

Just this week, another game series tried to freshen up, with mixed results.

Saints Row is the fifth in a series that debuted in 2006 as a competitor to the GTA games. Critics originally referred to it as a GTA “Clone”, due to its similar mission structure and tone. Later sequels differentiated themselves with a greater emphasis on slapstick comedy and science fiction twists.

Early trailers indicated the new installment – the first in nine years – would be a tough reboot that would break away from the previous numbered sequels.

Computer generated illustration of four people standing side by side in front of a graffiti covered brick wall.  All appear to be between 20 and 30 years old.  Left to right: an Asian man with short black hair, wearing jeans and shirtless;  a black woman in a purple shirt, purple sports jacket, and black jeans;  a black man with an elaborate shirt, jacket and bow tie;  a latina woman with long black hair, big glasses, t-shirt and sweatpants.
Promotional art for Saints Row 2022. The reboot of the long-running GTA-like games features a new cast and leaves behind the old crew of fan-favorites. (Deep Silver Volition)

Gone were the previous games’ cool dudes and hot girls wielding a giant purple sex toy like a baseball bat. In their place came a quartet of millennial ne’er-do-wells who spend their free time playing board games and singing karaoke.

The new cast is clearly non-white, and players can customize the appearance and voice of The Boss, who they control throughout gameplay, including options for male, female, and gender-neutral features (as well as prosthetics).

As Grand Theft Auto Some fans reportedly didn’t take the changes well. Critical reviews didn’t show much love for the game either. Saints Row for now holds an average of 63-69 percent on the Metacritic review aggregator website.

“The characters aren’t… in the top 10 list of reasons why that is Saints Row Reboot doesn’t work for me,” said Jordan Middler, who called the game “a painfully generic open-world malaise‘ in his review for Video Games Chronicle.

“Senseless Kulturkampf”

However, Middler worries that the discourse surrounding the game’s new cast could drown out the discussion of its actual weaknesses.

“When games are unveiled these days, a certain small segment of the audience senses any kind of change that could be perceived as ammunition in this ongoing, pointless culture war, that the game could somehow ‘awaken’ or something,” he said.

Computer generated image from a video game.  In the foreground, a man with a huge cartoon head with gelled hair and sunglasses holds a rocket launcher.  Behind him is a black man in a white suit with a machine gun.
A promotional screenshot for Saints Row 4 released in 2013. The series ramped up its slapstick humor and zany scenarios before the 2022 reboot struck a slightly more grounded tone. (Deep Silver Volition)

new takes over Saints Row, Grand Theft Auto and other games simply reflect the fact that the people who make them are aware of certain cultural shifts, says Merritt K., editor-in-chief of gaming site Fanbyte.

“The conversations and discussions around social dynamics, race, sexuality, gender — all of those things have changed a lot in the mainstream in the last decade,” she said. “These conversations have become much more mainstream.”

In a columnMerritt wrote that the fervor preceded the debate Saints RowThe launch of was divided into two camps: people who hoped the game would fail and those who argued that its financial success would mean a victory for progressive politics and representation.

“People watch video games sometimes like Saints Row and think, oh, that’s a barometer of the culture war, and win my side or win the other side,” Merritt said day 6.

“Video games obviously, like all media, can tell important stories and make people feel seen, and they can foster human connection. But, you know, buying a game isn’t a fight in a culture war, and it’s not necessarily a political act.”

Ultimately, the negative critical reaction to saints The line can impose a greater burden on the next Grand Theft Auto Game to hit it out of the park.

“I think that’s the biggest thing Rockstar needs to do… just make sure that’s the case [the new heroine] is not just a one-dimensional character,” said Thomas.

“Prove the naysayers wrong by creating a character that even the most hesitant will end up falling in love with. I think that’s the best way to respond to that.”

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