PDA

View Full Version : Grand Theft Auto 4, release you anger in virtual NYC...Rev.Sharpton you hear that?



Eugenious
April 27th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Can't wait to kill some cops!
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/26/AR2008042600140.html)
http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/869/869381/grand-theft-auto-iv-20080425114843047.jpg

kz1000ps
April 27th, 2008, 07:39 PM
Is it Tuesday yet?

How about now?
How about now?
How about now?

kz1000ps
April 27th, 2008, 08:12 PM
Welcome to Liberty City!

http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/8809/gta412bpcws6.jpg

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/4374/gta402dtchurchfa2.jpg

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/7456/gta406condees6.jpg

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/2136/gta407tsqpw0.jpg

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4994/gta409elevbrooktm1.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/7098/gta404browstonesft5.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/1369/gta405brookgritni6.jpg

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1337/gta420skylinelayoutex1.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/9104/gta403mtpv7.jpg

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/4200/gta4155thavejf0.jpg

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/4903/gta419tsqernstfm7.jpg

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/2076/gta423tsqnorthph2.jpg

http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/4426/gta4186thrainysb3.jpg

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/9476/gta417nighttsqnf5.jpg

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/5162/gta421aerialjcuu9.jpg

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/5192/gta424mtwestsl3.jpg

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/4846/gta422bklynbo8.jpg

http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/2011/gta427cpsaxjc9.jpg

http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/4465/gta426cpih2.jpg

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/2922/gta401dtskylinejpgib6.jpg

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/733/gta408chinaqe1.jpg

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/1103/gta425jcok1.jpg

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/5263/gta414sunseted0.jpg

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/7864/gta428bxriverea0.jpg

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/4027/gta429dtskylinesc3.jpg

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/5720/gta430bkbridgenn1.jpg

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/4845/gta413esbck7.jpg


Hope you enjoyed your stay!

Eugenious
April 27th, 2008, 08:51 PM
FYI this is NOT for kids so dont even think about buying this for anyone under 18....


http://xbox360.ign.com/dor/objects/827005/grand-theft-auto-iv/videos/ladies_of_gta_042708.html

Eugenious
April 27th, 2008, 09:49 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/arts/28auto.html?ref=technology

Video Game Review | Grand Theft Auto IV
Forget It, Niko, It’s Liberty City, a Dystopian Dream

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/28/arts/Grand600.jpg Rockstar Games
Niko Bellic, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV, which is set in a vivid, fictional New York.


April 28, 2008

By SETH SCHIESEL (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/seth_schiesel/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
I was rolling through the neon deluge of a place very like Times Square the other night in my Landstalker sport utility vehicle, listening to David Bowie (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/david_bowie/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s “Fascination” on the radio. The glittery urban landscape was almost enough to make me forget about the warehouse of cocaine dealers I was headed uptown to rip off.

Soon I would get bored, though, and carjack a luxury sedan. I’d meet my Rasta buddy Little Jacob, then check out a late show by Ricky Gervais (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/ricky_gervais/index.html?inline=nyt-per) at a comedy club around the corner. Afterward I’d head north to confront the dealers, at least if I could elude the cops. I heard their sirens before I saw them and peeled out, tires squealing.


It was just another night on the streets of Liberty City, the exhilarating, lusciously dystopian rendition of New York City in 2008 that propels Grand Theft Auto IV, the ambitious new video game to be released on Tuesday for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems.
Published by Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto IV is a violent, intelligent, profane, endearing, obnoxious, sly, richly textured and thoroughly compelling work of cultural satire disguised as fun. It calls to mind a rollicking R-rated version of Mad magazine featuring Dave Chappelle (http://movies.nytimes.com/person/12383/Dave-Chappelle?inline=nyt-per) and Quentin Tarantino (http://movies.nytimes.com/person/113658/Quentin-Tarantino?inline=nyt-per), and sets a new standard for what is possible in interactive arts. It is by far the best game of the series, which made its debut in 1997 and has since sold more than 70 million copies. Grand Theft Auto IV will retail for $60.


Niko Bellic is the player-controlled protagonist this time, and he is one of the most fully realized characters video games have yet produced. A veteran of the Balkan wars and a former human trafficker in the Adriatic, he arrives in Liberty City’s rendition of Brighton Beach at the start of the game to move in with his affable if naïve cousin Roman. Niko expects to find fortune and, just maybe, track down someone who betrayed him long ago. Over the course of the story line he discovers that revenge is not always what one expects.


Besides the nuanced Niko the game is populated by a winsome procession of grifters, hustlers, drug peddlers and other gloriously unrepentant lowlifes, each a caricature less politically correct than the last.
Hardly a demographic escapes skewering. In addition to various Italian and Irish crime families, there are venal Russian gangsters, black crack slingers, argyle-sporting Jamaican potheads, Puerto Rican hoodlums, a corrupt police commissioner, a steroid-addled Brooklyn knucklehead named Brucie Kibbutz and a former Eastern European soldier who has become a twee Upper West Side metrosexual.


Breathing life into Niko and the other characters is a pungent script by Dan Houser and Rupert Humphries that reveals a mastery of street patois to rival Elmore Leonard (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/elmore_leonard/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s. The point of the main plot is to guide Niko through the city’s criminal underworld. Gang leaders and thugs set missions for him to complete, and his success moves the story along toward a conclusion that seems as dark as its beginning. But the real star of the game is the city itself. It looks like New York. It sounds like New York. It feels like New York. Liberty City has been so meticulously created it almost even smells like New York. From Brooklyn (called Broker), through Queens (Dukes), the Bronx (Bohan), Manhattan (Algonquin) and an urban slice of New Jersey (Alderney), the game’s streets and alleys ooze a stylized yet unmistakable authenticity. (Staten Island is left out however.)


The game does not try to represent anything close to every street in the city, but the overall proportions, textures, geography, sights and sounds are spot-on. The major landmarks are present, often rendered in surprising detail, from the Cyclone at Coney Island to the Domino Sugar factory and Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and on up through the detritus of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Queens. Central Park, the Empire State Building (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/e/empire_state_building/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), various museums, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square are all present and accounted for. There is no Yankee Stadium, but there is a professional baseball team known, with the deliciousness typical of the game’s winks and nods, as the Swingers.


At least as impressive as the city’s virtual topography is the range of the game’s audio and music production, delivered through an entire dial’s worth of radio stations available in almost any of the dozens of different cars, trucks and motorcycles a player can steal. From the jazz channel (billed as “music from when America was cool”) through the salsa, alt-rock, jazz, metal and multiple reggae and hip-hop stations, Lazlow Jones, Ivan Pavlovich and the rest of Rockstar’s audio team demonstrate a musical erudition beyond anything heard before in a video game. The biggest problem with the game’s extensive subway system is that there’s no music underground. (Too bad there are no iPods to nab.)


The game’s roster of radio hosts runs from Karl Lagerfeld (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/karl_lagerfeld/index.html?inline=nyt-per) to Iggy Pop (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/iggy_pop/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and DJ Green Lantern. It is not faint praise to point out that at times, simply driving around the city listening to the radio — seguing from “Moanin’ ” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” to “The Crack House” by Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne — can be as enjoyable as anything the game has to offer.


Grand Theft Auto IV is such a simultaneously adoring and insightful take on modern America that it almost had to come from somewhere else. The game’s main production studio is in Edinburgh, and Rockstar’s leaders, the brothers Dan and Sam Houser, are British expatriates who moved to New York to indulge their fascination with urban American culture. Their success places them firmly among the distinguished cast of Britons from Mick Jagger (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/mick_jagger/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Keith Richards through Tina Brown (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/tina_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per) who have flourished by identifying key elements of American culture, repackaging them for mass consumption and selling them back at a markup.


It all adds up to a new level of depth for an interactive entertainment experience. I’ve spent almost 60 hours practically sequestered in a (real world) Manhattan hotel room in recent weeks playing through Grand Theft Auto IV’s main story line and the game still says I have found only 64 percent of its content. I won’t ever reach 100 percent, not least because I won’t hunt down all 200 of the target pigeons (known as flying rats here) that the designers have hidden around the city.


But like millions of other players I will happily spend untold hours cruising Liberty City’s bridges and byways, hitting the clubs, grooving to the radio and running from the cops. Even when the real New York City is right outside.

Ninjahedge
April 28th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Looks sweet.

I am not 100% sure it would be something I want to spend 100 hours playing to get through it all, but those images are very striking. Reminds me of 1970 placed on top of modern day NYC.....

I almost expect Pacino, DeNiro, Liotta, Pesci, Keitel and Bushemi to come strolling around the corner.

Not all at once, of course.......


I am still goping to wait on some of the reviews before shelling out $60 to live on the dark side of NYC.....

Eugenious
April 28th, 2008, 12:51 PM
So far it's the most highly rated game ever at Meta Critic.

http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/grandtheftauto4

OmegaNYC
April 28th, 2008, 02:14 PM
^^^^ IGN gave this game a 10/10. VERY rare rating. This game is gonna be sold out in hours...

Minato ku
April 28th, 2008, 05:52 PM
They worry too much I play at GTA since 12.
At this time it was GTAIII but after gamming and having every GTA since the 3, I never be violent.
I admit that I am not yet 18 even if I am very close.

Some adverts in Paris

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/2431/cimg6770ia1.jpg

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/7307/cimg6822ae8.jpg

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/4184/cimg6846dj5.jpg

kz1000ps
April 28th, 2008, 07:36 PM
Haha, the ad in that last pic is great.

The Benniest
April 28th, 2008, 07:48 PM
New York in the Video-Game Mirror
By Jennifer 8. Lee (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/jlee/)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/28/nyregion/Grand533.jpg
Grand Theft Auto IV recreates New York City (even the Brooklyn Bridge) in the 3D video game world of Liberty City.

Auto grand larceny has dropped some 60 percent (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2007/03/31/2007-03-31_pols_rage_as_vid_game_takes_shot_at_city-4.html) since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, but that hasn’t dissuaded Rockstar Games from setting the latest iteration of its hit game series Grand Theft Auto (http://www.rockstargames.com/IV/) in a dystopic vision of New York City (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/arts/28auto.html?ref=arts) over city officials’ protests (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2007/03/31/2007-03-31_pols_rage_as_vid_game_takes_shot_at_city-4.html).

Grand Theft Auto IV (http://www.rockstargames.com/IV/), whose long-awaited release (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/technology/02cnd-game.html) will take place at midnight, presents a 3D interpretation of New York City. While Liberty City has appeared in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto III (http://thefunbucket.com/2008/04/28/the-history-of-grand-theft-auto/), this is the first time the metropolis has been exploded in such glorious detail. The game presents an amusing mapping of New York to Liberty City (along with the Grand Theft Auto commentary from the Web site).
Broker is Brooklyn (”churches, hipsters and housing developments”).
Dukes is Queens (”I think my maid lives there”).
Bohan is the Bronx (”ripe for redevelopment”).
Algonquin is Manhattan (”expensive, snooty and over”).
Alderney is a urban slice of New Jersey (”taxes are low, but not low enough”).(Poor Staten Island, which not exist in Liberty City’s rendition of the world).
To create a life-like Liberty City, a full-time research team apparently painstakingly documented New York through photographs and video (http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/grand-theft-auto-iv/inside-liberty-city-developer-diary/1174295). They captured not only the inanimate objects (fire hydrants, skyscrapers, potholes) but the things that make New York live and breathe (lighting changes throughout the day, vehicle and pedestrian patterns, the demographics of various neighborhoods).Among the landmarks reproduced in painstaking detail:
The Statue of Liberty, “The Statue of Happiness.”
Central Park is “Middle Park.”
Times Square becomes “Star Junction.”(There is no Yankee Stadium, but there is a professional baseball team called the Swingers).
We we can tell that the game’s Steinway Beer Garden is clearly a parallel to the Astoria Beer Garden, we’re not ready to make a call on the Super Star Cafe (Hard Rock Cafe meets pre-bankruptcy Planet Hollywood?) 69th Street Diner and the Majestic Hotel.
We also know that the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Empire State Building, (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/e/empire_state_building/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier)the Domino Sugar factory, Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, and the 1964-65 World’s Fairgrounds in Queens all make a cameo, though we don’t know what they’re called in the game. Feel free to fill us in below.

Copyright 2008 New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
April 29th, 2008, 10:58 AM
The wife looked at the shots and said:

"Subway cars don't have graffiti now!"

I pointed out the cars and asked her when was the last time she saw a sedan like that...

I think this is a mishmosh of times and stories. What a good deal of the US, and probably the world, still thinks of NYC.

It is the stuff that movies were made of. It is Mean Streets, it is a Bronson flik, but mashed together with some things from today (It looked like the cop cars and cabs were modern, but I have never seen so many old Chevy/ford sedans in the city in my life!).

It might be VERY good, but definitely dark. I am wondering if they would license their "dystopian" city for other gaming modules, like racing games, full out shooters, or even SIM type games geared more towards everyday living rather than the crime scene.

I think they could make a mint.

NYatKNIGHT
May 1st, 2008, 09:35 AM
^^Dude looks like he's heading into the Paris Tavern on South Street. Looks like he needs a shot and a beer.

pianoman11686
May 3rd, 2008, 12:49 PM
My roommate bought it a few days ago, and it's amazing. Just for fun we threw on Vice City, and the difference in graphics is unreal. This game feels and looks so real, it's scary.

kz1000ps
May 4th, 2008, 03:00 PM
A Strange City Called Home

By DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: May 4, 2008

IN the opening moments of Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest chapter of the cinematically styled video game franchise, two men are standing at the side of a boat, watching a familiar sight drift into view. Through their eyes, we see a digitized, 21st-century retelling of a scene that greeted numerous generations of new arrivals to an unknown country: the eastern end of a long, narrow island, with a towering metal spire emerging from its belly, and a diminutive green statue beckoning from a tiny point off the island’s southern tip.

We think we know what we are seeing, until one of the game’s characters identifies the land mass for us.

“Liberty City,” he says to his shipmate in a vaguely East European accent. “You ever been?”

And before I even sat down to play the game, I could honestly say that I had.

Liberty City, the pixilated playground where the action of Grand Theft Auto IV occurs, is New York City, and it is not. Like previous installments of the game, which has sold more than 70 million copies in the last decade — abbreviated G.T.A., in the same sanitized way that Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC — this newest edition (released on Tuesday for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems) sets players loose in an environment closely modeled on a real American metropolis, usually at some notorious time in its history.

The environs of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, released in 2002, were inspired by 1980s-era Miami, the pastel-hued setting for crime dramas like “Scarface” and “Miami Vice.” For a 2004 sequel, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the game relocated to three interconnected cities based on Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, against a 1990s backdrop of gangsta rap and gang violence.

While moving its story forward to the present day, G.T.A. IV largely restricts itself to a single city — one at the height of its prosperity and during an ebb in crime. The game makes no attempt to disguise the fact that it is designed to look, sound and feel like the city I have lived in for nearly all 32 years of my life.

As many others have already noted, Liberty City is a dead ringer for New York: It’s divided into boroughs with distinct populations and architectural styles; it has most of the same suspension bridges and historic landmarks in the places you’d expect to find them; and its streets are always teeming with traffic and unruly pedestrians.

This game is hardly the first to try to replicate some portion of the New York experience — programmers have been trying to do this for decades. But Grand Theft Auto IV is the most contemporary attempt at this experiment, and may be the most realistic made available to a mass audience.

It’s also a game that has an extra layer of resonance for indigenous New Yorkers. With all the knowledge, confidence, predispositions and prejudices we possess, we’re not only better equipped to detect the many references and insider jokes, we may even come out of the game thinking differently about the real-life New York we’ve always known.

For a native New Yorker, the game is both comfortingly routine and eerily disorienting; you find yourself playing because it is a limitless escape and a consequence-free confinement. Liberty City is like nowhere I’ve ever visited, even as it tries with all its heart and soul to remind me of a place with which I’m already intimately acquainted.

MY initiation into Liberty City came a few days before G.T.A. IV went on sale, in the downtown loft offices of the game’s publisher, Rockstar Games. As I tooled around the electronic streets for a few hours under the supervision of two Rockstar employees, I was sometimes playing the game myself, and sometimes watching as someone else played it for me. I generally played by the rules, but for the purposes of this story, I occasionally made use of a special cheat feature to travel through the game in ways that a typical player cannot.

When that boat from the game’s opening scene finally docked at Liberty City, my character, a rugged-looking immigrant named Niko, found himself on the docks of a Dumbo-like neighborhood, in a borough the game calls Broker.

Indeed, much of Liberty City’s map is made up of direct analogues of real New York neighborhoods and locations, often renamed with winking, sophomoric monikers that could have come from Mad magazine: Manhattan is Algonquin and Queens is Dukes; the giant neon Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City advertises a beverage called Sprunk; and the MetLife skyscraper on Park Avenue has been replaced with the Getalife Building.

Even if I didn’t recognize this computer-generated tribute to Dumbo from its hilly terrain and its array of converted red-brick factories and dilapidated loft spaces, I might have known it from the disoriented feelings gathering in my gut. In real life, I have hardly spent enough time in Dumbo to know my way around it; if I were abandoned there as part of some urban Outward Bound adventure, I probably couldn’t find the nearest subway station without the help of a G.P.S.

On my television screen, I could see the silhouette of Manhattan on the horizon, but I had no idea how to get there. My digital discomfort was just as palpable as it would be if I were experiencing this world in three dimensions.

Following the game’s directions, I drove my character to the neighborhood that is Liberty City’s equivalent of Brighton Beach, where, true to its inspiration, all the shop signs were in Cyrillic lettering, and the few passers-by could be heard, in snatches, speaking Russian and Ukrainian. Niko, my alter ego, did not yet have his own apartment — for starters, he would have to sleep on someone else’s foldout couch in a ratty tenement with walls covered in graffiti inspired (so I am told) by tags that the game’s designers had seen and photographed in Brooklyn.

There was something amusingly authentic about Niko’s predicament. The game’s British creators seemed to know that given the choice, most players would probably run or drive straight into Manhattan — the version of the city they know from their own travels, or any number of films and television shows — and ignore the other boroughs. Here, as in the real world, entry into the heart of the city would have to be won through patience and hard work.

A few steps outside Niko’s temporary lodging, I found myself in Firefly Island, the game’s answer to Coney Island, complete with a giant Ferris wheel and a rickety wooden roller coaster; both attractions were closed and the area was devoid of pedestrians.

The scene was familiar in more ways than one: it reminded me of The Warriors, a video game that Rockstar created just three years ago, based largely on the 1979 Walter Hill movie of the same name. (You know, the one with the crazy-costumed New York gangs fighting their way from the Bronx to Brooklyn — “Can you dig it?” “Come out and plaa-aaay!”)

THAT game was also nominally set in New York, though I never genuinely felt transported there for one moment. That city seemed a grimy parody of someone else’s grimy parody of the city, one that looked as if our town had been struck by a giant mirror ball full of plutonium.

But I wanted to see more than the few chubby, backpack-toting tourists who were ambling around the Boardwalk. So I had my flesh-and-blood chaperons turn on a hidden feature within their version of the game that allowed me to fly anywhere on the G.T.A. map. And I mean, literally, fly: my virtual self disappeared, and the camera began to hover off the ground, swooping and soaring from the Brooklyn Bridge (er, I mean the Broker Bridge) to the Statue of Happiness, which resembles a wide-eyed Hillary Rodham Clinton hoisting a cup of coffee aloft.

Eventually I touched down in a Times Square that was appropriately cluttered with hypnotic neon advertisements for things I could not really buy, and populated, sparsely, with pedestrians who carried on cellphone conversations, sketched portraits of passers-by and played the saxophone in return for loose change. When I walked into a greasy all-night burger joint, a cashier greeted me with an appropriately indifferent “What?” But when I crossed the street against the light upon exiting, cars actually stopped for me (though they honked their horns).

Having been lulled into believing that I really was in New York, I made the mistake of trying to find my own Alphabet City apartment within the game. I walked down to Chinatown — that took only a few seconds — found what I thought was Houston Street, and made my way to where Avenue A (and my apartment) should have been. But after traversing only a block or two of bodegas and backward-hatted hipsters bobbing their heads to the beats of miniature iPods, I somehow found myself at the southern entrance to Grand Central Terminal.

It was as if some unknown natural disaster had recently touched down and attacked only the portions of New York that I cared for most deeply. My city — at least, the parts of it that I thought of as my city — no longer existed.

So I regrouped and tried to find the high-rise apartment building on East 40th Street where I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s. I started at the United Nations, made my way west through a perfect simulacrum of Tudor City (with another saxophone player performing in the park) and within a few short steps had gone all the way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Foiled again!

It seemed a perfectly logical and human impulse, to prove to myself that I was somewhere recognizable by finding the one place in it that was most recognizable to me. Yet there was no way that the game could satisfy this impulse: like a comic-book superhero drawn by the legendary artist Jack Kirby, whose characters’ fists grew larger and feet grew smaller as they flew up out of their panels, the proportions of this version of Manhattan were an optical illusion. The parts that everybody would notice were blown up larger than life; the parts that virtually no one would care about were shrunk to nothingness.

Faced with this catastrophic revelation, I turned to a life of crime. I hijacked cars and crashed them into traffic poles; I raced a motorcycle through Central Park and dismounted just before the bike plunged into the lake (my way of letting the boathouse know I won’t be holding my wedding reception there). I jumped off the observation deck of the Empire State Building, just because I could, though I took no pleasure from the sickening scream my character let out, nor the sound of his jacket flapping in the wind, 86 stories to the ground.

At the urging of my human confederates, I even attempted one of Grand Theft Auto’s missions — tasks I was supposed to be completing to progress through the game properly — that required me to shoot my way through a gang of drug smugglers and steal their truckload of contraband. I did as I was instructed, but my heart just wasn’t in it. If I truly believed in Liberty City as a functioning community, how could I open fire on my fellow simulated citizens (even if they shot at me first)? How could I tread all over the social contract in a ripped-off truck full of bootleg prescription medication?

THE answer, of course, is that I couldn’t, and here is where the paradoxical nature of Grand Theft Auto once again rears its head. Unlike the missions, objectives and narrative elements of a traditional video game, which constitute the game itself — the things you’re supposed to be participating in and following along with in order to actually play — these same aspects of G.T.A. are more like sophisticated distractions to keep you from immersing yourself too deeply in its fictional city environment.

Except that the problem with G.T.A. — one that will in no way dissuade me from playing the game until my digits are raw and aching — is that the more fully you are pulled into Liberty City and the more closely you inspect it, the more you are reminded that it isn’t a city at all.

The neighborhoods do not blend into one another so much as sit next to one another. The traffic varies just enough from one area to the next to convince you that a place is inhabited, but eavesdrop on a pedestrian long enough, and you’ll find that he doesn’t eventually go home to his wife and kids — he just keeps walking and talking in a continuous loop.

It’s not the game’s fault that it can’t perfectly replicate the infinite variety of New York. But it sometimes comes so close to pulling off the illusion that it invites you to look for the imperfections.

When my two hours of game time were over, I left the Rockstar Games offices and stepped out into SoHo at midafternoon on one of warmest spring days of the year. The sun worshipers were out in full force, each of them as distinct as snowflakes: guys wearing oversized earphones and baseball caps tilted at every angle, women wearing minimalist skirts and shorts that gave them only the illusion of being clothed. An amorous couple making their way north hardly noticed me as they nearly crosschecked me into a streetside table of $6 sunglasses.

There was so much uniqueness and so much variety that there was no room to move, and I knew I was home.


Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/nyregion/thecity/04gran.html?_r=1&ref=thecity&oref=slogin


--

Link to an interactive map: http://grandtheftauto.ign.com/maps/1/Liberty-City-Map

Ninjahedge
May 5th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Played a bit this weekend.

Had to pick someone up over in "Dukes" ina a place that looked like the rail station over in Forest Hills! Complete with arch-bridge and all the trimmings, it was really a trip. Other things are not as convincing, but you see som many hints at things (like the disk-towers from the worlds fair) that you can't help but see the city, although no area DIRECTLY resembles anything in NYC (yet).

Looks like this could be a VERY long game though. I think it will be a while before I see everything!

OmegaNYC
May 5th, 2008, 08:29 PM
I bought the game last week, and needless to say, this is one of the best games I ever played. The online game play is good too. If anybody has Xbox Live, just hit me up. :)