Previews// Grand Theft Auto IV

Posted 28 Feb 2008 18:31 by
Companies:
Games: Grand Theft Auto IV
[b]{ I’ve already said that tooling around Liberty City in the car of your choice – by choice, I mean ‘of your own thuggery’ – is a pleasure. Well, the entire look and feel of the levels I played were almost enough to have me bothering to discover the underlying technological nerdisms that made it come so very much to life. The way the 360 was made to show different lighting effects as day turned gently into twilight; twilight morphed to darkness and darkness was warmed by the rising sun could have made lesser men than myself err into poetic over-writing.

Suffice to say, there is very little indeed to distract you from immersion into your surroundings. Okay, so everything is drawn with what would appear to be soft, pastel crayons that make the edges of buildings blur into the sky. There is, in fact, a slightly unreal quality (not as in the Engine, nerd!) to the environment, but this is a game not a reality simulator, and I like having my disbelief suspended like a football player with wife issues. }[/b]

Fifthly, Ragdoll Physics and flaming ‘realism’: People either like ragdoll physics or are simply so incredibly lazy that they can’t be bothered to stand up and say, “Enough is enough! Ragdolls are for small children!” Yes, I hate ragdoll physics like I hate a mime who has taken a mild dose of ketamine. As for ‘realism’ – bollocks to realism. If I wanted ‘realism’ I’d go out into the real world and see real things for real. I want games… imagination, creativity, I want realistic-ness. That is to say that I want reality that obviously isn’t because reality is unpleasant.

{ My goodness but GTA IV looks fine. The use of the Euphoria engine (I can’t wait for Star Wars: Force Unleashed now) to ensure that those other hapless characters you meet along the way behave and physically react in a way that is believable – is well... realistical. }

So, there’s the reasons that someone who doesn’t really get GTA went to the hands-on.

So, back to Rockstar, a dark room, an Xbox 360 controller and a copy of GTA IV on a huge HD telly.

Back to me and David, the friendly marketing chap who is politely stifling his guffaws at my cack-handed attempts to navigate an incredibly navigable set of maps.

“What about the PS3 version, David?” I asked, trying to distract him.

“It’s about two weeks behind”, he managed to get out.

So, that’s why this hands-on is Xbox 360-based.

The playable preview of GTA IV that I saw earlier this month impressed me. It impressed me with the ease of its control. It impressed me with its humour. It impressed me with its sandboxy, do-what-you-like freedom. It impressed me with the fact that the mobile phone enabled me not only to receive mission details, but also to retry them quickly.

I got just under two hours to spend with the game. This was my fault, even after my churlish admission to David that “I don’t really get GTA” the Rockstar rep was still keen to give me as much time as needed to see it - I mean play. Putting aside the lack of a PS3 comparator due to it not being ready, I’ve got to say that the freedom offered to me to do what the bloody hell I wanted with the available 360-based missions suggested to me that the wait for the release was not only worthwhile but well placed.
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Companies:
Games: Grand Theft Auto IV

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Comments

jackdoe 29 Feb 2008 03:51
1/15
They didn't show you a PS3 build? IGN, Gametap, and Gamespy all had hands on with the PS3 version of the game.
Tim Smith 29 Feb 2008 09:25
2/15
jackdoe wrote:
They didn't show you a PS3 build? IGN, Gametap, and Gamespy all had hands on with the PS3 version of the game.


I saw the game a number of weeks ago - when the PS3 version was not ready.

Cheers

Tim

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config 29 Feb 2008 16:28
3/15
Colour me "stoked" or "pumped" or whatever it them kids say when they're somewhat excited.

A real GTA followup is long overdue - those PSP wannabes were fun for a bit, but claw-like hands just cannee take lengthy play
king skins 12 Mar 2008 13:28
4/15
This, Left 4 Dead and Race Driver: Grid are the three games I'm most looking forward to this year.
Andyboy 21 Mar 2008 13:08
5/15
Quite possibly the most dull article I've ever had the misfortune to read. The author spent the entire coloumn writing about his own bloody preferences in games rather than giving an actual account of the game. We're interested in GTA not what the author likes/dislikes in his games!!! Compared to previews on rival sites, such as IGN and 1up, this is an embarrassment!
config 22 Mar 2008 15:04
6/15
Nonsense. All those bits in bold/braces are about the the game, the rest give the read context.
Rod Todd 22 Mar 2008 15:19
7/15
Andyboy wrote:
Compared to previews on rival sites, such as IGN and 1up, this is an embarrassment!

Woo woo, look at me. I'm a mindless sheep, sucking on corporate site's cock, because I don't have the wit or intelligence to interpret anything that challenges my pitifully narrow conceptions of what a game preview should be.

There's a world out there you've never seen, suburb boy.
AndyBoy 25 Mar 2008 02:24
8/15
Woo woo, look at me. I'm an intellectually superpowered genius; from reading a few lines of a post I can instantly discern that I am superior to the poster. I therefore make statements like "There's a world out there you've never seen", which I obviously see due to my superior intellect. When I don't agree with the opinion of another poster I endeavour to determine exactly what derogatory sterotype the poster fits into, and from this.... completely disregard their entire argument. In any case, there is no such thing as opinion; just things people of less intelligence believe due to their... well, lack of intelligence.
- It is true there is a world out there I have never seen; being only mortal and not the superpower you are, I have only a finite amount of brainpower : ( But, as I am lucky enough to have randomly met thee in these forums; could you please, oh genius deity, enlighten me!
Ps. I would especially like to learn more phrases such as "sucking on a corporate site's c**k", because they show so much wit and intelligence!
Tim Smith 25 Mar 2008 10:50
9/15
Andyboy wrote:
Quite possibly the most dull article I've ever had the misfortune to read.


I wrote it, so it's really only fair that I defend it. Dull? That's a shame.

My take is to at least try to get away from the theory that criticism is in any way objective and comes without context or history. It does, all of it, no matter where it comes from.

I was attempting not to hide the fact that I had opinions; that it was subjective criticism.

For example, I am bored to purgatory with graphics-geeking in reviews. It's only fair to let the reader know that, rather than pretending to some all-encompassing interest and knowledge... mostly by leaving things out.

However, knowing that some people don't like that, I structured it so that people could skip the me bits.

Andyboy wrote:
We're interested in GTA not what the author likes/dislikes in his games!!! Compared to previews on rival sites, such as IGN and 1up, this is an embarrassment!


Sure, I understand that you're (not sure about your use of the Royal "we" here) interested in the game itself - hence the structure of the review. Separating the 'context' from the 'fact' was a simple device, using which you could have skipped all the me bits.

You say that IGN and 1UP provide coverage. That's exactly the point isn't it? There are heaps of choice all over the Internet and even (gods forbid) print. But in that 'choice' there appears to be little additional perspective. Here at SPOnG I simply offer a different view.

Personally, I'm disappointed that you found my preview 'dull' and you apparently didn't get anything out of it. At least you took the time to commit that opinion to our forum though. So, thanks for that.

Cheers,

Tim
king skins 25 Mar 2008 13:55
10/15
well I quite liked it...
Rod Todd 26 Mar 2008 08:50
11/15
AndyBoy wrote:
Woo woo, look at me. I'm an intellectually superpowered genius; from reading a few lines of a post I can instantly discern that I am superior to the poster.

I didn't need to read your post to "discern" that. Statistically it's a safe bet.

I therefore make statements like "There's a world out there you've never seen", which I obviously see due to my superior intellect.

I inferred it from the pedestrian attitudes to journalism you expressed in your posting that you are young, and inexperienced. Possibly quite poorly read too. I inferred that you are an American (so am I) who has never travelled outside your own tri-state area. But the reference to a world you have never seen was not one to the physical world, but rather to a world of ideas and concepts, of literary expression.

When I don't agree with the opinion of another poster I endeavour to determine exactly what derogatory sterotype the poster fits into, and from this.... completely disregard their entire argument.

But you didn't have an argument (look it up). You merely had an opinion, and one which you expressed poorly.

In any case, there is no such thing as opinion; just things people of less intelligence believe due to their... well, lack of intelligence.

Of course there is such a thing as opinion. And bad ones deserve mocking.

It is true there is a world out there I have never seen; being only mortal and not the superpower you are, I have only a finite amount of brainpower/

It only requires a finite amount of brainpower. You just have to open your eyes, and your mind. Instead of accepting the spoon fed crap of the popular press, you need to question it, challenge it.

As you already pointed out, corporate sites like 1up and IGN, which get all the early access to games because they swap review scores for coverage, have already told you about the game. This writer was trying to do something a little different. To give some creativity and individuality to what they wrote. But I guess creativity and individuality aren't what you look for in your writing. Just more fact and figures copied from the press releases. Probably better if you just go back to IGN, where you'll feel safe.

Ps. I would especially like to learn more phrases such as "sucking on a corporate site's c**k", because they show so much wit and intelligence!

Just trying to speak your language. But I guess I got it way wrong, when you can't even quote the word COCK without redacting it.
AndyBoy 26 Mar 2008 11:10
12/15
Wow....overally aggressive, misinterpretting my statements, still making ridiculously inaccurate assumpions about me; and the fact you actually wrote "statisically it's a safe bet" that you're superior to me (how can I possibly argue with that!). Take a word of advice my fellow american, hehe, next time you see a post like mine, respond like the other person who replied to my post:
"Nonsense. All those bits in bold/braces are about the the game, the rest give the read context.", instead of insulting the poster. After reading their reply, I realised that my computer did not initially display the bold text, due to a font problem (sorry mr author!). However, I thought I'd continue the discussion with you because it seemed like fun (yeh I know, I'm an arse!).
Rod Todd 26 Mar 2008 11:27
13/15
AndyBoy wrote:
Wow....overally aggressive

Not actually aggressive at all. But, whatever.

misinterpretting my statements

Which ones, exactly?

still making ridiculously inaccurate assumpions about me

Which ones, exactly? I accept that given the time you are posting the chances of you being an American in America are reduced. But the love of mainstream sites like IGN still indicates that you are not looking for truth, credibility or individuality in your games journalism.

Take a word of advice

OK! But your advice is that I should write the same as someone else has already written. And that was the same advice you had for the writer of the GTA IV article. So my assumption that you don't want to read anything new or different, or anything that challenges your view of how things should be seems to hold true.

However, I thought I'd continue the discussion with you because it seemed like fun (yeh I know, I'm an arse!).

Hey, at least you are open to discussion. And it is meant to be fun. You seem like less of an arse to me now.

AndyBoy 27 Mar 2008 15:03
14/15
hehe..we'll leave it there then. I think "less of an arse" is about the best I can possibly hope for after me making such a dumb ass comment to start with.
vault 13 29 Mar 2008 20:49
15/15
Colin Powell wrote:
I thought your comments were trite and pedantic.

Thank you!

Kurt Cobain wrote:
What does trite and pedantic mean?

That's what I'm saying!

"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan wrote:
Whatcha gonna do when all the little Hulkamaniacs come for you!?.

I think I'm going to cry.

Abraham Lincoln wrote:
Does anyone else find this sidebar to be a complete waste of time?

YES!

On a serious note, I didn't like the article, but found no reason to make comment to criticize it. I found alot of the personal comment hard to decipher but whatever.
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