Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So GTA IV came out today, as I'm sure you already know and are probably playing right now... but for the one or two people on the fence about the game I thought I'd expound a little on my first impressions.

The game is awesome!!! I've only played up to the 3rd mission and done quite a bit of exploring, but WOW. The three islands are massive! I can't wait to unlock them all and explore.

The graphics and character animations are fluid and disturbingly realistic. The high level of realism makes your stomach cringe when you run over innocent school girls. In previous GTA installments the gratuitous violence was acted upon such cartoony digital characters that it didn't even phase true gamers. I've been playing games all my life so I like to consider myself as desensitized to violence as the next pwnerer, however, GTA IV depicts the myriad of unspeakable crimes and actions you can commit so realistically that you'll look behind you to make sure no one witnessed you just stomp an old man to death.

The story is pretty compelling too. Being back in Liberty City after years away is like returning home. Some familiar landscapes and buildings await true GTA fans. You are the Eastern European immigrant Niko, who's fresh off the boat, and you spend the first few missions fishing your cousin out of a mess of money troubles.

The fighting has expanded to be more realistic and now enemies will take more than 4-5 punches to take them down. The driving controls may seem a little wonky and uncontrollable at first, but using the handbrake and the brake simultaneously while remembering not to constantly floor it will make you an expert getaway driver in no time.

The only thing that bugs me is that vaulting over obstacles isn't as fluid as it could be. Why they didn't just lift the controls and feel of Assassin's Creed is beyond me. Granted they would need to put some limitations on your ability to launch up walls, but still I wish leaping over a fence at an angle as you evade the cops didn't involve stopping then jumping.

Apparently the girlfriend side missions will play a more important role in this installation as you get a girl's number after the first mission and are encouraged to date her.

The radar has been improved allowing you to see all the locations of cops around you and their "aggro" range, if you will. Once you get outside of their zone of influence your home free, but there's still pay-n-spray's if you cant evade the fuzz. Additionally, you have a GPS tracking system, which must be implanted in your brain or something because it works in every car, that maps the most efficient route to all your destinations. This time saver prevents players from having to pause the game every time a new way point is added to consult the map and plot a route. Maybe a crutch, but one I welcome.

Well that's about all I've gotten into in GTA IV, so far. In the immortal words of Ferris, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." pwnt.

1 comment:

vanessa said...

nice review. sounds scary/gross though (the smushing schoolgirls part). so besides that though, i'm definitely your biggest fan.