This troper has found himself wondering why in free-roaming crime games like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row the world is always portrayed as very cynical, greedy and generally crapsack. I assumed it was just for comedy, but then it hit me. There is no other way to explain why the protagonist can waltz into a store and walk out with a rocket launcher, get away with killing thousands of cops, soldiers and civilians with nothing more but a fine and a slap on the wrist, and generally get away with anything. In a more balanced, sane, and realistic world the player would be jailed and probably executed lickety split.
This is further collaborated by the simple fact that you can ram vehicles off the road even in front of the police and they don't do anything unless you happen to bump into THEM. Then there's the fact that they don't investigate murders and will only go after you if they witness you doing the act since they have to pretend they care so that the public doesn't catch onto their corruption.
In fact, most Japanese crime sandbox games shows what happens when murder was committed, it is taken quite shockingly by all sides. Hell cop fighting is not encouraged in Yakuza or Kenka Bancho let alone murdering policemen.
Also, the health care system in Grand Theft Auto has been made universal to the point that health kits lie outside hospitals!
Some tropers have noted that, while the Grove Street families are obviously against hard drugs like crack, they're perfectly fine with at least marijuana. This makes a LOT more sense when you realize San Andreas is basically a parody of California, which, in real life, is the state that's most involved in the debate of legalizing marijuana!
Hell, Grove Street is probably fine in dealing drugs, but due to recent events and fearing dealers undermining their gang, they have taken a no drug dealing policy until the situation improves.
The world of Grand Theft Auto IV is like the rest of the series, a cynical, greedy crapsack. But is this how the world actually is? Or is it really from Niko's viewpoint? A foreigner who finds himself exploited and manipulated by the establishment, suffering from a severe case of culture shock? The DLC's even support this idea. The Lost And The Damned is much darker in both tone and viewpoint, with muted colors and a noticeable film grain, likely reflecting Johnny's disillusionment with his rough and tumble lifestyle and its shifting loyalties. The Ballad of Gay Tony conversely is much brighter, with brighter colors in both the interface and in general, but is also much crazier, like it lacks any of the inhibitions of Niko and Johnny's world and has a greater emphasis on flying. Sort of like how Luis finds himself as an every-man in a high-flying world of the drug and alcohol abusing wealthy, who can't keep their desires and urges in check and lack self-control.
How can the game claim your character hasn't killed anyone except when on a rampage? During the transition, you are in a power fantasy like state. Dreaming about the money you never earn from random things like random acts of vigilantism to acting a paramedic for a someone else hoping to get a day off work to going on a rampage as that little "Revenge Fantasy" running through your mind.