GTA4: worth it?

So, is GTA4 actually, like, worth playing? Is it actually any different from the previous entries in the series, at all? Specifically, what are the main gameplay differences between it and San Andreas? Does it at least not have any retarded mandatory horse shit? Is there any sense of actual open-endedness, as opposed to the strict linearity punctuated by faux-nonlinearity in the form of the sandbox in between missions offered by the previous games?

If you didn’t like GTA 3.0, 3.1 or 3.5 then you’re probably not going to like GTA 4.

Although, I have a couple of friends where even this statement was false. They are both quite enjoying GTA IV.

If you didn’t like GTA 3.0, 3.1 or 3.5 then you’re probably not going to like GTA 4.

I would disagree there, actually. I was never a fan of GTA until 4. I’m really loving 4 where I couldn’t really get into the others.

I liked 3.5 on balance, but none of the other ones between 1.0 and that one did it for me, because they were all rehashes of the original. SA finally advanced the formula enough to be worth playing for me, but that doesn’t mean I want to play it again repackaged, no matter how strong my Russian fetish is.

Answers to my specific questions, anybody?

Extar: Its one of the most fun games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.

I casually enjoyed III, VC, and SA. This game I love so far.

So yes, it is worth playing.
No, it doesn’t change the paradigm. Improved cinematic interactions, lots of ‘game’ fixes(but not quite enough can be argued), and even more rigid progressive sandbox unlocking so far than before. I doubt you’ll be that upset given how enjoyable getting to that point is though…

…unless you are only here to play Crackdown in a new skin and just want the entire city with rocketlaunchers and car stacking opportunities at your immediate whim, to which I say jump immediately online.

I did qualify it with a “probably”, you know.

multiplayer is a huge huge thing, but I dont think I’ve ever seen you play anything online, so maybe that isnt your bag.

‘bag’ haha! oh, me.

If by mandatory horse shit you mean workout mini-games to not get fat, driving a lot to level up your driving stat, etc, then yes, GTA IV has completely dispensed with all of that. Thank god. The best cliff’s notes version of what’s different is that IV dispenses with a lot of the overt “gamey” elements of previous GTAs. You don’t pick up stars to lose wanted level, you try to just shake the cops by leaving the area that they’re searching for you in, for example.

Is there any sense of actual open-endedness, as opposed to the strict linearity punctuated by faux-nonlinearity in the form of the sandbox in between missions offered by the previous games?

I’m not entirely sure what your definition of actual open-endedness is, I guess. Do you want to compare it to another game, maybe?

Nope. In fact the linearity is stronger than ever. You have to progress to certain points in the story before you can do side activities like the taxi or vigilante missions.

I did qualify it with a “probably”, you know.

And that means people can’t post disagreements? shrug

You have to progress to certain points in the story before you can do side activities like the taxi or vigilante missions.

And then those are available from that point forward. Voila, sandbox! Yes, the developers are forcing you to play the game but if that’s your primary complaint then … meh.

That’s fine, but I meant mandatory horse shit missions of the Flight School ilk.

I’m not entirely sure what your definition of actual open-endedness is, I guess. Do you want to compare it to another game, maybe?

Actually being able to decide what to do and what order to do it in. For example, all previous GTA games actually have an extremely strictly linear progression through the missions, in which you have at most a choice of two or three at any given time. In contrast, Crackdown and Mercenaries both follow a formula in which the game is divided into chunks (three in Crackdown and four in Mercenaries), and you can do everything in each chunk other than the end boss in any order you want, and you come upon the actual missions as a result of exploration. In other words, the free-form exploration is much more rewarding because it’s part of the actual game, not a minigame as it has been in the GTA series thus far. I had heard some claptrap a while back about GTA4 attempting to be like Oblivion, which I took with more than a grain of salt of course, but that’s the kind of thing that would make more more interested in playing it.

Hey, how far in do I have to play the story to get vigilante missions? I’m really looking forward to those, but for now the cop car computer just gives me an error reaching server.

My casual wandering around the city and losing track of objectives completely savegame says roughly 7 hours. You could probably get there faster if you skip a few dates/mandates.

For example, all previous GTA games actually have an extremely strictly linear progression through the missions, in which you have at most a choice of two or three at any given time.

It’s still like this (although I’m still at the abovementioned 7hr mark). There’s a couple of places where you get to make choices which may affect future gameplay, but so far they’re binary: you either will get another option if you choose A, or you will not if B.

The modern GTA games were always pretty linear in there mission structure, weren’t they? I mean you could see Character C for Mission 7 after taking care of Mission 8 for Character F, but you eventually got around to all of it.

I remember the actual missions being pretty opened ended in GTA3, though. The early China Town mission - I think you had to stop a couple of cooks from escaping or something. I parked a big truck by the promenade entrance to block their escape, and when they ran out I blew up the truck killing them in the process. I recall all of my friends handling it differently, too.

Either I’m just missing these opportunities this time, or they aren’t there. So far, anyway.

Ex, by that definition (and I’m only 15%-ish of the way in), GTA IV is not as open ended as Crackdown or Mercenaries. There’s a narrative that they’re trying to tell, and if you could take on any mission or boss at any time, it would break the narrative.

That said, I’m at a point in the game where I can do any one of 10 goal-oriented activities at my discretion, or just turn my phone off and tool around the city.

Noted. What about the other stuff? Do they make you go through torturous missions in a highly specific way just to showcase idiotic mechanics that you hate anyway?

I haven’t seen a mission like that yet, bags, but I’m at 25% so there could be plenty left.

I’ll say that this is my favorite so far storywise, of course graphically, but my least favorite musically. Well, except for the silence of the lambs song GOODBYE HORSES OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WOULD YOU FUCK [email protected]

sorry.

Anyway, the game is fantastic and if you liked SA, you’ll like this. SA was easily my favorite until this one, but don’t expect arcade, it’s more like a combination between gta and gears of war(combat style)