GTA IV Review: One week in

9 05 2008

Most gaming sites and newspapers and crap publish one monolithic review to cover the whole of their experience. With a game like GTA IV that’s designed to be long, maybe it’ll make more sense to keep stock as you go.

Where I am: After the “Shadow” mission for Little Jacob and the big-rig-bomb mission for Faustin. About $6K (I’ve swiped 3 or 4 cars for Brucie). No idea how many hours, but I can accept that I’m slow and don’t really want to know my hour count. (I like to explore and consequently “waste” tons of time.)

I have two gripes so far with the gameplay:

1. Shooting while in a vehicle. To be honest the GTA series has never really pulled this off well, as it’s a real challenge to do. How do you use two directional controls simultaneously and need to press at least two buttons to keep driving / shoot?

What I will say, though, is they’ve gotten a lot closer this time to something decent than they did in e.g. Vice City. The main gripe is that there’s no ability to aim BEFORE you start shooting. You hit the shoulder button and BAM you’re shooting. It’d be nice to have the shoulder button pull out your weapon, and then use a face-button (X on PS3, e.g.) to actually fire it. This would be tricky to pull off, but there’s really no way to design that control scheme where it’s not tricky.

2. The dating aspect. I expected to run into way more creepy LARPG chicks and crazy caricatures of fantasy bitches. So far it’s really only been Michelle. Maybe I’m doing something wrong (I haven’t gone to a strip club yet), so… will reserve judgment there.

Overall, though, as many have already said, this game kicks serious ass.

Update: 11 days later, and I’m still only 30something % through the game. Jesus.

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