73 of 96 people found the following review helpful
GTA 4 Really?,
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (Video Game)
Before I start ranting, I just want to say that GTA4, as a game of its own, is actually quite good, but as a GTA game, it has shortcomings. So Let's kick this review off right.
Graphics: GTA4 has rather well defined graphics. It is definitely much better from it's predecessors. Among many of the improvements graphically; people in the car actually move as they speak, blood stains actually appear on your car if you hit people, hitting newspaper stands actually cause newspapers to go flying everywhere, and some of the text on those flying newspapers is actually legible. So, suffice it to say, GTA is graphically a good game. Is it as good as all the other games out there, not really, but it is an open ended gameplay where you can go anywhere, and as far as that goes, it is pretty great.
Glitches: The game has quite a few glitches, as most of them do, which cause random events from a car to start flying in circles to your legs falling through the floor. It is expected in most games of this style I suppose, but is worth mentioning that these are no fewer than any previous GTA Game.
Setting: Taking place in a new liberty city similar to New York, the game offers little in the ways of variety. You go from tight closed off streets with big buildings to tight closed off streets with really big buildings. It is a bit claustrophobic, giving you very little room to just drive and speed up to top speed. San Andreas was expansive, giving you three cities completely different in appearance, numerous small towns, mountains, forests, and deserts. 4 gives you one city, nothing else.
Car Gameplay: The cars in this game seem much more difficult to control, was this done for realism sake, I am not sure. However, sometimes, some cars have incredibly poor traction and put you into terrible accidents when you think you have plenty of time to stop. It is hard to tell which cars are better, as appearance doesn't always suggest driving style. A couple of added things kind of make the gameplay funner. Most park cars are locked now, so you actually break the window, unlock the car, then actually hotwire it, You can speed up hotwiring, but it usually doesn't take more than a couple seconds anyway. Also, you can receive damage, fly out the window shield, die in fatal accidents, drive drunk (which always gets a cop on your tail) and even have a car die and won't start up again. However, many of these events seem random, and you can ram a building at 50 miles an hour and recieve no damage, or hit a fence and 25 miles an hour, fly our your window shield, and have you car land on you. So that kind of sucks.
Person Gameplay: On a surplus, you can now use cover and hide behind stuff, also peaking out from behind cover to shoot an opponent. You also have a new melee system, which includes kick, punch, and block combos. It isn't much better than the original system, but it does give you a bit more control over what you are doing to your opponent. However, once you get a couple guns, this becomes almost irrelevant anyway. Everything else is just about the same from previous games.
Story: The story is OK. I can't say I feel too passionate about the protagonist, who just doesn't appeal to me as much as the GTA3 + characters, who were frequently hilarious and likable. Niko revenge story does not seem as passionate as GTA3, and that guy was a mute. He lacks the ambition of VC character, and SA did a better job of displaying that protagonists goals and ideals(protecting his home and family). Besides that, it seems less humorous and more serious of a story. It still has all the jokes from the previous GTAs, I can't really put my finger on it, but everything in this one just seems more serious. One reviewer believes that this is GTA with a conscious, which I kind of agree with, maybe groups put pressure on Rockstar to make them show the consequences of your actions, since it seems like you're constantly being reminded that killing, drunk driving, and prostitution are bad.
The Extras: This is where I feel the game fell. Had this game been the direct sequel from GTA III, I probably would have been a lot easier on it, but VC and SA existed, and this game almost seems to have forgotten that fact. This game almost seems like a stripped version of it's predecessors. No gang wars, no gambling, no owning businesses, no car collections. Flying has almost been cut out of this game, although I can't imagine why, it was such a successful feature. Fighting on a flying plane, then para shooting out was the coolest thing ever, not to mention stealing a harrier jet from a battleship. The girlfriend thing from SA was added to, making normal friends too. This is worse, as you now have to maintain relationships with not only your gfs, but any friend you make as well. I also believe the "sex scenes" you get at the end of the date are toned down a bit. I dislike where Rockstar is going with this game, it almost as if they want to take the open part out of open game. They keep you caught up with their characters with frequent cellphone calls, rather than letting you initiate your own sidequests by setting in the right vehicle or shiny circle.
Sum it Up: So in general, this game is a worthy sequel to GTA III... as long as you pretend SA and VC did not exist. It cuts out way too much content added in the last two (what do you call them, expansion packs?). Why they felt the need to cut so much? Or did they feel they had to to make room for more graphics? If so, I would pick side missions and content over graphics any day.
One more beef that bugged me endlessly, they cut out hidden packages and replaced it with flying rats that you can shoot. That was a good idea, but the thing is, you don't get anything unless you shoot all 200, which gets you an achievement (big whoop) and a pop up for just about the only flying thing in the game (helicopter). I always depended on those items that pop up have 10, 30, 50 packages. Just knowing that if I got arrested or used up my ammo, that I always had a store at my place was great. This just bites, what horrible thing happened to Rockstar, whom created a nearly perfect game with San Andreas, feel they needed to take a chainsaw to the game and cut out all of its charm. Oh well, I hope that answers your questions and helps your decision in getting GTA 4.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 24, 2009 10:09:26 PM PST
Ryan Wilson says:
I totally agree with what you say!
Posted on Jan 18, 2010 12:00:43 PM PST
C. Johnson says:
this is one game I should have never purchased. GTAIII and SA was amazing (couldn't really get into VC), but this game just fell way short. I never even finished it because it just got so boring.
Posted on Jun 4, 2010 9:08:56 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 3:12:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2010 9:02:09 AM PDT
Your love of GTA 4 is made funny by the fact that you are a law student that is in love with a criminal game. You insult me, and offer no actual argument. GTA 4 is bad compared to GTA 3 : San Andreas. How am I stupid by not enjoying a game that has "pretty graphics" but a cut down gameplay compared to its' predecessor. Graphics are not everything and it is sad how many people play games based solely on how pretty they look. Clearly, I have various people who agree with me.
Please tell me your not going to become a lawyer, or this is the kid of G. Conway or something, because seriously, you are gonna lose a lot of cases if your biggest argument is that other people are stupid heads and you can hold your breath until you turn blue if people don't listen to you. Good luck with that.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 4:46:11 PM PDT
You're right Stogsdill, I should really justify an ad hominem attack of this kind. I don't mean that you personally are dumb, but obviously you don't know what you're talking about. I have to say that GTA4 is easily one of the best video games of all time, and I'm sure many will agree with me. While I appreciate your effort to critique this game, and I realize that no game can be perfect, allow me to point out a few things you are wrong about:
1. You leave out any discussion of GTA4 Multiplayer, which is easily the best part of the game.
2. GTA4 is a huge improvement over GTA3, there is really no argument about that because, if you are looking at the Playstation for example, the PS3 is simply a superior, next-generation gaming system compared to its predecessor, the PS2, for which the respective versions of GTA were designed. You may be arguing GTA3 is better for the novelty but it is a quaint argument that I take as more sentimental than serious.
3. "[T]his is GTA with a conscious [sic], which I kind of agree with, maybe groups put pressure on Rockstar to make them show the consequences of your actions, since it seems like you're constantly being reminded that killing, drunk driving, and prostitution are bad."
The violence, prostitution, firearm use, and profanity used in GTA4, along with the increased visual detail of the violence and gratuity, does not strike me as reaching for the moral high ground or pedantic in any way. Quite the opposite, I think the game's creators revel in the obscenity and earthiness of its storyline and characters.
2. "Flying has almost been cut out of this game, although I can't imagine why, it was such a successful feature."
There are several versions of helicopter available in the game and multiplayer, which can be used to fight other players. The dynamics of the helicopter flight are fluid and there's definitely a learning curve to master.
3. "The cars in this game seem much more difficult to control, was this done for realism sake, I am not sure. However, sometimes, some cars have incredibly poor traction and put you into terrible accidents when you think you have plenty of time to stop."
Again there is a learning curve, it's just more realistic. GTA multiplayer race exhibits this well, the more experienced players beat newbs every time.
4. "It is hard to tell which cars are better, as appearance doesn't always suggest driving style."
This also suggests you just haven't played the game much, more vehicles become available as you progress. There are many types and sub-types of vehicle with distinct styles. The supercars, for example, are decidedly better than the more pedestrian cars.
5. "The girlfriend thing from SA was added to, making normal friends too. This is worse, as you now have to maintain relationships with not only your gfs, but any friend you make as well. . . . I dislike where Rockstar is going with this game, it almost as if they want to take the open part out of open game."
Actually playing the game you have the choice to do whatever you want, to disregard friends or cultivate them for things they can offer you. This is one of the great open aspects of the game, freedom of choice to lead the game in the direction you desire. Also I believe the cell phone and friends adds realism to the game and is a smart way of not allowing the player to just sit there idly in the gameplay without something happening for a short period.
6. "Taking place in a new liberty city similar to New York, the game offers little in the ways of variety. You go from tight closed off streets with big buildings to tight closed off streets with really big buildings. It is a bit claustrophobic, giving you very little room to just drive and speed up to top speed."
Again, this shows you have no idea what you're talking about. Go to the airport for wide open spaces. Or you can take a boat into the middle of the ocean. Or a helicopter anywhere on the map. Not only is the map huge, modeling several boroughs of New York, but it is exquisitely detailed down to differing curb sizes and architecture of the buildings, etc. in different areas.
To sum up, GTA4, especially multiplayer, offers a wide variety of weapons, characters, vehicles, and maps, resulting in hours of fun gameplay and a steep learning curve to master all of its aspects. You cant fully appreciate the game without learning the maps and the controls by reflex. The game was designed this way to make it as realistic as modern consumer technology allows.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2010 12:39:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2010 2:33:45 PM PDT
1) I do leave out any discussion of multiplayer, because I am not interested in playing it. The GTA series has never been a multiplayer game, and to skimp on playability in exchange for adding multiplayer functionality is limiting.
2) I am not comparing it to GTA3, in fact, I state in my review if it was a direct sequal of GTA3, it probably would have scored better, maybe even a 5 star. The problem is, San Andreas existed. And you argue that PS3 is better than PS2, thus all PS3 games must be better than PS2 games. I get the feeling now that you read it, you will under stand the flaw in your judgement. Just because a game is better graphically, and can do more bells, whistles, and realism, does not make it a better game, why do you think PS2s are still beings sold and games being made for them until this day.
3)At one point, when getting a prostitute, our protagonist states, "how could I ever go so low as to do this", and when he makes his first kill in front of his friend, they make a very big deal about it. Drinking and driving gets cops on you, regardless. I can go on, but you get where my reasoning comes from.
4) A couple of varieties of helicopter? That was nothing compared to the flying in the previous game. Jet packs, planes, airliners, helicopters, a harrier jet, various airports, GTA 4 was lacking compared to San Andreas, just because it had something, doesn't mean it is as good or better than it's predecessor.
5)True, you are right, but a car tat looks like guttercrap shouldn't perform better than a decked out beauty, which happened several times while I played, but I know, i could have spent longer learning the driving styles of each car, either way, that is a very small portion of what I wrote.
6) You can ignore your friends, but that doesn't stop them from ringing you up every 5 minutes. And if you want to stay on good relations with them, you have to go see them. It is annoying, if people can complain about Vista's "Are you sure you want to do this?", then I can complain about a ringing phone every couple of minutes, whether I answer it or not. Realism? I don't realistically get called 4 times a day by my friend to go do stuff, maybe twice a week, max.
7)The streets and areas are closed off, once again, compared to San Andreas. You are right, if you never played San Andreas, I am sure GTA 4 would seem incredibly beautiful and expansive, but as I stated, it existed, and one city with crammed streets is not nearly as enjoyable as the massiveness that was SA. And yes, I am sure there is "an area" in GTA 4 that has room, but most of it does not, the entire city kind of makes me feel claustrophobic.
To sum it up, I do know what I am talking about, and my points are valid. You can disagree with them, that is fine, but that doesn't make my review bad. Plenty of people agree with me, many agree with you, that is why it is an opinion. My assessment of the game was based off of roughly 10-15 hours of gameplay, which is what i felt was enough to judge accurately, since I don't think a game needs to get 40 hours long before it "gets good". You insistence that this is the "best game ever" is very sad and narrowminded. There are tons of games out there, and no game is the best game ever. You sound like a boasting fanboy from that mentality. I mean it doesn't even have a higher amazon score average, 4 stars versus the 4.5 of game of the year games, so clearly it isn't the greatest game ever. Just because you can argue some of my points doesn't matter because other people don't have the same views you possess. What feels narrow and closed off to me, may seem massive to you, once again, that's what an opinion is.
So argue if you want to, but my review has valid points that may be important to other people. Apparently not you, but you are not the say all, and in my opinion, GTA 4 has gone downhill from GTA 3: SA, and I hope they add a lot more in GTA 5 to counteract what they lost in GTA 4. I marked your post as "adds to the discussion" because it does, thank you for your opinion on my review.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2010 7:20:49 AM PDT
Marvin Powell says:
Right on! I just read that whole thing and you owned!
Posted on Sep 23, 2010 1:00:43 PM PDT
Ms. H. Cunningham says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2010 1:35:58 PM PDT
Upon reviewing this review today, I feel I treated you unfairly when I criticized your opinion a few months previous. Though I maintain that a few of my criticisms factually about GTA IV are correct, I apologize for slighting you in terms of your knowledge of the subject. I will admit that I have not played San Andreas extensively, having only bought a PS3 as a first game console. So forgive me for that. Thank you for sharing your opinion in such detail about this game, especially on your expectations of how the game should be in light of the tradition and narrative of the past games in the GTA series.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 12:30:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 12:30:52 PM PDT
No problem, everyone has their own opinions about things. If you can put aside graphical achievements, I do suggest you try San Andreas if possible, even if you have to borrow or head to a friends house to do it. You will quickly see why I have my opinion. A game that consists of jetpacks, harrier jets... where you can buy and purchase your own car lot, airport, and engage in territory gang wars... it quickly becomes a hard game to tops or even match.
Based on what you wrote, I repurchased and played GTA 4 for another 10 some hours. However, like the first time, I quickly became bored with it, so more or less, my opinion remains unchanged. The game has been unable to hold my interest for more than a few hours at a time. Although I must admit the cover system and firefights are a lot funner than I initially gave them credit for, the game is still a 3 star.
P.S. to Cunningham This game actually depicts sexual acts in the cars where previous games did not, so your argument doesn't really hold, but thanks for the "joke?" comment.