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GTA 4 Irritations May 4, 2008

Posted by Matthew in GTA, Rant.
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Rose-Tinted Specs

So I’ve spent a lot of time with GTA 4 (over 22 hours) and I can’t help but think that all those PERFECT SCORES it has received from over-excited reviewers are a bit off the mark. There are so many things in it that annoy me, off the top of my head:

  • The start up screen seems to go on for ever.
  • Trees look like dirty, used toilet paper.
  • Shooting while driving is clunky and awkward.
  • Clothing system hasn’t changed since Vice City.
  • Spawn points in multiplayer are truly awful, especially in Cops & Crooks.
  • Walking up stairs takes for ever.
  • Niko has the turning circle of a large oil tanker and appears to be riding a unicycle when he does so.
  • Sunglasses seem to randomly vanish after cutscenes.
  • Longer missions need checkpoints so badly its not even funny.
  • Camera shits itself when you try to target an enemy standing next to you.
  • The game doesn’t pause when you press the home button to bring up the Xbox Guide – lazy.
  • No way of manually saving without time advancing 6 hours
  • Glitchy and somewhat bug-ridden.
  • At night time it is FAR TOO DARK.
  • Police ignore you when you crash into them, but if you drive through a toll booth without paying, they hunt your ass down.
  • The aiming system is still awful. Crackdown’s system pisses all over it.
  • Melee combat is pretty dire.
  • Tapping “A” to run? That’s what analogue sticks are for. Waste of a button that could be used for something else.
  • Cover system is straight from 1998. Takes roughly 5 minutes to come out of cover and shoot.
  • Scripted car chases. Seriously, 3 games in (5 if you count the PSP spin-offs) and we are still doing that?
  • “Follow this person, but don’t get too close or too far away” missions. See above.
  • The whole friends system. If I wanted that I’d go and play the Sims, thanks.
  • Disappointing soundtrack. I can count on one hand the amount of songs I like. Why did they remove custom soundtracks?
  • A.I. is still as dodgy as ever.
  • Inability to run while talking on the phone. It’s like Dead Rising all over again.

Despite all that, I still love it, I think it deserves a 9 at best. It is still a fantastic game but by no means perfect and I still prefer San Andreas.

GTA IV First Impressions April 29, 2008

Posted by Matthew in GTA.
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Since I’ve managed to tear myself away to watch Manchester United v Barcelona, I thought I’d post my thoughts on the game so far.

  • The graphics are a lot better and character models a lot more detailed than the trailers showed;
  • Car physics are brilliant, each one handles differently to the next;
  • The Euphoria engine is a complete joy to watch in action, especially if you crash on a motorbike;
  • Targeting, while still a bit iffy, is better than previous games;
  • Classic GTA humour is better than ever, particularly the advertising boards and radio commercials;
  • Sheer sense of scale is astonishing;
  • Far too bloody dark in places!

I’ve yet to try out the multiplayer, will hopefully get some of that done tomorrow.

Final GTA IV Trailer April 25, 2008

Posted by Matthew in GTA.
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I must admit, ever since I saw the first trailer I haven’t really liked Niko, but after seeing this one I’ve really warmed to him. A lot better than SHOUTY CJ anyway.

GTA IV Extended Commercial April 17, 2008

Posted by Matthew in GTA.
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Less than two weeks to go and for some strange reason I am nowhere near as excited about this game as I should be. The music used is Get Innocuous! by LCD Soundsystem from their Sound of Silver album, which is excellent by the way.