| This game has a really expansive and interactive world in which almost anything can be done or blown up. Grand theft auto splits the game play between driving missions and walking around shooting things so the controls have to mesh well, which they do, so that once you step into a car driving becomes second nature and wile on the street finding your way around and navigating the environment is not a problem. The camera follows you very well in this game, which was always a problem for this series and the ability to really control the camera's view allows you that much more control over your character. The auto targeting is a godsend because before you hand to manually aim everything which pretty much limited the more dangerous missions to those with elite finger dexterity. Now, only the sniper rifle and rocket launcher require finesse to operate, allowing those with this type of control to still get their kicks in. The characters have always been stereotypical, but I think the designers crossed the line in Sand Andreas, I personally was quite insulted by the main characters lines and most of the npc's are drawn out much farther than need be for you to get the idea that your dealing with some country hick, or Latin gangster. Admittedly, this is what made it so fun to shoot characters in vice city, but that was only because the characters were based off of the style and persona of people from the 70's and early 80's so in a way they were disconnected from modern life. This time it takes place in recognizable cities, such as LA, and San Francisco during the 90's which people still strongly associate with and doesn't really take into account the delicate social issues that the game could probably have done without and still been a great game.|
As far as involving you in the gameplay, there's always a sense of urgency when you've got two stars and are running form police. Almost every time I've watched someone play this game, or been watched something has happened like a car chase, plane maneuver an insane stunt, or an amazing killing spree that has made the game audience yell, "OH!!!!!!" in amazement that you actually swerved between those two cars or braked suddenly, causing all three cop cars that were chasing you to go flying off a cliff. Since there is so much free play, and all the supplemental characters and object react to what you do, its the actions that take place that are not scripted that are the most amazing and interesting. Of course the back story and narrative of the game is intriguing, but its when someone walks in on you playing the game and you're randomly sniping people, or flying a small helicopter through a building for no good reason that cause then to stop and watch.
The real time weather and time settings really add an ambiance to the whole game, when your on a boring part of a long mission or driving on a moped from one city to the next, it helps to watch the sun set, or all of a sudden be accosted by the appearance of rain which mars your vision and affects your vehicles handling. This really contributes to the reality of the game, especially in conjunction to the rumble pak in the controller. You feel every bump you go over and shooting a weapon feels as really as it could ever using only a controller.
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| Games that come in series following the first release often have big shoes to fill and thus are critiqued harder than if they were a game on their own. At the same time, they already have the name out there and the hype form the first or second game can provide a consumer launching pad.|
Before I discuss the aspects of game play, the characters, the environment and vehicles, I'd like to discuss a small portion of the game play that I believe is highly overlooked and which i personally have been looking forward to since the first GTA.
Multilayer action. Now, granted this game was not designed for this, and the action becomes somewhat limited as the players cannot go more than a pre-perscribed distance from each other as well as the difficulty of seeing what you are doing because the camera flows somewhat unevenly. However, experienced players with a big enough tv can actually interact with a comparable amount of items, vehicles and NPCs in much the same way the single player would be able to. I would highly suggest finishing the game so that you have all the options unlocked first, it makes the multi player experience much more rich. Although the boats, (to my knowledge) and planes/helicopters cannot be accessed by both players, you can still jump on the wings and screw around just the same. You can be arrested, killed, perform special jumps and tricks. obviously, you cannot complete missions, but the multiplayer allows the free range that the single player game offers. All in all it was a welcome addition to the game and hopefully is expanded upon when or if the next game comes out.
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