May 7, 2008

Radio Silence

Hey, I'm still alive!

A combination of work, exhaustion, and laziness/recuperation has kept me from posting in quite some time, though I don't think there is a great deal to update on. The end of the term was actually quite a bit less stressful than the rest of it, at least the last few days. I pulled an all-nighter to get my DFS ready for my scripting milestone, went out and bought GTA IV, then subsequently passed out for about 15 hours to let me know that it had had enough. I felt great the next morning though, and managed to get my Penny Arcade essay done and submitted by the April 30 deadline. Since then I've been playing a lot of GTA IV and avoiding anything resembling work which apparently includes my dear blog.

We had a big wrap party for both the team games on Friday, which thoroughly enjoyable and a great way to end the term. I then headed home on Saturday and I've been sleeping on my brother's couch. I get to play GTA IV on his sweet TV and people take me out to eat all the time, it's pretty fantastic. That's pretty much all I've been up to. GTA IV is just as good as they say. The characters and story are incredibly well done, and the writing is top-notch. It still has the Rockstar trademark satire, but if you can get past that (or at least recognize it) you'll find a deep story with a remarkable cast of interesting characters. In addition, what really sells it for me is that they've made the shooting so much better. The lock-on system is akin to Crackdown's aiming system with the added ability to "free-aim" whenever you want by only holding the trigger half-way. I've played it for 30+ hours at this point and I just think it is fantastic. I repeatedly get engrossed in the story and often end up playing it for longer than I intend to.

In addition, the cityscape and world deserve special recognition for their sheer level of detail. The city is gigantic and nearly all the areas feel remarkably unique, which makes it feel like an even wider place. Add in a fully functional internet, radio news the reacts to your actions, and hours of TV programming you can watch at any time, and the depth of content is just astounding. The care that has been put into detailing the city and linking together all the different information sources (radio, TV, and internet) is almost unbelievable, and it creates one of the most immersive well-thought out environments to date.

Anyway, I could go on and on about GTA IV as it is definitely my favorite game this year and arguably better than those of last season as well. On that note, I will continue my ritual relaxation in preparation for next term. Later!

1 comment:

  1. Apparently I'm the only one who thinks the GTA controls are still crap. I suppose the lock on is smarter, but the need to halfway hold down the button for free-aim is asinine. If I have a gun equipped, I should be able to free aim all the time! It drives me nuts when two actions are mapped the the same button. The only thing that could make it worse was if it was contectual as well. Also, for a game that emphasizes driving so much, I wish the cars were fun to drive at all. Unless you go out of you way to go the the right part of the city to get a fancy car, you're totally fucked.

    I'd like to rant on, but it's 5:00. Maybe I'll pick this up again later.