Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Second Look At GTA IV

It wasn't too long ago that I offered my thoughts on Grand Theft Auto IV. At the time I was still aboard the hype train and was completely addicted to the game.

I still am actually but for different reasons now. Instead of being drawn into the game through the wonderful story or interactions between characters, I am now back to my "old self" in the sense that I am now working on finishing the game 100%. I am a completionist after all so it was only going to be a matter of time. My time spent in the game lately has been dedicated to finding all the Stunt Jumps, Pigeons (IV's hidden packages), delivering certain cars to a garage and anything else that I needed to wrap up after finishing the main game. Sitting on 93% at the moment means that it won't be too long until I reach those three digits and when I do it will then be time to dabble in some GTA multiplayer.

In other words I still have many hours of Grand Theft Auto IV ahead and when you consider that I have already spent over 70 hours in the game already, that's an interesting thing to think about. It is rare for a game to keep you interested in playing for so long and while the reasons for playing have changed for me now, it definitely says something about the game if it can keep me interested in playing for such a long period of time. That is not including the idea of me playing through the story again for one particular achievement. That alone will take another 20 hours or so but I am fine with that anyway as it will allow me to experience some things in the story slightly differently.

Speaking of the story, as I said in my previous GTA post it is definitely one of the better gaming stories I have participated in. Whether it was the characters, the actual events of the plot or a combination of the two that drew me in remains to be seen. What I do know is that I was immersed in it the entire time and as a result there was quite a few shocks that I certainly wasn't expecting. There were some moments that were a bit questionable but for the most part the overall story and events provided one hell of an experience and one that I certainly won't be forgetting anytime soon. In fact, the story made me think about what had happened and what I had experienced in the same way that say, BioShock or a Final Fantasy game has. Needless to say it is definitely a story that can only be experienced. Words might be able to describe what happens but it certainly can't describe the experience of it all nor the feeling you get while you play.

So that leaves me with the question that many people are pondering at the moment: Is it the best game of all time or at the very least, the best game of this generation?

My answer to that is no but it is pretty damn close. It is one of the best games I have played though and totally deserves any and all the praise it gets.

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