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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV – Slow Start to the Game (GTA4)

When the package arrived from Amazon.com, I knew what was in it. Something that was sure to eat away many hours of my time the next few weeks. I opened it up, and there it was the new release from Rockstar Games – Grand Theft Auto IV or GTA4 as some will refer to it. I was part of the record setting first day sales and I was excited to try and get some missions completed in the short amount of time I had available tonight.

Grand Theft Auto IV - Initial Review
With only about an hour to spare this evening, I was thinking I could make a good start around Liberty City in the new GTA 4. Boy was I wrong.

It took about 15 minutes for the game to install the data on the hard drive. Why? I have absolutely no idea – it is obviously putting a ton of data on the Playstation 3 hard drive. However, why cannot the loading it be done in the background while playing the opening scenes or videos? To make matters worse, the great scenes that appear during the loading still continue to appear for another minute after the game data has been saved to the PS3. Only then does it go into the opening scenes.

And the opening is a great introduction although a bit long of the Grand Theft Auto IV’s main character, Niko Bellic coming into Liberty City aka New York City by a huge freighter. At the docks, he is picked up by his cousin Roman to stay with him at his castle in New York City. The only problem is that Roman has over exaggerated his American exploits to his family in Yugoslavia – there are no castles, sports cars, or women. Just a run down apartment and a taxi service to be exploited.

From there, you start the first couple of missions. In the limited time I had, I was only able to explore Liberty City a little while completing the first couple of missions. I immediately found the driving controls to be a lot more sluggish than GTA3 San Andreas as I made my way around town. I also found the opening scenes for each mission to be rather lengthy, perhaps that is just the start of the character development for the game.

However, just a couple of missions into GTA4 – nothing too exciting has happened – other than driving to a couple of locations and picking up people. I hope the game speeds up in the next couple of missions, thus far – while the graphics and stunningly improved from GTA3, the game play and story development has been disappointing.

Given all the hype around this release – and the reason that many of us purchased the Playstation 3 was for Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto franchises – I have been just a little disappointed with Grand Theft Auto IV. Let’s hope it gets better!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonder what you think of it after a week or two of playing it. I'm waiting for the PC release. Some photos of in game played would be good.

JCNetworks.org said...

actually san andreas is not gta3... san andreas is GTA5 and GTA IV is GTA 6th Version. the reason they call it gta4 is because it is the 4th version of the 3D game of gta.