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Obligatory GTA IV thread.
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Poll Result
  Are you too busy playing GTA IV to answer this poll?  
 
Yes, I'm a liar because I'm actually answering.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
No, I don't plan to ever get it.
33%
 33%  [ 4 ]
No, I'll wait a while (maybe for the PC version).
50%
 50%  [ 6 ]
Stop using confusing acronyms!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Fox News told me that games are evil.
16%
 16%  [ 2 ]
Who cares?
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
 
  Total Votes : 12  

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Konedima
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Obligatory GTA IV thread. Reply with quote

It's kind of hard to miss the fact that GTA IV came out today. Personally I'm not too interested (probably because I don't have a PS3 or a 360). I'll probably get it when it comes out on PC (it's bound to happen... eventually).

What do you think?

I'd just like to bring up my continued complaint about the Australian game industry... we're getting a censored version so that it meets the MA 15+ rating (never mind that GTA3 and GTA:SA were both banned at one point).
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watching the youtube videos of the main character having sex in his car with a prostitute makes me wonder what games are coming to. It looked like the streets were full of prostitutes as per the old games and you could just pull up next to any and pay for masturbation, fellatio or full sex and then put a gun to the girl's head and blow her away, before taking your money back from her corpse.

Why?
What's the point?
Where's the fun?
Are there interesting consequences?
Are there punishments that match the severity of the crimes?
Is it genuinely erotic? (not from what I saw).
Is it connected to the story in any way?
Does it have any impact on the game world?
Can you catch a disease?
Is it just there to satisfy morbid curiosity, titillate teenagers and raise hype in the media? Is that bad?



I suppose the big question is - have they actually made the core story mission system fun, because it was repetitive and extremely difficult in all the other games. Most people I know had fun driving around, fighting with the police, doing jumps and listening to the radio, but gave up on the main missions at about the 25% complete stage.

Hopefully someone can answer who has played through it, maybe I'm wrong and it's all really engaging and well thought out.
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Weeble
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does sound quite over the top. As I recall, in GTA3 you could pick up a prostitute, but it wasn't really explicit: she just got into the front seat. If you parked the car somewhere out of the way then it would start to bounce and your money would go down, but there was nothing to actually see. If you somehow managed to get the camera round to the front of the car then you'd see that both of you were still just sitting there. I think the whole thing about "shooting her to get your money back" isn't a fair criticism you can shoot anybody and they'll drop a small (random) amount of money. The game doesn't do anything special for the prostitute there's no relation between the amount of money that got taken off you while the car was bumping up and down and the amount of money she would drop if you killed her. Sure, you can object to the idea of shooting people and getting money for it, but that's hardly unique to GTA.

I think the GTA3 prostitute thing was in slightly poor taste, but wasn't really outrageous, given that it was all implied, wasn't required or even obvious to find during the game, and the game had an 18+ rating. I've not seen what subsequent games did, but if the video I found on YouTube of GTA4 is real, with simulated sex (i.e. everyone keeps their clothes on, but they go through the actions) then I think it's a bit much. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed again, it's an adult game, they can have porn in it if they really want I just think it detracts from the game within adding anything. I'm not even down on porn. I remember playing a hilarious flash game where you have to fake an orgasm go too fast and he knows you're faking, go too slowly and he gets there first and is disappointed. I just don't think it adds anything to a game like GTA.

I think Rockstar are very deliberate in courting media controversy just to get free advertising. To some extent I think it serves them right if their games do get banned, while at the same time I think it's sad if they spoil things for everyone.
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Fox news did tell me that games are bad... Not that I listen much to what Fox news says.

I'm interested in GTA IV for the same reason I enjoyed GTA:SA. What I did with most of my time in GTA:SA was fly jets and helicopters up to ridiculous altitudes, jump out, and open my parachute at the last minute to avoid getting splattered. With the freedom to kill anyone and everyone I saw, I went skydiving.

That's why I enjoy the GTA series, each game is what you make it. It allows you the freedom to try things you couldn't (or wouldn't) in reality, and it makes doing so fun, for better or worse, by trivializing the consequences. Since every crime in GTA is truly victimless (until we get sentient AIs, anyway), I'm perfectly happy to let other people play they way they'd like to.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, once I realised the core missions were dull/impossible I spent most of my time in previous GTA seeing how far I could jump the motorbikes and finding daft locations that I could drive into i.e. inside the shopping mall and how long I could pull a wheelie.

It's as if the whole ultra realistic grim gangster life simulator washed right over me and all I wanted to do was listen to the radio, play and have fun. I think that's why when they push things further with the attempted realistic brutality, bad language and badly implemented sex scenes it all detracts from it being a fun place to play. I just wonder if all the controversial content is really necessary.

Wouldn't it be great if it genuinely worked. Fantasy role playing games tend to get closer, I suppose because fantasy isn't real so there is less work to do to immerse me. Still, even they usually fail, especially when lame game play gets thrown in i.e. kill ten rats and bring me the pelts while collecting 2 gold of each dead rat - eh? Or the invulnerable door or the inability to just kill that annoying npc. Elite probably worked the best at immersing me in another world, but then that was partly due to my age and how new and different the game felt. Or maybe it was Zelda Link to the Past.
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crackdown (by Realtime Worlds) is in this vein but keeps things simple and fun and relatively clean. And you're positively encouraged to do silly things with the cars. But it's for the 360 only. Really good though.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I'd heard good things about Crackdown.


It seems embarrassingly bad porn is the order of the day as GTA4 sells 600k units in one day in the UK. Making it the fastest day one selling game ever, apparently stock is dwindling. Slightly more sales on X360 than PS3 too.

To put that in perspective - the most profitable indie game i'm aware of is "Galactic Civilizations II" which has supposedly sold ~250k units to date.

p.s. GalCivI has 10 retail sales for every download sale and GalCivII had 7 retails sales for every download sale. So it shows the importance of the shops, but also possibly highlights online sales catching up.
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icarus
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Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked the immersion In Deus Ex.
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
To put that in perspective - the most profitable indie game i'm aware of is "Galactic Civilizations II" which has supposedly sold ~250k units to date.
That's just one of the signs of the downfall of the human race... people don't like what's good, they like what's popular. I'm not saying that GTA4 isn't a good game (based on reviews I'm reading, its a very good game), but so are indie games like GalCiv, Gish, Defcon, Mr. Robot, and all the others I'm forgetting.
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So a friend of mine went out and bought GTA IV, and I've gotten a chance to play around with him a bit. The first thing we did was play in sandbox mode, and my lasting impression from that are that the explosions are absolutely brilliant. We basically ran around the city picking up RPGs and shooting at... everything.

As much fun as the multiplayer was, though, the single player is where the game really shines. We spent literally 30 minutes just watching TV. There's a surprising amount of depth to the TV programs (and commercials even), despite there only being about 4 channels.

We also went on a date and ended up getting lucky (it wasn't even as steamy as Mass Effect, we were just outside the house looking at a lit window and hearing suggestive noises). This unlocked the "warm coffee" achievement, which I found amusing.

We took a ride in a cab. It was early dawn in liberty city, and the sun was slowly coming up. There were glimpses of joggers and garbage trucks and all the other aspects of early-morning city life, and I felt a profound sense of serenity and well being. Then we through a brick through the window of a china shop. He owed Vlad protection money, y'know?

In all seriousness, that's what GTA IV is about. The characters are all wonderfully crafted, the scenery is perfect, and everything is crafted to create a profoundly immersive experience. Every so while you're playing you just get hit with an overwhelming sense of "wow."

Oh, and the one time we were stupid enough to pull a gun in a fight? We got wasted almost instantly. When we were free roaming the city, even with the aid of bulletproof vests and RPGs and every weapon imaginable, we died before we got more than 3 stars (which is how many you get for killing a police officer). I'd say the game felt pretty proportionate with its responses to violence. The cops still ignore any and all traffic violations, though...

So my advice for anyone considering buying GTA IV: Do it. I don't know if it's going to revolutionize the face of gaming (as certain review sites have been claiming), but you'll definitely get your money's worth.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't played it, but I came across a bit hard on it due to seeing the silly/sad PR generating porn bits, but it has been getting 10/10 in lots of reviews (even the ones that count). Allegedly it cost $100 million to make which I think means it's the most expensive game ever? World of Warcraft was $80 million so it puts it in perspective. Still, all that money and you can watch tv and wave at the joggers and bin men Wink Think how many indie initiatives you could have started with that amount of cash - oh well.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After seeing a lot of suspicious "10/10 OMFG THIS GAME ROCKS" reviews (even in respected press) I came upon this one which seems more even handed.

http://www.quartertothree.com/inhouse/news/438/


Sounds suspiciously like the other GTAs - driving around the city is immersive and fun, checking out all the different cars and bikes is a hoot, being forced to endlessly redo sucky missions to make progress is not fun.

The flame debate seems to have switched from outrage at the violence and porn to some people claiming this game is art and makes a serious commentary on society and the aspirations of the young. Equally worrying really.

http://blog.pjsattic.com/corvus/2008/05/some-gta-iv-questions/
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Ren Fraggle



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 31



PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to a recently deployed friend in the military who didn't want to take his xbox into the desert, I got a chance to borrow and play it myself. I'm a bit of the way into it already. Most things in the game actually do work out pretty well.

I did not enjoy the previous GTA3 games, mostly because I found a lot of the missions silly or pointless, both from a storytelling point of view, as well as the silly minigamish mechanics of them. It also seemed to me at least that you had to go through dozens of these silly missions before any real story progression happens. I haven't found that so much in this one. The missions make more sense, and are more serious. Some of the mission givers have only so far offered me a couple missions. While completing them doesn't seem to progress the story so much, they unlock abilities you can use later on. One friend, for example will drive up when you call him and have a gun shop in his trunk. Another guy you can call up and he will send a couple thugs to fight on your side.

The whole prostitute thing didn't really interest me. I saw the same videos on Youtube, and I had the same doubts other have expressed. I've yet to use that feature, and it doesn't look like it's required at any point in the game so far. I haven't even seen hints to it except that one of the score pages keeps track of how many prostitutes you've hired. There are a few missions and events that take you into a strip bar, where every girl approaches you and offers to give you a lap dance, but that isn't required either. Things like that seem to just be added to the game because they could. It doesn't seem contribute to gameplay at all. It might heal you like the previous games did, but you can also go to a restaurant and get healed that way.

I do find the game fun to play, far more than the earlier ones. It does have a few flaws, the biggest is trying to shoot something while driving or riding in a car. They gave Niko a back story, but I haven't seen it's effect in the game story so far. At my point in the game, I have plenty of money, but the shopping is very limited. Niko tells everyone that he needs money, and will do anything they ask to get it, but he doesn't offer any reasons why he needs all this money. It doesn't look like I can look for multi-player games to just drop in. I have to call someone on the xbox buddy list to set up a game, and since it's not my xbox and I don't know all the people on my friend's list, I haven't been able to try any multiplayer games.

I haven't finished the game yet. I think I'm about half way through. I read the review Poo Bear posted, and it says the story isn't so good towards the end. I'll have to see when I get there.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a particularly annoying mission in GTA3 where you had to steal a specific car, drive somewhere under a tight time limit and then dance for someone. Failure meant restarting from the beginning. Funny how the good moments don't tend to stick in the memory, but the awful ones do Smile
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Ren Fraggle



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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember this mission from GTA3 that I didn't like where some Mexican guy wanted you to collect a bunch of magazines before everyone sees it. If I remember correctly, he didn't think some part of his body was shown big enough in a picture. You had to drive behind this one van and collect the magazines as they drop. You started with something like 5 seconds on the timer, and every magazine added something like 2 more seconds. It was silly and pointless missions like that which caused me to lose interest in GTA.

I have yet to see a timer in GTA4. The closest thing to a timed mission is someone running away from you, and you can't let him get away, or there's a mission critical character in a fight, and you have to kill everyone else before he dies. Chasing people isn't too bad. If you get too far behind, maybe your car broke down, it looks like the game makes the running man wait for a short time when he's so far away for you to get going again. If you can't get going fast enough, then he gets away. There have been plenty of times where I had to change cars, and I thought the fleeing man would be a lot farther away when I caught back up to him.

Oh yeah, if you set up a date with someone, you have an in game hour to pick them up. You can be late but they won't like it as much. If for some reason you take a really long time getting there (You're arrested, hospitalized, or have your car painted for example,) then the other person will call off the date and not like you as much.
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