they went for realism over fun ten fold.
This. I cannot stand this in games these days. Games want to be more like movies and then fail to produce the fun/game factor. If I want to watch a movie I'll watch a movie. I play games for crazy worlds/gameplay, I want to dive into a world with crazy stuff going on. I can't stand games that try for realism over gameplay/fun.
I mean "realism" isn't a bad thing so long as the core of the game is designed around being a game, which means gameplay. GTA4 was about driving around in your boring ass car around a boring ass city while you talk on your phone and browse the internet. There were a few rare interesting missions but for the most part the game just wasn't any good.
I don't expect GTA5 to change that, at least not enough to hold my interest passed the half way mark without a buddy playing through it with me.