Ah, Grand Theft Auto. The series that truly defined open-world game play, and is responsible for a million bad GTA clones flooding the market every year. I recently borrowed the latest in the series, and I've played it for a few hours to get a feel for it.
First off, the game has no main menu. It's rather bothersome that you have to let the game load up the whole city, then access Nico's phone, just to get to the multiplayer, options, ect. It's not game breaking, and I may just be stuck in my old ways, but it still irks me.
As it loads, you're sort of forced through a couple single player missions before you are allowed to go do the open world stuff, but just like in GTA III, the bridges to the other islands are initially blocked off, so it's not really worth it anyway. I haven't really found much to actually do in the open world gameplay so far, so there's not too much for me to talk about in that regard.
Early on, I can tell that if you're not a dedicated fan to the series, it's going to take some patience to get to the meat and potatoes of the game. I didn't get a gun until about 15 escort driving missions in, and really, that's when I started actually having fun. The story is rather weak at the moment, so I do hope it picks up.
That's my critique so far on the overall story aspects, however I do want to bring up something that's been bothering me. Who, in their goddamn right mind, approved this driving scheme, and then put in so many fucking chase missions? Fucking seriously. Driving a car in this game is like if you turned power steering in your car off, then wore down the tread on your tires, and coated them in fucking petroleum jelly. The cars handle worse than a three year old on his first time ice skating.
It's a good thing they put in a rather detailed car damage system, since you're going to spend most of the time going from point A to point B CRASHING INTO THINGS.
To sum it up, I'm so far unimpressed with Grand Theft Auto IV. Hopefully, things will pick up in the game sooner rather than later. Otherwise, I see myself returning this game back to its owner much earlier than we both anticipated.