GTA4 - Initial Impressions (Spoiler McSpoilersons) thread

Are there any characters from the previous GTA titles?


Just put 2 hours in and I have almost nothing but positive things to say about it. After a week of San Andreas rekindling, this game in the earliest hours destroys it.

+Cellphone interface is a godsend. Use it to instantly warp to restart failed missions(like mere feet away), call up major contacts for bonus missions, access all sorts of current info, jump direct into multiplayer, etc… It’s your direct link to much of the game with a flick of the button.

+Physics, melee, and gunplay is a massive upgrade. Combat is more of a rhythm game now than a furious mashing exercise. Blocking, counters, and three attack inputs give it a bit more depth. Gunfights have a Splinter Cell/RE4 feel to them with a cover system that functions beautifully(so far). In time all of the little irritations may show up, but so far it’s been wonderfully executed.

+Mission design is top notch thanks to superior character interactions and development than ever before.

+Multiplayer…pretty much reason alone to buy. It’s incredible.

Couple early annoyances:

-Radar is -tiny-. Onscreen text prompts as well, like Dead Rising tiny. Any new messages or information bleeps force me to sit up and squint to read out. I can barely make out my ammo count in the top corner of the screen as well…so small.

-GPS tracking is no help to the colorblind. On missions you get a nice big yellow line dotting the recommended route, and some cars offer advanced GPS guidance with voice activated route signals(turn left here!). Setting manual waypoints via the big pause map however turns on a green line that is really difficult for my colorblindness to decipher. Also any points of interest on the minimap are nearly impossible to see as well for me. The cellphone at least offers a ‘large text’ readout, but it looks really funky and disorganized with that option. Figuring out the mess of small colored icons designating players and mission points in multiplayer can be really tricky given the tinniness of that crucial HUD.

Otherwise all is so very good.

Turn on subtitles. Any non-english dialogue gets translated via a darker font when spoken.

I haven’t read anything you guys wrote, I just wanted to add that the game is in my bag next to my chair and I’ve developed a slight cough since arriving at work.
It might be malaria, so I’d better hurry home so as not to infect anyone.

Seems like that’s intentional, what with about half of Nico’s responses to him being along the lines of “Uh, yeah, sure!”

You would think car shop would laugh at trying to fix the damage I inflict after every mission, but it keep showing up like new. Or the previous state. Whatever.

He is saying ‘zomBIE zomBIE zomBIE.’

Think I am going to finish off Persona 3 first (last month!), though it’s very hard to put it down. The camera horizontal control cannot be changed from what I can tell, and it’s driving me bonkers. Rather not adapt to GTA4 then have to adapt again to P3.

The mini-map is definitely on the small side. The only other thing bothering me is the low level of the camera when you’re driving. It may have always been like that and I get used to it, or it’s particular to this edition of GTA, but so far those are the only two things bothering me that can be attributed to GTA. I do want a better TV now, far too much ghosting for my liking.

you can change the camera angle by hitting select

Even with that it’s a bit too low down for me. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, I just find that I’m using the right stick to adjust the camera quite a bit. Especially after turning, it’s just not keeping up with me.

I am loving it so far, roughly 3 hours in. I love the hand to hand combat even though I suck at it. Bieng able to disarm opponents is cool.

That said, the best part I feel is the character interactions during the cutscenes. It’s done magnificently.

It’s a small point, but I don’t think GTA is a FPS, it’s more of a third person shooter/sandbox game which I see as a different beast.

I love FPS, but am still luke warm to most third person shooters due to control issues.

I dont think its an FPS either, I was just establishing my perspective for my later comments (ie: if you are put off by the GTA games by the control scheme then this GTA fixes that).

Is there an option to change the text color on the cell phone? Maybe I need to up my brightness or contrast more, but it’s not very easy to read the dark gray text on a gray background. I did notice the text size option, which was helpful, but would be nice if that text had a greater contrast from the background.

It’s been mentioned the cellphone gets upgraded in the game, so stick it out and you’ll not have to deal with that problem for long.

Bas Rutten cracks me up.

Who wants to knife fight me from the audience?

Anyone else stop to see what the little blue arrow icon (I think, it was pretty tiny) near Roman’s place was? That was somewhat odd, but I think I like it. Will have to watch out for those.

If you mean the “Random People” encounters, that’s a little blue stick figure. It’s a pretty neat feature.

The “Warm Coffee” acheivement cracked me up.

About 8 hours in and my thoughts haven’t changed. I think this is the GTA they always wanted to make but couldnt because of technical limitations. Most days I dont like the multi-million dollar game development costs (because everyone plays safe and there isnt much innovation) but games like this wouldn’t be possible without it and that would be a true loss.

I am about ready to give the main character a kick in the balls for habitually wandering into crowds of people and telling someone he is there to kill them. Personally I’d be sitting on a rooftop with a sniper rifle, but at the very least couldnt he wait until the person was alone? Can he not see the 20 vs 1 gunfight that is about to begin?

But hey, thats part of the fun of the game. And this time around at least I have some options to help deal with the situation (cover and auto-targeting).

I ran over some kind of collectable near the airport, any idea what that was or how I see how many I can get?