Well well well, April 29th finally came and went and the millions of gamers who'd been waiting for the next installment of the GTA franchise finally got their collective wish. But the question is; "was it worth the wait"?
OK, the game is truly amazing and the graphics alone are more provocative than Carmen Electra with a lollipop, but is this the next gen leap we were all hoping for? I don't honestly know...
Granted I've only played for a few hours and the main story hasn't really kicked in yet (it still feels like I'm being groomed for greater things through a long winded tutorial opening that feels more like I'm watching a movie than playing a video game) but I haven't had the "oo" and "ah" moments of wonder I had during San Andreas. I guess it could be that with SA you had the unbelievably huge expanse of land and water to cover (along with some great plane piloting and subsequent free fall-parachuting moments therein) and with IV you're a little more confined to the gloomy streets of Liberty City, or maybe it's that there's too much (un-skipable) story that takes place (I like to get on and play the game regardless of the scripted storyline) but I just don't feel 100% happy with this game. I'm 99% happy so that's something but as of yet I haven't had my proverbial 'bell' rang with anything mind blowing.
I have to say that I'm impressed with the dates with the girls and nights out with Roman (your cousin) as you can actually play games like bowling and darts etc and the whole game itself is so polished you can see your face in it. The time and effort that has gone into it is mind boggling and it really does show. The cut scenes are cinematic even if they do become tedious (doesn't Nico sound like Borat?) and the driving is cataclysmically hectic at times and the new shooting dynamics work quite well (thank you Rainbow Six and Gears of War!) so these are all good points that make this game an absolute must-have regardless of my current apathy.
Don't get me wrong, I love this game to bits really, but I guess I'll have to play it for much longer to find my "wow" moments. If I do I'll let you know. ;)
8/10 (so far!)