GTA 1 and 2 had a bird view. The city was quite crazy but the world was certainly predictable. There were a lot of hidden places throughout the cities and you could find a lot of fancy unrealistic stuff.
- Frenzies where you had to kill or destroy a certain amount of persons/cars within a certain time using a certain weapon.
- Running over a couple of Elvis impersonators gave a bonus.
Those games were still crazy and the freedom was amazing.
GTA 4 was another large step regarding the graphics. The comic look as scrapped and it looked more realistic than Mafia (a far less famous game, but comparable to GTA. Check it out, if you have the chance).
Coming to the point of the discussion: In GTA 4 you have Internet, dates and a cellphone. You have to maintain relationships with a lot of people. You have to go bowling, eating etc. and already in GTA 3 you had to consider night and day time.
My friends point was, that this feels less like a game and too much like reality. He already needs to do boring stuff all day like the things mentioned above and he wants to be brought to the action immediately.
Now I really like realistic worlds and I like a great AI (something missing in GTA3 and it immediate sequels). When I interact with NPCs I don't want to notice that they are just simple minded persons with only two answers and very limited range of actions.
But I want to know what you think. Is it important that a game is realistic? And if yes, can you overdo it? Is there a certain limit to needed realism until it becomes boring and unenjoyable? What aspects of a game need to have realism and where is it not so important?