TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile

View Poll Results: What did you think of GTA4?

Voters
61. You may not vote on this poll
  • I loved it.

    18 29.51%
  • It was ok.

    15 24.59%
  • I hated it.

    0 0%
  • Let's just face it San An was better.

    10 16.39%
  • I haven't played it.

    15 24.59%
  • I don't play GTA games on principle.

    3 4.92%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53

Thread: Grand Theft Auto 4

  1. #1
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die

    Grand Theft Auto 4

    I searched and there are no specific threads about impressions of the game. I got it recently for the PS3 (since I haven't heard that the PC version got fixed and besides I got a 40" TV partly for gaming) and well, below is what I think so far.

    I've included a poll because I get the feeling it gets a lot of love and hate and well I just wanted to know fellow forumite's opinions.

    Anyway...

    I enjoyed GTA Vice City, got bored of GTA 3, but I'm loving GTA4. 30% through it according to my in-game stats. I think I need to slow down.

    Where to start? The gameplay mechanics work a treat on the controller. The analogue accelerator is cool, the feel of the individual cars is slick, the gunplay and cover system pure gameplay fun. I'm enjoying the physics whilst driving alot, but damn its hard with so many tards on the roads
    The level of detail in this game is, to me, astounding. I know that most of the buildings are shells, but there are so many alleys, walkways, so much detail to the different parts of the city that coupled with the traffic (which is heavier on the second large island) and the pedestrians really make it seem like a living city. Crossing the bridges at night on the way to a mission, with the radio on (Lazarus Q, lol), feels so right. I love night driving through the city in RL and this works, just works.

    The plot, in the way I've taken it (more on that in a bit) seems pretty convoluted and there is a dark cynicism to Niko that I really like. He seems like a realist and a good guy at heart, but his coldness comes through all the time and at this point I think he's a pretty frikking scary guy. Most of the people he deals with don't seem to have the courage or conviction he has, and they also don't seem smart enough to realise that Niko is going to own them all. And I mean that outside the context of the plot - his character is just more resilient and much more ready to step up and take things to a deadly conclusion.

    Now the plot seems to have a branching structure so far. As I alluded to in another thread it really seems that things I've done, or not, have come back to affect me based on the decision. Now I'm going to put a spoiler tag here because this is a plot point that you should experience yourself. I'm sure I'll come up with others. I've been going out with Michelle the whole game and I've only refused to see her once. I initiated about half the dates, and I've hooked up with her on every date since the 2nd. I've just reached a part where it turns out she is a Fed, and Niko is pretty pissed off with her. I'm wondering what happens to the interaction if you don't go out with her at all, or dump her before this point?

    The missions may be samey (go here, kill this guy, deliver this) but the small differences and locales make it refreshing enough to not bore me yet.

    And then there are the details. The weapons feel solid (shotgun is my fav), the mobile phone is genius, Niko's new outfits make him look like the baddest gangster ever or the suavest Balkan Scarface out there, the cutscenes are great and it just looks lovely.

    So much effort has been put into this game and it shows. I was excited when it was due out but bummed that the PC version is nerfed due to porting issues. I've waited a while and if I'd known I'd have got this much earlier (12.99 used at game ftw).

    My verdict so far - if this keeps up I'm going to consider this a modern classic.

  2. #2
    Taking the Death Toll
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: ideally far away
    I didn't like it very much. The driving is assy and the plot wasn't very good. I didn't play for very long, but I know Rockstar and you only need to play so much before you get an idea of what to expect.

  3. #3
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    I've already posted my opinion in the Dragon Age thread.

    I've got the expansion pack bundle, "Episodes from Liberty City", on pre-order (since it's priced how a expansion should be, unlike Halo ODST). It sounds like an all-round better product than the vanilla game. I.e. none of the tedious social simulator crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by CCCToad View Post
    However, the story and writing is typical rockstar tripe.
    True, it's basically cribbed from a lot of Hollywood films, that probably did a better job. Gaming is a young medium though, so I cut it some slack.

    EDIT: GTA suffers from heavy gameplay and story segregation.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 20th Oct 2009 at 22:18.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: 1123.6536.5321
    I loved it! It took me ages to even unlock the second island because I was having so much fun just sandboxing around.

    Unfortunately, and indeed, strangely, once I completed the story missions i didn't really bother go back to it. Perhaps I had burned myself out just from arsing around so much, or some degree of novelty wore off (sure took its time!).

    Also the graphics were so fantastic, it made me slightly uneasy and worried about what the next gen GTA game will look like, and if we will soon reach the stage where certain people are going to start having genuine problems differentiating between reality and gameyworldland. Im usually the last person to cry "KILLER VIDEO GAMES", but some things, particularly the animation (was some of it procedurally generated?), really were scarily accurate.

    P.S. When Niko gets pissed... Well, that just rocks my silly socks! "MEESTER MAAAN!"

  5. #5
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Missions can be rigidly scripted, despite the nature of the game.

    Chasing down the thugs that stole the diamonds from you is a prime example. If you destroy their car before it reaches the destination (where scripted events occur), you fail the mission. You should've been able to destroy the car and retrieve the diamonds from the wreckage if you wanted to.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    It was OK. The turn to "realism" hurt the game immensly for me. But I liked it enough to finish it and replay it, unlike San Andreas which is one of my least favorite games ever.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: New Zealand
    Write in for "didn't buy it thanks to bad port and multiple crap DRM issues".

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: the City
    I have the PC version and loved it to death!
    I think I have clocked in many hours into this game.
    And achievements is just so addictive.
    Best GTA in the series, imo.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    My vote is probably skewed because 1. NYC is like home, so it got bonus points just for that, and 2. I'm a sucker for any game that just lets me randomly cruise in a car.

  10. #10
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    If it weren't for the multiplayer I'd vote that SA was better.
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    The driving is assy
    Compared to what? Sure it isn't up there with Test Drive Unlimited or Gran Turismo but compared to 99% of other sandbox games with driving elements GTA4's driving was so far ahead.

  11. #11
    member
    Registered: Jun 2006
    Location: canaustralia
    I'm a strong believer that one of the main reasons I didn't really like this game was because it was GTA. If this had been a new endeavor entirely from Rockstar I think think I would have been a lot more accepting of it. As it was I did buy the game expecting to punch in a cheat, and roll around in a tank or a jumpjet taking on armies, or jumping sportscars off of buildings.

    Although I always found a lot of the satire elements of the GTA series interesting, they were always games where I spent much more time fucking around than actually completing the missions, which are largely repetitive (especially in GTA IV where the lack of insanity seemed to reduce the game to drive, kill, drive home). But GTA IV feels like a game designed specifically not to be fucked around with, the lack of tanks and planes, along with dearth of cheats, and the tight highly populated streets meant that I didn't really stray beyond the path of the storyline much.

    Although the game mechanics themselves were a huge step forward in all respects (bar taking friends out on playdates), and the game world was fascinatingly well designed, I just spent a lot of the time yearning for the space of San Andreas, where it felt like there was a lot more to be discovered.

  12. #12
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by CCCToad View Post
    With games like No More Heroes, Assassin's Creed, Baldur's Gate, Bioshock, Deus Ex, Thief, Portal, Metal Gear, and all those other games that manage to tell interesting stories in interesting ways, I don't think I should cut it some slack.
    I think the difference here is all of these games have fantasy settings whereas GTA4 is much more set in reality. Sure, its a larger than life reality (or is it?) but it's not total fantasy like all of those (yes MGS and Deus Ex included). And come on Portal's "story" is tiny.

    I can identify with Niko in some respects because of this, because I feel he could be a real person.

    And BioShock doesn't tell an interesting story btw, it's a carbon copy of SS2 done badly

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2002
    Location: Sacramento, CA
    Hated the script (including web pages), and the social system quickly grew annoying. Thought the gameplay was significantly improved from previous titles, with pretty good driving mechanics and at least passable shooting mechanics, as well as lots of nice little touches.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2005
    I personally found it to be a huge disappointment. Especially with all the hype surrounding it (and the fact that SA came before it). I mean graphically it wasn't anything like the trailers. Yeah I know that's my fault for being so gullible, but at that time I was new to the 360 and I really thought it was capable of much more (especially after playing assassin's creed). The game wasn't really ugly, it was just extremely blurry, with lots of aliasing and low rez shadows and a bad framerate.

    The perfect controls and cover system advertised in the reviews were nowhere to be seen. What I found instead was a really slow and unresponsive character walking by default, thus forcing me to hold the running button permanently even during gunfights. And a horribly dated lock-on system, a remain from the last generation of consoles. You could choose to aim manually but it was just way too slow and the game was clearly not designed for it.

    Then there was the story and the missions. The story is the usual GTA story, except here they tried to make it more serious and make us care about the characters, so you get cutscenes telling you how the main character really isn't such a bad guy deep down inside, it's just that life wasn't very nice to him. But then you take control of said main character and you go an a killing spree in the city, cause that's what you do in GTA. You drive over the sidewalk, run over pedestrians, either killing them or getting them stuck in your bumper and drag them over a few hundred meters till they hit a wall. Or you use them as a punching ball, you beat them to death with either your feet or a baseball bat, or you use them as target practice...

    There's just a really huge gap between the seriousness of the cutscenes and the ridiculously over the top gameplay of an open-world game. It's like EvaUnit said there's a segregation between the gameplay and the story, and it's just weird. I guess you could argue that you don't have to be violent or anything, but even the most skilled player will still end up killing a shitload of pedestrians while driving.

    The missions themselves range from really awesome to fairly bad with most of them being in the bad category. I found most of the chase missions really tedious due to the "realistic" physics, which made driving a pain in the ass (especially with motorcycles). The missions on foot were a little better IMO but not so much.

    The problem is that they are very linear, but they take place in a non-linear world. So sometimes it's not always obvious what the game expects you to do, because there's only one way to accomplish your objective, and the game is expecting you to take a very specific path to reach it so it can trigger some really cool cutscenes along the way, in order to make the game really cinematic and all.

    Sometimes it works because you'll naturally take the path intended by the game and everything will play out as it should, but sometimes you'll try to be clever and find an alternate solution and you'll realize just how contrived it all is. For example whenever you're chasing someone whether on foot or by car, you can never ever kill him (no matter what you do) before the game expects you to.

    I'm personally not a big fan of that kind of design philosophy in an open-world game. Of course it was probably already there in the previous GTA games but I never found it as annoying as in this one.

    But the biggest disappointment came from the rest of the game which strangely enough wasn't there... Where were the airplanes, the parachutes, the jetpack, the bycicles and the tank ? Where were the burglary, taxi, ambulance and fire fighting side-missions ? What about the clothes shops, car shops, car tuning, tattoo parlors, houses for sale and so on to spend my money on or to customize my character ? Once you did the bank robbing mission you would end up with 100 000 dollars and nothing to spend it on except rocket launcher ammo...

    It just felt so empty. The main storyline itself was very short, and there wasn't anything on the side to keep you occupied.

    Another thing I didn't like was how the whole game was a huge tutorial. Instead of teaching you all the basic controls at the beginning and re-using those same controls throughout the game, there was a different control scheme for every little sequence. And the game would teach you how to play that sequence on the fly, making it very hard to actually enjoy it (that was actually present in the previous titles as well).

    Anyway I'm mostly focusing on the negative here but I don't really think it was a bad game or anything. I mean it did a lot of things right and was fairly entertaining all in all. It just wasn't really what I expected and thus was a big disappointment. But then again they did set the bar very high with SA and there was no way they could top it. So it's understandable that they went in a different direction altogether instead of trying to do more or better than the previous game. I just didn't like that particular direction.

    Also there's the multiplayer which I can't really comment on since I don't have an xbox live gold account. I did try a 48 hour trial once and I have to admit, I had a blast. And I can see how that would have taken away some resources from the development of the single player portion of the game.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2005
    It's an amazing game. You just have to accept what it was going for. They wanted to give the city a different feel for the main story. They wanted that "gritty" dark atmosphere, and I think it was the right choice in removing some of the absurdities to achieve this.

    Remember that Rockstar have planned this as a three-parter from the very beginning. The first game is the gritty foreign view on New York, the second game (first "episode") is that oldschool homely gang view, and the third and final one is where they go balls to the wall extravagant (parachutes and tanks return).

    And the storyline/writing were phenomenal. It's so frustrating when it loses major focus in the last act and kind of slowly deflates, but the dialogue is still ace. I'll be purchasing Episodes from Liberty City when it comes out soon, and I'm interested to see if they've tightened up the focus in their stories or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manwe View Post
    Another thing I didn't like was how the whole game was a huge tutorial. Instead of teaching you all the basic controls at the beginning and re-using those same controls throughout the game, there was a different control scheme for every little sequence. And the game would teach you how to play that sequence on the fly, making it very hard to actually enjoy it (that was actually present in the previous titles as well).
    I've heard this point brought up before, but honestly I thought this was the best thing the game had going for it. The first three-quarters are so good because they keep you on your toes. You never sink into the bore that is repetition, because they keep on giving the basic gameplay a neat little twist each time. It's also why the last quarter of the game suffers so much, because they refuse to introduce anything new and throw the same basic structure at you.

    I do wish that they would focus on building interiors much more, though. Hell, I'd go for a smaller city if it meant that the buildings were accessible. Holding up convenience stores, robbing apartments, etc. When the game did throw interiors at you, they were quite disappointing. When I entered the hospital and saw all of the signs leading to different areas, I was ecstatic... only to find out that every door was painted on and there was only one path.
    Last edited by Taffer36; 21st Oct 2009 at 14:00.

  16. #16
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Funny how some people find the story and writing immature and weak and others love it, eh?

  17. #17
    The Alchemist
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Manwe View Post
    Then there was the story and the missions. The story is the usual GTA story, except here they tried to make it more serious and make us care about the characters, so you get cutscenes telling you how the main character really isn't such a bad guy deep down inside, it's just that life wasn't very nice to him. But then you take control of said main character and you go an a killing spree in the city, cause that's what you do in GTA. You drive over the sidewalk, run over pedestrians, either killing them or getting them stuck in your bumper and drag them over a few hundred meters till they hit a wall. Or you use them as a punching ball, you beat them to death with either your feet or a baseball bat, or you use them as target practice...
    You play as you decide to. Because the way you played was completely different than the story being presented is not a fault of the game.

    But I guess I am one of those rare players that tried to keep some realism in the gameplay itself.

  18. #18
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.

    I loved it.

    I do miss -all- the stuff (not to mention size...) of San Andreas.

    I do miss the sillyness and parody of Vice City.

    But what GTA IV had to offer, and the episodes, I loved it. Shortcomings and all.

    Cheers

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    The writing is a mixed bag. The plot is shit, as usual, but Niko is as deep as GTA can go and he's likeable. And the humour, where present (i.e. radio stations) works. I still want to beat Brucie to a fucking pulp, though.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Subjective Effect View Post
    Funny how some people find the story and writing immature and weak and others love it, eh?
    Pastiche and parody are lost on some people. Those people should probably leave GTA games alone and go play Super Mario XXXXVII or something.

  21. #21
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by SD View Post
    Pastiche and parody are lost on some people.
    Have you played GTA4? The main story and overall game design had pretty much dumped all of that - relegating it to the radio stations, billboards, in-game internet, TV shows and a few of the girlfriends (eg an obvious caricature of Paris Hilton).

    There weren't many tongue-in-cheek characters as there were in previous games, Brucie - the steroid-popping, homophobic, fratboy-esque wigger; Phil Bell - basically coked and highly paranoid Henry Hill from the 3rd act of Goodfellas; and Manny, who wanted to "clean up streets" in order to gain the media attention to launch an entertainment career or some such - he didn't live for very long. Oh and Bernie.

    Where were the story missions along the lines of like pasting porn movie advertisements onto buildings by making jumps on a motorbike; fighting off an aerial assault of RC planes armed with bombs; or stealing a combine harvester for the task of marijuana farming? Performing assassinations under the guise of a job interview or an internet personals date? Whoopty fucking doo, I'm falling asleep here.

    I mentioned this in the Dragon Age thread. The game's tone is highly schizophrenic.
    The arcadey fun and tongue-in-cheek atmosphere was dumped in favour of realism and dead seriousness, including a grim dark storyline. The tone of the radio stations, internet and television utterly clashed with the gameplay and the rest of the established world.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 22nd Oct 2009 at 09:54.

  22. #22
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    That's just it though Eva, I don't think the main story dumped all that - perhaps its too subtle for some people.

  23. #23
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    I disagree, Grand Theft Auto 4 is about as subtle as a tonne of bricks falling in every aspect of its writing, everything is hammered across. Puns or pulp culture references in mission titles don't count.

    You really have to have played all of the incremental PS2 era GTA's to appreciate my point.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 22nd Oct 2009 at 11:24.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    I have to agree with the point about the schizophrenic mood. The game still has some humour, but it's inbetween unecessary grittiness. It has lost the absurdity of previous titles, which doesn't quite click seeing how the entire setting just isn't all that plausible.

    It's why I enjoyed Saint's Row 2 a whole lot more, myself. Also, I should note here that I found that turn to the direction happening from as far back as San Andreas; Vice City was the last title to maintain the colorful atmosphere that characterized the series. The Game Overthinker had made some really good points on the subject.

    By the way, did people really find the driving mechanics an improvement? I hated them! Sometimes Liberty City felt bigger than it really was just because I had to stop on the occasional red light and hitting the gas all the way to the floor was a guaranteed trip to the nearest hospital; especially on the motherfucking bikes.

    One thing I did find very welcome was the somewhat reduced difficulty.

  25. #25
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    On the PS3 the accelerator is R2 which is analogue. Makes it very easy to drive and going full pelt on a motorbike is unnecessary when you can go 80% and still catch up to anything.

    I've played GTA3 and Vice City Eva. I don't see the massive difference apart from GTA4 being a bit more gritty which, imho, is very very welcome.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •