It took me nearly 3 years to complete GTA4

Posted by MisterBronze (48 posts) -

So that title might be a little misleading. It didn't literally take me 3 years of constant gameplay to finish, of course. 
 
I bought GTA4 on launch day, back in 2008. I've never been a huge fan of "open world" games. I often feel that these games use these worlds to artificially extend the length of the game. When I first played GTA4, I felt it was extremely guilty of this. The game quickly existed solely for a dip-in-now-and-then multiplayer game with my friends, until they got bored of it and went off to finish the single-player.  I however, did not. 
 
Since then I've picked the game back off the shelf several times, starting from scratch, in a desperate attempt to TRY to enjoy the game. See what all the fuss is about. It even became my New Year's Resolution for 2011. A Resolution, I am glad to say - I have kept. 
 
Briefly, I want to mention things I hate about GTA4. Things that contributed to me giving up on the game so many times. I hated the "friendship" mechanic. No Roman, I do NOT want to play darts with you. I don't care if that means I get a little thumbs-down icon when I tell you to bugger off. I despised that when I failed a mission (some of which are up to 20 minutes long), I have to start again. No checkpoints. I hate that so many of the missions could be failed by a freak of nature. That guy you are meant to be following? Oops, a truck just ran him over. I also wasn't keen on having to drive across the entire map to get to my next objective at times. 
 
However, now I am done and I have to say that not only am I at peace with GTA4, but I actually loved the game. It is now a game I will look back at fondly. I did what some call a "golden path" playthrough - ignoring most of the side stuff, unless I really fancied it at time. I just wanted to see the story and enjoy the main missions. Around the 15-20 hour mark, I was utterly hooked. Niko's story is unique, intriguing and genuinely moving in parts. Rockstar are brave storytellers and go places narratively that I don't think I've seen any other developers dare to. 
 
There are moral decisions that have to be made on a spur of the moment, which can radically change the direction of the story. You may not like the outcome. You will have to live with it. Harrowing stuff. 
 
Not sure if I am going to dive straight into The Lost and the Damned, but I certainly bought it. I bought the Ballad of Gay Tony too. I'm looking forward to it.

#1 Posted by MisterBronze (48 posts) -

So that title might be a little misleading. It didn't literally take me 3 years of constant gameplay to finish, of course. 
 
I bought GTA4 on launch day, back in 2008. I've never been a huge fan of "open world" games. I often feel that these games use these worlds to artificially extend the length of the game. When I first played GTA4, I felt it was extremely guilty of this. The game quickly existed solely for a dip-in-now-and-then multiplayer game with my friends, until they got bored of it and went off to finish the single-player.  I however, did not. 
 
Since then I've picked the game back off the shelf several times, starting from scratch, in a desperate attempt to TRY to enjoy the game. See what all the fuss is about. It even became my New Year's Resolution for 2011. A Resolution, I am glad to say - I have kept. 
 
Briefly, I want to mention things I hate about GTA4. Things that contributed to me giving up on the game so many times. I hated the "friendship" mechanic. No Roman, I do NOT want to play darts with you. I don't care if that means I get a little thumbs-down icon when I tell you to bugger off. I despised that when I failed a mission (some of which are up to 20 minutes long), I have to start again. No checkpoints. I hate that so many of the missions could be failed by a freak of nature. That guy you are meant to be following? Oops, a truck just ran him over. I also wasn't keen on having to drive across the entire map to get to my next objective at times. 
 
However, now I am done and I have to say that not only am I at peace with GTA4, but I actually loved the game. It is now a game I will look back at fondly. I did what some call a "golden path" playthrough - ignoring most of the side stuff, unless I really fancied it at time. I just wanted to see the story and enjoy the main missions. Around the 15-20 hour mark, I was utterly hooked. Niko's story is unique, intriguing and genuinely moving in parts. Rockstar are brave storytellers and go places narratively that I don't think I've seen any other developers dare to. 
 
There are moral decisions that have to be made on a spur of the moment, which can radically change the direction of the story. You may not like the outcome. You will have to live with it. Harrowing stuff. 
 
Not sure if I am going to dive straight into The Lost and the Damned, but I certainly bought it. I bought the Ballad of Gay Tony too. I'm looking forward to it.

#2 Posted by Taklulas (401 posts) -

bump

#3 Posted by Skald (4369 posts) -

I know the feeling. Rockstar games affect me in much the same way.

#4 Posted by EuanDewar (5094 posts) -

Lost and the Damned is a pretty well done piece of story with the added advantage of a virtual characters penis, if you're into that. Gay Tony is more in the mold of San Andreas with lots of skydiving and explosive shotguns, its fun but a tad shallow.

#5 Posted by JJWeatherman (14562 posts) -

Aw man, that reminds me that I totally never played those pieces of DLC. I really should. I almost feel bad about it. 
 
Cool that you ended up loving it in the end. It's inspiration for whenever I'm not feeling a game that I thought I would. Just keep trying!

#6 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

Really?  I couldn't put it down and was driven to do everything I could in the game as fast as possible.

 That's how I got this thing
#7 Posted by Th3_James (2579 posts) -

in almost 3 years I beat gta:iv  4 times, 2 times on ps3, once on 360 and once on pc..... Yeah, I love GTA:IV

#8 Posted by npeterson08 (502 posts) -

Still haven't finished GTA IV. My game glitched and put me in a position where I couldn't continue the main storyline, so I never touched the game again out of spite.

#9 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -
@MisterBronze: Every GTA game was like this -.-
#10 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11446 posts) -

As much as I love GTAIV (and I really loved it), the thing that sticks with me the most about it was how much I FREAKING HATED THE DAMN RUN BUTTON IN THAT GAME!   
 
Argh! Why!? Why do I have to mash a button into order to run!? WHY?!?!

#11 Posted by Rudeboy217 (1770 posts) -

I'm in the same boat. For some reason it took me years to finish it.

#12 Posted by LiquidPrince (16116 posts) -

That's faster then me considering that I haven't beat it yet.

#13 Posted by Hexogen (766 posts) -

I think the two expansions are more fun to play than the main game. Especially The Ballad of Gay Tony. Mission checkpoints and completely optional social stuff make it less of a hassle. I don't think either of the expansions are as memorable story-wise as vanilla GTA IV. The stories are fine, but don't expect to be blown away.

#14 Posted by rjayb89 (7728 posts) -
@Shadow said:
" Really?  I couldn't put it down and was driven to do everything I could in the game as fast as possible.
 That's how I got this thing
"

 *High five*
#15 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I'm the opposite. I often had to force myself to do missions, instead of just immersing myself in faux New York. Driving hot cars. Chilling to good music. Occasionaly punching an asshat in the face for calling me out on my rowdyness. Eating a hotdog at the side of the road. Going to the stripclub getting a lapdance. Maybe calling up Brucie to sign me up for a race. Then the crimespree (as in missions, not as in mass-murderin'), which eventually will ensue, has much more of an impact.
 
Same for RD:R or any of the major GTA games from GTA III upwards. Then, after about 100 hours, I lose my patience and enjoyment of 'living' in the simulation and finish up business. Every couple of days, I'll end up being on a one hour rampage - doing all the things I refrain from when playing seriously. Which is kind of a Nightmare. It's so hard to snap out of it. That western town in RD:R. New Austin or whatever. I once turned it into a veritable corpsepile for an hour. Horrible experience. Just awful.

#16 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

All the stuff you hated, I loved. It made the world feel real, that thigns could go horribly wrong. I just wish that in cases where "target get's killed by chance" the mission ends with a different ending. 

My only issue was the melee combat, to be honest. The timing on it is RETARDED, and when they "teach you" how to use it, it takes FOREVER to actually tell you the few things you can do, so I end up spending 15 minutes pressing keys to block and dodge, and nothing happens, then FINALLY the game decides to tell you. In Gay Tony, I literally did not get past a mission where you fight in a fight club, because the melee combat was such a fuckin' barrier. 
 
Which sucks, because the rest of the game was amazing. The acting, the stories, the characters, the roaming, the multiplayer, it was all great, and the game had a feeling of "simulation" that most simulations fail to access. Just so much attention to detail. Everything seemed super dynamic, from the driving, the animation, the controls, vehicle damage (one of my favorite parts of that engine is how you can stop a car by ramming in the wheel well so the tire was unable to spin, and ended up dragging down the car, or how spinning your tires for too long will destroy your tires), everything had some cool thing that it did to make it feel real and a part of the world.

#17 Posted by NegativeCero (3026 posts) -

I still haven't beaten GTA: IV, but that is more of an irrational fear of seeing a red ring on my Xbox being that it was what I had in the tray when it happened. I'm pretty sure that I tried again after I got my Xbox back but it froze again. I don't feel I'm missing out on much though so I'm okay with this. 

#18 Posted by gamb1t (965 posts) -

I havent beaten GTA IV yet myself either. I blame it on my ps3 that died on me while i was 3/4 of the way done with the game.

#19 Posted by Bocam (3808 posts) -

I've beaten the DLC for GTA4 and I still haven't completed the main game yet

#20 Posted by awesomeusername (4230 posts) -
@MisterBronze: The same thing happened with me and my brother with San Andreas. Bought it like a month after release and didn't finish it until 2007. Mind you, it came out 2004.
#21 Posted by CameO73 (5 posts) -

I'm in exactly the same spot as you were. I've yet to finish the game, but never got around to it. The "friendship" mechanic is indeed a stupid thing. Any benefits from friends are immediately offset by the cr@p you have to endure as a "close friend". But I still want to see the story unfold. Since the last Steam sale I'm also the proud owner of both DLC packs. But I won't start 'em before finishing the Niko story. Don't know why, but it just doesn't feel right. One of these days ...

#22 Posted by Harbinger_Of_Hippos (224 posts) -

Well, you're a greater man than I. 3 years later and I still haven't beaten it. I've gotten close, but never quite done it. Yesterday I started playing The Ballad of Gay Tony again though. Mostly for the cars, but I'm starting to remember how much I liked GTA4 a long time ago.

#23 Posted by Brendan (8020 posts) -

I only got to the mission where you end up in a poorly lit nightclub so that you can't see who's shooting you.  Then when you fail you have to do the car tailing mission to get there all over again.  Fuck that.  Glad you enjoyed the game though.

Online
#24 Posted by Enigma777 (6084 posts) -

I had a similar story. I had the game since launch and tried to beat it numerous times before giving up. Finally I decided it was indeed the POS I secretly knew it was with it's outdated design and repetitive gameplay, so I traded it in for RDR and I haven't looked back. 

#25 Posted by MisterBronze (48 posts) -

Thanks everyone for the comments! 
I wouldn't recommend re-visiting a game the way I did with every title. The thing that pushed me to polish off GTA4 off in particular is the fact that it is so universally praised - and I just couldn't see why. As I said, I'm not keen on open-world games, so being "immersed in a world" isn't really my bag. For that kind of experience, I usually turn to an MMORPG. 
 
A friend just reminded me of an other flaw that bugged me. Through the whole game, Roman and Niko are talking about their money troubles. In my ending, Roman closes the game with "well now we can go earn some money". I had just under $1 million in my back pocket...

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