Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as some people would have you believe...., 24 July 2008
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= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I love groundbreaking games. You know, the sort of games that are fresh and succeed into making the audience love it. GTA 4 tries to do this, to be a groundbreaking game, it's clear from the start. But have they succeeded? The answer to that is 'meh'.

Ok firstly, I'll have to mention the fantastic scripting on offer in this game. It includes probably the most clever dialog ever in a video game, as well as that, the plot is intriguing and rather gripping and it's filled with countless memorable characters. As well as that there's more swearing in this than in Gordon Ramsay's house. I think my favorite moment in GTA is when, Niko Bellic (the illegal immigrant you play as)visits his friend Patrick McReary to get a job. Patrick tells Niko the job and says:

"Now are you going to do this job, or are we going to have to kill you?"

Niko replies:

"Well, since you put it that way...."

There are plenty of smart moments in the game like this that just manage to put a grin on your face. Now enough about the fantastic scripting, how is the actual game? The quality of the game is split in two. Every aspect of the game has a good side and a downside. The gameplay has been much improved since the previous GTA games. taking cover helps, and so does the auto aim feature, but these new features haven't been polished enough to be called amazing. You see, taking cover, although very handy it might be, doesn't stop some enemies you haven't spotted from easily circling around behind you and killing you almost immediately. It's a shame really because it actually fits into the game well. As for the auto aim feature, it's much better than taking your time to aim at the enemies, but once again comes a downside, sometimes you want to aim at another guy but you can't because the auto aim feature doesn't always let you. Which kinda sucks.

As for the driving, it's also improved, but because the games taken a more realistic turn, some annoying things can happen. Say if you slam into a wall or a lampost for some reason and it happens a lot, you begin flying out of your vehicle and lose a lot of your health. It's very annoying when you're in the middle of being in a chase in a mission because if it happens once, you might as well give up because by the time you try and get another vehicle to continue the chase, the guy your chasing's already escaped. It's the most frustrating thing in any game that's ever existed.

And that leads me to the mission structure. It's poor. The fact is, the difficulty curve is unbelievable. Now I'm probably what people call a veteran gamer. I'm usually very good at playing games. And to be honest, I'm pretty damn good at GTA 4. The problem is, missions can sometimes be too easy, or way way too hard. Or sometimes it can be even worse and start relatively easy and then suddenly just attack you on an unbearable difficulty level when you least expect it. This is probably the most disappointing aspect of the game. But there are still plenty more to mention.

The friends system is unnecessary. It's boring, it's not very rewarding and it doesn't improve the already great character development. It's not essential to do it but it's just a stupid idea. You know, crime lords can still have a good time going bowling!!

I've been moaning too much about GTA 4's downsides but the truth is, it IS fatally flawed. That's the same with the graphics. Now, the graphics have lovely cinematic effects to them, but the textures are god awful. Some of the textures look as if Rockstar games copied and pasted some of the textures from Baldur's gate into GTA 4. Although lip sync is good, I can't say that the character models are very impressive. And the cutscenes can range from good to bad. Some animations seem very stiff, not that it takes away the enjoyment of the fantastic plot. As well as that, no matter what camera perspective you use, it's always slow and annoying to try and rotate the camera. But there is a lot of detail put into the game, even if not everything is pretty. The cars can sometimes make you dribble by looking so stylish and real. But it's obvious they've concentrated more on making the cars look pretty rather than some of the environments.

So after all my whining are there any other great features to GTA 4? Yeah, a couple. Multiplayer is good and has a wide variety of games. The problem with the cover system I mentioned before has been removed here because instead of having annoying AI circling around to kill you from the back, it seems that for some strange reason, it doesn't happen in multiplayer which is great. And having the whole map of Liberty City to explore with your friends is a great option. Only trouble is, my friends hate GTA 4 and prefer to go on COD, so I can't really ever see GTA's multiplayer to it's full potential. But of what I've seen, it's good.

Some of the critics reviews have been ridiculous for this game. IGN gave it a 10/10 and probably made the worst review I have EVER seen.
I might be too generous giving GTA 4 four stars, but then again it's obvious a lot of effort has been made into making this game possible. And the scripting alone deserves 4 stars anyway.

GTA 4 is art, but it's the art that's good, not the game.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Aug 2008 13:37:11 BDT
The Milkman says:
This is a bizarre review.

How can you moan about the cover system because the enemy can circle you and kill you that way? Isnt that what you'd do? I see that as a plus and shows decent AI.

It sounds to me that you just want some kind of invincibility cheat or something.

Same goes for the flying out of your crashed car bit. What do you expect to happen? The game is trying to make you take more care as there are now consequences to any crazy stuff you do. It maybe a little frustrating, but its COMPLETELY fair.

As for being brilliant at GTA4 but still moaning about the difficulty of some of the missions - no way. This is by far the easiest GTA ever made by a long, long way. In terms of difficulty spikes its a kitten compared to the other games.

I wouldn't say its the best game ever, but I felt compelled to write something because all the negatives you mention would probably be positives for most people.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2008 08:39:04 BDT
Owain says:
I do get your meaning. People will always have a different opinion with this game, I'm not going to blab on about why, but it's true. One thing that you mentioned however, was that the game is pretty easy, I beg to differ. My friends who have tried to carry on with GTA 4 were amazed at how many times they had to replay a mission because they failed it so often. The mission Snow Storm for example, you might not remember, but your in a pretty big building, the cops have started to invade it and your meant to find a window to jump out of the building. I didn't have a problem with this mission, but one of my friends had to do the mission 15 or more times to complete it. It tells you to find the window, but you don't know where it is. And you just cannot say that getting knocked over by a big truck while your on a motorbike mission isn't frustrating. As a note though, as you mentioned, most negatives I've written down can also be positives for some people, yeah sure getting hit by a vehicle looks cool, but I began to hate it pretty quickly, because of the frustration.
As for flying out of the front window, I wasn't expecting it, because it wasn't in previous GTA games. I'm used to the older games, which focused on more fun and less realism. I don't mind realism, but I did prefer the series when it was less realistic, it seemed more fitting for me. But this is a new era for gaming, where everything is trying to be more realistic, so I'm guessing that soon enough when Duke Nukem finally gets released by 3d realms, it'll take a more realistic turn and end up with Duke ending up with lung cancer after all his smoking. And this review is from my own experiences, so I'm not expecting everyone to agree.
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Owain
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Location: Dyserth, Wales

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