Grand Theft Auto V took the gaming world by storm last week, setting records and making us here at Stealthy Box absolutely jubilant over the incredible ways to cause chaos while traveling in Los Santos. It is only natural that GTAV has garnered a fair amount debate as to how it compares to the GTAs of the past. While there is no doubting GTA’s long history of greatness, let us not forget Rockstar’s other gems. While some may not be as high profile as Grand Theft Auto, they are still excellent in their own right.
Today, Stealthy Box lists off five excellent games from Rockstar Games that aren’t named Grand Theft Auto.
Red Dead Redemption
Much more than “Grand Theft Horse,” Red Dead Redemption is a glorious tale of a man struggling for redemption (hence the name) in a time that didn’t offer many second chances. This masterpiece of a game set in the old west tackled an era mostly unexplored in the industry. Players felt like they were in the middle of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. There were duels at high noon, horse thieving, Mexican bandits, crazy ol’ miners, and all the other touches a western epic requires.
All of this garnish would have been for naught if the story was not as epic as the setting, but it was. John Marston was a man that players could instantly relate to: A man with a less-than-savory past that only wanted to move forward and live his life with his family. It is a timeless tale, and it was played to perfection. Marston wasn’t a “good guy,” and wouldn’t have claimed to be, but we all wanted him to be able to save his family and live that quiet farm life he so desired. Rockstar made us empathize and connect emotionally with a man that was at his core a liar and a murderer; not an easy task.
Red Dead Redemption is one of the great surprises of this video game generation. It dared to tell a story of a man that, in many ways, was a villain and begged us to care about him, all set on a backdrop that really hadn’t been done well at that time. RDR was a huge gamble on Rockstar’s part, and it paid off big.
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
It still feels strange just typing that title, but Rockstar made a great table tennis game! While some will criticize it for its simplicity, Table Tennis is a highly accurate game that most would not have expected from Rockstar. It was never going to be a game of the year, but Table Tennis was a great distraction now and again. Easy to pick-and-play and understand, Table Tennis really showed Rockstar’s depth and ability to put out something you never expect. Sure, it was more or less a tech demo for the engine that would be used in Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption, but that didn’t make this charming game any less fun to play.
Dark and grisly tales are nothing new for Rockstar, but this story of a rogue DEA agent searching for the people responsible for the death of his wife and child is much darker than we have come to expect. Told in a gritty film noir style with graphic novel panels in lieu of cutscenes, Max Payne sticks out among the games presented by Rockstar. Instead of learning the story through our own observations, Max narrates his internal thoughts and feelings directly to the player, giving us an insight into this game’s protagonist missing in much of the Grand Theft Auto series.
Although the gameplay would be considered gimmicky by most now (Max Payne makes heavy use of bullet time, popularized by The Matrix), it is still a worthwhile play if just for the gritty story. We don’t get many tales like this anymore, especially not ones told with this kind of style. After you get done playing Grand Theft Auto V, track down a copy of the original Max Payne and give it a go.