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Five Days Locked in a Room With GTA IV 220

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the looking-forwrad-to-this-one dept.
bippy writes "Five days, one game. The Rocky Mountain News has a write up of five days spent playing Grand Theft Auto IV recently in a San Francisco hotel. It ends: 'In Grand Theft Auto IV the story isn't just an amalgam of cut scenes and cleverly written dialogue, it's the experiences I create, too. It's now, watching Niko stand, his shoulders slumped, that the depth of this game finally hits me. Niko's journey, the one crafted by Rockstar, may have ended, but Niko's adventures in the story I am creating have just begun.'" The most anticipated game in a while, to be sure. I'm certainly looking forward to busting some heads and jumping ramps.
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Five Days Locked in a Room With GTA IV

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  • Re:hmmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @10:44AM (#23207426) Homepage Journal

    Yet this GTA comes out and people are practically wetting themselves over what is going to be the same thing but shiny? Don't get me wrong - I'm sure it'll be a good game and win lots of GOTY awards, but does anyone honestly think they'll see a lot they're not expecting?

    GTA is still the finest sandbox-game series, of course we're eager to see it. And the incremental upgrade approach works fine for me so long as we keep getting new storylines. Odd games tend to introduce game mechanics and even ones provide a large world in the game; this title improves mechanics, and the next one will probably have the large world again, AND the new complexity. At least, that's been the pattern so far. So yes, I think that people are justified in being excited.

    Personally, I want to see new things done to continue improving replay value. I will keep buying the games if this happens; otherwise I'll get tired of them eventually. It hasn't happened yet, though.

    Give me split-screen and/or LAN play, and I can keep the game fresh basically for eternity.

  • censorship (Score:3, Interesting)

    by conan1989 (1142827) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @10:50AM (#23207450)
    sucks how the aus and kiwi versions are censored! free speech anyone? and there's no PC version WTF? CoD learned from that mistake
  • PC version? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:10AM (#23207516) Journal
    So is a PC version planned to eventually be released for this GTA incarnation too?

    I just checked Wikipedia, but only the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were listed.
  • My Impressions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr Kool, PhD (173800) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:11AM (#23207522) Homepage Journal
    I've played the game a few hours since the ISO was released on Thursday. The main difference between GTA IV and previous versions is that the city feels more alive. Pedestrians say more and varied crap to you, people act in a variety of ways when you jack their car, the police act intelligently and hide behind their car doors, etc. There's a ton of stuff to do in the game and I'm sure it took a superhuman effort by the programming staff to get all this stuff packed into the game.

    My main complaint is that GTA IV is just a souped up version of the previous GTA games. You play a gangster who goes around breaking laws and doing gangster stuff. The missions are basically the same since the first GTA III - Steal this, muder that, etc. Also there are some frame rate issues, I notice FPS lagging on some occasions. Strange because Burnout looked better and didn't have these problems.

    Overall it's a great game. But in many ways it's the same game you've been playing for years.
  • Re:What next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr. Bad Example (31092) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:23AM (#23207570) Homepage
    > So they've done Miami Vice, mobsters, LA street gangs, and now Russian mobsters. What's next?

    Chicago gangs of the 1930s? (I know it's been done by other games, but I'd love to see a GTA version.)
  • Re:hmmmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fusen (841730) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:24AM (#23207576)
    I've completed the story missions on GTA4 since downloading couple days ago and it took 30 solid straight hours, the story seriously pulls you in, even though it may sound weird but I felt more "attached" to Niko than any other video game character when I was playing.

    Rockstar really did go all out with the story and plot twists with this game and it could easily be turned into an awesome movie.

    Near the end of the game when you have to make certain decisions which have different outcomes for Niko's life, I had a major problem choosing what to do and then the consequences hit me pretty hard. It seriously is the most engaging game I'm ever played.

    and then I haven't even started on the actualy fun gameplay changes :P

  • Re:What next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @11:31AM (#23207602) Homepage
    Would be an interesting storyline, but I'm not sure the whole "auto" thing would work out. There wasn't a whole lot of variety in cars back then. It brings to mind Need For Speed, Porsche Unleashed. Which was a great game, but the story mode kind of sucked, because you had to spend so much time driving cars from the 50s and 60s. Really shows you how much cars have changed since their early days.
  • The Hype Machine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xx01dk (191137) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:05PM (#23208052)
    I don't subscribe to any gaming magazine anymore. I don't like to think of myself as being easily manipulated, but I used to buy 2-3 PC games a month, based on glowing reviews telling me that such-and such game is the end-all and be-all of gaming. I own UT3, Crysis, Frontlines:FOW, and HL2 (Orange Box). Out of ALL of them, Portal is the only one I actually enjoyed so much that I couldn't wait to get back to it and replay it--and it was thrown in as almost an afterthought. HL2 was interesting but became too much of a grind, and the others simply lack depth, no matter how pretty they are.

    Other games that were overhyped and failed to satisfy me: Oblivion, World in Conflict, SupCom, Prey... Oh sure, I was stoked to be playing the latest and greatest on really good hardware, but after a couple of hours the shine starts to wear off and then it becomes a job. I have tried to play these games, really tried to finish them, but I just can't. And then, buyer's remorse sets in--it's a viscious cycle because you feel like you have to play all the way through regardless of enjoyment because it cost 50 damned dollars and you have to get your money's worth, right? I mean, come on, what's wrong with me? Why aren't I shivering in adulation of these gods of the gaming universe? Everyone tells me and I keep hearing how awesomely, Earth-shatteringly, mind-blowing these games are. I've got plenty of horsepower in my rig to run them, so it's not that; I know the developers worked their collective asses off making them, so quality isn't an issue either. I guess I just finally learned to stop buying games based on the "objective" reviews, and once I realized that is when I let my magazine subs lapse.

    xx01dk's law: All. Game. Reviews. Are. CRAP.

    -and its corollary-

    Thank goodness for BitTorrent and leaked/pirated releases.

    Do not misunderstand me here; if I like a game that I download, I will go out and buy it. If I do not, it gets deleted and I save my money. In addition, just like my favorite musicians, I will buy outright almost any game that is made by my short list of trusted companies/developers. (i.e.: Frank Delise, Sid Meyers, Stardock, Valve, and Rockstar)

    Where was I. Oh yes, the hype machine for GTA4. I'm going to buy it but not because of any stupid review. I own GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas and have played them all through because they were fun. I don't even care that GTA4 won't be out for PC anytime soon because the content is what matters here, and it will still be fresh (to me). I like what Rockstar does, so I will support them by buying their product sans reviews (I actually liked Postal, I think PCG gave it a 0 out of 10 rating...).

    Queue fanboy flame wars in 3... 2...
  • What about Wii (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:28PM (#23208178)
    I'd actually like to see a Wii version, I don't care if it has to be scaled back, we know it can be at least as good as San Andreas. It's too bad the Wii is being ignored by many popular franchises, I guess they just don't want money from the largest installed user base. Some users claim that Wii will never get these games because it is seen as a casual system, but the truth is the people who buy Wii are very interested in having fun with games, and are open to new possibilities even if it means taking a more unorthodox approach. But it doesn't mean they also don't enjoy the types of games they have grew up on, they're just so into gaming that they are open to all possibilities, and the Wii sparked something in a lot of people. It represents a focus on intimate core gameplay, but that doesn't mean it has to be ignored by those trying to convey more cinematic and epic experiences. Once the developers saw that Wii sales greatly exceeded their anticipations, they started announcing more support for it, so hopefully Wii owners will be able to get such titles in the future. The demand is there, it's just a matter of getting those games out.
  • Re:Depth... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hansamurai (907719) <> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:28PM (#23208182) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever played a GTA game? Specifically San Andreas? The game was something like a 100 square miles large, had missions all over the place, heck, you could micromanage your characters body fat if you wanted. That game had a ton of depth.
  • Re:What next? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:31PM (#23208200)
    A futuristic cyberpunk setting might be interesting too. Think of something like a cross between Shadowrun and GTA.
  • Re:What next? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:32PM (#23208206)
    GTA MMO. You and 1000 other people choose various...errr...opportunities to pursue in life, all the while driving over, sniping, and rocket killing everyone else.

    Sort of like Team Fortress, with cool cars.
  • not getting old? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @02:03PM (#23208358)
    GTA3 and Vice City blew me away. They were the most next-genny titles of their era, really showing the possibilities of the new hardware, not just doing the same tired and trite crap everyone else was doing. The controls were snappy, the scenes interesting, the worlds vibrant. One thing that doesn't get covered a lot, most of the missions were doably short. It's not like having to play through for an hour, no saves, to find out you failed. Most missions were under five minutes and you could quickly restore from the save point if you bombed out on it. This kept things moving fast and engaging.

    Never had a chance to play San Andreas but many of the reviews said it basically became boring and repetitive. It also didn't help that while GTA3 was a sort of era-less generic mob movie and Vice City was an unabashed homage to 80's cheese, San Andreas was based around 90's gangsta rap and thug movies with a suitably nauseating soundtrack. And because it didn't bring a whole lot new to the table, it didn't feel as fresh as 3 and VC, got boring more quickly.

    So, is GTAIV really all that? What have they done to keep things fresh and new? How does it keep from feeling like the same ol' same ol'?
  • Re:Depth... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @03:10PM (#23208682) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I have played GTA: SA. I have all of the GTA games to date. I didn't say they were not fun. The amount of gametime and maps has nothing to do with depth though. Hell, Painkiller had more 'depth' than any of the GTA games IMO, and that is saying very little.

    You'll note I didn't say it was a bad series of games, just don't pretend there is any depth to the 'story'.
  • Re:What next? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26, 2008 @03:20PM (#23208732)
    The next GTA game should be the ultimate power grab. GTA Capital City. Start out as a congressional page. Avoid the boy loving congressman, and rise through the ranks of power. Work on shutting up the over zealous trial lawyer who wants to shut down video game violence while ignoring movies, other media, or possibly the real cause for children acting up... crappy parenting.

    From there you can do all sorts of fun things like use your political influence to avoid getting arrested. Get drunk, drive around with a dead hooker in your car and crash it into a canal... no problem! Just call trust fund daddy and get out of jail free. It could make an awesome piece of fiction.
  • Re:hmmmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @12:29AM (#23211812)

    I respectfully disagree on the Elder Scroll claim. I tried to get into it, being one of the highest rated games on the 360 ever, but I simply could not. The world doesn't feel like a world, and side quests do not feel like they are part of the world, allow me to explain.

    Oblivion has a very straightforward main storyline, and one can follow this through without doing the vast majority of side quests. The characters in it are well voice-acted, but the animation and the characterization was simply very poorly done. Characters felt wooden, and you never established a real connection to any of them beyond the cursory back story the game throws at you. Compare with GTA, full of zany, wacky, and sometimes downright loathsome characters that you grow to care about by the end of the game.

    Rockstar, IMHO, are infinitely better story crafters than Bethesda could ever hope to be. Not to mention that the GTA world feels *alive* in ways that Oblivion could not match, despite its massive geographic size.

    I would still say that the recent GTA games (i.e. since GTA3) are the finest examples of sandbox gaming available. This doesn't include Civilization, since Civ isn't really a sandbox game, it's a God game, which is an entirely different genre that's more like Sim City than GTA.

  • Re:hmmmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by donscarletti (569232) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:22AM (#23212552)

    Civ4 requires one to expand and progress fairly efficiently lest one be quickly wiped out by barbarians or opponents. Sure, there is room to try something different each time but generally, one must be far more concerned with doing the right things rather than doing new things or one will not have the time, safety or resources to play around.

    The Elder Scrolls allows as much time as the player wants for screwing about but does not provide enough avenues for entertaining oneself without doing a fixed mission of some sort (at least in Oblivion and Morrowind, the ones I have played). Sure, you can just focus on side quests (of which there are a whole lot) but this is just a forking track, not actual free form content. You can focus on exploration, level advancement, dungeon raiding or inventory improvement but I never felt much challenge, excitement or thrill of doing much apart from the missions, the combat and movement are both too slow paced and rigid to stand up on their own without the missions keeping everything moving.

    GTA is different, if you don't want to do a mission of any sort you can just ride around the city as dangerously as possible, or do insane stunts and try to survive them, or get into dangerous (6 star) situations with the local constabulary and try to evade them. The exploration is better since they provide incentives to find various things and hide them very creatively. San Andreas was the king of diversions since it had large amounts of races in every city, riding, driving, flying and boat schools, bicycle races on the mountain, a bmx track, truck driving missions, a shooting range, the triathlon, dating, the regular vehicle missions, dancing (in a car and out), valet parking, video games and a bunch of other stuff. You could also find the Graffiti in Los Santos, photo opportunities is San Fierro, horseshoes in Los Venturas and oysters all over the state if you want to explore. It even keeps track of your best stunts, police chases and stuff for you so you can go for increasing your high scores in any number of things without even doing a mission. If it wasn't for its awful graphics and painful "Yo down fo representin' da hood?" "Yeh dog, I always down mofo!" "Lets be rollin'!" business at the beginning it would be the greatest game ever made.

  • by XNine (1009883) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @10:06AM (#23214128)
    I've Played GTA3, and Vice City, and basically refused to play San Andreas. I just don't get any excitement out of the GTA series. It's the same bullshit over and over again. Oh, hey, look, I need health, let's go screw a hooker and then kill her.

    Sorry, but I am not a fan of Rockstar games. They rank about as low as EA on my list. And I'm sure every magazine out there is like OMG THIS GAME RUUUUULES just like jocks at a kegger, but they said the same thing about Halo 3, and sorry, but Halo 3 was fucking garbage. Now, let's hope Metal Gear Solid 4 and Bionic Commando actually do their jobs and bring something new to games we have experienced before.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell