Friday 27 June 2008

GTA 4 - the wait is finally over (for me!)

Grand Theft Auto 4 or GTA as it's more commonly known was released well over a month ago in Europe but it has taken me nearly 6 weeks to receive my copy, all thanks to Dave and Maggie. I've known them both for nearly 20 years and I play online with Dave on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

I did make tentative enquiries at the local computer game shop, only to be told it would take 2 weeks to procure, and it would also cost $180. Blatant greed and profiteering from the bearded geek so I said no thanks. How a game can cost double is beyond me.

Well - on to the game, and it has surpassed all my expectations. Great graphics, and superb gameplay. I now have 5 badboy motors stacked outside my gaff and have completed many missions, although it tells me that I've only completed around 8% of the game so far.

The music on the game is just so good. Most of the radio stations that you can listen to in the car whilst driving around have many of the good old-skool tunes, ones that spawned some of the popular ones that other people may have heard. '2 People - Jean Jacques Smoothie' is one in particular. It features a vocal sample from the Minnie Ripperton song "Inside My Love". There's another tune that is the basis for Ice Cube's Ring Ding Dong but I need to find out who made the original.

No problem - you simply call a number on your cell phone within the game whilst the tune is playing. You will then receive a text back in return, giving you the details of the artist. It's similar to the technology being used nowadays by mobile firms in the UK who offer to identify a certain piece of music.

I've used the same cell phone to cheat on 2 things so far.

OK OK, its the lazy option but guns are hard to come by! I've used the cheat to get full ammo so that I can swagger around with all (tier 1) weapons at my disposal. I've also used the Annihilator cheat (it's the name of a helicopter) and this is incredible fun. I've landed on the top of some of the best buildings in the game, or just simply attempted death leaps out of the helicopter whilst flying along. It tends to make the landing just that bit softer and less terminal if it's over water, of course ;-)

The good thing about using the helicopter cheat is that your wanted level rockets up to 6 stars if you simply go nosing about on the other islands. I can only see 2 of the many islands so far because of the 8% missions complete status. If I could simply land on one of the other islands and get away with it, then it would make the game far too easy.

Some games are all about completing certain tasks, or doing things to make something else happen. Whilst this is also true about GTA 4, there's nothing better than just cruising around, listening to some good music and watching life go by. That is, just so long as you don't forget about driving - like I did, when I rear-ended a police car. All good fun. You can just sit there, spinning the back wheels but eventually they will pop. Similarly, drive through a fire and your car tyres will catch alight and go bang after a short time.

Call of Duty has taken a bit of a back seat at the moment, but I am sure it will spring back soon. I'll probably lose interest in GTA sooner than CoD to be honest, but time will tell.

Nice one Rockstar - a fantastic game!!

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