Monday, May 25, 2009
Grand Theft Auto IV
Another delicious taste of pure anarchy from the Grand Theft Auto lineup. And what can I say? IV delivers. Although, in my opinion (which you obviously want because - hello - you're reading my blog), this game is freaking hard. Not necessarily the concepts. Maybe just the controls?
Story 9/10: Niky, Niky... If you can play this game and not fall for Niko Bellic, I just don't know. You must be made out of steel. I love the story-line and how it progresses with Niko. You are constantly finding out just tidbits abou this life before he came to America. And everything you find out emotionally ties you to him as a character/person. Actually, I cared so much for Niko that it made me angry that I didn't have more options to be a "good guy". I wished GTA & Fable would have a little game baby where I could cause mayhem but maybe also be good. Niko wanted to come to America for a fresh start, and here I am with my Xbox just making him shoot drug dealers all day long. I guess, in a way, he's doing good for society?
Graphics 9/10: The graphics on this one are solid. I mean, there is a LOT going on in this game and I think that it is all handled well and with great detail. I love the chance to change Niko's clothes (although I wish there were even more options). The detail and damage system for the cars/motorcycles/boats/helicopters etcetc is great. Also - non-graphic related - I think the cars last longer in this GTA than they have in previous versions. Longer lasting car = more mayhem = more fun! The cutscenes are fun to watch, and play out kind of like a movie. This whole game is like watching a Scorsese film, actually.
Sound 10/10: I'm sorry, but I have to do it. I have to give GTA the 10. Most of the time in this game you are in a car. And what does GTA offer in the car? Your choice of TONS of radio stations. It is so sweet. I prefer Liberty City Rock, although the talk radio station is good for a laugh. I also enjoy the voice-overs in this game. Although I have to play with closed-caption on because half the people are so heavily accented I can't understand them. Believeable, but CC is a requirement.
Gameplay 7.5/10: Okay this is where I ding you, GTA4. I love you and all, but seriously? Could driving a car be any more difficult? And then trying to shoot and drive?? It's like punishment. And there are a LOT of missions where you have to shoot someone and follow them in your car at the same time. I feel like I need a second player to do one or the other because I just can't seem to do it. I'm failing missions left and right on this thing. The race missions? Forget about it. I don't know HOW you get going fast and take a turn without totally losing it (if you know, please please comment I need to pass some of these races!!). The walking around and shooting is pretty concise though, and with practice I've gotten sort-of-fairly decent. I'm not exceptionally good at this style of game, so I don't expect to excel. I don't expect to struggle like crazy either.
Overall 9/10: This game is awesome. It is fun. The map is unbelieveably gigantic. The options are so vast it's close to limitless. One bummer? All I heard was the hype for this game - it's going to be so huge, they actually used NYC blueprints to create the game, etcetc. Well, I'm bummed that I can't go into more buildings. Unless it's part of the current mission you're playing you are pretty limited. There are maybe 5 or 6 shops/bars/restuarants you can go into on each island, and they are mostly repetitive from island to island. It's just kind of a bummer. If you go to all the work of making the game look like a real place, how about treating it more like a real place? Open up a few more buildings for us to explore.
Buy/Rent: As always, I am far from finishing this game at time of review, but it plays a lot like any other GTA I've played. And that means Buy. There is never a time when it isn't fun to throw this game in and tear some shiz up. You can tear around town in a sports car, or a semi-truck, or any other myriad of vehicles. Your choice! And with guns! Go now and buy buy buy!