I may have a moment at some point tomorrow, perhaps

November 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

Fortunately for you, there’s one of us who doesn’t think Grand Theft Auto IV was the greatest thing to happen to storytelling since Sophocles, and unfortunately he is more 

than happy to tell you why.

I never quite understood the constant fawning people liked to indulge in when talk turned to the hot new release of GTA IV (of course, looking back, I guess it must have been unbearable listening to my constant yammering when Halo 3 came out), and I can only hope that people start to come to their senses sometime soon before I have to do something drastic, like write about it on a blog or something.
While GTA IV did implement a few nice improvements over previous instalments, the amount of cocksucking that resulted was startling. Okay, so now it has a rudimentary cover system.
 Big fucking deal. There’s no need to start hailing it as a gift from god just yet, considering just how many games have been packing one of those lately.

Take cover, bitches
Online multiplayer. Hooray. If there is a single game which has been genuinely improved by tacking on a badly thought out online mode, I haven’t played it. In case you haven’t had the pleasure, GTA IV’s online consists of spawning with a pistol, being instantly shot dead, respawning with a pistol, running five feet, being run over and respawning ad infinitum, until you eventually get so sick of it you decide to quit. Surprise surprise, you’re not allowed. You see, to quit you need to navigate through three or four fiddly mobile phone menus (incidentally, my least favourite stupid addition),  and this is all while jogging at an infuriatingly slow pace in an effort to avoid the gunfire of everyone in the world, because – and here’s the painfully stupid bit – being shot makes you put your phone away, meaning if you don’t enjoy the game, you have to keep playing to avoid that motherfucking loading screen you have to sit through if you just turn the console off and on again.
Speaking of the fucking phone, I can’t believe how many people think it was a good idea. Firstly, you’d think a company with this big a budget could spare a few quid to design a mobile which isn’t just an ugly black rectangle at the bottom of the screen. I looked at it for the first time, and thought it was a glitch before I noticed it was ringing at me. While we’re on the subject, implementing the cheat menu into the phone while removing all the interesting cheats pissed me right off (just a hint, Rockstar – I bought your game to enjoy my damn self. Actively trying to stop me from doing so is what we at the manual like to call a DICK MOVE). Also making you incapable of running or crouching or hiding behind a wall while making a call made phoning for help completely pointless, since you condemn yourself to death by trying.
All these I could potentially forgive, though. They aren’t major issues by themselves, and I’ve enjoyed many a game with worse problems (Breakdown, I’m looking at you). Unfortunately (and I promise you, the use of this word is justified for once), the utter, complete, crippling and laughable pretentiousness of GTA IV’s story, and everyone who praised it as equal to epic Greek tragedy (sorry), was so horrifying that it finally drove me to tell the world about my secret hangup. So here it is.

There. I said it. Pelt me with your inter-hate as much as you want, it won’t save your precious game from my rising torrent of furious bile. People talk about how attached they were to the characters, and how choosing which one lived or died left them all torn up inside. Hooray for you, I say, but forgive me if I don’t give two shits about some dickhead who’s constantly asking me to do the most retarded favours, and gets all pissy if I don’t drive him to the strip club and take him out to dinner every evening. Also having the most annoying and petty personalities since the last time I watched Big Brother sure doesn’t help their case, with all of them constantly bandying on about how “this a-hole didn’t respect mah bitch,” and demanding that I go “cap his ass” without a hint of irony. A quick aside, video game girlfriends have NEVER BEEN IN ANY WAY NECESSARY, AND JUST MAKE US FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH OUR OWN POINTLESS LIVES. Worst of all, though – the one thing I can never forgive Rockstar for in a million years – is taking a game as good as Grand Theft Auto, building it up to a funtastic crescendo, before brutally and pointlessly removing everything that made it enjoyable, for no god damned reason other than the pursuit of… hell, I don’t even fucking know why they did it! Nothing was more satisfying than the simple pleasures of the ramp trucks, car-surfing and not having to save up for forty fucking minutes to buy a single explosive! All I want is to be able to enjoy high-octane car chases with explosions and gunfire going off every damn where, swinging my car wildly from side to side without being instantly stopped by trees and particularly large pedestrians, before launching my vehicle into the air and onto a moving train, where any amount of crazy shit can happen.
Fuck you guys anyway. All I have to say is, don’t fall into the same trap that I did – convincing yourself that something is great just because you don’t want to admit that you aren’t enjoying yourself as much as you should be for £45.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy Saint’s Row 2. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation at the Escapist
says it’s everything I’ve been waiting for.

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