Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

AL54- No Evil Left Behind

Alicia draws her reign of terror to an end and we find out that she’s a bit of a spoiled preppy! No wonder she’s always kicking and throwing knives at people. Entitlement does that to you. Rather than unlocking a Sin, Al chose the vindictive route and went with the ol’ “if I can’t have fun, then nobody can” way and gave the order to create a group of kids far more surly and unhappy than even ordinary school kids. But just think how good at history they’d be! It’s an easy A when you were around for most of it and even had a hand in causing a war or two. Or three, or four.
The cast page has been updated with the new Sins encountered this arc.

Quick Review: Grand Theft Auto 4- I swore to myself I’d keep the “quick” in “quick reviews” here, so let’s see if I can do it. Gameplay-wise it’s practically exactly the same as every GTA since 3. That means the camera has issues, outrunning the cops seems to depend more on luck than anything else, tons of glitches, motorcycles control for crap, boats control for crap, helicopters control for crap, the auto-aim snaps to bizarrely inappropriate targets at times, jumping and climbing can be a pain, and most frustratingly there aren’t any mid-mission checkpoints. The new additions are fairly good though. The cell phone is a nice touch, online games are fun (although extremely slow to start about half of the time.), and the new aiming scheme is fantastic. The only big gripe I have is a HUGE one and it really saps a lot of the fun: Cars handle like the roads are slathered with oil and butter over a sheet of ice! It took me about halfway through the game until I could take a corner without madly spinning out. If you’re traveling more than 30mph and you so much as tap the hard brake, be prepared for some rolls, spins, and generally getting screwed over and missions to be lost. Patch that BS, Rockstar.
Gameplay aside and even if you despise the series, it’s completely worth playing just to experience the city they built and the people populating it. Ignoring all the minor things you’ll probably never do (seriously, how many people out there actually make use of the ability to take your car to a carwash or switch between high and low beams during nighttime?), the city is the star of the show and as much a main character as Nico. There are plenty of moments where it’s just fun to take in everything going around you and this really should be the standard for every city-based game from here on. There’s no excuse, outside of time and money for small companies, that games shouldn’t be built like this. Plenty of times I found myself gawking at the scenery and got in trouble (Hey it’s the Conan O’Brien studio! WHAM into the cop car in front of me).
The story is leaps and bounds above the previous GTA games and most movies. Nico is a fantastic character, the story is interesting from beginning to end and drives the gameplay (whereas MGS4 was nonstop cutscenes and taking control from the player, the missions themselves are integral parts of the story in GTA), and the directing is nicely done as well (the game ends at the PERFECT place on the map). Probably the biggest surprises were the moral decisions you’re forced to make. Some are simple but for one (the BIG one for those of you that played it, to kill one character or let it live) I actually put the controller down and had to think out what I wanted to do (playing the game- I let it live, in Nico’s shoes- I would have killed it). The game and world feel more grown up as well. Yes they still think that “69” is funniest number EVER and characters that are openly gay are FLAMINGLY gay, but overall, the missions, characters, and story have dropped the juvenile bits.
Despite the one ludicrously huge/how was this not fixed in testing problem with the vehicle handling, the game is well worth playing and for the amount of hours you can sink into it (main missions and events alone, ignoring the dating/jumps/bird flu pigeon hunting/etc), it’s one of the few games that can justify its price. And I just totally failed at keeping this short. Damn.