Critical Eye: GTA IV

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Oh man am I gonna be roasted for this one. I figured I’d kick things off with a bang and point out the flaws in GTA IV. I will admit, GTA IV is a fantastic game, and only Oblivion can relate to it when it comes to an open sandbox world. However, despite all this, there are a few flaws to the game.

The Physics

It may sound like a small thing but for me this makes what could be a fantastic, godlike game into simply a very good and kind of tedious one. Put simply the physics in this game are surprisingly random. Case in point (which I’ve come across several times) are cars. Many times have I experienced massively varying results when it comes to scenarios in driving. Sometimes hitting the emergency break glides me nicely around a corner. Sometimes (at roughly the same speed, sometimes lower) it sends me into a wild spin. On at least three occasions (again at roughly the same speed as the first to results) it’s actually launched my car into the air.

Driving over a civilian results in one of three things:

I hit them and they go flying, nothing happens to me.

I hit them, my car slows to a crawl and they move about two feet.

They go flying thousands of feet in the air and I flip backwards.

This DOES NOT happen. Seriously, it just doesn’t. Or rather it does but is shouldn’t.

To say nothing of rocket launchers and being hit by a car doing anything between rolling me along the ground to launching me across a river and into a fifth storey window.

Repetition

The missions offer little variance. There seems to about three mission types and that’s it. Drive someone here, shoot this person, drive here then shoot the person. Occasionally there is a nice break in the monotony, like the bank raid with the Packie brothers. On the whole not a great deal of fun.

While I’m on the subject, I get very annoyed when I complete the game and then have nothing to do for the rest of it. What’s the point of having a sandbox, open and free city when there’s no side missions, no fun stuff to do. I know there are “civilian” missions, but in all my time of playing I’ve only seen one. They need to be more obvious.

Social Life

Why? For the love of God WHY!?! Why, the HELL did Rockstar get rid of the relatively annoying, yet fun in a strange kind of way, RPG element of San Andreas and replace it with a very annoying-and fun in a kill yourself kind of way-social life of GTA IV. No, I do not want to go bowling! Stop bloody calling me in the middle of a firefight. BUH-RIIING. “Hey cousin how about…” BOOM. Headshot. Stupid Roman. For that matter why does Niko even answer his bloody phone while in a gun fight or running from cops? You’d think he’d be a bit busy shooting people.

I know that having people on good terms with you earns you favours, Roman’s taxis or Jacob’s guns, but it’s just so damn annoying.

No Checkpoints

Imagine, if you will, spending upwards of half an hour on one part of a mission. Perhaps it is a particularly long car journey, or a particularly difficult gun fight. Then, just before the final objective, or hell even the second or third, you inadvertently die. Inconvenient, right? Well now imaging you had to do the whole first bit AGAIN. Spending another 30 minutes of your life on something that already drove you to madness. 30 minutes that I could better spend on making myself a pizza, going out with friends or washing the blood out of my car.

Case closed. I want checkpoints. I learn nothing by repeating the mission other than that Rockstar hates me.

I do enjoy GTA IV. But to my eyes, it’s much the same game as the other GTA’s, with even less side missions and less stuff to do beyond the story driven missions. Sure it looks prettier, but I’d rather have a fuller, more experience filled game than one with a bit of makeup and botox. Not worth the 10/10s it got. 8 or 9, yes, but not a 10. Listen to that little voice nagging you in the back of your mind. I did, and I realised that the reviewers don’t dictate what I think is a good game. I do. And I do not enjoy GTA IV as much as they said I would.

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