Review by JMan4WVU

"Brutally Honest Review"

I bought this game trying to be open minded after I heard both good and bad things. This is my brutally honest opinion on the game and I hope it helps others decide wether they want to spend 60 dollars on it or not.

The graphics are amazing for the genre. Think GTA with much better graphics. Everything looks great and I think it is a wonderful milestone for future sandbox games to surpass. The graphics take a much less cartoonish approach (aka GTA) and are much more mature and realistic. You can drive down the street and run staight into a car and there is a chance that the person driving will fly out the windshield. This is a really cool thing to see and a little addition that adds a lot of fun.

Fairly decent with a nice selection of songs to play but nothing over the top. I find it cool that when other cars pull up to you and stop (rival gang members getting out to shoot) that you can hear the music coming from there car.

This is the meat of the game obviously. Graphics are nice but are not the core element that make the game. The gameplay is truthfully basically a GTA clone but upgraded. This is a good thing though because thats what the developers intended. They took an already great idea and expanded on it to make it better. There are vast amounts of missions to complete, each one being different from the next. Missions include pimping, stealing, drug trafficking, murder, insurance fraud, basically anything that you want to do. The game is very non-linear and you can do just about anything you want from the beginning. There are little details everywhere that make this game much better than its earlier counterparts. You dont have to load to go into buildings and when you rob stores you actually go to the back where the safe is and you have to crack it by turning the thumbstick. Then you have to get away from the police of course. This just adds a much more realistic sense to the game than pointing the gun at the cashier and having cash magically appear on the counter top (aka GTA). Its little things like that which make this game all the better. The customization in this game is incredible also being that you can make your character and your cars look like just about anyone or anything. You can literally customize every aspect of your character from the clothing to the facial features and even the jewlery. The weapons are your standard weapons you see in most games such as the pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, rocket lauchers, molotov cocktails among others.

This does have its flaws. The modes are basically, well basic. You have your standard kill other people, kill other people while on a team, escort someone to the exit, and build up a superior car. The multiplayer seems broken right now though and people in the game will glitch all over the place. I have also not been able to load more than four people to play against at one time. A patch is definatley needed to correct these issuse but I do see some potential in the multiplayer once its fixed. You can create your own gang online or join another already made gang. This is a cool concept but nothing new considering every online game has some form of "guild/party/clan" system in place.

I say the game is well above average and is really fun to play but it certainly isnt genre defining and it doesnt bring anything new to what was already there.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/30/06

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