A few months ago I finished Grand Theft Auto IV
. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. It probably is the game I have played the most on my 360. I never followed the hype or promotion of this game, and initially, I really wasn't planning on buying it. I ended up purchasing it though, just to rekindle the old memories I had of raising hell in Grand Theft Auto III
. I never finished GTA III
, so I thought I'd do the same with IV
. Do a couple missions here and there, throw in some codes, and for the rest of the time I'd just go insane, sandbox style.
My original intent eventually subsided. With Grand Theft Auto IV
, I really became more interested in actually finishing and playing out the story, then just raising cane like I did in the previous Grand Theft Auto games. Rockstar definitely put out some effort into improving this franchise. Not only did they shift focus to the story and the missions, but they also polished up, added, and removed different game mechanics and elements to make the game much more enjoyable. Although Grand Theft Auto IV
was definitely a step up both technologically and in depth from the other games in the series, it is still is not without it's faults.
Grand Theft Auto IV
gave me great hope for the interactive future of stealing cars, killing people, and picking up sluts. I'd love to see this franchise improve and possibly even fairly earn that 10 spot from mass game reviews. I doubt that anyone at Rockstar will ever read this, but as for Grand Theft Auto V
and the future of this series, here is what I'm hoping for.
Freedom to kill
One thing that really gave me friction in GTA IV
was the fact that you had to 'play out' missions. 'Play out' as in actually waiting for the game to give you permission to annihilate your targeted enemies. When chasing down a goon or a civilian, I want the satisfaction, motivation, and the freedom of creativity to actually be able to wipe his or her guts out at anytime within the given mission.
By playing out these events, we become more aware of just being a video game player again. It seriously limits the role we play as Niko Bellic; a confused Serbian immigrant monster of a human being. I know that this implementation of 'playing out' missions may have been a move to help be more beneficial to the story line. Certainly, there must be a way around this shallow attempt to keep continuity. Please Rockstar, I want my 'murder simulator' to actually feel like one.
Rampage inspired annihilation
As much of a sandbox of immoral acts that the Grand Theft Auto series is known to be about, you'd think there'd eventually come the option to destroy buildings. I can kill thousands of people, steal their cars, steal their cash, and I can even kill good, honest, and right standing just cops for fun. Yet, I still can not blow up a single building without it being wrote in as a mission! With each new installment of this franchise, there needs to be more potential chaos mixed in.
Personally, I'd love to see destructible buildings. How else am I supposed to reenact 9/11, if I can't destroy a building in the process? As a matter of fact, how am I supposed to reenact it without a use of a plane as well? Rockstar, get on it, there should have been at least one flyable plane in GTA IV
, but that's not the subject here, destruction is. How amazing would it be to actually fire a rocket into one of those goliath skyscrapers, only to see it and possibly other buildings around it crumble into a fiery inferno of massive destruction? 6 stars, without a doubt.
When I first played GTA IV
, I was under the impression that it was a much more interactive and nonlinear game then the previous titles. It is, but not by much. There are a few choices you can make to very minimally change the storyline. The concept was great, but after replaying the game again for the 2nd time, I learned that these opportunities for choice and branching out are very scarce. There are only about 1 or 2 somewhat major choices in the game that really help branch it out. The rest of the choices really only effect minor non important opportunities.
I'd like to see the story branch off a whole lot more in this series. Instead of having 2 alternate endings, why not 6 or 7? How about 9? Or maybe even 11 and a half? Putting more effort and thought into exploring this aspect can really add much much more replay value and depth to a game. Think of it as an interactive adventure novel. Every time you picked up the game you could have a fresh new and exciting experience.
An empire of crime
In Grand Theft Auto it seems as if you are always playing the role of a little errand boy. In future installments, why can't the tables turn? Start up a gang, a mafia, an empire of crime. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top like good old Tony Montana. Recruit some members, negotiate with other leaders, take turf, and rule the city.
Instead of taking role as just another whipping boy for all of the other schmucks you usually work for in the city, why not become that big time schmuck? Send out some boys to take down a few guys, do some drive bys, rob some banks. It may sound like a completely different concept for a different game, but this idea could easily be implemented in as a side dish to the true heart and meat of what Grand Theft Auto has always been about. Adding something like this into the game could really freshen up the experience a whole lot. Why raise hell alone? There's power in numbers.
Wretched tools of destruction
Where have all the chainsaws gone? Out of all of the weapons in the series, I certainly prefer it over all of them. It is seriously one of the more twisted and inhumane weapons one could use. Grand Theft Auto needs more weapons like this. Twisted, sick, juvenile, wretched tools of destruction to entertain our own shunned immoral dark sides, guilty brought out in the safe havens of sandbox style video games.
Fireworks, tasers, and hell, maybe they could even bring the tank back for a matter of fact. Although there is pretty good array of weapons in GTA IV
, it seems as if they took it easy on this one, and just threw in the standards. Glory be to Jesus, throw us a chainsaw here Rockstar and let the good times roll.
Though GTA IV
was overall a much more polished game then the previous titles, the character controls and movements are still lacking a bit in performance. The driving is perfect, but when controlling your character's movements, the controls can feel sort of sluggish at times. When I press the jump button it takes probably a whole second to execute the command.
I eventually got used to the controls, but honestly, I wasted too many failed missions as a result of the controls to not care. What they had going for them control wise in GTA IV
was fine enough, but as a video game enthusiast I'd really like to see them tighten up the response times. It wouldn't hurt Rockstar to throw some more sweat and effort into perfecting the character controls.
Continuation of an outlaw
was such a great experience. The game in all good conscience is like a movie that you just want to watch over and over again as if it was your first time watching it. Though like a movie that you've already seen before, it gets boring and stale after a while.
I'd love to see GTA V
and future installments take the franchise to another level in terms of replay value. If only there was much more replay value in IV
, I would probably still be playing it just as much as I had been a few short months back. Shooting pigeons, clearing jumps, and taking on neglected side quests only last for so long. Not to say that those ideas were bad or anything to extend the life of the game, but there needs to be a little bit more depth taken into consideration for the replay value of the single player campaign.
I have yet to play the online mode. I can't really take any clear standing on the topic of multiplayer, but it seems as if this is really where the replay value of GTA IV
comes in. Hopefully, I can eventually get my 360 online again. Without it, I've found my copy of GTA IV
collecting dust. Hopefully GTA V
can help keep the single player experience a little bit fresher.
East coast transition
It seems as if Rockstar cut out a few things in transition from GTA: San Andreas
to GTA IV
. You can no longer buy property, get a hair cut, bulk up, raise skill levels, or even fly planes. To an extent I can see why they would cut out a lot of this, but deep down, as a gamer I would have liked to see IV
keep a lot of these elements. In the back of my mind, I am always wondering if Rockstar will ever release another San Andreas. One that keeps the over the top feel and vibe that the last one provided.
In conclusion, here's to anticipation! It will be quite some time before we see the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. Rockstar yet has to really disappoint me in this series, and I am sure they will hold onto this effort of staying ahead of their standard for a long time. Grand Theft Auto is without a doubt the most popular, and probably the most controversial game franchise in this day and age we live in. As technology blooms and advances, so will games. Hopefully imagination and creativity will follow, especially for the Grand Theft Auto Franchise.