Grand Theft Auto IV

[Dual Review] Grand Theft Auto IV

What? We're just reviewing this now? Clicky clicky to find out what the hold up was...
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: June 23, 2008
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Sam: Yeah, though the Vlad stuff was a little weird. There were moments where Niko just flipped out. Normally he's this cool guy and fairly easy-going, but at like two or three parts in the storyline, he just spazzes out and goes on an irrational killing spree. Vlad was a perfect example of that. You're doing missions for the dude one minute and the next you're on a vendetta for Roman and his girl because... um... huh?

But the auto-aim this time around was brilliant. Just being able to hold down the button and juuuuust nudge the stick up enough to plink someone in the head was so... satisfying? But yeah, I do agree that the cover could sometimes be wonky. I'm hoping it's something they'll continue to tweak it for future games.

Justin: Speaking of wonky, how was that first week or so of random freezes? That was a bunch of fun, wasn't it?

Sam: Ugh... I honestly just pulled out the Ethernet cable and kept playing. Luckily, it at least updates your stats when it logs in, so it wasn't a huge issue for me. I would have been pissed if all that running around didn't count toward my online web portal e-peen bragging rights.

Justin: It's just really surprising that something like that can slip through testing. To their credit, they came out with a patch pretty quickly.

Sam: Yeah, I've gotta give 'em props for fixing it fairly quickly.

You mentioned doing stuff with the characters. Aside from drinking, where you got to see another side of them, did you actually like some of the activities? I mean, Dwayne was a whiny little bitch when he was drunk (and not drunk), but some of 'em, like Packie or my fake-breasted nurse girlfriend Carmen who would refill my health when I called her on my cell phone actually made it worth spending the time with 'em, I suppose.

Justin: Little Jacob's offering of cheap guns anywhere, anytime was definitely worth the effort. Even though I liked a lot of the characters, I couldn't help but feel like I was doing chores after I'd done any activity more than once or twice. Pool was pretty fun, but you'd better be in it for the long haul once you start a game.

Sam: Yep. I have a feeling they probably wanted people to take their time and spread stuff out while playing through the story or something, but once I knew there was a reward at the end, I just wanted to grind it out to get them sweet, sweet rewards.

Justin: So enough about this boring gameplay stuff, let's get to the real reason we play games: neato graphics. What'd you think?

Sam: Gameplay is for losers; if my HDTV isn't pumping out the most amazing grafix evar, the game is weak.

Actually, I was really quite impressed with the visuals. I think a lot of my earlier comments about the city feeling alive and looking detailed are down to the fact that Rockstar has one hell of an engine on their hands. The RAGE Engine, I think they're calling it, and a lot of the oohs and ahhs just came down to seeing how the rising sunlight glinted off that purdy, purdy water or how hopping into a helicopter and just bombing around the city at night was almost enough reason to buy the game alone. I'm a graphics whore, I can't help it. I guess it was just the density of everything on every level from the ground up.

Oh, and the cars looked amaaaazing. Tons of detail on everything from wheels to spoilers... and then you start smashing into stuff and it all falls apart so gorgeously.
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