Grand Theft Auto IV Reader Review
I got to a point about halfway through the main plot of this game where I realised how thoroughly bored I was, and what a chore the next mission was going to be. The missions may get better later on in the game, but why should I have to spend my own free time playing missions I don't enjoy before I get there?
The handling of the cars is just ridiculous, as if you're driving on sheet ice. Occasionally, you will take a corner and something random will happen to the inertia, causing you spin out. It's not a question of practice - I have managed to overcome this the same way you overcome driving on ice in rally games. The problem is that it's completely unrealistic and merely adds unnecessary frustration when you're trying to avoid the police or catch up with someone you're pursuing. I'm not expecting it to be a driving sim either - a handling model similar to "Burnout" or even "Need For Speed" would have been more appropriate.
The enemy AI is... well there isn't any at all. They just stand there and shoot... they don't duck for cover, try to out flank you or anything.
The framerate is absolutely appalling on both Xbox 360 and PS3. Particularly when you're driving fast, cornering... you know, when you most need the framerate to be decent? At times it drops to sub 20fps. Utterly pathetic; I'm surprised GTA IV passed QA in this state.
Personally, I found the cut scenes to be embarrassingly awful. At least GTA III and Vice City managed some humour, but every character in GTA IV is just deeply unpleasant. The dialogue reads like it was written by a teenager who's watched a whole load of gangster movies and concluded that good dialogue is all about how many swear words are used. The animation of the characters is completely unconvincing - they move like marionettes, operated by a five-year-old. And the plot is just banal beyond words, so I won't waste any more on that.
The music is fairly uninspiring - not a patch on GTA III or Vice City, and the radio shows just recycle much of the same material from those games too.
So, yes, I admit it, I haven't finished the game... because there are more enjoyable games I'd rather spend my precious time on.
I think GTA IV is really suited to kids, students and the unemployed... people with lots of free time who are easily thrilled, particularly by swear words, violence and explosions. More discerning gamers will have seen it all before.
6 / 10