Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV Features for PS3

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10Out of 10
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Red Dead Redemption is riding high in the charts, but it won't be too long before people start pondering about Rockstar's next project. Max Payne 3 and LA Noire are both somewhere on the horizon, but at some point in the not-too-distant future, there'll inevitably be a GTA 5. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to explore a few of the ways in which RDR has improved on the structure of GTA IV - lessons that Rockstar could take forward into its next game. What follows is entirely my opinion, of course - so feel free to call me a knob.

Spoiler note: while I've aimed to avoid spoilers wherever possible, the following article does discuss the general themes and tone of Red Dead Redemption. There's nothing big in here, but be warned nonetheless.

Keep the open world open

GTA IV's Liberty City was a milestone in open world game design: beautiful, memorable and absolutely packed with intricate detail. Aside from the satirical representation, it was also a very impressive approximation of New York - but this achievement had an unfortunate side effect: it was an extremely busy place. As enthralling as it was to steal a sports car and drive up to the gleaming lights of Star Junction, the sheer volume of traffic could be a real drag at times - particularly in the latter stages of the game, when missions had you travelling right across the city to get to the fun stuff.

The vast plains of Red Dead Redemption represent an even larger (and better looking) playground, but the key difference is space. Traffic jams are obviously no longer a problem, and because you have the freedom to literally break away from the beaten path, you feel that much more inclined to do so. There's always something on the horizon - a rocky outcrop to explore, a wild animal to hunt, or an NPC to torment or rescue. Due to the open design of the landscape, these distractions are clearly visible, and whenever you decide to return to your primary business, it's easy to get back on the right track. Fine, you might get unexpectedly snuffed out by a bandit or a sneaky cougar, but you'll never have that classic GTA problem where you bump into a cop car and inadvertently start a disastrous, five-star chase.

If anything, Red Dead's problem is that it's almost too big: by my reckoning it takes almost seven minutes of playtime to ride from one end of Mexico to the other. Still, that's what the fast travel options are there for - and I think it speaks volumes that lots of gamers seem to be proudly avoiding these shortcuts. Rockstar would do well to emulate this openness for GTA 5, so perhaps it's time to return to a San Andreas-style world design?

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User Comments


RAGE_OF_THORN@ DoucheVader

(SORRY) had to delete this post. You are right.
Posted 08:26 on 04 June 2010
DoucheVader's Avatar


"Yes, he's a killer, but he's also a family man - and unlike Niko, Carl Johnson, Tommy Vercetti or even Claude Speede, he doesn't sleep with prostitutes."

Not exactly true. He did sleep with his wife, who was a Prostitute. :)
Posted 16:31 on 03 June 2010

RAGE_OF_THORN@ Mr_Ninjutsu

Mabey Im just catching a wiff of whats radiating from you nose or upper lip.
Posted 15:05 on 03 June 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


What an excellent feature.
Seriously hoping for a GTA 5 reveal at E3
Posted 21:20 on 02 June 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ RAGE_OF_THORN

Maybe that's why you don't make games? Or maybe you just playing the wrong game.
Posted 19:48 on 02 June 2010


GTA 4 was blurry compared to this game, and please, oh please fix the collision damage in the next gta. If you are going 120mph and hit another car, both will fly into bits of twisted metal, not bounce off each other and keep moving.

Keep the shooting mechanic of Red Dead for GTA5, it really works, but improve enter and exit cover mechanics a bit, it was good but I hate that it is sometimes a bit sluggish getting out of cover.

For goodness sake, make the next GTA have a serious mental case for the main character. I found that at times the main character in GTA4 did things a bit out of character. Things Niko just wouldn't care about. I mean really, Niko wouldn't have been much intrested in hookers, he was on a vengence mission. He wasn't there just crusing for some sweetpie. Justify real bloodlust with the next character, and lack of any morals with madness. Mabey a hitman that snapped, or a postal midlife crisis of a basketcase sort of guy thats lost everything and is mad at the world and fearless. A real nutcase would do anything in a game series such as GTA.

Make the next game more outrageous, I didnt enjoy some side activities. Make everything over the top, and exciting. Going for burgers, playing darts, bowling, and silly shows ect, kinda sucked. Things like skydiving should be the very least of wild things you could do.
Posted 17:59 on 02 June 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 29/04/2008
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 883 75
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