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GTA IV: An honest gripe


Greg-J

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I read this review today of why GTA IV really doesn't deserve the praise it's getting and I must say, it's spot on.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I have like 80 hours logged and I'm still only 75% of the way through. I enjoy the game. A lot. But it's the game engine and the art I'm enjoying, the game itself kinda sucks. Here's why:

 

 

 

 

With game reviewers still mopping up their collective ejaculate, you'd think GTA IV was the greatest game of all time. The amount of hyperbole showered on Rockstar's game was unparalleled, with nearly every critic unleashing a string of adjectives that cast GTA IV as the second coming of video gaming Christ. Once the initial euphoria of the graphics wears off, you soon realize that GTA IV doesn't evolve its inherent gameplay beyond that which has come before, and in a lot of respects, significantly less.

 

With a Metacritic score of 99%, one might think it impossible to find any faults with a game that has been equated with everything from Citizen Kane to The Godfather. Wrong.

 

 

1. Money Has No Value

This is my biggest beef with GTA IV: money has little value. You go on a hundred missions to earn cash...for what? More ammo? A new pair of shoes? I have $750,000 in my bank account and I live in a sh*t-hole. All the clothes I can buy were purchased in the early stages of the game. So what am I supposed to do with all this money? This is the American Dream? Where did the option to purchase real-estate go? The whole game is based on making money but the designers forgot one key element: you need something to spend money on, else your money is worthless. $5 hamburgers and an optional freeway toll just don't amount to very much.

 

 

2. Multiplayer

Multiplayer in a GTA game is nothing new if you've played previous PC versions and downloaded certain mods, but this is the first time it's been officially included by Rockstar, so you'd think they'd do it right. Instead, multiplayer feels like an afterthought, sporting a level-up system that takes forever to advance in ranks, all so you can unlock a few items of clothing.

 

The Lobby system can take ages for a game to start, usually because all the stoners in the room forget to click Ready, or worse, bitch and moan about a specific game setting that usually leads to mutiny.

 

There's no shortage of multiplayer game modes, which is great in theory, but I'd gladly take two well-balanced game modes over a multitude of half-assed, poorly designed ideas that find the majority of players running around maps searching for a freaking car. It's called Grand Theft Auto, not Grand Theft Pedestrian.

 

A lot of the problems could easily be addressed by a Host who doesn't have his head up his ass, but most toggle settings that are detrimental to fun, usually forcing the majority of players to abandon a round in mid-stride out of sheer boredom. What GTA IV really needs are maps created specifically for multiplayer, something we'll undoubtedly be paying for in future DLC.

 

 

3. Ponderous Story

A lot of reviewers keep harping on the stellar, amazing, and unparalleled story, which makes me wonder if any of these guys actually watch movies or read books. The tale of Niko is nothing original, evidenced by hundreds of movies from the era of film noir, but what sets this apart from its cinematic cousins is the sheer ponderousness of the story. This is a plot that barely moves and keeps repeating itself over and over. As a character, Niko doesn't evolve and his actions have little impact on the game world, save for the ending, which is as empty as everything that preceded it.

 

The writers of GTA IV make a rookie mistake: they tell me, they don't show me. Telling me Niko is searching for his moral compass is of no use, especially when none of the elements manifest in terms of gameplay, save for a few rudimentary decisions that are no more than, "Kill Mr. X or Kill Mr. Y."

 

 

4. No Upwards Mobility

The majority of critics claim that GTA IV is about the American Dream, an ethereal concept that means something different for everyone. In the universe of GTA, the American Dream apparently entails moving from one pigsty apartment to another pigsty apartment, albeit in a slightly better part of town. There is zero sense of social advancement or self-sufficiency, and all the way till the end of the game you find yourself working as nothing more than slave-labor for those who are enjoying the American Dream.

 

 

5. A Step Back From Previous Versions

While the graphics engine is an amazing achievement and deserving of the highest praise, every other aspect of GTA IV has devolved. It's as if the designers put 95% of their effort into creating a believable environment and used the last 5% for gameplay. Instead of mini-games involving taxi fares, ice-cream trucks, pizza delivery, ambulance driving, fire-fighting, territorial control, managing a gang...you get a boring round of pool, bowling and darts.

 

 

6. Wonky Cover System

It's great that GTA IV now has a cover system. It's not so great that it makes me want to punch my Xbox in the face. God forbid you attempt the cover system near several objects as you never know where you'll get attached. I've lost track of how many times I've been in cover mode, only to have the game refuse to fire my weapon for some inexplicable reason, forcing me to uncover and recover. It's annoying, frustrating and lacks polish.

 

 

7. Dopey Mini-Games

Billiards, bowling and darts, eh? Three boring mini-games that have little to no impact on anything. You can't even bet an opponent for some cash, which I guess doesn't matter because money has no value anyway. The designers could have exercised a little creativity by developing a little pick-up basketball game at the park, or skeet shooting, or dirt-bike racing. Hell, I'll take a little Frisbee tossing or miniature golf. Something original, for Pete's sake.

 

 

8. Relationships Are Idiotic

One new aspect to GTA is the concept of relationships. Unfortunately, it's rudimentary at best, bordering on sublimely retarded. All you have to do is call someone on your phone, pick them up, and head wherever you need to go. Once there, you do nothing that has any impact. As long as you don't total your car or inadvertently shoot your date in the face, they all seem to love you. In the end, relationships in GTA stand as a concept that was never developed. The designers should have taken some notes from The Sims and offered the player tangible options based on the environment the characters find themselves in.

 

 

9. Clothing Interface

I made a terrible mistake in the early part of the game: I purchased every bit of clothing I could find. I didn't realize that the clothing interface, which hasn't changed from previous versions, would continue to be a monumental example of crappy design. There is no organization to the clothes, no quick way to select a suit or casual attire, forcing the player to view every single item one-by-one, an act that redefines tedium and borders on torture.

 

 

10. Phantom Traffic

I don't know what else to call this, so I'm sticking with Phantom Traffic. Phantom Traffic has been around ever since GTA went 3D and it continues to bug the hell out of me. What is it? It's when you look down a stretch of road and don't see any cars. You turn around, look down another stretch, and still don't see any cars. So you turn back to your original viewpoint and suddenly there's a freaking traffic-jam, cars everywhere. I was hoping the next-gen version of GTA would expand the distance cars appear, but such is not the case. Ultimately, this means it's pointless to look around and see if any cops are around before stealing a car, as the second you turn your attention to the window, you have no idea what has suddenly materialized behind you.

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Why is everyone STILL complaining?

user posted image

 

mod it with Nitrous Oxide and chassis dyno.
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Why are people still whining that people are using a GTA IV discussion board to discuss GTA IV?

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Well whatever. The only true reasoning is with the Multiplayer. It is pretty flawed, and though the ranking system is meant to increase the longevity, it's pretty rubbish. From what I've read on here, most people aren't chuffed with some of the extra apparel they've unlocked.

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This was posted ages ago, I agree with little bits of it but most of it is crap.

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Why is everyone STILL complaining?

Because its STILL not as good as most people expected.

 

Reviewers went way to far hyping this game like it was the best game in the planet when its clearly not. Theres so many flaws with it and its so boring that I stopped playing after 2 days.

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redwolf206

Can't you troll somewhere else? There's lots other sites you can try to incite flames at. Places that aren't GTA FAN forums.

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We dont care. Enjoy the game. Relationships in the game are actually deep and intriguing.

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I read this review today of why GTA IV really doesn't deserve the praise it's getting and I must say, it's spot on.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I have like 80 hours logged and I'm still only 75% of the way through. I enjoy the game. A lot. But it's the game engine and the art I'm enjoying, the game itself kinda sucks. Here's why:

 

 

 

 

With game reviewers still mopping up their collective ejaculate, you'd think GTA IV was the greatest game of all time. The amount of hyperbole showered on Rockstar's game was unparalleled, with nearly every critic unleashing a string of adjectives that cast GTA IV as the second coming of video gaming Christ. Once the initial euphoria of the graphics wears off, you soon realize that GTA IV doesn't evolve its inherent gameplay beyond that which has come before, and in a lot of respects, significantly less.

 

With a Metacritic score of 99%, one might think it impossible to find any faults with a game that has been equated with everything from Citizen Kane to The Godfather. Wrong.

 

 

1. Money Has No Value

This is my biggest beef with GTA IV: money has little value. You go on a hundred missions to earn cash...for what? More ammo? A new pair of shoes? I have $750,000 in my bank account and I live in a sh*t-hole. All the clothes I can buy were purchased in the early stages of the game. So what am I supposed to do with all this money? This is the American Dream? Where did the option to purchase real-estate go? The whole game is based on making money but the designers forgot one key element: you need something to spend money on, else your money is worthless. $5 hamburgers and an optional freeway toll just don't amount to very much.

 

 

2. Multiplayer

Multiplayer in a GTA game is nothing new if you've played previous PC versions and downloaded certain mods, but this is the first time it's been officially included by Rockstar, so you'd think they'd do it right. Instead, multiplayer feels like an afterthought, sporting a level-up system that takes forever to advance in ranks, all so you can unlock a few items of clothing.

 

The Lobby system can take ages for a game to start, usually because all the stoners in the room forget to click Ready, or worse, bitch and moan about a specific game setting that usually leads to mutiny.

 

There's no shortage of multiplayer game modes, which is great in theory, but I'd gladly take two well-balanced game modes over a multitude of half-assed, poorly designed ideas that find the majority of players running around maps searching for a freaking car. It's called Grand Theft Auto, not Grand Theft Pedestrian.

 

A lot of the problems could easily be addressed by a Host who doesn't have his head up his ass, but most toggle settings that are detrimental to fun, usually forcing the majority of players to abandon a round in mid-stride out of sheer boredom. What GTA IV really needs are maps created specifically for multiplayer, something we'll undoubtedly be paying for in future DLC.

 

 

3. Ponderous Story

A lot of reviewers keep harping on the stellar, amazing, and unparalleled story, which makes me wonder if any of these guys actually watch movies or read books. The tale of Niko is nothing original, evidenced by hundreds of movies from the era of film noir, but what sets this apart from its cinematic cousins is the sheer ponderousness of the story. This is a plot that barely moves and keeps repeating itself over and over. As a character, Niko doesn't evolve and his actions have little impact on the game world, save for the ending, which is as empty as everything that preceded it.

 

The writers of GTA IV make a rookie mistake: they tell me, they don't show me. Telling me Niko is searching for his moral compass is of no use, especially when none of the elements manifest in terms of gameplay, save for a few rudimentary decisions that are no more than, "Kill Mr. X or Kill Mr. Y."

 

 

4. No Upwards Mobility

The majority of critics claim that GTA IV is about the American Dream, an ethereal concept that means something different for everyone. In the universe of GTA, the American Dream apparently entails moving from one pigsty apartment to another pigsty apartment, albeit in a slightly better part of town. There is zero sense of social advancement or self-sufficiency, and all the way till the end of the game you find yourself working as nothing more than slave-labor for those who are enjoying the American Dream.

 

 

5. A Step Back From Previous Versions

While the graphics engine is an amazing achievement and deserving of the highest praise, every other aspect of GTA IV has devolved. It's as if the designers put 95% of their effort into creating a believable environment and used the last 5% for gameplay. Instead of mini-games involving taxi fares, ice-cream trucks, pizza delivery, ambulance driving, fire-fighting, territorial control, managing a gang...you get a boring round of pool, bowling and darts.

 

 

6. Wonky Cover System

It's great that GTA IV now has a cover system. It's not so great that it makes me want to punch my Xbox in the face. God forbid you attempt the cover system near several objects as you never know where you'll get attached. I've lost track of how many times I've been in cover mode, only to have the game refuse to fire my weapon for some inexplicable reason, forcing me to uncover and recover. It's annoying, frustrating and lacks polish.

 

 

7. Dopey Mini-Games

Billiards, bowling and darts, eh? Three boring mini-games that have little to no impact on anything. You can't even bet an opponent for some cash, which I guess doesn't matter because money has no value anyway. The designers could have exercised a little creativity by developing a little pick-up basketball game at the park, or skeet shooting, or dirt-bike racing. Hell, I'll take a little Frisbee tossing or miniature golf. Something original, for Pete's sake.

 

 

8. Relationships Are Idiotic

One new aspect to GTA is the concept of relationships. Unfortunately, it's rudimentary at best, bordering on sublimely retarded. All you have to do is call someone on your phone, pick them up, and head wherever you need to go. Once there, you do nothing that has any impact. As long as you don't total your car or inadvertently shoot your date in the face, they all seem to love you. In the end, relationships in GTA stand as a concept that was never developed. The designers should have taken some notes from The Sims and offered the player tangible options based on the environment the characters find themselves in.

 

 

9. Clothing Interface

I made a terrible mistake in the early part of the game: I purchased every bit of clothing I could find. I didn't realize that the clothing interface, which hasn't changed from previous versions, would continue to be a monumental example of crappy design. There is no organization to the clothes, no quick way to select a suit or casual attire, forcing the player to view every single item one-by-one, an act that redefines tedium and borders on torture.

 

 

10. Phantom Traffic

I don't know what else to call this, so I'm sticking with Phantom Traffic. Phantom Traffic has been around ever since GTA went 3D and it continues to bug the hell out of me. What is it? It's when you look down a stretch of road and don't see any cars. You turn around, look down another stretch, and still don't see any cars. So you turn back to your original viewpoint and suddenly there's a freaking traffic-jam, cars everywhere. I was hoping the next-gen version of GTA would expand the distance cars appear, but such is not the case. Ultimately, this means it's pointless to look around and see if any cops are around before stealing a car, as the second you turn your attention to the window, you have no idea what has suddenly materialized behind you.

ok man u have said fuk all new to the whole "flame GTA4" thing just shut up about it man. suicidal.gif

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Can't you troll somewhere else? There's lots other sites you can try to incite flames at. Places that aren't GTA FAN forums.

What, this is a GTA IV forum where we are talking about GTA IV. Also I don't think you will find a forum that talks about GTA without being a "fan" forum, not that this one even says it is.

 

Would you really give it a 10/10 with the heavily scripted missions, bad AI, terrible traffic flow, general lack of things to do once completed. I expected something more but the GTA series is getting fairy repetitive.

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ComputerBlue

i agree with the thread starter and the review......your gonna get a lot of ppl come in here getting emotional over your opinion or someone else's saying that the game is not as good as it was hyped up to be....

 

all those repetitive missions are done, and im bored with the game......

 

 

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redwolf206
Can't you troll somewhere else? There's lots other sites you can try to incite flames at. Places that aren't GTA FAN forums.

What, this is a GTA IV forum where we are talking about GTA IV. Also I don't think you will find a forum that talks about GTA without being a "fan" forum, not that this one even says it is.

 

Would you really give it a 10/10 with the heavily scripted missions, bad AI, terrible traffic flow, general lack of things to do once completed. I expected something more but the GTA series is getting fairy repetitive.

Gamefaqs/gamespot, IGN, and many other general gaming sites. It's getting old seeing the same complaints worded differently in every other topic. Keep it in one topic or don't waste space.

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ComputerBlue
Can't you troll somewhere else? There's lots other sites you can try to incite flames at. Places that aren't GTA FAN forums.

What, this is a GTA IV forum where we are talking about GTA IV. Also I don't think you will find a forum that talks about GTA without being a "fan" forum, not that this one even says it is.

 

Would you really give it a 10/10 with the heavily scripted missions, bad AI, terrible traffic flow, general lack of things to do once completed. I expected something more but the GTA series is getting fairy repetitive.

Gamefaqs/gamespot, IGN, and many other general gaming sites. It's getting old seeing the same complaints worded differently in every other topic. Keep it in one topic or don't waste space.

if you dont agree then dont agree - just dont come into the thread......

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i agree with the thread starter and the review......your gonna get a lot of ppl come in here getting emotional over your opinion or someone else's saying that the game is not as good as it was hyped up to be....

 

all those repetitive missions are done, and im bored with the game......

I really dont get that. suicidal.gif Really, you must be a little geek who gets bored of his game real easy becasue he spends 18 hours a day playing them.

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ComputerBlue
i agree with the thread starter and the review......your gonna get a lot of ppl come in here getting emotional over your opinion or someone else's saying that the game is not as good as it was hyped up to be....

 

all those repetitive missions are done, and im bored with the game......

I really dont get that. suicidal.gif Really, you must be a little geek who gets bored of his game real easy becasue he spends 18 hours a day playing them.

like i said in the other thread....your posts vs my posts per day....

 

stop catching feelings over a video game...

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delete

Edited by Miamivicecity
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I agree with the original poster. The review is spot on.

 

The "Phantom Cars" problem has been around forever...and we have been complaining about it forever...yet R* just wont fix it.

 

Makes me bummed.

sad.gif

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Johnny Burbank

I was hoping we'd get to ride the rollercoaster or play miniature golf or hoops or ride the other rides at the park. That stuff is there in the game, so why not use it. Maybe that's what the DLC will have. I happen to like the cover system. The date thing was pretty fun. I looked forward to taking out Alex, my favorite. I plan to meet a few of the other women. Pretty cheesy I know, but I like it.

 

Overall, there was a lot of stuff, little stuff like minigames,lacking. Like rampages. But I think the next GTA is going to blow our minds. This one was in a lot of ways a steppingstone, at least I think so.

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100% agree. Anyone else who says otherwise is in denial.

 

The only fun part of GTA4 is euphoria, and the effect euphoria has on shooting someone in the face.

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GTA3Freak-2001

Sounds like the same regurgitated complaints, most which are rather unfounded and mostly based on opinion.

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Sounds like the same regurgitated complaints, most which are rather unfounded and mostly based on opinion.

Denial. The game is mediocre and you know it.

 

Oh also op, you forgot that you can't throw a punch without 50 cops annoying the sh*t out of you.

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Karambalaya

OP: You should cite your source, I'm interested in knowing where this review came from. (Plus, it would help the author's moral rights)

 

In general I agree with what the article says, but it doesn't really add anything new to the discussion. However, I got an alternative view regarding #10! I actually find it delighting to "spawn" some random vehicles when there's none in sight. Instead of running for 30-60 secs looking for a car you can use, you can make some cars appear in just a couple of seconds. It's pretty wonky, but I found some use for it.

 

 

Oh also op, you forgot that you can't throw a punch without 50 cops annoying the sh*t out of you.

Isn't that a good thing? (Sort of.) I've found the cops in the earlier games a bit TOO apathetic tounge2.gif

Edited by Karambalaya
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OP: You should cite your source, I'm interested in knowing where this review came from. (Plus, it would help the author's moral rights)

 

In general I agree with what the article says, but it doesn't really add anything new to the discussion. However, I got an alternative view regarding #10! I actually find it delighting to "spawn" some random vehicles when there's none in sight. Instead of running for 30-60 secs looking for a car you can use, you can make some cars appear in just a couple of seconds. It's pretty wonky, but I found some use for it.

 

 

Oh also op, you forgot that you can't throw a punch without 50 cops annoying the sh*t out of you.

Isn't that a good thing? (Sort of.) I've found the cops in the earlier games a bit TOO apathetic tounge2.gif

It's annoying. Sometime I just wanna shoot or fight, or run over people, without a billion cops busting my balls.

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GTA3Freak-2001
Sounds like the same regurgitated complaints, most which are rather unfounded and mostly based on opinion.

Denial. The game is mediocre and you know it.

Not denial, its called an opinion.

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100% agree. Anyone else who says otherwise is in denial.

 

The only fun part of GTA4 is euphoria, and the effect euphoria has on shooting someone in the face.

I agree.

 

That's the only thing good about GTA IV. The physics, my opinion.

 

The rest is sh*t.

 

I can't believe they actually spent 100 million dollars making this game. Where'd all that money go?! Not to gameplay, I can see that!

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TheDude5000

I don't care about most of that crap. But the guy is full of sh*t on some points. You can get some real nice savehouses in this game. Like Playboy X has a real nice place, with a flat screen plasma and a hot tub and everything, and you can take it if you want. Your other Algonquin safehouse that Roman buys for you two is also real nice, comes complete with a lobby and is in a real nice neighborhood.

 

The main disappointments for me are lack of interiors and areas like the fair on Firefly Island being completely empty and useless.

 

Other than that, there's really not much to complain about. And DLC will probably solve the lack of interiors and make the map more interesting anyway.

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