Sunday, April 6, 2008

Journalist completes GTA4

One of the perks of being a video game journalist is getting to play the best titles before anyone else. Rob Taylor, deputy editor of Xbox World 360 magazine, was able to play through the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 4 earlier this week. Taylor was kind enough to answer some questions about the thriller for Web site Here are some notables from the interview.

You're the first games writer to have finished GTA IV, how does that feel?

Pretty darn sweet to be honest, I allowed myself a quick smug grin when the Rockstar guys told me! It's funny; I didn't actually really get to play as much as – say – the Benelux journos we met while up in Chelsea (we were based in Rockstar's actual offices and I think I racked up 25 hours at the final count, while they were ensconced in their hotel rooms playing up to 11 hours a day!) and I also had to write down some fairly comprehensive tips for the first batch of missions so actually I got off to a slow start.

How different is the game from the others?

It's certainly tighter, both in terms of the way Liberty city is structured and the way in which the narrative feels more movie-like than before. Otherwise, everything feels as if it's been given the next-gen treatment; in particular the driving and shooting are light years ahead of past GTAs. Overall, it's a stratospheric leap forward, beyond anything I'd imagined.

If you had to pick a favourite out of all the games in the series now which one would it be?

GTA IV. By a country mile. It craps on all the others – even the mighty Vice City – from a height equivalent to the Statue of Happiness. Believe me, GTA IV is even better than the hype suggests!

You can read the full interview here. I'm pleased with a number of things including the games length (25 hours seems about perfect for the main story), the structure of Liberty City and the targeting improvements. The wait for April 29th will be brutal.

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