A week or so after, I'm very pleased with GTA IV. At first, the physics engine made me feel like I was in the beginning stages of overcoming ten years of paralysis. Neverthef'ngless, I'm at my usual GTA comfort when it comes to driving, piloting, boating and whore-banging. As much as I understand the lack of a few vehicle/equipment options from San Andreas, I really would have liked to have a parachute at the very least. If anything, to slowly descend in Algonquin during night or day. Taking that visual is breathtaking as is, but I would like that option anyway. Plus, I'd like to land on top of the Empire State Building with more ease than just bailing out of a copter.
I thought the interaction with friends/girlfriends would seriously annoy me, but I find that aspect of the game to be fairly enjoyable. For the first time, I really like the minigames. Darts could be a tad more difficult, and incorporating minigames into multiplayer are my only gripes. The side stuff with friends really extends the story mode for me, as I'm trying to take my time with it as much as possible. A week later, and I'm still less than 40% done, gnarly!
One thing I'm constantly annoyed by, and is my only official knock against the game is the soundtrack. I consider myself fairly open about music, but there isn't much to go with. Is it just me, or is the music very anti-climatic? I listen to the classic hip hop, the beat, LCHC and the latin hiphop stations only. With the awesomeness of the game as a whole, and the prior soundtracks to measure up to, and the worse: lack of custom station, I, with great displeasure, declare GTA IV's soundtrack FAIL.
The outfits took time for me to get accustomed to. The initial off-the-boat outfit took little time to get on my nerves, but everything available to you at first was bleh. Thank god I got to Algonquin to get some decent clothes. When it came time to get a suit, I couldn't help but think of myself as Jason Statham, ala The Transporter. The fun came not long after when I found Claude's outfit from GTA III as an easter egg, chilling in my closet. So fresh.
I've done very little with multiplayer, as I've only been doing free roam for the most part. I'm not ready to deal with my suck just yet, as frustration could bleed over to my wanting to complete the story mode. All in due time with ranked matches.
Much love for the weapons system. It's nowhere near perfect, but its worlds better than prior games.
I'm proud to say I've gone the longest in a GTA game without the assistance of cheat codes. Since there is no properties to buy, you can use your money on weapons, ammo and armor. It works out perfectly.
The taxi system is a lifesaver when I don't feel like driving miles away, listening to the shitty soundtrack. :/
My final first week thoughts are mostly win, with the exception of the soundtrack. Any other things that bother me are primarily me begging for more when I have plenty to play with. Maybe updates down the road will supply me with a parachute, but I'll live if that doesn't come to pass. Maybe they could provide a slot for that custom radio station as well. But other than any negative I have, I'm happy to say I've gotten my money's worth in just a little over a week.