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"Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Grand Theft Auto IV'.
Fri 23/05/08 at 12:54
Regular
Posts: 2,781
The wait is finally over! Grand Theft Auto IV has arrived. Breaking sales records, grossing over $500m in its first week, and receiving near-universal critical acclaim, GTAIV has become known by many as the greatest game of all time.

GTAIV is as ambitious a game as you’ll ever find – the map has been scaled down considerably from San Andreas, and some of its more comprehensive elements (such as the stamina gauges) have been removed, yet they only aid in making GTAIV the most streamlined and refined title in the series’ long history.

The premise will likely be familiar to anyone who has even held a game controller in the last five years – players assume control of Niko Bellic, a Serbian war veteran who travels to the United States in search of the American Dream. However, Niko soon finds that his cousin’s claims of wealth were very much overstated, and it isn’t long before the bullets start flying.

Given the typically large scale of the GTA games, it is expected that the visuals must be compromised to allow for such a fluid world. Nevertheless, GTAIV’s Liberty City is a highly impressive rendering based on New York City, although is inevitably plagued by frame-rate issues during some of the game’s more chaotic moments. One can easily forgive such foibles, however, given the game’s otherwise crisp textures and authentic animations.

GTAIV evidently attempts to blur the line between mission and non-mission, in allowing you the freedom to use your phone to call any number of the friends you amass throughout the game. From picking up cars, to going bowling, to having a few pints at the bar, there is a vast array of ancillary activities throughout the game, although they are ultimately simply distractions from the engrossing story mode.

The game’s story mode is by far the most cinematic and satisfying of the series’ history, although is certainly not without its flaws. The opening missions will certainly be familiar to fans of the series, although they do serve well to allow players to adjust to the new vehicular physics, which you may initially hate, although should become accustomed to fairly quickly.

The overall difficulty of the game’s story mode has been toned down considerably from previous efforts, providing a less-frustrating, more enjoyable experience. In fact, this reviewer was only “busted” once throughout the entire story mode, and managed to beat the story mode in less than 25 hours. As such, GTAIV may seem shorter than its predecessors, yet this is largely down to not having to replay missions to such an extent.

One of the game’s more interesting aspects is its branching storyline – there are several instances throughout at which you must make moral choices, between life, death and money. Whilst their influences are minimal and largely confined to cut scenes, they imply a greater sense of freedom throughout, and some choices you make do provide you with some clever goodies. Although the game is as emotionally distant as the previous titles, and you’ll never find yourself caring for any of the characters, the game’s choice aspect certainly makes an in-road for Rockstar to capitalise upon in future titles.

Perhaps the most glaring flaw of the story mode is its unoriginality – the majority of missions have been seen before, such as arbitrary chase and murder missions, although thanks to the game’s overhauled aim-and-cover system, they have never been this fun. Fortunately, there are some truly inspired missions as the game progresses, such as a high-octane drug bust, and a bank heist mission evidently pulled from Michael Mann’s classic action film Heat.

GTAIV is the first title in the series to offer online play, and for all of its launch problems, it is an extremely fun ride. The online offering, with its 15 different modes (from simple death match, to “GTA Race” mode, to “Cops and Robbers” mode) is extremely fun, and certainly lives up to the hype. Having played both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, though, it must be said that the 360’s online offering appears far more stable, likely due to its integrated Xbox Live functions.

GTAIV is a stunning achievement in design, aesthetics, and as per previous titles, forms an astute examination of pop culture. Is GTAIV the greatest game of all time? In this reviewer’s opinion, no – it is visually flawed (although the game’s scale compensates considerably for this) and some missions are fairly tiresome, although it is certainly the best title of the GTA series, and whilst not the greatest game of all time, it is certainly one of the greatest.

Graphics = 9/10
Sound = 9/10
Gameplay = 9/10
Learning Curve = 9/10
Value = 10/10
Overall = 9/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Fri 23/05/08 at 12:54
Regular
Posts: 2,781
The wait is finally over! Grand Theft Auto IV has arrived. Breaking sales records, grossing over $500m in its first week, and receiving near-universal critical acclaim, GTAIV has become known by many as the greatest game of all time.

GTAIV is as ambitious a game as you’ll ever find – the map has been scaled down considerably from San Andreas, and some of its more comprehensive elements (such as the stamina gauges) have been removed, yet they only aid in making GTAIV the most streamlined and refined title in the series’ long history.

The premise will likely be familiar to anyone who has even held a game controller in the last five years – players assume control of Niko Bellic, a Serbian war veteran who travels to the United States in search of the American Dream. However, Niko soon finds that his cousin’s claims of wealth were very much overstated, and it isn’t long before the bullets start flying.

Given the typically large scale of the GTA games, it is expected that the visuals must be compromised to allow for such a fluid world. Nevertheless, GTAIV’s Liberty City is a highly impressive rendering based on New York City, although is inevitably plagued by frame-rate issues during some of the game’s more chaotic moments. One can easily forgive such foibles, however, given the game’s otherwise crisp textures and authentic animations.

GTAIV evidently attempts to blur the line between mission and non-mission, in allowing you the freedom to use your phone to call any number of the friends you amass throughout the game. From picking up cars, to going bowling, to having a few pints at the bar, there is a vast array of ancillary activities throughout the game, although they are ultimately simply distractions from the engrossing story mode.

The game’s story mode is by far the most cinematic and satisfying of the series’ history, although is certainly not without its flaws. The opening missions will certainly be familiar to fans of the series, although they do serve well to allow players to adjust to the new vehicular physics, which you may initially hate, although should become accustomed to fairly quickly.

The overall difficulty of the game’s story mode has been toned down considerably from previous efforts, providing a less-frustrating, more enjoyable experience. In fact, this reviewer was only “busted” once throughout the entire story mode, and managed to beat the story mode in less than 25 hours. As such, GTAIV may seem shorter than its predecessors, yet this is largely down to not having to replay missions to such an extent.

One of the game’s more interesting aspects is its branching storyline – there are several instances throughout at which you must make moral choices, between life, death and money. Whilst their influences are minimal and largely confined to cut scenes, they imply a greater sense of freedom throughout, and some choices you make do provide you with some clever goodies. Although the game is as emotionally distant as the previous titles, and you’ll never find yourself caring for any of the characters, the game’s choice aspect certainly makes an in-road for Rockstar to capitalise upon in future titles.

Perhaps the most glaring flaw of the story mode is its unoriginality – the majority of missions have been seen before, such as arbitrary chase and murder missions, although thanks to the game’s overhauled aim-and-cover system, they have never been this fun. Fortunately, there are some truly inspired missions as the game progresses, such as a high-octane drug bust, and a bank heist mission evidently pulled from Michael Mann’s classic action film Heat.

GTAIV is the first title in the series to offer online play, and for all of its launch problems, it is an extremely fun ride. The online offering, with its 15 different modes (from simple death match, to “GTA Race” mode, to “Cops and Robbers” mode) is extremely fun, and certainly lives up to the hype. Having played both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, though, it must be said that the 360’s online offering appears far more stable, likely due to its integrated Xbox Live functions.

GTAIV is a stunning achievement in design, aesthetics, and as per previous titles, forms an astute examination of pop culture. Is GTAIV the greatest game of all time? In this reviewer’s opinion, no – it is visually flawed (although the game’s scale compensates considerably for this) and some missions are fairly tiresome, although it is certainly the best title of the GTA series, and whilst not the greatest game of all time, it is certainly one of the greatest.

Graphics = 9/10
Sound = 9/10
Gameplay = 9/10
Learning Curve = 9/10
Value = 10/10
Overall = 9/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer

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