Zero Punctuation: Grand Theft Auto IV

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Uszi:
The game developers were shooting for MORE realistic than San Andreas, which was basically a cartoon, but stated that they didn't want GTAIV to be super realistic. Niko Bellic is still supposed to be super man.

It's sad though. I mean, you can't touch a cops' car but you can totally destroy anything and anyone around them. When the early tutorial stated that cops were on the lookout for crime, it made me happy, only to realize that "crime" meant touching their car or whatever is scripted in missions. The sand box mode leave a lot to be desired on that side. Add the super unrealistic car driving, and you have a game that feels more like Crazy Taxi with guns than GTA.

It just doesn't feel like being a criminal trying to climb the crime ladder, but rather as just another anonymous guy in a city where cops don't give a shit about anything beside the paint job on their cars. Maybe Rockstar wanted to depict a city with corrupted officials, but if it was the case, the story wouldn't make sense anymore.

If I have a wish for a patch, it would be to fix the crazy ass handbrake sliding and give eyes to the freaking cops. Passing a red lights, provoking accidents or gun fights, it should all be considered crimes IMHO. You can stop players from camping near the ATMs and stabbing everyone for cash, but you can make the cops act like cops, and seeing at how they are the *only* treat to Bellic in the game, it would make sense too.

EDIT : Oh and that patch should fix the annoying traffic in multiplayers races. It doesn't make sense. I understand that they had to do something to give the impression of a city with a lot of cars, but those "traffic cloud" sticking only to players in cars is stupid. And cut down on the car lights when flying at night. It doesn't take a genius to see that they are fake. Plus, they disappear when they are near the bottom of the screen.

MonkeyTorture:
Great review, but I gotta ask, Yahtzee. In your opinion, do you think the game is truly worthy of the "PERFECT 10" rating that it seems to be earning from the "professional" (see: paid to give good reviews through sponsorship) game critics? As good as the game is, I find it hard to believe that it is the flawless, end-all-be-all of gaming that every site out there is trying to get us to believe.

i might not be jahtzee but, invincible trees, licence plates that just say "[imput city name here]" and lets not start about the revenge of the brown castle aproach, put it like this, nothing should get a 10, ( that and scores by number suck anyway because nowadays EVERYTHING gets a score in the trend of 7 - 10 )

it wasnt yahtzee's best work,it's a lot better when he totally hates a game.
but it wasnt too bad.

Yahtzee, why do you taunt people to spam you? Now they're really not going to shut up about Mario Kart Wii.

Unless it's a clever plot for another mailbag.

I have no disagreements to what you said, all of it pretty true, but some small advice on enjoying the game a little more... the friends do not NEED to be entertained unless your desperate for an achievement at the end for being friends with 90% of them and as soon as i bought the game i adjusted the contrast and the brightness noticing i couldn't see bugger all, other then that i love it.

alci-phil:
it wasnt yahtzee's best work,it's a lot better when he totally hates a game.
but it wasnt too bad.

I'd say that, too. But then, mouthy blokes flinging bile around makes me horny. So.

Dear Escapist Magazine,

I put up with these obnoxious eggnetwork "click this balloon to watch the video trailer" ads you toss into the actual videos because A, I can get rid of them by clicking the close ad button in the window, and B, I accept you need to make money.

However, this newest one, the stupid (not to mention completely racist, but that's another story) ad for the Pontiac Vibe, will NOT disappear when I click on the close ad button, and instead immediately expands to cover the entire video window and present me with a video of the ad. Now, once that happens, I CAN close the ad and get back to ZP, but the audio from the ad's video keeps playing over the ZP video, with no way to turn it off.

Even if I ever had any interest in the Pontiac Vibe in the first place, this would completely kill it. And while I realize that advertising agencies have no interest in creating a positive reaction to their commercials (since market research has proven that if ignorant viewers are bombarded with the ads over and over and over AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, they will buy the product no matter how much they dislike seeing the commercial), I thought your magazine was a little too intelligent to actually resort to this method of increasing the number of clicks the ads get.

Love that Frohman reference in the beggining xD

I second on the keep everyone happy part, the odd thing is though,
No one seems to care if you launch them 40 meters to their death from the back of your motorbike,
As long as you go pick them up at the hospital 5 minutes later, on the same bloody bike.

I have a question. I've never played a Grand Theft Auto game before (So sue me. Blah.) How accessable is the new version? I mean, does it have a hard learning curve for newcomers, things like that?

Ph0Xy:
Fantastic review. That's another great cmpilation of marvelous critics.
I'm really nervous and can't wait for the next ZP!

EDIT: not =[

I find it hilarious that this guy has been banned 4 times in a row for saying first post, on every ZP for the past four weeks.

Hm, don't know Sentinel, Yahtzee mentioned that it takes a long, long time to get used to all the mechanics though.

Anyway, uh... I'm in the minority on this one, I guess. I found this review terribly boring, and awfully brief. Eh, obviously the formula would get old eventually, but I guess the tiny nitpicks with barely any mention of actual scope sort of didn't have that kick needed for me.

And I can't even say it is because this game is one I'm a fanboy for. I've never cared for GTA, with the fourth one sounding worth checking out, so the whole ordeal is odd, cause I sort of expected a lot of people to have been bored by this one.

Eh, am I the only one who found this one a bit eh?

Another Fan:
Hm, don't know Sentinel, Yahtzee mentioned that it takes a long, long time to get used to all the mechanics though.

Anyway, uh... I'm in the minority on this one, I guess. I found this review terribly boring, and awfully brief. Eh, obviously the formula would get old eventually, but I guess the tiny nitpicks with barely any mention of actual scope sort of didn't have that kick needed for me.

And I can't even say it is because this game is one I'm a fanboy for. I've never cared for GTA, with the fourth one sounding worth checking out, so the whole ordeal is odd, cause I sort of expected a lot of people to have been bored by this one.

Eh, am I the only one who found this one a bit eh?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Orangina tastes weird and yes. However no one person can answer this negatively, well I gave it my best shot.

SILENTSENTINEL: All GTAs are a game in themselves and only have loose story connections, gameplay wise, you pick it up, have learnt the controls in 30 seconds tops, and will be stealing your first car and running down old ladies in 31 seconds. Depending on your bloodlust and homocidal tendencies. As he said though, GTAIV is a little more complexified. I suppose a simple answer is, playing the previous games will have little if ANY benefit to how well you'll play any other GTA.

Despite despising the GTA series and all they stand for I will, through public opinion, no doubt be forced to get this one. Your review was helpful in adressing my.. fears.

Completely awesomeness, anyone else having issues opening the movie?

Another Fan:
Hm, don't know Sentinel, Yahtzee mentioned that it takes a long, long time to get used to all the mechanics though.

Anyway, uh... I'm in the minority on this one, I guess. I found this review terribly boring, and awfully brief. Eh, obviously the formula would get old eventually, but I guess the tiny nitpicks with barely any mention of actual scope sort of didn't have that kick needed for me.

And I can't even say it is because this game is one I'm a fanboy for. I've never cared for GTA, with the fourth one sounding worth checking out, so the whole ordeal is odd, cause I sort of expected a lot of people to have been bored by this one.

Eh, am I the only one who found this one a bit eh?

I thought it was a bit brief too, but as I watched it again it, as always, got funnier.

144:

Another Fan:
Hm, don't know Sentinel, Yahtzee mentioned that it takes a long, long time to get used to all the mechanics though.

Anyway, uh... I'm in the minority on this one, I guess. I found this review terribly boring, and awfully brief. Eh, obviously the formula would get old eventually, but I guess the tiny nitpicks with barely any mention of actual scope sort of didn't have that kick needed for me.

And I can't even say it is because this game is one I'm a fanboy for. I've never cared for GTA, with the fourth one sounding worth checking out, so the whole ordeal is odd, cause I sort of expected a lot of people to have been bored by this one.

Eh, am I the only one who found this one a bit eh?

I thought it was a bit brief too, but as I watched it again it, as always, got funnier.

I find that watching them a few times gets you to the jokes... Maybe I'm just a bit slow?

It's a great game, but it's nice to see that Yahtzee still managed to find and point out (quite accurately) it's flaws. Quite frankly I'm really tired of seeing the 10/10 A++ reviews for it. Yea, it's fun and I love playing it, but it is by no means perfect, nor should it be described as such. Keep it up Yahtzee.

Terrific review of GTA4. I can't say am a fan of the series ...but your review had me in tears. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your review of Mario Kart Wii...let the bleating of the lambs begin. lol!

I think Croshaw got so scared about Nintendo fanboys, that he traumatized before making another true Yahtzee review, by avoiding to criticise the low-originality rate and predictability.

Nintendo fanboys can only grab a plumber's hammer and caricaturely slam's Croshaw's head. But GTA fanboys can get REALLY creative about it.

I seek his points, but I can't help but love GTA4 and come to its defence. All he said were nick picks and should not stop anyone from buying the game. Btw you can fuck the friends, you dont have to ever go pick them up to go on a date if u dont want to.

I also know Ben doesn't play multiplyer, but not even a comment??? Come on, a HUGE installment to GTA was that you can roam the city with ur friends and have a blast. A a sandbox game in liberty city and with four of your friends? Years of fun right there.

And lets be honest, the police system is much improved. In GTA3 if you so much as hurt the cops or shot any body you get two stars and end up running around the city looking for stars or a sptray n pay. It was massively gay if you trying to get somewhere and have to go the other way to look for a pay n spray or for a star miles away.

I can't be the only one to realise that system was gay and didn't make it exciting as annoying.

m_jim:

lindsay40k:
The GTA series to date have not been good crime simulators by any stretch of the imagination.

There goes the player, murdering their way through bystanders, raping* their way through the sex worker population without protection (and coming out of it in better health). Here comes the police. What is the absolute worst that can happen to the player? A ten second timeout, a bit of inventory stripping and teleportation to the front of the nearest police station or hospital?

No bail, no jail, no parole, no curfew, no injury, no illness.

Rockstar could have built on the ideas in Bully, making a virtual university of crime (or to use layman's terms, prison) populated with factions, corrupt guards, possible escape routes etc for players who fall foul of a virtual criminal justice system (which in turn presents the opportunity for some Phoenix Wright-style courtroom drama and tempering with evidence, witnesses and judicial officials).

Additionally, if the player is going to be caught in a hail of bullets then perhaps it might be a thought to implement a concept utterly unknown to the PlayStation generation of spoilt brats who need daddy (by which I mean gamefaqs) to play games for them - GAME OVER. A Police sniper hits you between the eyes, your vehicle explodes and the burning coffin lands in a deep body of water - player death, save file terminated.

Is this supposed to be a crime simulator for a mature audience, or a sandbox full of dolls that bleed and scream when children cut their fingers off?

Hopefully GTA will continue its trend of developing beyond interactive snuff and before long offer a genuinely intelligent and engaging experience.

*Forcing a prostitute to return her pay makes the intercourse a form of rape.

So are you objecting to the game on ethical/moral grounds or because of conceptual/gameplay issues? Your argument seems to take a turn when you mention children cutting off people's fingers. While I won't touch the moral issues, I don't imagine that having to check in with your parole officer between missions would be much fun (i.e. why people play games). Nor do I imagine that people would take kindly to having a 40 hour game save erased because they zigged instead of zagged. As for the coup de grace, I'm fairly certain that you don't have to interact the ladies of the night in this game, much less rape them. So in closing, I'm sorry that you didn't like the game (you have played it, yes?) and that not all media is lollypops and rainbows.

I'm making a general comment on the GTA series, which seems to be one of gaming's sacred cows. Pundits seem to give each release unrealistically high marks based purely on the fact that they aim higher than most games, despite the fact that as crime simulators not only are they aiming very low (hence my comment on the lack of a virtual criminal justice system or prison) but also fall far short of the level they aim for (with poor controls de rigeur and hardly any significant penalties for failure).

I enjoy playing around with a sandbox, and the GTA series has always provided high quality interactive comedy snuff for gamers able to keep reality and fantasy separate. My objections are to its reputation as a highbrow crime simulator, and its depiction of the sex trade. The fact that there are worse things happening in the media does not excuse the depiction of female sex workers as walking health bonuses who can be beaten into providing a refund with hardly any consequences. I'm sure those who think this act of rape being trivialised and rewarded in a video game is not a big deal would raise issue with a game rewarding acts of child molestation.

UsefulPlayer 1:
I seek his points, but I can't help but love GTA4 and come to its defence. All he said were nick picks and should not stop anyone from buying the game. Btw you can fuck the friends, you dont have to ever go pick them up to go on a date if u dont want to.

I also know Ben doesn't play multiplyer, but not even a comment??? Come on, a HUGE installment to GTA was that you can roam the city with ur friends and have a blast. A a sandbox game in liberty city and with four of your friends? Years of fun right there.

And lets be honest, the police system is much improved. In GTA3 if you so much as hurt the cops or shot any body you get two stars and end up running around the city looking for stars or a sptray n pay. It was massively gay if you trying to get somewhere and have to go the other way to look for a pay n spray or for a star miles away.

I can't be the only one to realise that system was gay and didn't make it exciting as annoying.

Luckily for you, I realise that "gay" is an internet euphemism for "lame".
But I don't agree with you, reality wise, isn't it much better to have cops chase you for "shooting any body" ? Try walking out on a street, real life, and start beating someone up in front of the cops/a cop. Good luck talking yourself out of that one.

I'm not saying that IV's system is like real life, I'm saying it's more realistic than the previous games. That said, I liked the other system(s) better.

The T-Rex thing got me laughing much harder than it should have. Excellent work again, Yahtzee. Can't wait for next week!

I really think Yahtzee could have ripped on this game alot more, but I really enjoyed the review as always, for such a "Great" game it sure does have alot of bad points.

True and true. great review and I am very pleased that he mentioned the trees which have a better chance over superman than a horse does.

great review

This is an open question to those who are complaining about this game's "perfect" scores: What makes a game perfect? If you make a game that is big enough to be epic, then your engine is bound to run into trouble with something (camera, driving, AI, etc.). If you make the scope of your game small enough to perfect those aspects, then your game is set in a tiny niche, which can't be expansive. I see it as a trade-off; Tetris is a perfect puzzle game that is ultimately shallow (no story, characters, etc.). I would submit the GTA series as the pinnacle of the other end of the spectrum, the sandbox/cinematic genre. Do we consider a title's place in the gaming universe in assessing it's "perfection"?

Vyce3:
Your remark on the ps3 version is rather silly. You say to ''avoid'' the ps3 version because of something extra and 100% optional which can be turned off? ... hm weird

im sure Yahtzee knows that you can turn off the six-axis feature but he was referring to the shoulder buttons of which he describes as "marshmellows".

btw anyone know which eastern european nationationality has last names that have the suffix
-ic in them? somebody earlier in this thread pointed out that the police database has niko and roman's ethnicity as "unknown" but i think that still doesnt rule out that they do indeed have a real-life nationality.

agerdemon:
User was banned for this post

-mod

Why do people keep on banning people who comment first, get a life just let them comment.

lol. Talk about forum nazis...

Sylocat:
Dear Escapist Magazine,

Firefox and Adblock get rid of them all :)

lindsay40k:
My objections are to its reputation as a highbrow crime simulator, and its depiction of the sex trade. The fact that there are worse things happening in the media does not excuse the depiction of female sex workers as walking health bonuses who can be beaten into providing a refund with hardly any consequences. I'm sure those who think this act of rape being trivialised and rewarded in a video game is not a big deal would raise issue with a game rewarding acts of child molestation.

Whoa there mule...whoaaaaaaaaaaaa

What exactly makes beating up prostitutes worse than beating up the police? Or firebombing buildings? Or opening up with a minigun on a open road?

Now, it's not rape; for a start, rather negotiated sexual pleasure with afterwards (unrelated) assault, which you can perform on any of the characters. And I believe the first one is equally as illegal in most places.

Secondly, it's a game and therefore has to follow specific rules: I.E. Not charging the character with every crime he commits or you'd get a one star rating for driving on the other side of the road.

Thirdly, whilst the inclusion of 'protectors' would be realistic; it would then lead to people deliberately mowing them down to get all the protectors out.

Fourthly, you don't have to use them. It's usually easier just to go back and get some health from the save points.

Fifthly, if you use them, you don't have to kill them.

Sixthly, it could be seen as a positive message that idiots MAY do that IRL, in which case, keep a crowbar or rape alarm ready.

Seventhly, It is a game. A fragile depiction of real life with none of it's edges. You don't see Sonic fans robbing jewellery stores or Half-Lifers breaking crates open with crowbars.
Give the general public a degree of sense.

blacknar ragmane:

Vyce3:
Your remark on the ps3 version is rather silly. You say to ''avoid'' the ps3 version because of something extra and 100% optional which can be turned off? ... hm weird

im sure Yahtzee knows that you can turn off the six-axis feature but he was referring to the shoulder buttons of which he describes as "marshmellows".

Completely optional too. You can set it to classic, and the shoulder button will allow you to catch a cab and take cover, while the sturdier shoulder buttons are for aiming and firing.

...I'm just here to fangirl as usual, move along O_O;;

well done again

i dont know how you do it- but you are a dam good reviewer

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