Review by T_Devil

"Looking past comparisons: My own opinion on GTA IV"

Haters hate this game for some reason. I don't know why. Some compare this to GTA San Andreas or even Vice City and make comparisons. I'm not comparing this to San Andreas or Vice City or even GTA III which were all great games in their own right. I'm seeing it as a new game on a new system.

I look at this title as it's own game. And to this, I base a review on it. I'm not going to try and talk you into buying it or talk you out of buying it. You have a brain, I assume you can think for yourself. This is just my experience with it.

First off, not a 10. There are a couple of glitchy flaws. They can be entertaining, or if they just happen in a key moment of a mission, can be infuriating. We've all been there though, and this game is not immune. For this, minus one point.

Everything else though, the story, the voice talent, the physics, the explosions, the guns, the splattering of blood everywhere, the sarcastic and often caustic sense of humor. Lots of fun. I mean, these are the reasons why we play these games. They provide another world to be immersed in for a few hours at a time and this game is very good at that.

There are plenty of interesting characters. Some of them you can befriend and their friendship has perks such as discounted weapons, and free cab rides. It's a good thing to make friends, but you have to maintain those friendships through activities like going out to eat, throwing darts, bowling, shooting billiards and even drinking. Drunk driving in this game is difficult! Yeah, controversial, but at least it's something interesting.

There aren't any big name actors in this outing. It's kind of a disappointment at first, but after you get into the story, you really get into the acting because it's really very good. Actually, it helps to keep you immersed into the story because you are not picturing the actor in that role, all you see are the characters and that makes for a better experience, in my opinion. Still though, it's always fun to play "name that actor" and I did miss that, but only a little.

The story is the tried and true formula of introduction to a new place, making friends, betrayal, making new friends, making money, confrontation, and lots of errands that include gunfights and stuff being blown up. The targeting system is good, but this is where we have one of my fore-mentioned glitch issues that are infuriating. You can lock onto a target and switch between targets, but you can't always aim at the guy you really want to be shooting at because someone else is firing on your position. In a big gunfight, that can be a whole lot of people at once!

The physics are AMAZING! It's a cross between rag-doll physics, but only with more "body". When you run someone over with a car, it looks painful! When you get blown up, it just looks cool and really, when you get blown up, it has to look cool, right? At any rate, Everything physical in this game reacts to everything else. Cars have actual mass and can't be pushed around by your characters or blow up when they flip over..

I know, I wasn't going to make any comparisons, but this was something I really did want to mention as this was something that always kind of annoyed me in past GTA games. If only we could push cars off to the side with super human strength.....

If only we could unload a barrage of rockets on bad drivers. The game is fantasy, but there are things you really have to pick your grievances at. Sometimes the little things are the most annoying.

When not on missions or running around Liberty City, there are plenty of other distractions. You can go out with friends, do odd jobs, steal police cars and go after criminals, or if you want, you can stay at your safe house and watch TV. I like this little in game time wasting device because there are some missions that are time based. Other times, you can have Niko sit and watch the tube while you down a bowl
of cereal.

Definitely adult themed. It's not something I'd be comfortable with letting any pre-teen kid playing (or any teenagers in general, in my opinion). If you are a parent and reading this, please, be responsible for your children. They're yours, not mine. I don't want to have to give up games this good because you don't know how to raise your offspring.

Kids, if you're reading this and you want this game, prove to your parents that you are sophisticated and mature enough to handle it..... but be ready to give up a big chunk of childhood though, responsibility is an adults world...... get used to it.

This game is going to garner a lot of controversy. It already has. Haters hate, that's what they do. The media makes this game the crux of all evil. They forget that it's not Video Games that make people bad, it's people that make people bad.

This is a good game. A very good game. A game with a lot of replay potential and even more to come as there is to be Downloadable content for XBox 360. I don't know what PS3 owners will be getting.

One more thing before I wrap this review up, and that is my total lack of saying anything about it's online play. I'm not a big online gamer. Why should I pay a monthly fee to be verbally accosted by some stupid kid who doesn't get the approval they desperately crave from their parents? So, if you're only buying the game for online play, You're really buying it for the wrong reason, which is only my opinion.

That is all.
Thanks for reading.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/19/08

Game Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (US, 04/29/08)

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