Features// GTA IV Multiplayer Hands-On

Posted 8 Apr 2008 18:02 by
Games: Grand Theft Auto IV
It shouldn?t have, but it felt amazing. A ridiculous stroke of luck for the opposing guys, but I was elated and almost quite jubilant to be taken out in such a freak collision. The defining moment was how my instantly-deceased character?s head jolted back with the blow from the oncoming vehicle, my body dragging under the wheels and coming to a lifeless halt after a series of rolls.

Driving itself seems somewhat unchanged, which I?m sure the Rockstar crew wouldn?t really want me saying. But, I?m glad. With the general theme for this game being physics, and everything having its own weight and physical presence in Liberty City, the cars categorically emulate this, but all to a level that doesn?t overstep a mark I?d set in my mind.

The controls are still very simple and definitely benefit from using the right and left triggers for acceleration and breaking/reversing respectively on the 360 pad, offering great handling. The usual characteristics are to be expected of bigger vehicles (like SUVs): they are reasonably fast, yet slow on acceleration, sluggish around corners but great for barging people out of the way. The sports cars, however, are fast, fast, and er, fast. Oh, but look out for that wall.

The race modes are marvellous amounts of fun because of the above. Also because... the handling isn?t perfectly authentic; because I can handbrake around corners, topple, turn, and continue with the race; because I can put my foot down on the motorway; because I can weave through traffic as I attempt to take pole position; because I can make a marginally wrong bearing to my left, crash into a fellow racer, soar into the air, barrel roll over another racer and land on all four wheels on the other side of the intersection. ?JLR, that was fucking amazing!? was the reaction from David, one of the genial Rockstar employees. Obviously the game continues to deliver flashes of stupefying brilliance, even for the staff.

There are so many special touches to the game. Some examples include how you hotwire cars (or in some cases fail to do so); how civilians react differently to you and everything in their surroundings; how police team up and have a lot more intelligence and how no building, street or alleyway ever really looks the same. I think they keyword here is 'diversity', which takes in complexity and attention to detail.
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Games: Grand Theft Auto IV

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vyurinov 8 Apr 2008 17:27
Munial 8 Apr 2008 18:21
nice write up.
I could have done without the link to a guy DYING in a car accident though
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James Ramsden 8 Apr 2008 19:38
Don't worry, chaps. He didn't actually die. :)
Spinface 9 Apr 2008 15:11
I agree. Nice write up James.

Tim set me to proofing yours and Pocket's pieces. I saw the combined length and feared for my sanity...

But you got me wanting to play instead of running home crying having read a billion thousand words on one game!
Tim Smith 9 Apr 2008 15:24
Spinface wrote:
Tim set me to proofing yours and Pocket's pieces. I saw the combined length and feared for my sanity...

Just a clarification or two. [1] My decision to retain the link sent by James. [2] I initially edited and in some cases re-jigged both pieces. This means that any and all slicing and dicing; all mistakes of meaning or changes to content, all of these are my fault.

In short, Mark ensured that the final read was clean and tidy with apostrophes and colons nicely placed. I, as ever, am responsible for any inclusions or omissions from two good pieces of original writing.


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