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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Grand Theft Auto Four...no, Bore.


Lemme start off by saying YES, the visuals are fantastic. YES, the story is compelling, as is the voice talent, even if I do end up muttering to myself is a bad Russian accent. YES, there are some cool new additions like the cell phone and being able to take taxis. YES, the battles are cooler because you can hide behind things while shooting around the corner (enemies do as well, so that can be a little tiresome.) All that aside? It's the same shit, different day. Drive over here, chase them down, drive over there, shoot and escape, drive over there, shoot someone and get away.

While there are some sweet missions, like the bank heist where you have to fight waves of cops in the streets a la HEAT, or jumping on the roof of the truck to hijack it, or kidnapping the chick that tries to take the wheel of the car, the rest is kind of boring. What REALLY is weak is the LOSS of certain aspects from the past few. Being able to drive golf carts, bicycles and planes, having weapons like the katana or flamethrower or mini-gun. There seem to be less cars, too, but I could be wrong. What I really miss is the base-jumping/parachuting. Being able to fly a chopper somewhere, then jump out and parachute to your destination was some serious rockitude on the last game. I still have a few more missions to complete, so maybe I'll be surprised, but here is my major beef with GTA IV and the last one:

Doing monotonous every day stuff that I CAN DO MYSELF IN THE REAL WORLD. I don't WANT to waste video game time eating, drinking, buying clothes, playing pool, bowling or any other boring things. Here's what I want:

- To commit arson. I'd like to be able to fill up gas cans at gas stations, pour it on things and light them on fire. Buildings, people, cars, trees.
- I would like to see emergency response teams come to clean up my messes.
- If I have to do mundane tasks, I'd prefer to have to keep a hostage alive than shoot pool.
- I would like to torture information out of people. Not just hit them a few times until a cutscene happens.
- I think I should have to escape from prison at some point. They seem to kick you loose pretty easy when you murder hundreds of people.
- I want to enter office buildings on a motorcycle and drive out pane windows onto other rooftops (like in Vice City)
- I want to do sniper assassinations at large public events like a rally or sports game.
- Maybe attack a wedding, mafia-style.

I'm sure there are more things I could think of, but that's off the top of my head. Maybe if your Wanted level gets too high, you become Most Wanted and if you walk in front of cameras, you get recognized or something and have to get plastic surgery or wear disguises that deteriorate over time or during battles. I think there is a LOT to be done with the criminal element and GTA IV did a great job with the nitty gritty about low-end street crime. But when I think Grand Theft Auto, I think GRAND, not realistic and petty. I want to do crazy stuff, and this one is just a bit too tame for me. Even though it is interesting in the details.


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