Mark April 29, 2008 on your calendar: that’s the day when Grand Theft Auto IV hits the shelves.
Here are some facts about the game that I’ve gleaned from the MTV.com articles ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Details Unloaded In Lengthy Private Demo At Developer’s Headquarters and ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Developer Talks Delay, Violence And Whether There Will Be Another ‘Hot Coffee’:
- “You can’t get fat anymore.” You can, however, get drunk, which makes the controls less reliable and the camera wobbly.
- The game’s look is pretty close to that of the trailers.
- “You can take a taxi anywhere on the map.”
- You have a cell phone and you can hit an internet cafe to surf the web.
- “There may be bums lying in front of a car on the street.” Some enemies may be playing dead (a la BioShock.)
- “Someone other than you might be getting chased by the police.” (I don’t think this is new; you see things like in the previous edition, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.)
- Load times are short.
- There’s a new physics model that makes character motion more natural.
- Line-of-sight is such that you can see buildings ten blocks away.
- Taxis and car services are now things you can hail, just like real taxis and car services. As with real life, cab rides cost money, and you can look out the window and see scenery pass by. You can pay more money to have the cabbie drive recklessly or to skip the ride sequence and auto-magically appear at your destination.
- Cars have GPS; the expensive ones have GPSs that talk.
- Police cars have police computers which you can use to find suspects.
- When police witness you committing a crime, a circle appears on your mini-map. That’s the area for which you are in trouble. Leave that area, and you’re home free. Having a shootout with the cops makes that circle bigger.
- The game has a new targeting system: using the left trigger activates a zoomed-in “free-aim” mode a la Gears of War.
- New dynamic car chases feature special events that are triggered under specific conditions. “These events won’t happen in completely predictable ways, and players won’t see them every time.”
- If you have to repeat a mission, the game may vary the dialogue to keep you from being bored by repetition. You can also “warp right back to the start of a mission” rather than have to drive back to the start point.
- There isn’t going to be a “Hot Coffee”, they say. There will be dates, however.