I’m a college student so people often ask me, usually jokingly, if I have to pull a lot of all- nighters. I normally say ‘No, not for school,’ then I run away laughing. The only thing that has ever kept me up all night is Grand Theft Auto 4, nothing else is important enough for me to bring such physical and mental fatigue upon myself. Sleep easily loses its importance and I find myself playing GTA4 at 5:30 am wondering if it’s even worth going to bed. Nothing a little Red Bull can’t fix, right?
I have to admit, I wasn’t as excited for GTA4 as I was for GTA3 and Vice City; not so much for San Andreas. After playing the first three (the ones on PlayStation 1 don’t count), I was ready for a change; luckily, GTA4 gave that change and playing it made it seem like I was playing GTA and a sandbox game for the first time. Everything had a novel feel to it, like stealing a car, accidentally running over a pedestrian, or shooting the propane tank of a hotdog stand.
I’m really glad Rockstar North decided to build the city up and not out, focusing on creating amazing detail in a smaller area that spreading out the land to include 15 minute drives on highways like there were in San Andreas. A smaller area with beautiful graphics is much more fun to explore than a large bland area. I’m all for making realistic games, but it becomes too tedious when in San Andreas the player has to manage the character’s weight and girlfriends who live 20 minutes away in real time.
Everything about GTA4 is fun, the missions can be challenging at times, but not to the point of throwing your controller in anger. One aspect I really liked about the game is that at certain points in the story you have to decide who lives and who dies, and the choice you make creates consequences that affect the way people treat you. It creates more depth to the game and increases the replay value for those eager to take the alternate path the second time around.
My one and only complaint about the game would probably be the movement of the protagonist in the game, Nikko. The controls feel a little sluggish and turning Nikko around 180 degrees can be a pain, especially in a gun fight.
Enough writing, if you haven’t played GTA4 yet, pick up a copy now and enjoy the best game in the series so far for the XBOX 360 and PS3, you won’t regret it.
By Brendan Igan