We're not going to pretend otherwise. Today is all about you-know-what to the exclusion of all those other we-don't-care-right-nows. But because we get spoiled rotten in this gig, we've already had a string of days spent you-know-whatting ourselves into a mild madness - and it's time to give something back.
You'll have read Tom's considered appraisal by now, of course, and we have irrefutable evidence that a lot of you are already falling under the spell of Liberty City. So now we're going to continue our coverage of GTA IV on launch day with a collection of gameplay videos showing off key new features in the long-awaited return of the series, plus some of our favourite moments so far. Remember: if you choose to play them back in this window, you can double-click to go full-screen!
It goes without saying that these being gameplay videos, they are also technically SPOILERS, but this is the Internet, so perhaps it doesn't go without saying. Also (are you ready to look behind the curtain?) we needed to include this paragraph to make the page layout work, so you're stuck with it.
Here's a peep at a mission that begins with news of a screwed up drugs deal that Niko is asked to go and sort out in his own special way. A short drive to the location, an abandoned hospital, to the accompaniment of a suitably rousing tune paves the way for some tactical sniper shooting to clear away the nasty types.
Then, just as you're putting in the call to report a successful mission, the pigs arrive and a dramatic escape is required - cue car-robbing and a frantic pursuit involving a police chopper and some skin-of-the-teeth manoeuvring. This should give you a sense of how the new cover mechanic works, and how much swearing there is, and how little anyone can understand the brilliant Little Jacob, seen arguing with Elizabeta in the intro cut-scene.
Upgrade your mobile
The mobile phone, as Tom discussed at length in his review, is one of the greatest addtions to the core GTA experience. Especially when you customise it with the ringtone of girls enjoying each other's company.
But while sorting out all your social and criminal needs via calls and texts is fun for a while, the pikey, lo-fi handset Niko gets from his cousin at the start of the game is far too low-rent for serious playaz. In this clip, Playboy X gives you a cameraphone, on the basis that you need to identify somebody in a group of drug dealers, and only PBX knows what he looks like.
So, you take a photograph of some people, MMS Playboy, and he tells you who he wants dead. And we thought Vodafone contracts were bad.
One of the many wonderful things in Liberty City, as in real life, is the Internet. And courtesy of Love-Meet.net, you too can find true love in the big city. Sadly, every woman and man we've hit up so far in the hope of touching/sniffing/soaking have knocked us back. Must be our bubbly personality. [Maybe do up your top button. - Ed]
This video shows a mission where you do set up a meeting, with a man, but one you are charged with murdering on the first date by your brilliant acquaintance Brucie. No tongues. Taking out your target in the diner sparks a firefight with the locals, forcing Niko to make a hasty exit. Probably without paying.