GTA 4 has been met by near unanimous praise by critics, including ourselves, but all isn't well in the hardcore GTA fan camp. Disgruntled reader John from Croydon contacted VideoGamer.com with his complaints earlier this week, after spending time with what he expected to be a game he'd be playing for years. Having put thousands of hours into the GTA series over the years, including playing through GTA 3 twice, Vice City six times and San Andreas three times, he's more than qualified to offer his opinion on what many are already claiming is the game of the year. Read on as a GTA fan goes head to head with GTA 4 and reveals what a growing number of GTA fans think of Rockstar's latest game.
John Vs GTA 4's Driving
It's all related to realism or their attempt at it. All the fun of the old GTAs has been severely reduced because you cant do stuff any more. The driving; you used to be able to fling the cars around at almost max speed - it was really fun. Now they are forcing you to drive slow at corners or you skid off. When you roll out of a car, you take tons of damage - it used to be much less. The driving isn't even realistic, ask anyone who drives. Someone on a forum joked that their Vauxhall Corsa can take corners faster than any car in GTA 4, and he's right.
You can't do crazy stuff any more and survive. The windscreen thing, flying out of it, that's just so lame. If you have a head on crash, you want to continue, because you've already been slowed down, not go flying for miles, lose tonnes of health and have to run back to the car.
It's not just me. A guy on a forum summed it up pretty well:
"I can drive in GTA, I can outrun 4 star wanted level w/o breaking a sweat (or crashing for that matter), but that doesn't change the fact, that I find the - so called realistic- driving boring. If I wanted realistic, I would set up a racing wheel and knock around with Forza, Sega rally et al. I miss the arcadey controls of previous iterations."
John Vs GTA 4's Cops
The cops are harsh. They usually crack down on you for the tiniest things you do wrong: pointing a gun at a pedestrian, firing one bullet into a wall, etc. It might be realistic, but it's not fun. You will have cops on you straight away. While my brother was playing he walked on the stage in the strip club and the bouncers came after him and beat him up. Again, it's realistic, but it limits what you can do - It's a game not a life sim.
The cops are on you really quickly, and you have to forget whatever you were trying to do, and just get out of the radius. It's not even realistic, no cops turn up that quickly. In GTA 4 there are usually 2-3 cars within 10 seconds. They kill you so quickly via headshots and stuff, and they kill you inside the car. You used to be quite safe in the car until it got too damaged and caught on fire, but now they can shoot through the windows
John Vs GTA 4's game world
Despite having so much stuff, the world seems really empty, there's nothing to do - no hidden weapons or hidden side missions that I could find. The city is just really detailed, with things that snag your car as you try to explore and makes it really tedious.
John Vs GTA 4's Combat
The hand to hand is lame. Niko is a wimp. You can't really beat two people up at once as you're likely to die if you do. The game doesn't make you feel powerful any more. The gun combat, the lock-on sucks, always targeting the wrong thing - prioritisation is rubbish. It will target things behind a wall instead of the cop right in your face. And cops seem to take too much damage. I shotgunned a few right in the face 2-3 times from almost point blank and they were fine, kept getting up.