Grand Theft Auto 4 (GTA 4)
And gta 4 seems like the story has a really good depth to it.
The August issue of GamesTM (a multi-format games magazine based in the UK) contains a world exclusive first look at the new gameplay in Grand Theft Auto IV. Here's a brief run-down on some of the new stuff mentioned:
* The demo begins in Grand Theft Auto IV's equivalent of Times Square: Star Junction. There aren't many pedestrians present at this time, but this is most likely due to the early nature of the code.
* The mobile phone can be used to gain weapons. In the demo that GamesTM saw, Niko calls his associate Little Jacob, who is a caribbean arms dealer. After a brief chat with Jacob, he tells Niko to meet him in an alleyway in Rotterdam Hill, where he purchases the weapons from him. No more Ammu-Nation it seems.
* Niko can use taxis to get around (presumably he can use the phone to call a taxi). The police are much more vigilant in GTA IV, and sometimes it is less hassle using a taxi than jacking someone's car. The trip-skip option is available for convenience.
* In the demo, Niko recieves a call concerning "shady lawyer" Goldberg, of Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster (GLS). Niko can use the internet in GTA4. He heads over to an internet café called the "Tw@ Café," and hops onto a PC before surfing. He uploads his CV to the GLS website so he can get an interview - before killing Goldberg. He receives a phonecall confirming the time of his interview. The web is available from any computer in the game, and provides a hub for all sorts of interactivity within Liberty City.
* Missions in GTA IV can be interrupted. The interview isn't until tomorrow, which means you can carry out other business until then. This suggests you can do several missions at the same time, and missions can take place over several days, perhaps.
* Next in the demo, Niko pays a visit to somebody called McReary, at Castle Gardens, a coast-side hangout overlooking the Statue of Hapiness. McReary has had a memory stick stolen from him which contains sensitive data, and he wants Niko to retrieve it for him. He takes another cab to the meeting point, where the target is standing amongst a crowd of people. The problem is he doesn't know which one it is, so he gives him a call to see which one picks up their phone. Niko shoots the target three times in the back of the head, before taking the memory stick and making a run for it. He gains a three-star wanted level as a result.
* Committing crimes isn't as easy in GTA IV. You gain a wanted level for every crime you commit, aslong as there are witnesses present. Once you have gained a wanted level, a visible (circular) search area appears on the radar, and if you escape this area without being spotted, your wanted level will flash and disappear. If you are spotted, however, the search area's position changes, and centers on where you were last spotted. So unlike previous GTA games, the police don't always know where you are. They can't catch you unless they find you first. It was confirmed previously that in GTA IV every street will be named, and this is what cops use to communicate when they are tracking you down. There are no Pay
N' Spray's to save you this time, unfortunately.
* Before heading off to the interview, Niko goes to a menswear store called Perseus. After spending $2,000 on a new suit and shoes, his phone alarm sounds and he begins his journey to the GLS offices for his interview. He speaks to the receptionist from outside the building via intercom, before making his way into the building. He enters Goldeberg's office and puts a bullet in his head, which causes his secretary to trigger the alarm. Niko must beat security guards and police in order to get out of the building. Bullets rain down on him, and there's a police chopper waiting outside. It seems as though the more bullets he takes, the more damage he takes, and hence he becomes less able to fight. The damage is actually visible this time.
Little Jacob (a caribbean arms dealer) is a good friend of Niko's cousin. When you buy weapons from him (which are kept in his trunk) you can scroll through them like you did in Ammu-Nation in the previous GTA games.
* Rotterdam Hill (the place where Niko agrees to meet Jacob) is in Alderney - the GTA IV equivalent of New Jersey.
* Niko kills Goldberg (the shady lawyer) because he owes a favour to somebody.
* Rockstar showed the sequence where he kills Goldberg twice. The first time he fell out of the window, the second time he merely crumpled on the floor.
* When purchasing clothes, you have to choose the items from the shelf individually.
* Determining which figures you need to kill requires perception - there are no arrowheads to direct you like in the previous games.
* Once you gain a wanted-level, the map flashes with circles of blue and red, with each circle representing the line of sight of the police chase. The circles differ in size depending on your wanted-level.
* The default camera view when driving rests around the left-hand side of the car above the road.
* Multiplayer is accessed via your mobile phone.
* The combat rests somewhere between Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War in terms of style, allowing you to roll, find protection and blind-fire from behind cover.
* Shooting different parts of the body has different impacts (e.g shoot a security guard in the foot at the top of the stairs, and he'll come tumbling down.)
* In GTA IV you have to develop relationships with other characters. Your relationship with Little Jacob, for example, is maintained through phone calls and loyalty. Developing good relationships with different characters can provide different rewards.
[Edited by insomniac, 7/18/2007 3:49:17 PM]
* We find out that McReary's first name is Francis, and that he knows about a felony Niko committed. It also mentions that McReary has a moustache, which suggests he is the character seen in this official artwork.
* The weapons on offer by Little Jacob included a 9mm, a shotgun, an SMG, and a micro SMG.
* Before Niko submitted his cv/résumé to the Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster website, OXM got a quick glimpse of his work history and qualifications. It notes that Niko was on the "Balkan Peace Force," and that he is procificent in swimming, shooting and boxing (it also says later in the preview that you are able to swim to the Statue of Happiness, or get a boat there.)
* Niko steals a black Comet before heading to the Humboldt River Viewpoint, to kill the man who stole McReary's memory stick.
* GTA IV will include a pool mini-game, and many other mini-games. "You'll play at least some of these while hanging out with NPCs like Little Jacob."
* Neither the 9/11 terrorist attacks nor Ground Zero will be referenced in any way in the game.
* The receptionist from Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster, who calls Niko to inform him about his interview, is called Karen.
* A thin green band around the minimap on your HUD indicates your health. (Could a second band be added to indicate armor?)
* Physically, Liberty City is not as big as San Andreas. It covers approximately 3/4 the total area that San Andreas did.
* Software glitch or innovative gameplay? During the final bit of the game that PSM got to see, Niko is killed by a police copter landing on his head.
* Playstation Magazine confirms the [default] camera angle shift in GTA IV. Your view is no longer stuck hovering over the vehicle. When you get behind the wheel, the camera drops down and to the left, following the middle of the road.
As for the preview content itself, here's a general summary of what the new GTA IV previews tell us:
* The demo which was shown is from the Xbox 360 version of the game. The PlayStation 3 version is still "a week or two behind," according to Rockstar. The build shown is 5 weeks old, and the framerate has improved considerably since the last demo.
* At Star Junction (the GTA IV equivalent of Times Square) there is a theatre show on called T.S Pirate at the Thespian Theatre, and a camera store called Liberty Cameras. On the way to Rotterdam (where Little Jacob is situated) they passed a ****tail bar called "Bahama Mamas."
* Little Jacob is a Jamaican gun dealer from Dukes (the GTA IV equivalent of Queens.) The weapons on offer were $100 a piece.
* The name of each street is displayed at the bottom right of the screen as you enter it. During the demo, Niko passed through the following areas: Presidents City, Chinatown, Lancet, Hatton Gardens, Middle Park East, Lancaster, Ruby Street, Cod Row, Denver Avenue, Exeter Avenue, Northwood, East Holland, Silicon Street, Quartz Street, The Triangle, Easton, Diamond Street and Calcium Street.
* After hailing a taxi, you need to press Y to get in one, although the controls haven't been finalised. You have the option of sitting back and enjoying the ride, using the "trip-skip" option, or paying double the fare to make the driver go twice as fast. Inside the taxi, you can see and talk through to the driver in the front. The camera view changes every 5 seconds - read descriptions of the different camera views here.
* The TW@ Café is located in Algonquin, north of Middle Park (Central Park.) Niko submits a fake résumé/cv to the Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster website, at McReary's request. For the interview he must to goto 44 Emerty Street, The Exchange, Algonquin (visit Kikizo to see dialogue from this mission.)
* There is a yellow light cone representing an objective, which triggers a cutscene when you walk into it.
* Francis McReary wears a black suit and tie, has a moustache and slicked blonde hair with a strong side parting. (dialogue of the conversation with McReary can be found here.) The person who blackmails McReary is at Union Drive East. McReary texts Niko the phone number of the blackmailer, so that he can phone it and identify who is the target. The name of the cell network is "Whiz." A black comet is used for this mission.
* The default camera angle is slightly over to the drivers' side. Different angles are available however. You can move the camera aswell, but if you're not touching it, it will remain at the more central position leaning towards the drivers' side.
* Currently, the total number of wanted stars is 6 - the same as it was in previous Grand Theft Auto games.
* There is a GPS system in the car, and the recommended route shows up in yellow on the radar at the bottom left of the screen.
* You can auto-target as well as manual aim. Niko can take cover behind just about anything, and so can the cops.
* It also revealed that Goldberg's (the shady lawyer) first name is Tom.
The release date for GTA IV has been pushed back until at least April 2008, possibly May.
Take-Two is reducing its fiscal 2007 guidance primarily to reflect the movement of the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 to fiscal 2008, due to additional development time required to complete the title. The title is now planned for release in the Company’s second quarter of fiscal 2008.
Why, you ask?
Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two, stated, “With Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar is setting a new standard for next generation video games. Certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms. We all recognize that perfecting the game is vital and I can assure everyone it will be worth the wait. We owe it to the game’s millions of fans, to our dedicated development team, and to our shareholders to make sure that Grand Theft Auto IV is a groundbreaking gaming experience that takes maximum advantage of next generation technology.”
Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games, added, "The new consoles are allowing us to create the Grand Theft Auto game we always dreamed about. Every aspect of the game and its design has been completely transformed. The game is huge and is pushing the hardware platforms to their absolute limits. The top engineers from Sony and Microsoft are working closely with the team in Edinburgh right now, helping us to fully leverage the power of both platforms. As always, our goal is to surpass even the wildest expectations of the game’s fans, and to create the ultimate high definition video game experience."
[Edited by zorrodude, 8/6/2007 9:53:05 PM]