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Why I’m Finally Playing Grand Theft Auto IV

by Paul

Yep, I’m a hypocrite. After writing the article a few weeks ago giving five reasons why I’m not playing Grand Theft Auto IV, I’m addicted to it now. The reason why I am playing the game so soon after writing the article came about from a perfect storm of getting a PS3 as a wedding gift and then having a roommate who had gotten GTA IV for free for the PS3. There was no reason left for me not to at least try it out.

While this isn’t exactly a review because I don’t feel like I’ve played enough of the game yet, I thought I had enough thoughts to put together to make a well informed opinion of it. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, no matter how much hype the game has had and how many perfect scores GTA IV has been given, I fail to see why everyone loves it like kittens on ice. GTA IV is basically a rehash of the other games with some added bells and whistles. My biggest gripe is with the controls. The driving seems overly difficult and the control are awful when trying to move Niko Bellic around on foot, especially in firefights. The cover system is a poor imitation of Gears of War at best and don’t get me started on trying to drive and shoot at the same time.

What the game does well however, is making it feel closer to a real city than its predecessors with a substantial improvement in graphics for the city scape (although I’ve got to note that the characters are really freaking ugly and barely look current gen). Liberty City seems busier and more alive even if a lot of the improvements to it’s citizens are superficial (so what if they answer cell phone calls, they still act like cattle). Still, good graphics and endless fetch missions does not a good game make. What keeps me playing is the strength of the characters and the main storyline. Going in I cared nothing for Niko Bellic, but about an hour into the story I really started caring about him and his cousin Roman. The dialog is witty, sharp, and most important of all believable. They find themselves in cliched mob situations, but the way that Niko reacts to the situations is new and compelling. He’s not just some badass for hire, he’s basically a good guy who does bad things.

I may not understand why this game seems to be so golden for its flaws that many choose to ignore, but for the story alone I’ll keep playing. I would have never spent sixty bucks on a copy, but when playing for free it’s an great, although not life changing, game.

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4 Responses to “Why I’m Finally Playing Grand Theft Auto IV”

  1. Scott Says:

    Paul, First congrats on getting married. Second glad to hear you are enjoying GTA IV I am still waiting for my Xbox to come home from vacation. Keep playing but dont get to wrapped up in Liberty City and forget about your new bride. Good luck and dont forget if you got GTA IV for a wedding gift dont forget to share

  2. Paul Says:

    Thanks Scott. The wife usually reads next to me while I play videogames so it’s all good.

  3. valentin Says:

    i love that game

  4. nobody Says:

    I was disappointed in GTA IV. In all fairness, San Andreas was so big, so much fun, so much to do, seems too much to ask to top it. San Andreas had, along with planes and helicopters, bunny hopping bicycles, jet pack, tanks, hovercrafts, casinos, stadium games, dune buggies, go carts, desert, Vegas, the country, LA, San Francisco, sand dunes, monster trucks, the list goes on. Every area you went in San Andreas felt very different which made it interesting and made you want to explore which GTA IV severely lacked. GTA IV is a good example of spending too much time on authenticity and not enough on fun. Every island in GTA IV feels the same. I don’t care if that’s how it really is, it’s monotonous and boring going to another island and it feeling like the one you just came from. GTA IV had a great story, and obviously much better graphics…that’s it. San Andreas has it beat by far in every other way. San Andreas set the bar too high maybe. Saint’s Row 2 looks like it will be more fun than GTA IV. Mercenaries 2 looks like it will have the fun I wish GTA IV had. I guess I expected too much from GTA IV because San Andreas was so good. I enjoyed GTA IV for what it was but always felt let down by it. It got too much hype and is over-rated. Just my opinions. I know, my comment is too long. Apologies.

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