Why might you be one of the millions expected to buy GTA IV in 2008? We'll tell you.
by YVG StaffPosted: 27 Mar 2008
1. iTunes killer?
Ever hear a random song on the radio and wish you could somehow snag it right then and there? If you're cruising around Liberty City, you can. In a video game first, Rockstar has teamed up with Amazon to let users mark any song they hear playing over the game's radio simply by making an in-game phone call. A few button-presses later, and the song will be waiting in your Amazon MP3 account. There's a lot here, too, as the soundtrack features over 150 songs spanning over a dozen genres, including exclusive tracks written just for the game by artists like Nas and The Greenskeepers in addition to plenty of obscure, hard-to-find material. Get the full lowdown here.
2. If looks could kill...
GTA IV sports an upgraded version of Rockstar's proprietary RAGE Graphics Engine (also used to power Table Tennis), which finally replaces Renderware under the GTA hood. RAGE now features a heavily-customized version of Natural Motion's "Euphoria" physics engine, the same one powering LucasArts' Jedi battle royale, The Force Unleashed. Put the two technologies together and you get seriously cinematic movement, gunplay, climbing, and driving. And say goodbye to long, ponderous load times - despite the sheer size and amazing level of detail in Liberty City (every street has a name and every business has an actual address), the first load is the only one you'll see.
3. Live a Little
Let's face it: stealing cars and blowing stuff up gets, well, kinda boring. Luckily, there's way, way more to do in GTA IV than just be a troublesome criminal. Call up your buddies for a game of darts, or a few beers at the local pub, or even a nice wholesome game of bowling. Using the indispensable new cell phone, you can initiate plans with any of your good (and not so good) pals, effectively creating the action rather than having it come to you all the time. Be careful, though, because those relationships you build function like they should. Ignore too many calls and you might find that the price of guns from your handy arms dealer just went up. And in case you suddenly develop a conscience, you can even dial 911 to arrest a ne'er do well or request an ambulance for an injured citizen. How he got hurt in the first place, we don't wanna know.
4. One is the loneliest number.
Most accomplished criminals prefer to work alone, but in GTA IV you'll have a chance to test yourself against other players in over a dozen multiplayer modes. Though many of the details are still under wraps, we have it on good authority that the game will support up to 16 players and feature everything from typical Deathmatch variants to several racing games, and of course, it's all accessible through that trusty cell phone. Expect more multiplayer news in the coming weeks.
5. It aims to please.
One of the chief complaints in past GTA games was the wonky aiming system; trying to switch targets was like steering a boat through mud. That's all changed in GTA IV thanks to a slick new targeting scheme that lets you change targets just by flicking the analog stick. If you still find yourself outmatched, a new cover system lets you slide behind a wall and blind fire into the glut of enemies trying to ruin your day. If you can't pull over before you get into a shootout, have no fear -- any weapon in the game can be fired while behind the wheel. So don't drive angry!
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