[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: Let's start with worst and get this out of the way. The mission checkpoints were absolutely atrocious at times. If you screwed up halfway through a 30 minute mission, having to start it over again several times gets old fast. A memorable singleplayer moment that comes to mind is when I was screwing around with the tour helicopters: shooting people out of the sides as they took off, crashing into them in midair, stuff like that. At one point I shot an RPG and it ended up hitting the main road back by the entrance to the helipad, and the explosion managed to take out a hidden pigeon. That was pretty funny.
Sam: Ha! The hidden pigeons were pretty ingenious. There was nothing like stealing the attack chopper and then trying to hit the birds on the Statue of Happiness with the rotor blades while praying that one of 'em didn't break (it didn't work, by the way; I had to switch to just gunning them down, though the draw distance meant that they didn't really show up and I had to just shoot at where I knew they were when I got really close).
I completely agree with some of the mission checkpoints, though. The one where you had to rescue Roman was really annoying, actually. In fact, the first time I finally rescued him, we were heading back out and I bumped into him, sending him over the railing and smashing his face into the concrete below. Had to do that one again... I also had a weird bug where, while on the last mission and you end up getting pushed off the helicopter, I just randomly died when hitting the water.
What's really crazy is that even after finishing the game twice, I still haven't bothered with the cheats. I really do need to give myself infinite rockets or something and just climb to that construction tower in the middle of Algonquin and start firing off an endless salvo and watching the fireworks.
Justin: They managed to improve on the cheat system, oddly enough. You dial a number once and then it gets stored into a "Cheats" menu on your phone. For anyone reading this who wants to call me a big wuss, I never used them for the storyline.
Sam: Oh, wow, that's rad, actually. The implementation of the phone really is brilliant. I mean, the taxi system alone makes the game a million times more fun to retry missions or just get somewhere on a date, but doing stuff like calling other people in multiplayer when online and customizing stuff so you hear two lesbians going at it whenever someone calls is genius.
Justin: I can't even imagine what creating all of that shit is like. We've been talking about it for like 2 hours.
Sam: Seriously. And we've barely touched on the online stuff. How did you like it? Should there have been more? Is what's there enough? It kind of felt to me like an official version of Multi-Theft Auto, but it's hard to complain when it's done so well.
Justin: I was looking forward to the multiplayer a lot, probably more than the single player. It's fun there's no doubt about that, but I don't think the system is really capable of handling it as well as it should. The visuals are understandably reduced, but the draw distance is way too short a lot of the time. You can't do everything that you can in singleplayer, like playing a game of bowling, which was disappointing. It's great that they've included it, and there's no shortage of modes and customization options, but it's more of a side attraction than anything else. To me, at least. I can totally see where people would disagree.
(And it gets pretty choppy at times, too.)