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AusGamers Game of the Year Contender
Grand Theft Auto 4
Grand Theft Auto 4

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: Action Players: 1 (2 to 16 Online)
Developer: Rockstar North Official Site: http://www.rockstargames.com...
Publisher: Rockstar Games Classification: MA15+
Grand Theft Auto 4

Genre: Action
Players: 1 (2 to 16 Online)
Developer: Rockstar North
Official Site: http://www.rockstarga...
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Classification: MA15+
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Grand Theft Auto 4 Review
Review By @ 12:12pm 07/05/08
XBOX360
GTA IV is not “the perfect game”, no matter how many reviews would have you believe that. It’s no more a “perfect game” than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Super Mario 64 were “perfect games”. That said, the games industry still considers both the aforementioned as pinnacles in design and direction; games that ultimately shaped the 3D videogaming landscape as we know it today. With this in mind, the word “perfect”, as may have been touted when they were released all those years ago (Mario 64 1997, Zelda: OoT 1998), seems a necessary evil when removing the critic that is time.

Calling any game “perfect” though, really is a misnomer. History will ultimately judge the importance of a game based on its relative impact on the industry. For Mario and Zelda, both games are recognised for their technological leaps, scope and vision, pace and narrative, and ultimately their uniqueness in design and competence in 3D transition. It is clear now, however, some 10 years or more on - while amazing titles in their own right - neither game is the visual epitome of perfect, nor utterly representative of the social element of gaming. They each share an amazingly creative and ardent soundtrack, but even at the time of release the tech behind their scores was considered archaic (for being MIDI based). And so, for all their 3D explorative/platforming glory, Mario 64 and Zelda: OoT were still far and away from an ultimate leap in technology. In short, both games are now seen as products of their time.

What this tells us then is, no matter how poignant a game is in the design department, unless the technology can perfectly reflect the sum of its gameplay parts, it will never be perfect. With Mario and Zelda this statement is equally true, but with GTA IV it's truer than ever.

Like the aforementioned games, GTA IV comes *close* to perfection. Subjectively, it’s a matter of time and placement, really. At the end of the day the amount of time and effort injected into every facet of all of GTA IV’s features could be considered “perfect”, but like so many “perfect” field representations, it’s still going to be looked at as a product of its time. This is truer most on the tech side of things. For a moment, let’s forget the brilliant scripting, do away with the overtly tongue-in-cheek radio, television and advertising social commentary. Let’s ignore the game’s scope in geometry and freedom, we’ll overlook the near-perfect city planning and deliberate visual design inconsistencies for added realism, and break the game down to its two most fundamental parts: Narrative and choice.

Stripping all aesthetics away reveals GTA IV is actually two games trying to work as one. On the one hand you have a stunningly crafted gangster story with scripting worthy of a Scorsese thumbs up. 10 minute-or-less missions linking together story arcs are manageable and engaging enough the game’s flow, uninterrupted, will keep you glued to your PS3 or Xbox 360 for hours upon hours on-end. On the other hand you have an amazingly open world to play with. You can steal practically anything that moves and punch or shoot anyone who walks. You can date, eat, shop, dress and drink your way through town. Want to hang out with friends? Why not play darts, shoot pool, hit some pins, and take in a show (or lap dance)? Don’t care about your social status? You can always just play an arcade machine, deliver packages, taxi people around, hunt crooks, rescue people, pull people over, run people over. Hell, you can
even take to the skies like some virtual demigod - the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Real World Tools

Communicating with other characters in Liberty City is done through a handy mobile phone given to you by your cousin Roman early on in the game. Once you have it, the phone can be used to arrange dates, meetings or jobs as well as receive mission data. You can also manually dial numbers like 911 to call for police, fire or ambulance or just find random numbers in the game-world to see what they do. It's also a way in which the story is expanded without the need for cut-scenes. The more you raise your status, the more advanced your phones will become.

Further to this, GTA IV also has a robust virtual online feature where you visit internet cafes to check emails, peruse dating sites (where any girls or guys you're interested in might go on a date with you) and read satirical articles and advertisements. You can even 'download' ringtones and themes to your more advanced phones, fleshing out the real-world parallels in-game.
"Seemingly". See, here in lies the rub, and it’s where we realise technology just isn’t ready for what GTA IV wants to do. There is an underlying theme throughout the game that has you caring about every action you make. Your status with your girlfriend[s] is ingrained upon you early on – keep her happy or you’ll lose her. The same can be said of friends, like your cousin Roman. You need to keep him happy so you can get your free rides and the like, and on the surface this is a pretty cool thing. However, as far as the main arc goes, that is, the game’s single backbone story, nothing you ultimately do will change how it all plays out. There are a few decisions you can make here or there that will offer a slightly altered path, but nothing overly drastic. So the question is, what’s the point in having such a robust game-world if nothing you do in it is definitively dynamic? Sure it’s cool to be driving with a friend in the car, listening to them dynamically react to your actions in the game-world, but it won’t alter their place in the overall narrative. And the few things that do change aren’t nearly drastic or dynamic enough to warrant a marriage certificate between the two gameplay styles (it's more of a de facto relationship, really).

You could argue then GTA IV is a game that doesn’t tie you to, or scold you for, every action you make in the game, but instead rewards you with a break from following the story with its sandbox tools and open-world play. Indeed, I’ve more often than not found myself straying from the game’s story in favour of trying to do things like swim to the Statue of Happiness from the borough of Bohan or find all of the not-so-subtly placed or positioned jumps for that super stylish Dukes of Hazard slow-motion shot. I’ve spent a solid hour seeing how far I can drive a boat onto land and even longer attempting to blow up a pile of well placed cars (stolen and parked by me) with grenades or Molotov cocktails. I’ve even picked up my girlfriend in a semi-trailer just to see what she would say (it was “is this a new car?” for your information). But the end result is the same. All that happens in the end is I get arrested, lose my weapons and some cash and the world keeps on turning, just as it was programmed to do.

Whichever way you look at it, both elements of the game are fun; be it following the plight of off-the-boat European immigrant, Niko Bellic, and his rise to power, or driving across all four boroughs as you listen to the decidedly open satire condemning America’s ridiculously sacred republican and ultra conservative views. But at no point do either of these play styles ever truly get along, and in that sense, until the technology (or time allotted to) comes along, the GTA series will always remain a game where one side’s pasture is greener than the other.

That said, I’m not condemning the game. I’ve had as much fun with GTA IV as I’ve had with any of the top releases of last year. But it’s by no means an absolutely pinnacle game the industry will remember as landscape-shifting. It’s an update, plain and simple. Rockstar have done what Rockstar does (and knows) best. It’s by far the best the series has seen to be sure, but much of this is due largely to the development team’s experience with the title, new technologies and bigger budgets.

But with a bigger budget, more experience, better technology and a new [gaming] generation, this latest GTA outing really is worth more than a look at. The story alone is one of the most competently directed and well scripted pieces of art I’ve come across in my many years of gangster film and literature love. This is equally helped by an unbelievable cast of voice-actors (some famous, most not) who get inside each of the characters’ heads. Roman, Niko’s cousin is a tortured, somewhat innocent soul – like a child full of wonderment, hanging on to that ridiculous idea of the “American Dream”, he represents a sense of hope throughout an otherwise bleak game-world. Even through adversity he finds the silver-lining in things, and as you progress through the story, you can’t help but feel warm he’s related to your extended self, Niko Bellic.

Little Jacob, on the other hand, is that breed of character you feel immediately comfortable with. I feel your relationship with him, above all other relationships in the game, is the most genuine through its well-paced and balanced ascent to respect and adoration. Eventually you’ll likely feel more comfortable spending all your social time with him, even if it is difficult to understand everything he says. For me, the connection with little Jacob is, dare I say, borderline true friendship (it’s kind of weird, because he’s not real).

Easy Listening/Watching


A hallmark of the Grand Theft Auto franchise has always been the incredibly well-scripted talkback radio, and in GTA IV it's as hilariously satirical as ever. You'll hear all the misogynistic, racially charged tongue-in-cheek right-wing rants you could hope for and would expect from Rockstar. There are countless music stations also with voice talent like Iggy Pop and Juliette Lewis among others (the hip hop station is even mixed by legendary DJ Premier of Gang Starr fame). There's also plenty of television to watch with cartoons (look out for the super funny Republican Space Rangers), sports programs and a show featuring Ricky Gervaise!
It’s building relationships like the one with Little Jacob that opens this GTA up so much more than previous iterations of the series. Here you really care about the background characters, and despite the lack of truly dynamic, ever-changing associations, you’ll often find yourself at a bowling alley, pool hall or strip club, keeping them happy. What’s unfortunate about all of this though, is Niko rarely changes through any of this. Off the boat, he’s exactly what he’s going to be at the end. The only changes are aesthetic. As you progress you’ll get better weapons and new clothes, but his abilities and demeanour are the same from start to finish. This is one of the areas of the game I really feel Rockstar should look at. I understand they want to avoid looking like too many other games, but it couldn’t hurt to invest some time in a skill-tree, XP or gained ability system. Dynamically linking something like this with the new relationship building element could have an awesome upshot; offering far more incentive to invest the time in, well, spending time with GTA IV’s shady, loyal, obnoxious, endearing, questionable, funny, loving characters.

Part of the new-look and feel GTA is some of the technology the game has behind it, the most important of which is the Euphoria animation system. I’ve mentioned this in my many write-ups prior to the game’s release, but for those who missed it, Euphoria is a new technology that throws away any need for canned animations, replacing them instead with real-life movement. Basically, instead of ‘animating’ a character’s descent down a set of stairs, for example, said character is imbued with Euphoria, a virtual skeletal structure, that dictates – based on speed, angle, the stairs, etc – how the character’s body will react. So, walking down the stairs slowly will have the character’s body jarring naturally with each step, running down them will see them turning sideways to maintain speed with less chance of falling and hurting themselves; each and every step reacting to the stairs based on speed and the like, in an eerily realistic fashion.

The new system is in place everywhere in the game, but you’ll likely notice it most in cars. Hitting the brakes hard, parts of the environment (like a wall) or other vehicles will see characters awkwardly jarred forward, raising hands toward the dash for self-preservation or utterly thrown about. You can even speed toward a wall or fence and hit it hard enough Niko will come flying through the windshield in the most realistic fashion ever seen you’d think car companies everywhere would be looking at replacing crash-test dummies in favour of virtual ones, it’s that incredible.

In conjunction with Euphoria (which so far has only been licensed for use to Rockstar for GTA IV and LucasArts for their forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed), Rockstar North have once again used the proprietary Rage Engine to create the robust world of Liberty City, and with the power of the next-gen systems it looks amazing. It’s not perfect, with plenty of pop-up, some aliasing issues and slow texture loads, but given the scope and size of the game-world, in concurrence with its stunning art-direction, you can’t help but be impressed. Cars are modelled incredibly well with enough variance throughout you rarely see the same build twice. Moreover, the damage model this time around is far deeper; each and every ding, broken head or tail light, or flat tyre looks and feels real. They [Rockstar North] have really done an unbelievable job.

Again, however, this is one of the biggest issues with the game. Rockstar have done such an amazing job of creating a realistic, liveable, loveable city, its juxtaposition to linear-esque story-telling seems almost fruitless. I love utilising the game-world as I see fit, but it would be so much more compelling to have everything I do in the game-world reflected in the overall narrative, and here that’s simply not the case.

Aside from the two gameplay elements (story, free-play), you can also hit up the most stout multiplayer Rockstar have crafted yet. Having spent so much time with the single-player game though, I handed over multiplayer duties to my AusGamers partner in crime, Dan, for his thoughts. Dan…

Multiplayer - A story of one Dan and his journey through Liberty City’s multiplayer playground.
Words and experience by Dan.

Discounting the shared-screen antics of San Andreas, and the low-key PlayStation Portable offerings, Grand Theft Auto IV is the first game in the series to really offer a fully fledged multiplayer component – a feature so sought after that community modders actually took it upon themselves to hack it on to previous versions.

In an effort to maintain the seamless immersion of the single-player portion, multiplayer is accessed via the in-game phone. A feature that while well intentioned, can be rather annoying if the only reason you're loading the game is to jump online. Especially considering it still requires a loading screen anyway.

Additionally, uncustomisable matchmaking makes tailoring a game to play with a larger group of friends, or even just people in the same country, a frustrating and futile exercise. Fortunately, for Xbox Live at least, the invite system makes playing with smaller numbers of friends manageable enough but there's definitely plenty of room for improvement. Here's hoping for some post-release patch loving.

With that out of the way, make no mistake; Grand Theft Auto IV multiplayer is ridiculously awesome. The gameplay potential is just so enormous that once you get in and playing, it's easy to forget the aforementioned inadequacies.

A variety of multiplayer modes cater to several tastes and range from using only a small section of one island, to the whole of Liberty City, all configurable by the host player.
  • Race: Beat your opponents to the finish-line.
  • GTA Race: Beat your opponents to the finish line, with guns.
  • Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch: Just your standard adversarial affair.
  • Mafiya Work and Team Mafiya Work: Travel the city completing generic GTA tasks and prevent your opponents from doing theirs.
  • Car Jack City and Team Car Jack City: Steal the most cars and make the most cash; Turf War: Capture and hold points for your team.
  • Cops n Crooks: Crooks have to make it across town to the getaway vehicle, cops have to waste the crooks.
  • Three cooperative missions: Hangman's Noose, Bomb Da Base 2 and Deal Breaker let you play with others in specially tailored game missions, complete with their own intro cut-scene.
  • and finally, Free Mode: Do whatever you want sandbox style, respawn as many times as you like, repeat until bored.
Scoring in all modes is handled in cold hard cash with the dollar amounts you win each round going towards your overall total and player ranking. Each new rank unlocks more clothing and appearance options allowing you to customise the look of your multiplayer avatar.

That's about the extent of progression though (other than Xbox Live Achievements of course), there's nothing that gives persistent players an unfair advantage over newcomers as seems to be the trend with popular multiplayer games lately.

Network functionality can be a little sketchy with AI traffic and cars glitching occasionally and the frame-rates often suffer more so than single-player. But these things that might completely sour another game's multiplayer experience seem to just not be a huge deal when playing here, because hey, it's multiplayer GTA. Play a few rounds of Cops n Crooks and see if you don't find yourself saying “just one more game”.

Life In Liberty City - Conclusion to a game-world never-ending.

Fans of the series will no doubt be living it up in Liberty City already. Anyone who had issues with GTA III: San Andreas or any of the previous titles should know Rockstar have addressed almost everything here. Combat is much improved thanks to the new cover system that takes advantage of blind-firing, free-aim and quick jumps between locked targets. Headshots are instant death, rewarding patient players waiting for that clean shot, while enemy AI will definitely keep you on your toes. It’s not as good as it could be, but combat isn’t the only facet of Niko’s life.

The new social element is as compelling as chasing the game’s intricate plot and you’ll find yourself enveloped in chasing woman, making friends or just hanging out through its gripping nature. But it can also feel somewhat arbitrary if all you need to do to keep your girlfriend happy and putting out is take her to a Cluckin’ Bell. To this end, the experience is going to come down to personal preference – are you a story chaser? The sort of person who starts the plot and never let’s up to the very end. Or a gameplay junkie? Someone who tests the machinations of every facet of the game-world.

History will judge whether or not GTA IV is as groundbreaking as your Marios or Zeldas. Right now, I’m not so convinced. In the end though, it’s really very easy to get lost in this game. There is so much to love here, regardless of my views or the views of others; you could spend days or even years in Liberty City there’s just so much to do. It’s true we’re a ways off from having a definitively dynamic game-world; one where each and every action you make will affect, for good or bad, your overall experience (which is what I’m holding out for most), but for now, the term “sandbox” has found its benchmark in Grand Theft Auto IV.

AusGamers Game of the Year Contender
WHAT WE LIKED
Deep, intricate story
Insane number of hidden sandbox elements
Euphoria tech gives much life to Niko
Multiplayer is insanely fun
Dating, mobiles and the 'net!
WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE
Still not nearly as definitively dynamic as this style of game should be
Pop-up, slow texture loads and drops in frame-rate here and there
Lacklustre multiplayer matchmaking
MORE...
WE GAVE IT:
9.3
OUT OF 10
AusGamers
Latest Comments
d^
Posted 04:43pm 08/5/08
nice review, enjoyed the read.
WetWired
Posted 04:44pm 08/5/08
Game of the motherf*****g year
Beanith
Posted 05:01pm 08/5/08
I like the the fact you took your time playing the game before submitting the review unlike some other reviewers.

The bit about the Euphoria tech is pretty cool to know what's running things.

Now to wait for Zero Punctuation review
ctd
Posted 05:06pm 08/5/08
Best review yet, didn't blindly hype it to a perfect game. Playing the PS3 version, the frame rate is nothing to write home about which I guess is understandable considering how much is going on a one time. Heh I was driving on a river-side walk way with chairs and water fountains while being chased by 4 stars my frame rate was below 10 I would say.

also needs a lobby system for MP.
figjam
Posted 05:33pm 08/5/08
yawn... I can tell a fellow uni student. You clearly have the ability to use lots of words to get a little across. But no one is marking this assignment
Steve Farrelly
Posted 05:44pm 08/5/08
Actually, I'm not a uni student
reso
Posted 05:52pm 08/5/08
5-0 his face
sc00bs
Posted 05:54pm 08/5/08
figjam: yawn... I can tell a fellow uni student. You clearly have the ability to use lots of words to get a little across. But no one is marking this assignment

more like man-assjam
TWODOGSz
Posted 06:09pm 08/5/08
Good review. I appreciate the time and depth put into it, particularly your comments about the multiplayer that are mysteriously absent from all those perfect 10 reviews!

Personally I'd award the game a 9.5 with my major issues being the terrible online lobby system and matchmaking, which makes Halo 3 look like a God; an entertaining but terribly cliched story; and a lack of true gameplay innovation.

Characterisation, attention to detail, Euphoria, the soundtrack and the vast multiplayer modes are the biggest positives.
Dan
Posted 06:25pm 08/5/08
*points to the do not feed the trolls sign*

Nice read steve. Although I don't totally agree that the lack of a boundary-pushing dynamic game world takes much away, I definitely agree with GTA4 not being a 'perfect game' despite those many rushed 100% scores.

There was plenty of things that I didn't like while playing through the singleplayer, not all of them technical. The storylines and the characters for instance didn't do a thing for me this time around, while I still have fond memories of the likes of Lance Vance, Donald Love and Phil Cassidy.

The thing about these games is that they just offer so much that it's a massive ask to polish every single aspect. But because they offer so much you can almost ignore the imperfections because you're way too busy with all the parts that absolutely rock.

last edited by Dan at 18:25:56 08/May/08
Kamma
Posted 06:29pm 08/5/08
I found it interesting that you basically pointed out in your last sentence that GTA IV was pretty much as dynamic as a game can get at the moment, yet in "Things We Didn't Like" say "Still not nearly as definitively dynamic as this style of game should be".

Still, overall good review.
d0mino
Posted 07:01pm 08/5/08
Great review, but you misspelled 'testicle' in the 26th paragraph.
Phooks
Posted 09:28pm 08/5/08
Nice review, yet again steve.

Since there's no comments section for it, I'd like to point out that as a kid, I played 50cc ALL THE TIME.


and I still found it hard sometimes. :(
SE1Z
Posted 11:46pm 08/5/08
Great review and as others have said, well done for playing through the game BEFORE submitting it. It was worth the wait.

If I didn't already own the game, your review would have made me grab it. :)
infi
Posted 11:55pm 08/5/08
It was a good review, albeit a little verbose. Many points were repeated ad nauseum.
Bah
Posted 10:00pm 11/5/08
It was a good review, albeit a little verbose. Many points were repeated ad nauseum.
rec
Posted 04:02am 12/5/08
I've spent just under 20 hours playing GTA IV, and quite frankly I'm too bored to even finish it. It's really not much more than the GTA we all came to love in 2001 with the third in the series. I played GTA 3 for months on end, sinking in hours upon hours every day, but I simply can't see that happening with this incarnation. Sure, IV sports better graphics and more in-world distractions... but those distractions couldn't fool me into wasting time with them (ie; the friendship status system).

I'm with the reviewer; clearly this is a great game, but hardly worth the "best game ever" hype. I was happy to revisit on April 29th, but it's just too much of the same, and I would rather go play something fresh and hang out for the next title in the series that will actually revolutionise the franchise once more, like its predecessor did.

Bring on 2011 and the next generation of console hardware I guess, because clearly the power to do that isn't here yet.
Khel
Posted 12:34am 13/5/08
I dunno what you were expecting, its still GTA, they're not going to radically change up the formula. Personally, I can honestly say it has far exceeded all my expectations, and every time I play it it finds a new way to suprise and impress me. And I love how wonderfully things like the cop missions, the taxi missions, the exotic car collecting missions, etc all fit so organically into the world, instead of being tacked onto the side. I've probably spent more time doing courier missions, taxi missions, getting cars for Brucie, hunting down Liberty City's Most Wanted, engaing in illegal street races, stopping crimes in progress, and getting pissed and playing bowls/darts/pool with friends than I've spent doing the actual story missions :)
fpot
Posted 12:50am 13/5/08
Right now I am getting the pigeons and stunt jumps out of the way.
sejo
Posted 07:22pm 15/5/08
pliz send me this great game.am a poor dude!
reso
Posted 07:28pm 15/5/08
I agree with all the above posts.
Idol
Posted 07:31pm 15/5/08
me too
Midda
Posted 08:11pm 15/5/08
Khel, how many of the Most Wanted things have you done? Because I did the entire list in one 25 or so minute sitting. I thought I was supposed to get an achievement when I did them all, but I haven't :(

Though I don't think I've opened the third island yet, so maybe that's why.
BassMan
Posted 09:46pm 15/5/08
I'm getting the 2nd ending at the moment, then I'll look into multiplayer...
Boxhead
Posted 10:07pm 15/5/08
Funnily enough I haven't seen a copy of GTA4 in a shop over here in england, its on permanant sold out. and any stock that does come in is snapped up quick smart.. I was looking to get it for a laugh (and it won't be censored) but since I can't find it and im off on a long trip soon looks like I'll have to wait til i get back to aus..
Khel
Posted 10:35pm 15/5/08
Theres a list of "Most Wanted" criminals for each island, when you use the police computer on different islands, you get different lists.

then I'll look into multiplayer


Multiplayer is ridiculously fun, I'm only something like 30% of the way through the actual story missions, because I keep getting sucked into multiplayer games :P
Beanith
Posted 06:54am 16/5/08


Certainly an interesting review from Yahztee. The thing I miss most from GTAIV is the lack of hidden packages which unlock weapons/ammo at a safe house. Yes I know there are 200 pigeons but f*** that, you only get an achievement for finding all of the bastards.
Khel
Posted 09:15am 16/5/08
Theres hidden packages as well
Beanith
Posted 11:52am 16/5/08
Yes I know there are 200 pigeons but f*** that, you only get an achievement for finding all of the bastards.


As I said Khel, I know there's pigeons but you get nothing but an achievement for finding all 200. I miss the Rewards you got from collecting all the hidden packages in the other GTA, especially Vice City where you got weapons delivered to your safe house after having found x number of packages.
trog
Posted 12:07pm 16/5/08
I've only just started playing GTA4 and while I'm massively impressed by the visuals and the sheer scope of the game, nothing about the actual gameplay has blown me away yet - as Khel said, it's just the same old formula.

I like that they have the cabs in and the mission retry system - it makes retrying failed missions SO MUCH LESS PAINFUL. But I still feel like that the game is designed in such a way that I almost HAVE to fail some of the missions once or twice before I can figure out how to go through them.

I'm only a couple hours in though.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 12:55pm 16/5/08
I've found no reason to need weapons at the safe house. In fact, the only thing I buy from weapon shops is armour and maybe the odd grenade. I find that cops are really ineffective at actually busting you, instead opting to send you to hospital.
ctd
Posted 01:18pm 16/5/08
I didn't get busted once the whole story. You just run away if you press X on ps3 when they try to arrest you. Losing guns when arrested = bad.
maxe
Posted 01:26pm 16/5/08
Losing guns when arrested = bad.


got rolled drink-biking with Dwayne and lost my deagle, was so pissed :(

can run away if they get you while you're on a bike
Khel
Posted 01:34pm 16/5/08
Yeah, thats actually one of the most broken things about the game imo. Since you don't lose your guns when you die, but you do lose your guns when you're busted, theres absolutely no time when you would EVER get busted. I would rather drive myself into a wall and kill myself if I can't lose the cops, than get busted. And even if you DO get caught by the cops, you can mash the A button to resist arrest and they'll shoot you dead. I don't know why they even bother with cops trying to bust you, its been made completely obsolete.
Thundercracker
Posted 01:41pm 16/5/08
Yahztee needs to learn2handbrake.
ctd
Posted 02:20pm 16/5/08
If you aren't up to the deagle yet in the story you can shoot an ammunation clerk, make sure he draws his pistol and bingo you got a free deagle.
trog
Posted 01:48pm 27/5/08
So I'm a little bit further on in the game now. I feel like I'm grinding though - the missions are too similar (both to one another and to previous games). I don't feel like I'm getting anything new and now I'm just playing to finish the game - I know I'll have more fun once the actual story is out of the way and I can get back to just f*****g around and exploring further.

Also, what is the rationale behind making it so the mission restart point is BEFORE you get to the destination?

So many of the missions seem designed in such a way that you HAVE to fail it once before you know what to do - its so frustrating to have to restart and go through some extended rigmarole just to get to the jumping off point. The phone message that allows restarts is a big step up from previous games, but I don't get why they don't make the start point AFTER you get to the destination? I mean, there must be a gameplay reason but I don't see it.
natslovR
Posted 02:17pm 27/5/08
trog should do the agn review, then agn would get extra dugg for being the first site in the world to not give it 10/10.
ctd
Posted 02:27pm 27/5/08
Have to agree with trog. The missions were all so similar and I had more fun in mutliplayer and doing random shizzle.

Also while it was good that they actually had a mission retry this time, the c**** could have cut out the travel part. taxi's are everywhere which is almost as good.
Dan
Posted 02:36pm 27/5/08
trog should do the agn review, then agn would get extra dugg for being the first site in the world to not give it 10/10.
You do realise you're posting in the thread about the review where it wasn't given 10/10 right?
kos
Posted 02:58pm 27/5/08
The phone message that allows restarts is a big step up from previous games, but I don't get why they don't make the start point AFTER you get to the destination? I mean, there must be a gameplay reason but I don't see it.

As much as this annoyed me too, I at least enjoyed the different ways the conversations in the car went on the way when you restarted the mission. Perhaps they were so excited about recording alternative conversations that they wanted to force you to hear them?

Also the fact that the conversations go differently sort of more reinforced the feeling that the game had gone back in time and not everything was just being repeated. In other words it made it felt less like a game function and more related to the world it was in.
trog
Posted 03:07pm 27/5/08
As much as this annoyed me too, I at least enjoyed the different ways the conversations in the car went on the way when you restarted the mission. Perhaps they were so excited about recording alternative conversations that they wanted to force you to hear them?
Yep, it definitely would be HEAPS more objectionable if it didn't have this feature.

Another thing I'm not really enjoying - the cut scenes. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding a lot of the voice acting a bit over the top and most of the dialogue fairly uninspired. I find myself skipping the occasional cutscene because they're simply not enjoyable enough to sit through and most of the time they make no difference in the missions.
kos
Posted 03:18pm 27/5/08
At the start I thought the accents of Niko and Roman were pretty poor and they actually seemed to lose their accent in parts (like when they were yelling).

I don't know if I'm just used to it now or if the voice actors got better as they progressed through recording sessions, but I don't notice it anymore.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 03:27pm 27/5/08
I too find the cut scenes and characters to be really average. Overall it feels as if this GTA is a step backwards compared to the previous couple.
Dan
Posted 03:29pm 27/5/08
Another thing I'm not really enjoying - the cut scenes. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding a lot of the voice acting a bit over the top and most of the dialogue fairly uninspired. I find myself skipping the occasional cutscene because they're simply not enjoyable enough to sit through and most of the time they make no difference in the missions.
I definitely found myself skipping a lot of cut-scenes. Although I think the voice-acting was fine, as I said earlier in the thread it was the characters and storyline that just didn't do anything for me. I just couldn't begin to give a s*** about anyone in the game, they were all just so bleh. Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.
kos
Posted 03:30pm 27/5/08
Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him made (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.

Aaah so true! Brucie was by a long shot the standout character of the whole storyline.
Khel
Posted 03:32pm 27/5/08
Thundercracker
Posted 04:02pm 27/5/08
I have played the main story line through and I would have to agree that some of the cut scenes were pretty boring. No interesting characters or locations, just a basic "do this mission" briefing. Facial detail and animation was OK, but what bugged the s*** out of me was their hands. Its obvious they used motion capture on the body movement which looked really good. But the hands are stuck on like some wooden fixture without expression. And they seem to big (this could be me).

Some missions do stand out in my mind and different and fun, but they really needed to put more variety in. Standard chase car, kill dude missions (or kill dude, chase car) get boring fairly quick.

Having said that I found that they did an amazing job on the city and its surrounds. They should have leveraged the variety of locations for the missions and cut scenes.
orbitor
Posted 04:16pm 27/5/08
we are all just too jaded.
trog
Posted 04:28pm 27/5/08
I just couldn't begin to give a s*** about anyone in the game, they were all just so bleh. Brucie was ok, but the other character's interactions with him (or lack thereof) made his cut-scenes just as much yawn.
F*** yeh, Brucie is the only one I like watching. I wanted to kill myself whenever Little Jacob or his a****** rasta friends started talking though.

Totally agree re: characters, I just don't care about any of them and half the time I want to shoot them myself
VRBones
Posted 11:57pm 31/5/08
Picked up a PS3 recently with GTA IV and Guitar hero III. I think I've played ~3 hours of GTA, but GH keeps getting me back. I wouldn't mind getting into it a bit more, but I just don't seem to have the time when I'm in the mood for something like GTA.

Does the storyline get around to actual grand theft at some point? At the moment (bowling anyone?) it seems like you need to intentionally deviate from the plot and use prior knowledge of the series to do anything like what the original was about.
trog
Posted 03:20pm 02/6/08
Well, I finished this on the weekend and was thoroughly disappointed with the ending.

I found it hugely anti-climactic at best, completely confusing and boring at worst. I really lost interest in the overall story about 70% of the way through the game and ended up skipping a lot of the cut scenes, because (as above) they contained really uninteresting dialog and I had almost zero interest in the characters.

Overall I found this (gameplay wise) a big step down from GTA: San Andreas. I really missed parachutes, flyable planes, jet packs, tanks, cops on motorbikes, variety of objects to commit blunt trauma crimes with - the list goes on. Maybe I just haven't unlocked them yet but I really feel like there was wayyyyy more to do in GTA:SA.

I also really missed the little stats/RPG system GTA:SA had. I guess GTA4 has the achievements system but I just feel like that system is really vague and doesn't give me any direction to, well, doing anything.

I still haven't tried multiplayer but I hear its pretty cool, so I'll have to give it a bash.

Now the story is actually out of the way I'm finding it a lot more enjoyable to play - just screwing around doing the other little side missions and exploring the rest of the game.

Does anyone know what is up with the areas of the map that are built but have nothing to do there? Like the driving range and the amusement park - are they things that you can unlock by doing something, or will they be used as the basis for the DLC for the game or something?
orbitor
Posted 08:31am 03/6/08
I suspect they'll be DLC trog as from what I've read you can't unlock them in any way at this stage.
trog
Posted 09:30am 03/6/08
What about the prison? It sees really weird that it has all those guards but there appears to be nothing cool you can do there, like mini-missions where you break people out. I flew a chopper into the prison expecting all the guards to come after me and the only thing that happened was I accidentally landed on a prisoner and he died and that was it.
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