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Grand Theft Auto IV Review

gta 4 logo As mentioned yesterday, I picked up GTA4. Now, I won’t waste time doing a massive review as sixty thousand other sites have already done.  All I have to say is that I just don’t get it.

I’ve only gotten a few hours in, but already I just don’t see the hype. It’s a good game, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t get the perfect ratings the game has been getting from several reviewers.

There’s nothing groundbreaking here. It’s GTA. If you like previous GTA’s, you’ll like this one. If you hated previous GTA’s, you’ll hate this one too. The new features are nice, the updated graphics are nice, but at it’s core it has the exact same mechanics as all the previous games. It’s not a re-envisioning of the series the way the third installment was.

My main complaint though? Niko is a doucebag who I could care less about. Where’s a "Tommy" Vercetti like character who I can root for while I kill hookers? Maybe that will come later in the game, but I don’t see it.

Anyway, it is a good game. I like it, I’ll play it, and I’ll probably come back and try to get 100%. It’s just not the second coming of Jesus in video game form as several reviews have made it out to be.

Lastly, If you’re interested in some gameSniped multi-player madness, my XBL tag is Sph2nx. Look me up.


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  1. It’s good fun, but it’s not the world changing event all the hyperbole from places like IGN would have you believe.

    Do keep playing though, as Niko does grow on you quite a bit (well he grew on me anyway), but Tommy Vercetti is still my favourite GTA character.

    I’m still not very keen on the heavier vehicles. Too often I’m sliding out of control rather than being able to race around the city. I know it’s more realistic, but I miss the simpler driving model.

    My other complaint is keeping all your “friends” happy by constantly having to phone then to go do stuff. It’s a pain when you want to just play a couple of missions and save to have someone ring up and bitch about you not calling them for days.

  2. You really don’t like Niko? I think he’s a decent follow up to CJ from San Andreas: level headed and down to earth, but with a dry sense of humor that CJ lacked (if he weren’t Eastern European, he would work quite well as a Brit).

    I haven’t been playing it, but rather watching my significant other do so; open world games aren’t really my thing. It’s definitely very good from what I’ve seen, but yeah, the hype level surrounding it is almost like Halo 3 all over again.

  3. I beg to differ on the claim that the play mechanics are the “exact same…as the previous games.”

    I mean, if you have to break it down, the two most important things in GTA are driving and shooting. And while the driving may be similar to the others, they have completely overhauled the shooting controls. They’re a massive improvement over any of the others.

    Yeah, it’s not a perfect game (and by the way, just because a game gets a “perfect” score, doesn’t mean the reviewer thinks the game is perfect; it could just mean that they think the game is as good as it can be), but nothing is or ever will be. It’s not really revolutionary in any way. But really, how much better could GTA4 be? You don’t have to be revolutionary, to be exceptional.

    Oh well. I’m not attempting to argue, I’m just offering a counter-point.

  4. Cedge, I probably should have clarified as the “base mechanics”. Talk to someone, drive somewhere, shoot someone. Repeat.

    I DO like the game. I’m just honestly confused about how much other people seem to think it is heralding in the new age of mankind.

  5. I think it’s a huge step over San Andreas, and the 2nd biggest step in GTA next to GTAII to GTAIII. The biggest thing that gets me is the physics and the AI. The reactions of peopl eare pretty neat, and all the little attention to detail. For instance, you can actually kill other drivers in collisions, they will slump over the wheel and the horn will keep blowing, you can hit people head on and their engine can catch fire and catch them on fire inside the vehicle, they will get out and run around on fire, people who try to take you out of the car will hang on when you take off and you can drag them, you and other people can be ejected out the windshield. One of the neatest things was I pulled a gun on a person in a car, they ducked and tried to take off, I fired 3-4 rounds into the windshield, they took off, swerved a few times, then fell out of the car. I walked over and there were several bullet holes in the windshield and blood spatter. I personally think these little things are what makes the game more lively. Of course the basics are the same, but the presentation is on a scale never seen before.

  6. This is my favorite GTA so far, although number 1 is a close second. Personally I never cared much for the pervious characters in the GTA games and I actually care about Niko, it’s probably his dry humor.

    I don’t have a problem with the driving as it feels more realistic, which I like. I am having a bit of a problem with getting into cover and then firing but I’m sure that will get easier with practice.

    I’m not blown away by much but it is an amazingly solid game which makes it a 9.5 in my books.

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