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    Monday, April 07, 2008

    First Grand Theft Auto IV Review – Reproduced Here

    Some guy with the unlikely name of Cam Garish who writes for put up an embargo-busting review of Grand Theft Auto IV, before quickly pulling the plug after getting scared of being sued. The powers that be are trying to make out that it’s based on preview code, but it’s actually the same code that every major review outlet is going to use. As you’ll know, we hate embargos and artificial delays of reviews so publishers can cut cash/advertising deals with mags and websites, so we’ll be hosting the review here until it’s restored on its original site.

    It’s not the best written review you’ll ever read, but the guy’s honest enough to admit that GTA IV still has flaws in its mechanics despite the hype. Anyway, it’s your right to have access to the review, so here you go:

    There are two questions I know everyone wants answered right off the bat. So, to please my fans, I'm happy to oblige.
    • Does GTA4 live up to the hype? Yes.
    • Are the PS3 and 360 really the same? No.
    Need more? Read on…

    Grand Theft Auto IV is a digital masterpiece. Period. You will like the Xbox 360 version of this game. You will like the PS3 version of this game. Technically, they are the same! However, there are some minor variations. To make these variations easier to read through, I will write 360 specific comments in RED (since the 360 is famous for the color red, haha) and PS3 comments in Blu (see what I did there?). [We didn’t bother keeping the colours, as it doesn’t add anything to the review] So let's get started!

    When popping the disc into the PS3 for the first time, you'll have a brief installation. Don't worry, it only takes ten minutes or so, and there's a pleasant bit of GTA history trivia to keep you occupied. So, unlike with Devil May Cry, you'll be able to eat your sandwich prior to playing the game. On the 360, this installation is optional if you have a hard drive. I advise to proceed with installation—it reduces the already minimal frame rate issues on the 360. When the game finally begins, you'll be treated to the best opening credit sequence I've seen for a game in a long, long time.

    I'm not going to ruin anything. Let's just say that the story in GTA4 is much more cohesive and cinematic than in other GTA games.
    You'll be entranced.


    You're going to like GTA4. But you'll only love part of it. The game play is essentially the same as it was in previous GTA games, which is what you'll love. There are a few extras/improvements that you'll also love. Vehicles are fantastic. The cover system is effective and easy to get used to, as most games now have some sort of cover system. The squeaky car animation used when hookers do their thing is now accompanied by foggy windows—sweet. You can store your favorite vehicles in garages or parking spaces, which is a nice touch. Pay ‘n Spray will replace your broken windows and change your car color…but that does nothing when the police are already in pursuit.

    It's the things that are missing that will turn the volume down on your experience. If you've never played GTA, then you won't miss much. The absence of the Dodo stinks. Going on rampages is now almost impossible. The ability to commit crimes is much more difficult. Wanna shoot rockets down the street, blow up a parking lot, etc? Well, you won't get far. The 5-0 in GTA4 are smart, and they work really hard to bring you down.

    It's also a bit disappointing that law enforcement actually spawns. The game would feel much more realistic if cops had to call for back up, and patrol cars would actually drive to your location from a few blocks away before joining the fun. But that's not how it works. A handful of cops will appear out of nowhere (on the 360, they actually pop-in if you didn't do the install). NOOSE will appear out of no where. And choppers? Well, there's no faint pitter-patter of blades in the wind to alert you of their approach. I think they jump to position through worm holes or something.
    But aside from these annoyances, GTA4 is fantastic. It feels so real.

    Euphoria didn't do as much as I hoped. Let's face it, when you hit a pedestrian at 50 mph, they do one thing: fall. It may look different in slow motion, but when you're really doing it—when you're in the middle of the action—animations always feel the same. There are moments, though, where Euphoria will kick in and you'll say, “Awesome”. When you try to duplicate it, you won't be able to. This is where Euphoria shines. There will be one time moments of sheer bliss—and it's worth every second.

    Riding in a Taxi is awesome. You'll spend your first twenty or so trips admiring the city from the cab. Remember the car ride in Call of Duty 4? This is equally as engaging, if not more so. Seeing the world like this, hustling and bustling, living their digital lives…it makes a bullet to their head an extra level of satisfaction.

    I preferred the PS3 controls because I've always played GTA on PS hardware. The controls aren't identical to previous games, but the learning curve is really small. Most people will probably prefer the 360 controller, but that's to be expected.

    There were a couple minor things about the controls that bugged me. I'll mention the single big thing: running. Tapping a button to run works well in theory, but I just know that the wear and tear on my controller has to be increasing exponentially. Still, it's better than having fatigue in game, as how much you run literally depends on your fatigue in the real world. If you're tired of tapping, you walk or take a cab. If the cops are on your tail, you muster up the energy to tap some more. All in all, it works as a concept…but it's bitter-sweet.

    Been waiting for this? Well, what can I say? It's beautiful. But I know you're really concerned about which system it looks better on, and I have the scoop! The truth is that, if installed, the game looks equally impressive on both systems.

    The PS3 has a more relaxed color pallet, but this gives everything a more realistic look. If you don't like the realistic look, and you have a HDMI connection, you can fiddle with your PS3 display settings and get it looking much more saturated. The textures are just as sharp as the 360 version, and there's little to no pop-in or screen tearing. The PS3 takes longer to load than the 360, but I took several different head counts in game at different locations, and I always found the PS3 to be more populated than the 360. This could be attributed to the dynamic nature of the world, but it's hard to tell. Either way, the difference was never more than five to seven pedestrians or three to four cars—it's not really much of an advantage.

    The 360 is bright. Boy is it bright. Based on discussion history, this one will be claimed to look better, but it'll really be preference. The texture quality is the same on both systems, but the 360 has a more cartoon-like look. This isn't a bad thing. It just depends on preference. I'd compare the difference to that of Oblivion on each system. The 360 also suffers from some frame rate drops that are almost non-existent on the PS3. Installing the 360 version on your system's hard drive, however, will bring performance almost up to par with the PS3.

    Let me add that these differences are only noticeable when the games are shown side by side. I'd liken it to shopping for a TV. There's always one that looks better than another, the 60” make the 50” seem too small, etc. The truth is, once by itself in your living room, it'll look fantastic, and you won't be disappointed.

    I didn't get to use this. I know, you want details, but all I can confirm is split-screen on PS3 only. I was alone, so I didn't actually get to have any matches, but I could tell that the split-screen worked really well. There was a significant decrease in the amount of traffic and pedestrians, but it didn't ruin anything. This is understandable. Rendering two instances of Liberty City is a chore for any machine. I can't conclude one way or the other why the split-screen mode was not available on 360, but I assume by the drop in on-screen objects on the PS3 that the 360 just couldn't handle it. If you own a 360, don't worry. You have Xbox Live…so you're set.

    Grand Theft Auto 4 is worth the hype. It's worth $60, and you'll easily spend over 75 hours with this game. That's a pretty decent bargain. It's difficult to rate the game without bias! Any complaints I have are almost completely based on my experience with other GTA games…so it's tough!


    (Thanks, by the way, to all of you who reminded us that we turned three over the weekend. We’ll post about that later in the week.)


    1. FUCK OFF. It's definitely a 9.2 and you know it. Who is this hack? I hate GTA fanboys.

    2. Right, so what's GTA 4 actually like to play?


    3. Anonymous5:18 pm

      Worst review ever?

    4. Anonymous8:58 am

      this is such a fucking fake. It's like this guy didn't even read a single preview. 1 You hold the run button and tap it for a sprint.2 have you ever played a 360 game that asked you to install? Of course not. the defult drive is too small.3 there are no hookers! you have girl friends like in san an.4 cops do not spawn! it is radious based. Absolutly everything this lowlife said "would have been nice" about the cops has already been confirmed. 5 rockstar has already stated there will be one initial load screen and thats it. So why is this jackass comparing load times?6 Euphoria never turns off or "kicks in". May I never have as much free time as this insecure weird-o!

    5. london12:32 pm

      to be fair..i thought it was very good review, cheerz

    6. Anonymous4:36 pm

      The top three posters forget that this isn't your average xbox game, and he has played it, you haven't, so you can't give your opinion preference over his. It was a good review, thanks.

    7. Anonymous12:16 am

      I was really hoping that both versions would be identical graphically. I've never been able to tell the difference in all these side-by-side comparisons but if what you say is true then I'm a little sad. I don't like the thought of having to get the lesser version.

    8. Anonymous1:50 am

      I like the way he said 'You will like this game' 'You will love this game'.

      Thanks for telling me what i will like and love.

      Not a bad review. If you chaps think it was a fake we'll see in a week won't we. Wait for the discrediting till then yea ;)

    9. Anonymous1:45 am

      I'm insecure about my sexuality.

    10. Lonewolf2:42 pm

      Well this guy seems like a twit.

      But any case. WHO THE FUCK CARES? Just wait and play it for your selves!!!!

    11. Anonymous10:33 pm

      Fake review or not, GTA4 was always going to run better on the PS3. Rockstar has used the Playstation for it's base platform since the original GTA.

      They've said that both the 360 and PS3 versions were built from the ground up - I wouldn't be at all surprised if compatible code was ported from the PS3 to the 360 game, merely to save time.

      Either way, if GTA4 offers the atmosphere and wonderment that GTA3 did, I'll be loving it.

    12. do any of you know what has been cencored out of the australian version of the game? i read in a preview that it is a sexually violent scene where some guy sticks his weapon up a chicks pussy, but i aint sure, please say if you know?

    13. Anonymous1:27 pm

      I've been playing the iCON release on my modded 360 for the past couple of hours and can confirm that this review is a bunch of bullshit.

      I'm guessing he watched a bunch of preview clips and storied up a review from there. A lot of the details in his review are completely wrong.

    14. Anonymous2:52 pm

      Would you care to share which details are "a bunch of bullshit"?

    15. Anonymous10:46 pm

      Haha it will be much better on the PS3. Good luck hearing it anyway over the roar of the 360. The 360 is a piece of shit. It needs batterys for the remotes (Y), it makes the most annoying noise ever especially when you're watching a DVD.

      But thats besides the point. GTA4 has always been an exclusive to the PS3. They should have kept it that way. Microsoft have Halo and we have GTA. Fuck the 360. You're mug for handing over your money when you got one.

    16. Anonymous12:23 am

      Dude ur such a fanboy, go play Lair, come back when you've got something smart to say.

    17. Anonymous12:56 am

      And your a stupid cunt for handing your money over to sony? Ever heard of a 'root kit'? Nah, you would be too stupid to know what it is.

      Sony has been caught out before installing spyware on your pc. Think they don't do the same to your ps3? Hahaha. Have fun being fucked up the ass, loser.

      Dumb mother fuckers like you make me laugh and the world so much more livable. If it wasn't for stupid people like you, smart folks wouldn't look so good! Keep up the good work polluting the gene pool you retards!

    18. Anonymous7:33 am

      Thats funny, the person who angrily wrote the 4th post doesnt seem to have their facts straight either.
      1 There are hookers, i have read this many times.

      2 I don't doubt there will be some sort of installation for the 360. It probably wont install the whole game, but i dont find that unbelievable. The reviewer didnt say anything about load screens, so he doesnt contradict what R* says either.

      3. I wouldnt have too much faith in the perfection of the way games run. before Oblivion was released they made a big fuss about Radiant AI, and how great and natural it was, turned out to be about as natural as the acting talent on days of our lives.

      Then again im not the expert, but i thought it was a good review

    19. Anonymous12:45 pm

      better on the PS3??

      All ill say to that is XBOX live > split screen .. hmm tough one that

    20. Anonymous1:15 pm

      fuck u bitch u write like 8 pages of complete bullshit. cant u go like fly a kite instead of wasting ur and everybody elses time

    21. Anonymous4:08 pm

      fuku xbox mofos, PS3 has better graphics, PS3 has stronger framerate, PS3 has PSN u dumb fuk, wts the difference between XBL nd PSN? PS3 is so gud im writin this comment from my fuking bed on a 32" lcd using the ps3 web browser, nuff said. where next, UTube or pornsites? wr u rekon, nd btw i ant no fanboy, i just used common sence to buy a PS3, so how much is it for XBL?

    22. Anonymous8:59 pm


    23. Anonymous1:38 pm

      PS3 - IS SH1TTTTTT!!! - from the UK:)

    24. Anonymous9:19 pm

      ps3 is balllllllllshit - factttt.

    25. Anonymous12:25 am

      I have both xbox 360 and ps3 and im going to buy it on ps3 as it ownz xbox

    26. Anonymous12:48 am

      Your all a bunch of fucking goofs, all consoles bow before the mighty PC

      Suck my cock you fucks

    27. Anonymous9:06 pm

      PS3 will always have the edge over xbox. The japs just get it right, simple as.

      Anyway, having played both versions over the last 2 days, the xbox version isn't as good in my opinion. Before anyone starts whining like a bitch, this site is for us to post our opinions so hush hush, that's all I'm doing.

    28. Anonymous9:19 pm

      Nathan .... that would make you a faggot ... are you a FAGGOT?

      STFU you Faggot ...