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grand theft auto 4
games Posted 2007-03-16 14:29:14 by Jim Crawford
It's pretty amazing how much community excitement there is about Grand Theft Auto 4 given how little we know about it. They've got a countdown to the release of the trailer on

People have looked at games like Saints Row and Crackdown -- both excellent GTA-inspired games, from what I've heard -- and said that Rockstar North would do well to learn certain lessons from these games. Design improvements. Usability improvements. Some of which are significant, like “Mission failed. Retry?” rather than “Mission failed. Go reequip yourself and drive back to the mission start point and sit through the intro cutscene.” And some of which are kind of dumb, like Saints Row's planning routes for you on the minimap, when half the fun of an open-world game like GTA is getting lost and learning the little nooks and crannies of the city.

People are saying things like that because what we've seen for the last two iterations of the series are incremental improvements. People forget what Rockstar North is capable of. They've forgotten the enormous leap that GTA 3 made, that made all the games that were taking ideas from the previous GTA games just look dumb. What I'm really hoping for, given that this is an actual numbered sequel -- Vice City and San Andreas could've been called GTAs 4 and 5, but weren't -- is that this is going to be a complete reenvisioning of the game, like GTA 3 was. Like Resident Evil 4 was to the previous Resident Evil games.

On the other hand, it could be more like the transition from GTA to GTA 2. Which was still pretty damn significant. In the original Grand Theft Auto, for instance, you couldn't retry a mission at all. Or save.

Man, I started writing this thinking that it was ridiculous to be counting down to the release of a mere trailer, but now... now I can't wait to see it. Thirteen days!
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trailer is out
Posted by Jim Crawford on 2007-03-30 13:39:10
So the trailer's out, and it's a bunch of panning shots of Liberty City and a riff on Koyaanisqatsi set to Philip Glass music. It looks great, much better than Grand Theft Auto games ever have with respect to the rest of their console generations, but I was really hoping for some more substance.
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