Okay, after thirty or so hours I've had enough of GTA IV's infuriating design flaws. Everyone convinced me that this instalment saw the end of the shoddy mission design of yore and it's obvious now they were drunk on hype and couldn't resist spewing the same old hyperbole. The cover system is awful, the missions are too easily hindered by the inherent anarchy of the open world and the three-star+ police pursuits need to die in a goddamn fire. Especially during missions when there seems to be twice as many police cars on the road. The fact that failing any given mission at least one or two times is standard practice can't be considered good game design - and usually for the stupidest, most asinine of reasons.
My brief love affair with this shit is over. I love so much about it - the immersion, the satire, the music, but a doting wife can only take so many smacks to the face before she realises that the plush house and expensive car aren't worth the abuse. Consider my toys officially thrown out the pram.