Grand Theft Auto IV Review

I have never really been a fan of GTA games. That being said, this one seemed like it was going to do enough different that it sounded kind of interesting. When I got the game I liked that the narrative seemed to have been spruced up a bit, but it still felt like a GTA game. Surprisingly, this one kept my interest the whole way through. I just beat the game a few minutes ago, so I figured now would be a good time to give a brief review.

Things I liked:

  • The Story
  • The Voice Acting – This was probably my favorite thing about this game. The voice acting was brilliantly done. I wish Niko had a few more quips to shout when shooting, those got kind of repetitive after awhile, but over all. It was excellent.
  • The Shooting Mechanic – This was a problem for me in the previous games, and I thought it worked pretty well in this one.
  • The graphics – Some of the shadows were a bit flickery, but I thought the game looked pretty good as a whole.
  • The multiplayer seems pretty fun. I’ve only played a few times with friends, but it was pretty cool. I think free mode is my favorite, because you can just fuck around and do whatever you want.

Some things I didnt like:

  • The Driving – If this game drove like Burnout Paradise it would have been MUCH better, and car chases would have actually been fun instead of being an “ugh here we go again”. The cars felt like they weighed about 6 pounds, and would flip extremely easily. The desire to go fast was often defeated by the fear of sending a car into a flip/spin frenzy. Motorcycles were probably the worst controlling vehicles in the game. Every time a mission required the use of one (including the last one which took place on sandy beaches, further reducing handling) I would groan.
  • Some of the contextual button presses didn’t work very well. I would often have to hit the button 2 or 3 times before Niko would scale a ladder. Also I don’t know how many times I accidentally stole a taxi when trying to enter as a passenger.
  • AI/Glitches – There seemed to be several problems with the AI. I died countless times because of people running toward the motorcycle while screaming in fear. Because motorcycles in this game only weigh 2 pounds, this would cause me to flip headfirst into a wall. I saw a lot of animation glitches, like Niko’s foot coming out of his pants at some crazy angle and shaking violently. I was doing the last mission today and there was a part where you have to go off a jump. I wasn’t going fast enough so I failed the mission, and when I got to shore, instead of getting the restart mission option I got a the call that activates the mission in the first place, Which includes an additional car chase, plus having to manually backtrack.
  • It was kind of annoying getting calls from every single person you meet in the game constantly.

Overall this game is definitely worth playing, and I’d say its the best one in the series. Its pretty fun, and engaging throughout. I don’t think it is as good as all the reviewers for major sites have been saying, especially once you’ve removed the rose colored glasses that come with a big name release like GTA.

B

One Comment

  1. I agree with a lot of what you say, and you raise some good points.

    I found the driving to be fine, although admittedly I don’t play any other driving games. I never had any trouble with the controls (when I wanted a ride in a cab, I held down triangle instead of tapping it)

    I can’t remember a single game I have ever played that has lived up to its hype, but I still think GTA4 is one of the best games to come out in a while. It gets an ‘A’ from me.

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