Goldberg, the anti-videogame lawyer-on-the-make (ring any bells?), greets us as we enter his office. "Hello, Niko! I'm looking for a man who can get jobs done right. Nikolai, I like your resumé. You seem to be the sort of man who would go the extra distance, a man who's struggled. I just need to take another look and get myself reacquainted with your experience.... So, you're the sort of man who doesn't wait to get told what to do, a guy who looks at the world, sees problems, and..." – then a sudden change of vibe as Niko whips out his gun out. "Woah, woah, hold on second there friend! We're lawyers, we don't need guns! Strong move though, I gotta say, I like that style... I'm all about the Second Amendment... guns don't kill people, videogames do!"
“Hah! Whatever Mr. Bigshot Lawyer, not so clever now are you,” I think, as Niko fills him full of lead and then heads back outside the office down to the main entrance, as the sounds of increasingly louder wailing sirens can once more be heard off in the distance. As Niko fights his way out of the building past the security guards, we’re treated to another good demonstration of the combat and cover systems – there’s both an auto-lock and a free aim system and Niko takes cover behind cupboards and cleaner’s trolleys as he makes his escape – though I can’t really comment more on the effectiveness of the all-new combat/cover mechanics until I’ve had a thorough hands on with the game myself.
It certainly looks
like it works, effortlessly, but then the Rockstar producer demo’ing the game has probably already run through this particular scene countless times before, so he really should know what he’s doing! As Niko clears the lobby area, he’s up at three (out of a maximum of six) wanted stars so ducks out the emergency exit at the back of the building to give the cops the slip. Phew! Close call.
And that’s pretty much the end of the 'Small fish in a big pond' demo. One of the Rockstar guys stresses to me that GTA IV
is about adding "immediacy and intimacy" to the well-known levels of freedom within the game. There is no question the team has achieved that. And more. Big massive spadefuls of more.
"The game is really about the experience as a whole, it's not just a features list anymore – how many new guns are in it, what new aircraft there are, and so on – we want people to experience the game as something whole… as an experience that is about making choices and dealing with the consequences of those choices,” the Rockstar rep tells me.
is one of those games that has garnered the attention and captured the imagination of a wider, mainstream audience – it really is one of those rare products – so we are making GTA IV
, not just for the hardcore gamer but for those people as well,” he adds.
From what I’ve seen to date, particularly the numerous new and improved features such as the use of the cell-phone, the Internet, the improved combat system, the enhanced fun of the driving, and the 'wanted stars' system in the police-chase experiences, GTA IV
cannot fail to set the world alight when it releases this coming October.
I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the final version game to put it through its paces and I'm hopeful that we should all soon find out more about the game’s online features and multiplayer modes. For now though, I can definitely report that all is more than peachy creamy at the Grand Theft Auto