Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Western Civilization survived...

Well, GTA IV launched, likely sold millions, and we're still here. No mass riots or violence against law enforcement. Well, not any more than what happens anyway.

The fact that I stole two cars, got into a fight on the street, went bowling on a legitimate date with a woman, and ran numerous red lights somehow didn't have any effect in the real world. According to Next-Gen, NPR apparently gave a pretty fair treatment to GTA IV's release, not the typical overblown media reaction. I'd also like to suggest that gamers are doing their part to stimulate the U.S. economy in this economic recession. The New York Times agrees.

I picked up the game yesterday after work and played for a few hours. The freedom within the game is pretty amazing, but I have to say so far I have been underwhelmed by the experience. Part of it is just me learning to control my character, learning to drive, and not knowing how the GTA universe "works," but I also haven't really been pulled in by the story yet. So far I've just been responding to phone calls from my loser cousin and getting him out of trouble. I would certainly live a boring criminal life.

At one point, the game's tutorial text (appearing early on to orient one to the controls, etc.) suggested I could watch T.V. in my cousin's apartment and I actually wanted to do that, looking for relief from the mean streets of Liberty City. As soon as I parked and got out of his car (I'm using his car, since I'm new in town) however, my cousin called with some crisis, so I was off again.

One thing I can say for sure is that there are definite consequences for your criminal activities within the game. My character started a fight on the street, mainly because I wanted to see what would happen and how all of the buttons worked in confrontations, and a police car happened to be nearby. In less than a minute of fighting, the police were after me, so of course I ran. I ran for a few blocks and could hear the police yelling at me to stop, giving me a chance to stop running before things went bad. I thought I lost them by going down an alley, and was hiding, but quickly there were 8 to 10 officers there telling me it was all over.

I suppose I could have surrendered and been arrested (I guess. I'll have to try it again and see what happens), but instead I chose to run past them. No surprise, I was brought down by a hail of bullets. Apparently you don't really "die" in the game, your character just wakes up outside of the hospital after having been charged (yes, your in-game money is reduced) to be treated.

I'm sure I'll learn how this whole world works and soon either get into the story or just go out exploring. No multiplayer yet, but I'm sure that will change by this weekend.

1 comment:

Warren said...

Well, maybe it is because I've been playing a combination of Vice City Stories for the PSP and Mass Effect for the 360, but I had no problems with the control scheme. It really seems like they mashed the two together; although I prefer the cover system in GTA IV. (The sticky cover system of ME gets me in trouble sometimes...)

One thing I'd like to tone down in the game via a toggle switch (like in Fallout 1 and 2) is the EVERYONE is a potty mouth in this city. I understand it is an adult game but sheeez... After spending a few hours with this game you'll be cussing like a sailor, heh.