- Story. I didn’t think that they could make motorcycle culture interesting, but they definitely did. The characters and dialog are far better than most movies or TV series. The out of control gang leader, the corrupt congressman, the junkie girl, and of course the conflicted protagonist were all great characters. Every single second of cut scene with them was completely entertaining to watch.
- Core Engine And Liberty City. The regular GTA 4 core engine and city is still quite amazing.
- “Magic moments”. While playing standard mission types, players will experience unscripted jump out of your seat spectacular crashes, kills, and explosions. Also, the game is filled with NPC reactions and chatter that is absolutely priceless. This hasn’t changed since standard GTA4, but it’s a big draw to the experience.
- Liberty City Extra Content. New soundtrack + new radio content + new TV content + new weapons + new motorcycles. Much is recycled from GTA4, but there is plenty of new stuff, and it is all awesome. For example, “Martin Serious” is a hilarious parody of Howard Stern.
- The Finale. The action was spectacular, and the dialog was among the best in any game.
- Short. 22 main story missions and that includes a few very simple missions. It took me about five hours to complete at my normal relaxed play speed (and I normally take much longer than the standard play times suggest). Other previews led me to believe that this was going to be a giant DLC pack, the size of Liberty City Stories; it’s not close. I’d guess Liberty City Stories had almost triple the content and took me about 14 hours to complete.
- Hard to find all the Great Content. There is no motivation to explore or experience the city beyond hitting checkpoints and clearing missions. This is really disappointing, because I know there are so many hidden gems to find throughout the game, but it can be a real chore to find them.
- Standard Mission Types. All of the missions are basically one of the following: On-foot shoot outs, racing, or chase & kill. At their low point these can all feel predictable and generic, especially the on-foot shoot outs. On the up side, I always felt interested at unveiling more of the story, the action is littered with unscripted “magic moments” mentioned above, and the Liberty City environment is so rich and varied, that it’s great to have structured missions to give you a reason to experience more of it.
Written by: Darrin
- Contributing Editor