"Grand Theft Auto IV"
I recently finished 50.5% of the latest "Grand Theft Auto" game;
that cost me more than 38 hours of my life. When I realized
that there's almost no shot I finish the whole game, I decided that
now would be a good time to say--this is one hell of a great
However, if you played
"GTA: San Andreas",
I think you played the best game of the series. "GTA IV", set
in Liberty City--a vaguely northeast major city that bears a
striking resemblance to New York--is solid throughout, with
incredible voice acting, a story that is just as sharp as the story
told in "San Andreas", great action sequences, improved graphics,
sound and controls, and plenty to keep you busy outside of the
missions that drive the single-player experience. Adding
multiplayer is a good idea, but the multiplayer won't give "Call of
Duty 4" a run for its money any time soon, if you catch my drift.
"GTA IV" is so massive I'll never be able to highlight all of it
here; suffice it to say, between the side missions (including
small-time crime, stealing exotic cars, dating women you meet around
town, spending time on the InterWeb, the in-game Internet, playing
dart/pool/bowling with your friends, completing cop Vigilante
missions, taking helicopter and boating tours, and shopping for new
clothes), the 20 radio stations, nearly a hundred main-game missions
and finding Easter eggs all over town in the form of "flying rats",
it is a deeper experience than "San Andreas", but for some reason,
the game doesn't resonate with me as much as that previous effort.
That's because "San Andreas" ripped off not one, but three cities
(LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas); the time period, the early 90s,
made the music selections ride up my alley quite nicely with its
heavy hip-hop influence; and the game relied heavily on the asset
system, similar to
"Vice City", where you earned money in order to buy
businesses...something that is not here in the newest "GTA" game,
which was a major disappointment to me. I really like the
exercise system that was built into the last game, too; little
things like that are not in the newest game. (And, the
exclusion of the Pimp Missions? Criminal.)
The last three "GTA" games are all priceless in their own way,
but this newest game is just a tad less...good than "San Andreas."
Rating: Opening Weekend
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience