Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Grand Theft Auto 4

The IT geeks at work were even more excited than usual today. I thought that maybe one of them had actually got a girlfriend or there was a new Star Wars movie coming out but it transpired that today was the release of Grand Theft Auto 4.
The PS-3 was set up and i spent my lunchtime perched on a box of computer parts in a crowded IT room watching this game until the smell of calamine lotion got too strong but i had seen enough.
The game has been rightly battered for its gruesome violence and crime and having played the Vice City version, it really should be kept out of the hands of under eighteens and anyone with a flaky disposition.
That said, and if you can manage to forget about that side of the game, it really is a remarkable piece of computing.
I have no idea about computer graphics but it wasn't that long ago that Space Invaders and Pacman were the height of computer game technology and less than 3 decades later we are producing games like this which are breathtaking in their beauty.
As the character moves around the City the background and detail are stunning but it is hard to appreciate such leaps in this field when you keep being constantly returned to the violent nature of the game itself.
I guess you don't have to play the missions and can happily just drive around the scenery listening to the radio stations which feature real-life bands but it might be a waste of your £40.
I was unexpectedly very impressed by the look of the game even if the morals in the game are highly debatable.


Anonymous said...

I thought it was going to be available on PS2 - so my kids are disappointed. They love this game.

Lucy said...

Apparently it is only available on Xbox 360 and PS3 with no plans to make it available on older consoles. I thought it was a bit of a jip also because in order to play it, you have to pay out the extra hundreds to buy the new console.
Don't know why unless it is a stitch up by Playstation, Xbox and the games makers to sell more consoles.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

If I've got my exchange rates right, y'all are getting burned at 40 pounds.

Dismal Soyanz said...

Its all part of "in-built" redundancy and as you point out, Lucy, by making new titles only playable on new machines it secures the deamnd for the fancier (and more expensive) technology.

Of course, making software backwards compatible is a pain in the arse if you have designed with the new platform in mind. So there is little commercially to be gained from it.

I don't have an Xbox, nor PS2 or 3. I borrowed a friend's PS1 when he upgraded to PS2 when it first came out. Thrashed it to an inch of its life (even taking it on overseas business trips!).

They are fun but need to be very tightly managed, especially with kids.

GTA4 is by all accounts very well crafted. It dangerously close to crossing the line for entertainment - although given the violence in films and books even, it is not a "new" threat. What is perhaps arguably different is the tendency for people (myself included) to stick at a game for hours. It may not turn you into a psychopath but as a form of entertainment, extreme or constant use of violence should be done in small doses.

I'm not sure whether it would permanently (or even temporarily) scar a well-adjusted adult *coughs* but I have no problem with it being rated R18.

The Fez Monkey said...

You know, following Occam's Razor, the answer to why GTA4 is only available for XBox 360 and PS3 might be simpler than some grand conspiracy: The graphics, game-play AI, programming, and other elements may simply require more processing power and capabilities than the older generation consoles have.

Sort of like trying to play a current PC game designed for Win XP on a system running Windows 98. It simply won't fit.

Remember, while it may be true that they are out to get you even if you are paranoid, sometimes things aren't a conspiracy by some evil right-wing cabal of military, bankers, and oil men.

I'm just saying ...

Ook ook

ZenYenta said...

Not a game person myself, but I didn't know you could just drive around the city and listen to the radio. That sounds pretty good. It actually sounds like an interesting use of the technology. Travel video interactive experiences would be really fun if the graphics were excellent and you could tour real places from the comfort of your wide screen HDTV. If they have those, I might even be tempted to buy a system to use it on. And for all I know, they do have them. I don't keep up all that well.

David Gh said...

Christ, is it any wonder the world is a violent place!

America has contributed more violence to this planet in the last 100 years than all the rest of the world's nations combined.

Whether it's Hollywood, video games, invasions and occupations, atomic weapons, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, gun ownership, etc, America is always in the forefront (along with its little partners Britain and Israel).

People who play these games are sick. And a nation that lives for violence and profits from it is also sick!