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Gaming Grand Theft Auto IV

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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"][SIZE="1"][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Wow ... seriously? There's no topic already about this mammoth of a game? This titan of terror?

Seriously though, that's surprising. I haven't actually gotten a chance to play the game yet because my brother just bought it and is currently playing it, but as soon as I can get my hands on it I'll try to give a general overview of how the game really is.

A few random things I've already heard out of my brother's mouth include:

"[I]Why can't I drive very well?[/I]"

"[I]Bowling?[/I]"

"[I]My date is ruined now because I killed three people on the way to her house.[/I]"


So if anyone else on the old boards have gotten their hands on this game, how do you feel about it? Does it live up to the expectations you had for it? [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

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[font=franklin gothic medium]I've been playing this for a few days now. In fact, I spent about five hours playing it all yesterday afternoon (and I haven't spent that long with a game in a while in one sitting).

The thing about this game is that it's really hard to explain it without giving lots of examples. There are a ton of things in the game that really surprise you (in terms of A.I. intelligence or simply attention to detail).

So it's hard to know where to start.

I guess the first thing you really notice in the game is the new physics system. It really affects everything from your character's general movement (which is now [i]far[/i] more realistic) to vehicle control.

Vehicles are still a bit iffy for me at this stage. Yes, they are now more realistic. On the other hand, some of them are [i]so[/i] heavy that they are a pain when turning corners and they take far too long to come to a complete stop. The "looseness" of vehicle control can sometimes be an issue.

Having said that, most cars are fine and it's just something you get used to over time.

The physics kind of dictate so many of the game's improvements, though. I actually think that the physics make the entire game feel quite different, because they add a layer of depth that the previous games never had.

If I had to explain it in another way, I'd say that in the older games you had these huge worlds that had a lot of things going on. But, compared to GTAIV, they were lifeless; their activity was only superficial in nature and most of it didn't mean anything.

In GTAIV, you can dig right down into the relationships in society. Using the Internet and TV for example, you start to uncover a world that really is active even when you're not around. There are so many things going on that aren't even tied to the actual story, but that exist because the world strives to be as real as possible.

I think one of the best examples of the improvements in depth relate to dating. In this game, dating and building relationships are a much bigger component than ever before.

But, they actually aren't boring. And that's because a) you can see very clear evidence of relationships advancing and b) the process of dating or taking a mate out for a beer are actually [i]fun[/i].

I'll give you an example:

[spoiler]I started dating Michelle early in the game - I think she's sort of the main person you date, but you can date other people as well.

Anyway, on each date you can literally see the relationship improving through the characters' conversations. On the first date she's asking Niko about where he's from and what work he does...and as time goes by, the discussions get far deeper. So much so that the characters begin to uncover revelations about each other and it changes the nature of their relationship.

Also, Michelle is actually [i]aware[/i] of what Niko is doing. And it feels very natural.

For instance, if he wears the same clothes twice in a row, she might make a comment. One day I just bought new shoes and she noticed it about halfway through the date - "Oh, new shoes Niko? They look great." She will even comment on the [i]style[/i] of your clothing.

She'll also talk about many other things. For instance, she will ask about your common friends and your cousin. These discussions are not simply static things that feel canned or forced, though - they come across as very natural and dynamic.[/spoiler]

There's so much more to say even just with dating that I could go on forever.

And then you can go into stuff like the new policing system (which is far better than the old one, in my opinion) or the variety when it comes to jacking cars.

The game is filled with many subtle details, too. For instance, I jacked a car to pick up a guy who I had to drop off somewhere. When I jacked the car, Niko smashed the driver's side window and hot-wired the car before taking off.

When I picked up the guy, he was smoking. You could see him actually smoking inside the car. His smoke had nowhere else to escape but the open window - so as I'm driving, you can see his smoke billowing out from the driver's window.

Even when you turn your car, or if you hit something... you can see the occupants moving around realistically inside.

And then there is the cell phone (an incredibly useful inclusion) and the various things you can do with it. At first I didn't really understand why anyone would bother with a taxi ride for instance, but it soon makes sense - sometimes using a taxi is a far better alternative than driving (especially when drunk).

All in all I could go on forever, but I won't. Basically, GTAIV is by far the best GTA I've ever played. I think it addresses some of the main criticisms with previous games, while also going a lot further in new areas.

When you first play, it doesn't seem all that different (other than the really obvious stuff). But as you progress you start to realize just how life-like the game is...and just how different it is from previous games in the series.

So this is definitely a no-brainer if you're a GTA fan. And if you're not, this may very well be the game that gets you into GTA - as a stand alone product, it's really remarkable. I do think that this game sets a lot of new benchmarks for gaming in general.[/font]

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[FONT="tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]I'm going ape **** for this game right now. I've heard so many good things about it and all my friends are having a blast playing it ("Dude I've been playing online like 5 hours a day since I got it") and [i]I can't play it[/i].

My Elite is being fixed right now. For the second time. Why can't Microsoft learn something from Nintendo and create indestructible consoles?

[quote=James]The game is filled with many subtle details, too. For instance, I jacked a car to pick up a guy who I had to drop off somewhere. When I jacked the car, Niko smashed the driver's side window and hot-wired the car before taking off.

When I picked up the guy, he was smoking. You could see him actually smoking inside the car. His smoke had nowhere else to escape but the open window - so as I'm driving, you can see his smoke billowing out from the driver's window.[/quote]
That is incredible.[/COLOR][/FONT]

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[quote name='8bit'][FONT=tahoma][COLOR=dimgray]That is incredible.[/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]
[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=blue]Yeah, they put a lot of detail into this game. Another thing that I think is rather awesome is standing with one foot on the curb and one on the street. In previous games, the foot on the street would just float. In GTA IV, he actually bends his one leg to even things out. Little details like that really are amazing.[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=blue]As for the rest of the game, from the little bit I've gotten a chance to play so far, I'm really liking it. I find myself enjoying the missions more than I did in GTA III. I know I eventually stopped the missions altogether in III and just used the game to run around the city after that. It could just be because I'm older and appreciate the story more now but I definitely want to continue this game for the story (as well as the random running around the city here and there) now. I just have to wait until after finals are over to really get a chance to sit down with it...[/COLOR][/FONT]

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I've been playing the game since the day it's come out. I havn't like wasted my life on it, but so far it's been a pretty good game. Like the things everyone else has said, they're true. The physics system is amazing. The detail, superb. I mean, you take a car, grind its side up against a wall, drive off and there's scratch marks on the side of your car. The same thing with bullet holes if your car gets shot up.

The things the NPC's say in the middle of the streets are hilarious. I was in a cop car, and some guy ran into me this one time and all of a sudden I hear this voice go [i]"Oh no! My Mom's car!"[/i]

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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Indestructible consoles is right. Except when faced with Shy's bulldog. My DS has thus far survived being run over by my Civic, although I'm pretty sure my friend's truck would destroy it.

But seriously.

While moderately under the influence (of what I'll not go into) I decided to take my "Death Bus" to [spoiler]Michelle's for the express purpose of getting drunk. For some reason she didn't mind the corpse of the person I accidentally nailed while pulling up to her house. And after we staggered about and she commented on how my shirt was boring, she asked me where to find cocaine. For a bachelor party. ...cough.

And then of course I have no idea if the dialogue is intentionally hilarious or just the product of some completely insane writers.

"You're special! You're so special!"

"Oh yes, say interesting things to me!" screams Michelle while you're in her flat "respecting" her.

"My need is greater than yours!" says our heroic protagonist as he wrenches some granny from her asthmatic geriatric Buick.[/spoiler]

And then I remember eating cookies and that was the end of my GTA 4 experience on my friend's PS3. He continued to play of course, and ended up viciously murdering a saxophone player for absolutely no reason at all. Good times were had by all. And the Penny Arcade comic on the subject of dating was a riot. [/FONT][/COLOR]

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I haven' thad a chance to play yet, but I have watched a friend play. All I have to say is 1.) Jack a car and crash head on into another car.....not what you'd think happens but it's a treat. Also, and this is the biggest point 2.) DON"T MAKE YOUR FRIENDS WATCH....grrr @$& wouldn't let me play yet.

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[font=franklin gothic medium]So, how far are you guys?

I'm just at [spoiler]the point where Roman gets abducted by Dimitri[/spoiler], which is proving to be quite interesting.

And I can't believe that [spoiler]Michelle turned out to be working for the feds! I shoudl have noticed some of the slightly dodgy questions she asked Niko on a couple of their dates...[/spoiler][/font]

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[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]So, how far are you guys?

I'm just at [spoiler]the point where Roman gets abducted by Dimitri[/spoiler], which is proving to be quite interesting.

And I can't believe that [spoiler]Michelle turned out to be working for the feds! I shoudl have noticed some of the slightly dodgy questions she asked Niko on a couple of their dates...[/spoiler][/font][/QUOTE]

[size=1]I enjoyed that mission for some reason. [spoiler]Niko got really bad-*** when it came to rescuing his cousin.[/spoiler]

I'm already at the point where [spoiler]the third island is available and I have at least 4-5 contacts to do missions for at any one time. I still have missions to do for Brucie because I just couldn't do them in succession 'cause I found him highly annoying. ¬_¬[/spoiler]

All in all, I'm really enjoying the game.[/size]

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[color=orange]I've been messing around in [spoiler]Alderney, or the fourth island.[/spoiler] and started working for [spoiler]Gavetti, or Gambetti[/spoiler] Or something like that.[/color]

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I just couldn't get into this game and one of the main reasons is the graphics. I find them to be just too little an improvement over the older games in overall model appearance and it feels as though you're looking through a moderate haze to actually see what's going on half the time. There's no reason why they couldn't have made real shadows like they even had way back in GTA III and let you choose perspectives when driving. Over the shoulder running is bad enough. Over the shoulder[I] driving[/I] has never been done in a game before for good reason. I would say anyone interested should stick to crackdown, at least for now.

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[quote]and let you choose perspectives when driving. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]But they do. There are more driving perspectives in this game than in any previous GTA as far as I know. You can even have a hood cam. :catgirl:

As far as the graphics...I don't know. Maybe we're looking at two completely different things. Or maybe it's a TV-related issue.

All I can say is, if you run this game in high resolution and have your brightness settings right (I had to put the brightness up quite a bit), you will not have any major complaints.

My [i]only[/i] issue with the graphics is actually the trees and stuff...they're still largely just like cardboard cut-outs but with a bit more detail.

Everything else though? Significantly better than anything on the PS2. Buildings are much improved, weather effects are far more natural, physics are incredible, vehicles are [i]much[/i] more detailed (especially with damage effects) and so on.

It's certainly no Bioshock, but there are obvious reasons for that. Nevertheless, it's a significant improvement over San Andreas in multiple areas.

Having said that of course, the game's value isn't really even in its graphics - the game itself is what's important.

And I think that GTAIV's actual gameplay is significantly better than the previous titles, although the focus is different in some respects.

In terms of referring people to Crackdown... in all honesty, I'd be more inclined to refer people to Saint's Row. Crackdown is a solid game, but it's quite different to GTA and it certainly doesn't feature the utter depth and realism of GTAIV.

So I'd say the two are quite different. The only element they really share is that they are both big "open world" games. Other than that... GTAIV in particular is all about the details. Uncovering the subtleties is probably one of the most significant aspects to the game.

When I first started up GTAIV, I wasn't hugely impressed. It did only seem mildly evolutionary.

But, seriously...you have to spend time with this game. The way the gameplay unfolds is quite incredible. If you avoid giving this game a real chance, you'll be missing out on something spectacular.[/font]

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[quote name='Morpheus']I just couldn't get into this game and one of the main reasons is the graphics. I find them to be just too little an improvement over the older games in overall model appearance and it feels as though you're looking through a moderate haze to actually see what's going on half the time.[/QUOTE]
[SIZE="1"][COLOR="Navy"]I don't understand why a lot of people say this. GTA has never been big on graphics. The past three PS2 games looked almost the same as one another. Yet now they make quite a big improvement in the graphics and people say that they don't like it because it looks too much like the previous games. That just doesn't make sense to me. Then again, I've never understood why graphics are such a big deal for some people in the first place. Also, it would be very difficult to run such a huge game with high-level graphics without in-game load screens.
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Grand Theft Auto 4 surpassed most of my expectations. The subtle details really make it seem like I'm playing in an actual city. At first I even drove carefully and obeyed traffic laws because of this (that quickly ended though). They've improved on nearly everything from previous installments and then some.

My only problem with GTA4 is that they took out some of the fun from the previous games for the sake of making it more realistic. But there are still things in the game that are very unrealistic, like taking 20 shots and healing by drinking a soda. It's like they tried to appeal to fans of realism and fans of the over-the-top elements, but came up a bit short on both ends. I mean, I can take on swarms of police single-handedly, but I can't get a tank or apache chopper because that's too unrealistic?

Aside from that, I have no big issues with the game. It's definitely one of the best games I've ever played.
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And to add a bit more discussion to this thread, what do you think of all the controversy around the game?

One thing that comes to mind (aside from Jack Thompson, but I don't see any point in discussing his issues with the game) is that MADD is against the game because you can drive drunk, which they claim encourages drunk driving. A couple of problems with this:

1. This game is meant for mature audiences, which means that people playing the game should know better and shouldn't be influenced to do something by a video game. And even if they are younger than the target audience, they shouldn't be drinking or driving yet anyway. And by the time they are old enough, they should know that GTA4 is just a game.

2. The game actually portrays drunk driving rather negatively, maybe even exaggerates it a bit, as far as I know (I don't drink or drive). You become dizzy and lose hand-eye coordination and therefore can't control the car well. Even if you're a good driver, it's easy to suddenly smash into a tree. Basically, you lose control, like when you really get drunk. Personally, I don't like driving drunk in this game because it's annoying and makes me nauseous. If anything GTA4 should encourage people not to drive drunk.[/COLOR][/SIZE]

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[font=franklin gothic medium]As far as the controversy...I don't really know what else I can say. Games with adult content still attract a disproportionate amount of criticism - movies with this type of content (and worse) regularly fly under the radar.

Also I do think that GTA IV regularly provides context for what's happening. When you go on dates with [spoiler]Kate[/spoiler], for example, all you get told is [spoiler]how horrible your life is and you get questioned about why you aren't getting married and having kids, etc...[/spoiler].

There are frequent reminders, both subtle and not-so-subtle, that Niko's habits are not only dangerous to his own health...but that they impede his life in various other ways.

So GTA IV never sends the message that Niko has some amazing, care-free life as a result of his criminal activity. Quite the opposite.

In terms of the drink driving and everything, I suppose it's like those who complained that you can smoke in MGS. Yet such people don't acknowledge that both activities have negative effects in their respective games.

Drink driving in GTA IV is actually a pain on multiple levels. For one thing, it's harder to drive. For another, you easily attract police attention and it's even tougher to evade them when you're off your face. Not a good idea.

Anyway, I've been making my way through this game nice and slowly, trying to savor it as much as I can. I'm now on the third island where I've done a couple of missions already.

I'm also about to date [spoiler]Lawchick[/spoiler], which should prove interesting. In all honesty, she's got to be better than [spoiler]Kate[/spoiler], who has so far proven to be a complete pain in the butt.

Also as I get further into the game, I'm noticing a lot more cool stuff. For one thing, the missions are getting better and better. I'm actually finding a substantial increase in their quality and variety, which is good.

And I have to say, after using it extensively...the entire gun combat system in GTA IV is vastly superior to its predecessors. Yes, there are still issues (sometimes taking cover can be awkward when you're in a hurry, for instance), but over all I'm pretty happy.

The ability to actually take cover totally changes gunplay in this game, I think - especially during missions with lots of enemies. I'm now finding that there's a great deal more strategy involved.

This is good because GTA IV has some absolutely epic gunfights. And rather than them being a total chore, I'm finding that I am really loving them.

So, all in all, I am definitely uncovering more and I'm actually becoming more and more interested in the game as time goes by.

It helps that the whole relationship system continues to be interesting and that the actual story and characterization remains top-notch. GTA IV is up there with the very best when it comes to this area.

Where is everyone else up to? And has anyone actually finished this thing yet?

I'd be interested to read about how people are getting along and if you're still enjoying the experience.[/font]

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Well, I'm on the last mission, which is really hard. But, my friend beat the game the day before he had to return it to Blockbuster, ha.

I've enjoyed this game a lot. When I first got it and popped it in the disc drive of my 360 for the first time I was amazed at the graphics. I honestly don't understand how people can say they're not that great.

So, me and my friends started to do a few rounds of the game on Xbox Live. I found the the cover system in multiplayer has really no point to it. So I was thinking 'Oh, this is probably another cheap add on that you arn't even going to use in the game.' Guess I was wrong.

As for the missions, when I first started out, did some people's missions I was kinda thinking 'This is like a repeat of the other one's.' But as you get farther, they really do get some weird variety.

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Please tell your story of the funny things you did in GTAIV, like you start a fight on the streets or kill one guy with a Rocket Luancher, stuff like that. So have fun with your story.

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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]This could probably be merged with the GTA IV thread but I'll answer anyway. Not like Mods can't merge threads.

I actually just got GTA IV a couple days ago (for 20 bucks! Brand new!). A few days before the game launched, I had to send my broken 360 away for repairs so when it finally got back I was more then eager to sit in front of my TV for a few days straight.

I don't think I'm very far in the Story Mode yet (last major event that took place was [spoiler]killing Faustins daughters biker boyfriend[/spoiler]) but I've still experienced a lot in the game. This is my first GTA game, by the way.

So what's the funniest thing that has happened? That would probably have to be what happened to me while biking today. I was going down a straight-away on a motorcycle as fast as I could and I slammed right into the back of a taxi and flew off the bike. I think I had a good 10 seconds of air time (which is quite a bit) before finally landing [i]on a police car[/i]. And I survived! They flicked on their sirens and jumped out of the car, guns drawn. I couldn't run away because one more shot would have killed me anyway so I let them take me in.

Something new always seems to happen in this game. It's really quite amazing.[/COLOR][/FONT]

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I was being chased by the "Keystone Kops" along some bridge going out of Algonquin when I decided to bail from my car fearing that at any second it was going to do the usual GTA thing and spontaneously combust if, say, the trunk got hit too many times. :smirk:

When I bailed I was expecting the SanAndreas thing of rolling on the ground for a short time, then getting up from the pavement as if I was rolling out of bed after a restful nights sleep. Instead I bailed from the car, bounced off the guard rail, whacked my head on a pillar and tumbled off the bridge hurtling into the water below. I then found out that bailing in this game can be fatal.

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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Palatino Linotype"]All I have to say is... free-roam multiplayer, no friendly fire, all rockets. Everyone goes flying through the air with no damage (until they land). It's the most fun I think I ever had with the game. It turned into a contest of seeing who could launch someone else on top of the nearest building without killing them. We also discovered that you could sit in an exploding car and take no damage (provided it was blown up by a friendly RPG). So you'll be sitting in a burnt out husk of a vehicle as if it was completely normal. I'd recommend this game type to anyone who just needs a few laughs.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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[font=franklin gothic medium]A quick word of advice: if you're outnumbered/outgunned/etc by the police, you're better off having them kill you than arrest you.

If you die, you'll pay a small fee to the hospital (damn American healthcare system :P) but you won't lose your weapons.

If the cops take you in, you'll pay a bribe [i]and[/i] lose your hard-earned weapons. Considering some weapons are quite costly, this can be a problem.

Anyway, it's so hard to describe one cool incident... as there have been countless weird and funny things happen to me during GTAIV.

In recent times, I've been trying to see how many cars I can blow up at once. I achieved this by using the parking lot at the strip club on the third island (I forget the name of it, now...). It was rather cool setting off a chain reaction with a dozen cars.

Also I've had some very narrow escapes. One mission I had four or five stars and only one or two hits until I was due to die... it was at the very end of the mission. And I was being chased for what seemed like ages (a good ten minutes probably). Making it out of that was extremely weird and satisfying, haha.[/font]

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