nice review man, pretty meaty too.
genre: Action Adventure
System: Xbox 360, also on PS3
Who knew crime could pay so well?
Yes...so it has arrived. GTA, possibly the single most controversial (no way! Really?) game series to ever exist adds its fourth entry to its amazingly long list of GTA titles. 4 years in development, it has suffered delays, bans, controversy, and annoying 40 year old who can't get a girlfriend so they have to bash videogames (Jackie T.) Enjoy.
GTA IV has you follow the anti-hero Niko after being called to America by your cousin Roman. Fresh off the boat, Niko soon learns that his cousin's claims to a life of leisure are all but lies. What does the American dream mean to newcomers now days? For this Russian its a life of crime, deception and drugs. Lots of drugs(warehouses full). Niko's dream of getting a fresh turns sour as he learns that you can't escape your past so easily....
Lets get to it then. The story is absolutely awesome. As you play it, the story gets deeper and deeper and ends up being almost movie quality. the story is rich, and each character has so much life and story to them that its truly some the greatest character development I've seen since TF2(lol.) The realism is astounding, which is actually my biggest problem with the game. Rest assures, I won't lower the score because of this, I just despise the uber-realistic gameplay issues. Driving a car is harder then in real life, so I really wouldn't call that realistic, so much as simply annoying. Other then that, characters almost never say the same line twice, and never look the same. Animations are spot on realistic (Thanks Euphoria) and the atmosphere feels just like a big city world.
As for online connections and menus, I have had a bit of trouble joining ranked matches(go figure) and our game rooms are constantly united with other rooms at random points while playing. Frustrating, yes, but just wait till I get to multiplayer...ahem. The cell phone is basically the only menu you use. While innovative, its not exactly cool or fascinating.(Its more boring then Wolfenstein 3Ds menus.) but it works perfectly fine. Which is good....ish.
Now for the graphics portion of the review. Cough....ahem. GTA IV may not sport some of the best graphics around (a la Gears of War) but it certainly sports some of the most spectacular. Explosions from cars and RPGs are simply stunning to watch, as well and the flame effects from the molotovs. The lighting is brilliant; reflections are perfect and the whole engine runs perfectly smooth with practically no framerate issues whatsoever. Well, almost none. Euphoria seems a little less then expected to my end(my friend told me it was so much more realistic then it is), but its still amazing. When you shoot somebody in whatever body part, they react to it perfectly. The problems I found with it are that animations for getting hit by a car are simply terrible. I did a cartwhell through the air and somehow [gracefully] fell with my neck somewhere by my foot with my arm twisted over my back Peter Griffin style. Then my foot was suddenly where it was supposed to be while getting up. beyond Euphoria glitches, animation is spectacular.
The sound is...I'll spare you small talk. it works, great. 200 songs on the radio(even if they all suck, come on? Its 200 REAL songs!) talk shows, comedy clubs, and the voice acting is the best I've heard since Mass Effect. Lip syncing isn't perfect, but with this much dialogue, it would be close to impossible. The crunches of cars, the booms of RPGs, the police sirens(annoying as hell--realistic, no?) all sound effects are great. The little quotes your person can say in multiplayer may fall flat (haha, didn't know you could do that eh? You can. Left Bumper.) but thats about all that does. Little Jacob is so perfectly undiscernable that even the characters in the game can't understand him.
Gameplay. Meh.(kidding, kidding,don't stone me...) Gameplay works very close to how other GTA games before it works. They have autoaim that simply locks on to targets, or a new free look aiming system. (Guess which one sucks?) Glitches are obviously present with the Autoaim, such as it targeting dead enemies instead of living or people 50 yards away rather then 5 feet away. Gunplay itself is great. the western style duels between Niko and thugs or what may come are some of the best moments in the game. Melee combat....hah. Kill me for this, but its extremely unresponsive. (Ok, block when he attacks to dodge...block--WTF?) Maybe thats why Rockstar basically threw that out the window when it comes to multiplayer. For good reason. The environment plays a huge part in most combat, greatly too. In car battles, the cars around you and everything else is absolutely important.
other then combat, theres tons to do. Buy clothes, get food, go to a strip club or just play bowling. Tons I say, and I say only half of it.(Don't forget to go to the comedy club--15 hours of gloriously lame humor!) Don't forget your friends though--they give you missions, money, you can hang out with them, and even get drunk with them. Glorious. My main problem with it--the movement. Why is it so hard to simply make the joystick control running AND walking? The A button is retarded.
Multiplayer...mm. 16 game modes, tons of co-op, free roam, Deathmatches and everything in between, yet it won't take you away from CoD4 or Halo 3. However theres tons of fun to be had here, supposing you won't have a connection issue. Character customization is sub-par, but honestly, it doesn't matter when you have such huge variety of gameplay modes. Talking about them
would simply be a spoiler, since you should already have (or have had) this game anyway. Big story short, multiplayer= good, not great, not bad.
After the game, theres so much to do it'll make your head spin. 155 missions, none of them boring, 15 hours of comedy, games friends, multiplayer, darts, bowling, cub3d, achievements, the list is positively endless. If ever a game in history had infinite replay value, this is that game. Absolutely endless amounts of stuff to do.
Lets get to it then!
The story? Amazing. Atmosphere? Great. Cell Phone menus? Well, alright. Connection? Below Normal. The former beats the latter by a mile, though.
Not the best, but by far SOME of the best. Lighting, Explosions, and character models and animations are great. No 2 characters look the same, but Euphoria has issues sometimes. But nothing to take this down.
The greatest sound effects I've ever heard, coupled with amazing voice acting and 200+ soundtrack. Simply amazing.
Gunplay is amazing, melee sucks, the interactivity is amazing, the controls suck. Not bad though, and nowhere near to destroy any part of the experiance (Except maybe fighting.) The cover system is so-so. Car driving is fun, if not really annoying at times.
Replay Value: 5/5 (6 if possible)
The undisputed king of replay value. You could spend hundreds of hours on this and not be half-way through.
GTA IV has its share of issues, and I wouldn't call it a 10. However, I would easily call it a new benchmark in gaming history, interactivity, and all around innovation. Props to you, Rockstar!
Last edited by bandit; December 15th, 2008 at 00:32.
Another quality review. I didnt pick this up but I soooo want to. Knowing me, I'll pick it up, play like 2 hours and set it down. If I can find this cheap, I'll pick it up.
The multiplayer would be so much fun though playing with others, roaming NY and causing havoc!
The review is good. You forgot some serious changes to vehicle mechanics too. They're more Mafia (pc game) style adding to realism.
Replay value I think isn't as high as you claim.
Also, Niko is Serbian not Russian - massive difference.
Your geography 1/5
Your review 4/5
Thanks for taking the time to write your review, Shadowblind. Always nice to read something more than a overview in a single paragraph.
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