Monday, May 12, 2008


Wow. It's rare that something comes along with a lot of anticipation then surpasses your expectations. Rockstar has outdone themselves. The game is incredible. When reading the reviews about the game you might feel bad for the folks that review for a living. They play games as a job, not for the fun of it or for (gasp) the experience of it. GTA 4 is a rare treat for someone like me. First impressions after firing it up are jarring. I expected it to look and feel much like San Andreas. Nothing could be farther from that statement. Meaning, it is clear that it is by the same folks, but the boyish story in the previous installment is gone. The story, which is what I figured would fall flat, it much more gripping.

Like and dislike, feelings.

One of the biggest changes perhaps is, well, me. Maybe I'm wiser, gone though a bit, been around long enough to have made bad decisions... but this game makes you, forces you, to take deep breathes. Dare I say; it has a bit of Shenmue to it. For example: you work on many relationships at once. The game allows you to invest time in certain characters, work for their friendship or love. Because I am the way I am, I tried to take one as far as the game would allow, when all the sudden it turned on me. I honestly felt sort of betrayed. I felt like taking a walk and watching the time go by, literally. So I did. Almost like adding my own cut to the story.

Marching On.

Rockstar didn't mess around. This game is worth every penny. The city looks and feels ridiculously good. I've never lived in NYC but I have visited on occasion, probably more then I should have. I vividly remember the colors of the city the day after New Years, the emptiness. I also remember taking a train from Islip on a Spring day in the middle of the week. Both contrasting images and feelings are in the game. My experiences are limited, so I can only imagine what someone who spent a lot of time there thinks. Regardless, the game sucks you in. Forces you to take in the character that is the city along with the human characters to run into along the way.

Some say this is the greatest video game experience of all time... They may be right, perhaps wrong. Either way, I'll be playing this game all the way through. Why not.

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