There have been a ton of great titles on the PS3 thus far, but for myself and many other PS3 fans, GTA 4 is the big one. This has been and continues to be my most anticipated title since the launch of the PS3.
So far, PS3 owners haven’t had much GTA-style games. We’ve had an OK port of Godfather, and we’ve had the excellent Manhunt 2 and Bully for PS2 which share many of the same writing + dev staff as GTA, but the GTA series has always been the main focus of Rockstar North, and I couldn’t be more excited about the pending release of GTA 4 on April 29th.
Why GTA is great
It’s Funny I’ve never laughed more than when playing GTA. The game does a complete rendition of a living city and absolutely everything is just dripping with sarcasm. The talk shows, the rock DJs, the pedestrian clothing fashion, the reactions of some drivers when you steal their car, or hit them in traffic, the reactions of shoppers when you drive a motorcycle through the mall in Vice City, the hookers, the missions (remember the donkey pornography mission in GTA3?), even the cars, guns, and violence are done in a very sarcastic manner. Humor is highly subjective, but to me, many of the imitators (True Crime, Driv3R, and to a lesser extent even Saint’s Row) show what happens when you try to be funny and completely miss the mark.
Emergent Gameplay Lots of fans never touched the missions and loved just fooling around all over the map. I loved the missions, but I also loved stumbling on all kinds of fun interludes along the way.
The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts Lots of games had better racing or better gunplay or better technology, but none of them stitched everything together like GTA.
Novelty GTA 3 delivered an experience that was simply unlike anything before it. Vice City and San Andreas basically grew the same concept, but it was still a very fresh experience.
Best GTA Clones
(not in order)
Scarface This game was easily the best GTA-like game. The voice acting and dialog were solid, the gameplay was good, the graphics were phenomenal for PS2, and there was some good humor. The big flaw of this game was its timing. It completely missed its window of opportunity. Games such as True Crime and Driv3r were horrible, but they came out at the right time, when people were starved for another GTA-like game and were eager to buy a low-quality clone. Scarface was a great game, but it simply came out after the GTA-mania had subsided, Saint’s Row had way better graphics on the 360, the PS3 was about to be released, and the gaming hivemind was simply not interested in anything for the PS2 and Xbox 1.
Mercenaries Not really a clone, but it shows strong GTA influence, and it’s a great game in it’s own right.
Expectations for GTA 4
Overhaul Real simple. I want to see absolutely every aspect of the game new + improved, all while keeping the story, sarcastic humor, and grand scope of the previous entries intact.
The Sky I can’t put exactly what I want into precise words, but I expect GTA 4 to deliver it. If this title does anything less than single-handedly push the art of videogames forward one evolutionary step, it will be a disappointment.
Anyone else as excited for GTA 4 as I am? What are your expectations?