A Week in Liberty City

Today’s my first day back after a full week in Liberty City. I took all of last week off specifically to play Grand Theft Auto 4. It was totally worth it.

I ended up with about 50 hours of play time in and only got around 70% done. It’s huge, and while I admittedly took my time about it because I wanted to enjoy the experience and not feel rushed, I didn’t really get lazy about it, either. It’s a huge game.

I won’t repeat all the hype you can read in game reviews. Suffice to say, they really outdid themselves. The detail in the world they’ve created is amazing, the soundtrack once again kicks ass, and you really do start feeling for the characters - building relationships and learning about them. When things happen to them, you actually care. It truly deserves all of the “10” ratings it’s getting. The only thing I’d really change is that I hate the “race” and “chase” missions. The driving experience in general is pretty good, but some missions you have to race against characters or chase them down and shoot them. The AI you compete against in some of these races and chases is pretty brutal, and if you lose you get to run the race over again. I get controller-throwing-mad at some of these and have yet to find someone who’s like, “Yeah! I’d rather run one of those races than have a cool shootout.” They sort of fixed it in that some of the chases end up where after you chase for long enough the person being chased crashes so you can shoot it out, but still… More bank heists, less racing/chasing.

I haven’t played the online portion of it yet. I hear it’s pretty good, but I’m really a single-player kind of guy.

If you didn’t get this game, go get it now. It’s well worth your $60. If you can, take the week off and play it. It’s surreal, just like watching a marathon of a full season of 24.