[Dual Review] Grand Theft Auto IV
What? We're just reviewing this now? Clicky clicky to find out what the hold up was...
Published: June 23, 2008
Justin: Yeah, the Italian missions seemed very tacked on. You have to wonder if they just weren't running out of ideas at that point. It would have been nice if they could have incorporated the new animation and physics systems. In a sandbox element they're great, but a little more effort on R*'s part and and they could have opened up some new mission possibilities.
You're also right about Niko being way too damn likeable. I went into the whole experience with the mentality of previous GTA games. "Who cares about this character model, I'm just here to blow things up." That sort of mindset. But between his well placed humor in cutscenes, the relationships that develop with other characters, and stupid things he blurts out during gameplay ("Can I have one of dem please?", "YELLOW CARRRRRRR"), it's hard to not like the guy.
Sam: Yep, that's exactly how I felt. There's all this tech being used, euphoria for animating stuff on the fly and this new cover system, etc. etc. I will say that the controls this time around are light years ahead of the old games. Have you gone back to play any of the old games since?
Justin: I'm not a masochist.
Sam: Dude, I don't know how I actually finished some of them. Masochistic is the perfect word for it. But the new system with cover and easy headshots, it makes the game easier, but all but strips out all the bullshit moments where you died because the auto-targeting system was locking on to some pedestrian behind you 100 feet away while some dude with a shotgun just empties it into the back of your head.
Also, I think I almost peed myself the first time I heard Niko drunkenly scream "YELLOW CARRRRR!!!" I dunno, I never felt any kind of connection with, well, any of the characters in the previous games. They were simply a way to get you into a mission. But I really did like some of the guys in GTA IV. And I genuinely hated others too, but because of their personalities. Packie was cool, Brucie was insane, Francis was scum and Manny... Manny had the honor of most surprising and deserving death ever.
Justin: I actually turned on freeaim as soon as I started playing, so I never experienced the default auto-targetting. The cover system was a bit glitchy at times, not quite taking cover in the right places, but it was leaps and bounds over what we've seen previously in the series. I really, really like the new system and I expect it's what we'll be seeing in future installments.
As far as characters... hahaha, Manny. That was a satisfying turn of events. I didn't shed any tears over Vlad, either.