Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Game Review : Grand Theft Auto IV Part I

I know that by now this game must have been reviewed to death, but I am still compelled to do my own. Having clocked 4 hours or more game play, I have yetto complete the game. Heck I haven't even unlock teh rest of the map where most of teh juicy details are.

That is the beauty of this game, you do not need to attempt the main story to enjoy the this game as it is. Even a casual gamer can pick this up and roam around 'Liberty city' (which is modelled after New York). The detail, the shadows and the lighting makes one feel like you have plugged into the matrix in the matrix movie.

You start out with a little cut scene whereby the main character, Niko Belic comes to America in search of a new life and hopes to chase the American dream. His couse Roman Belic has been sending mail to him for months about this place and how wonderful life here is, which in turn fueled Niko's desire to come here.

Of course this is where the cutscene turns into the game and you find yourself inthe driver seat of your cousin's car, since he was too drunk to drive. From here, you can either go to the designated spote that the map shows to you go (there is even a yellow route for you to follow) or you can just drive around until you get bored of the area and decide to follow yur cousins advice to go to his 'mansion'

This is as much of teh story I will spoil for you guys out there. From here I am going to talk about teh game itself, not the storyline. This is one amazing game, ever since I got GTA: Vice city, I have always had and affinity to the series. Sad to say in GTA : San Andreas, there were just too many things you could do and too much things you had to worry about, i.e. hunger, that it made the game more of a chore to complete, thus I neevr completed that installment.

Now the major difference you have btw the series in PS2 and the current series is, gone are the cell shading styles the previous titles are based on. GTA4 has a more realistic approach on lighting colour and detail. The adrk alley ways are darker and what little light illuminates streets very realistically.

Then you have the details like blood splats on your car if you had 'accidentally' hit someone. You would even need to goto a car wash to get that off yoru car. The mechanics of 'paint and spray' is different now, in tehpast even with six star rating and armoured vehicles chasing you down, when you enter a 'paint and spray', you will lose your star ratings and all thaat pursued you will just turn away like nothing happened. Now ifyou tryto pull that same stunt, you will be surprised that the 'pain and spray' will refuse your money, thus your star rating remains.

Let's now talk about the weather, the weather in game is done very well, you can get blinding sunny, to sometimes gloomy, to slight rain and to major thunder storm. Even the lightning is quite convincing and had me blink when it flashed. But what impressed me the most, is the rain. They deal with rain in a very realistic way, when you get under a solid shelter, teh rain cannot getto you, but if yyou are under train tracks, rain will come in thru the holes in the tracks, water that hits teh tracks will even drip down like in real life.

Cars amd people also react to the envoirnment like in real life. I think this is teh 1sttime I see NPCs(non player controlled) runto avoid rain and even sheild their heads. Some even take out umbrellas. Cars even turn on their headlights, they even flash at you if you drive on the wrong lane towards them. Then traffic actually tries to avoid collisions withyou or other objects.

Even if you are not driving and decide to stand at a junction to watch how the NPCs react with each other. I have seen fights start out from nowhere and police rounding them up. Even random car crashes btw NPCs. The whole envoirnmentis so rich with detail and life that sometimes you would want to just watch everything go and see what happens next.

As for combat, it is greatly improved, you even can take cover behind object, you can even blind fire yoru gun without exposing yourself similar to the moves you find in 'Army of Two' or 'Gears of War'. The targeting does not require you to aim very accurately to score a hit, which is a blessing, as I have found myself strugglingin gun fights inteh previous installments.

There are some unrealistic parts of the game that tells you that you are in a game after all. Like a single burger/hotdog will replenish your health to full. your car can still run after you drove it off a bridge head 1st into the ground. But generally these stuff are there to keep the game fun and not tedious. But there is one game breaking bug so far which causes the os3 to hang, hear I just need to turn off PSN and I will be fine, xbox360 users will not have this issue.

All in all I like the new GTA look and feel. No wonder it gets full marks on most gamer review websites. Even I myself would give thsi game a full 5 out of 5 consoles. Even with some of its flaws.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dear Blog

Dear Blog, I have been a very bad boy lately. I go out of my apartment, eyeing on pretty cars I cannot afford. Hoping that someone gives me one. I walk pass strangers purposely into to them at more times than others hopingto provoke a fight.

But recently I got worse, I started to take those cars I lust for. I even drove a car into a gas station last night just for the fun of it. It blew up pretty nicely and I even scored a few free explosions of cars nearby.

Nowadays brawls become a vehicle to gain wealth. I take the money of my lifeless opponents that lay sprawled on the ground after I give a few stomps for good measure. I even bait hookers and take their money after they give me their services.

Its come to a point that I can create a lot of trouble and still manage to run away from the law unscathed. I have even pumped a few cops full of lead with my trusty shotgun and just getting away like nothing has happened.

I drive through the city at blinding speeds, not even apologizing if I graze someone else's car. The cops are sure weird, they only cared if I hit them and turned a blind eye to all my speeding and running of red lights.

Its weird but funny at the same time how I manage to get away with all this carnage and remain out of lockup till now. I love running around in Liberty city and finding all the little secrets she holds.

Seems like its going to be another 3 months before giving Grand theft Auto 4 a rest.