In the rampages/territory take overs you are killing gang members, and yes I suppose those parts are slaughter fests. But to call GTA as a whole a slaughter fest is wrong, the game is not geared around killing as many people as you can, innocent or not. Would you consider the game a murder simulator?
Halo is a FPS, the S of course standing for Shooter, the gameplays main focus is shooting/killing/destroying. GTA isn't so much focused on shooting to call it a shooter.
Originally Posted by OkComputer
You aren't punished really for killing innocent people, you're given more targets.
In the short term you could view that as the case, but the police showing up is a punishment for causing mayhem because they get in your way, they keep coming forever and get tougher the more mayhem you cause. Even if they don't arrest you and cost you you weapons and some cash you will eventually run out of ammo or health, again losing your weapons and some cash. The only way out is to stop and escape.
I'm not saying GTA is good (violence-wise), I'm just saying slaughter fests are not the focus of the game at all, and the simpsons are portraying it like they are which isn't that fair.
I wonder why Call of Duty type games don't get so much bad press, somehow mowing down (virtual) enemy nazis is ok, but (virtual) enemy gang members is objectionable. It's just the label, the theme.