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Grand Theft Auto IV

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If anyone was wondering where I was this weekend (sorry about the lack of posting), well...I was in Liberty City.

Before I get into any hyperbole, I just want to say that if you own a PS3 or XBOX 360 and aren't underage, you need to, at the very least, rent this game. The single player game is excellent, and truly a step up from the previous generation of GTA games. Transportation options are increased (you can ride in taxis and take the subway), the city itself seems more alive and interactive, and the physics are incredible. The characters are interesting, the dialogue mostly well written, and the plot, while not always innovative, is compelling. And of course, you can just run around and do stunt jumps/shoot cops/whatever.

And then there's the multiplayer. Of course there are some immature kids around, but not as many as I had feared, and the gameplay itself is just awesome. There are a bunch of different modes, but I'm still squeezing gallons of entertainment from the deathmatch and team deathmatch modes. It's one thing to run around an urban map and shoot people; it's another thing entirely to run around causing havoc in a simulated city, with people fleeing in terror, cops responding to the trouble, and broken fire hydrants spewing water into the sky.

In other words, it was a rather eventful weekend. :)

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Indeed, I liked GTA 4 as well. Although I would have liked it in a game called Grand Theft Auto to actually be able to drive the cars more than 15 miles per hour without having them handle like a pregnant ox! Is that a new feature or something? Having a completely broken driving system? And God help you if you want to drive and shoot at the same time, in which case you will be combining two of the worst implemented systems in the game.

Oh, and I really love being called up every two minutes by overly clingy, inevitably annoying people who want to go out for a night on the town. Because everyone knows, they couldn't do that without you! It's like a requirement now that every single NPC in the game is so over the top in their performances that it becomes irritating. I noticed it in the other GTAs, but they have taken it to the next level here. I have come to dread taking missions from these people, as my ears are going to be assaulted with horrifically fake accents and ridiculous character interactions. The one saving grace is that Niko, the person you control, isn't like that. Only he tends to shovel out his back story at incredibly inappropriate times. At home, behind closed doors? Fine. After having executed a mafia boss in broad daylight? Not so much.

Compound that with the fact that I had to restart my entire game after it decided it didn't want me to advance anymore and refused to allow me to get another mission, and I am very underwhelmed. Everything detail is better from previous games; more realistic. I suppose the driving system is evidence of that. But sacrificing fun for realism? Now you've lost me.

I'm going back to Civ 4, thank you very much.

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Are you sure you couldn't advance? There are points in the game where you have no places to go, but if you hang around a bit you'll get a phone call.

The driving system takes some getting used to, as they tried to make it more "realistic". I was worried about it being unuseable, but personally I haven't had that much trouble. Handling varies with the type of car you're driving, and the weather conditions. Also, you really have to make good use of the hand brake and regular brake. Shooting while driving really *should* be hard, and it wasn't that easy in San Andreas either, to be honest. I usually left that stuff to the guys I packed in my car.

The frequency of calls is annoying at the start of the game, when Roman is constantly bugging you. It slows down a lot though...maybe because I kept doing stuff with them, or maybe because the game just reduces it after a while. In any case, you can turn off the phone, or so I'm told. To me, the single player campaign, while nice, is basically just training you for the Multiplayer, which is where the game becomes truly awesome.

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I'd been hanging around for more than an hour (real time) with nothing to do when I decided to do all the extra jobs your friends offer you. I've done them all. It's taken me about five real time hours. If that call is coming, then there's something wrong. :)

The choice to have other people in the car just doesn't come up a lot early in the game. It's usually just you, up until Packy and his bothers start robbing things. I'm just annoyed that the two big things in the game - driving and shooting - are so difficult to accomplish. I typically get away from cops because they've all crashed into each other, ala "Blues Brothers", not because of any mad skillz on my part. And prioritizing the autoaim so it would fire on the man directly in front of you firing the shotgun into your face over the man standing behind the car would be good too.

And yes, you can turn off the phone - if you don't want the game to advance. It gives you a chance to get the side quests, I suppose.

And yes, I have checked to make sure my phone is on.

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I was talking about San Andreas when I said I liked to have the other people in my car do the shooting. In GTA IV, I generally just don't bother unless I have bullets to waste. I'm not sure what the deal is with your game being stuck...you might want to contact their tech support.

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I don't want you to get the impression I don't like the game - I do. I'm just disappointed that it's not the polished gem I thought it would be. There's some glaring annoyances, but if you're willing to look beyond them, there is an awesome game underneath. I suppose I should say, if you're willing to look past the awesome game, there's some niggling glitches I find fault with. A real shame for a work of art like GTA 4.

And I'll get back to where I was before in the game. It'll just take me a while. If it happens again, though, I might have to hang it up and move on. No game is worth having it screw up on you like that.

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I'm still going through this game fairly swiftly. The counter says that I'm around 22% complete. I've found that some things are too realistic. Sure, the driving is harder, but what really gets me is the romance quests. Commenting that it's been a while since I called? Making fun of my choice in clothes? A passive-aggressive comment on my choice of date locations? I mean, ow.

I also find that it's a lot easier to use a taxi to get around than it is to drive myself. I am not going to be winning any races here, and going from one island to another just takes a while if I have to drive myself. Overall, though, I'm enjoying myself.

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Now keep in mind, I have no verification for this, but a friend of mine who was studying criminal justice told me that the last GTA game's release actually caused/coincided with a 30 day reduction in violent crime, because the guys who would be running around at 3am capping each other were too busy playing GTA.

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One of these I need to get a Mac laptop so I can load up Windows 98 and run Thief and Thief 2; the first one is my all-time favorite PC game, and I've never been able to run the second :(

I would love to run a D&D game set in the Thief universe, with it's mixture of magic and technology, and warring religious factions.

:bat: "My hammer awaits thee!"

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My only contribution to this discussion is a testament to my insane jealously. I will have to wait a very long time before I can play this game. GTA IV beat out sales from the last version and has won recognition from skeptical market insiders.

I've heard about the bugs, though. Has anyone experienced them?

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Well, like I said, my game up and decided not to give me any more missions suddenly, which meant that I had to start a new one. That comes as something of an annoyance, since that never happened in the other GTA games to me.

I'd still suggest you try it out, though. Aggravations over the driving and character parodies aside, it's a great game.

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GTA is one of the few games where I can express my sadistic pleasure while laughing when I running over peoples... But strangely I´m quit a nice guy even I play violences games. So it other word, Jack "Sissy" Thompson say it will make people going killing spree by just playing violence game it is not completely true.

But I like to get the hand on the new GTA if they are gonna relase for PC and also maybe upgrading my computer.

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Screen locks were one of the bugs mentioned. Rock Star Games is going to release a patch to fix it. They apparently panicked when reports came flooding in; the developers had no idea that any bugs were present in the game.

GTA IV is definitely on my list after hearing all the good reviews here. :)

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