GTA IV - The guided tour

Six things we need to know
A few burning questions that we’d like extinguished…

1) The mobile phone
Niko’s mobile phone acts as the hub of the game, receiving information and threads for missions, and it has four main functions: Phonebook, Messages, Organizer and Camera. The Phonebook is where Niko keeps his contacts, which suggests he will be able to stay in touch with any character he has the number for at any time. This falls in line with the idea that you have more choice over which missions you and for whom.

The Messages could contain other correspondence and briefings that you might want to refer to, while the Organizer could be where you find all your game statistics.

2) The camera
Not a new addition for GTA, but the whole point of having a camera on a phone is that you can immediately look at and send the pictures to someone. This could be used in some missions to prove that the objectives have been complete, to receive pictures of targets or contacts, or to take shots of odd things and save them to PS3’s hard drive. Could these then be shared with other gamers? And how about short videos - could they be shared? Will happy slapping be encouraged? The tabloids will have a field day if so. And will it be available in the multiplayer game?

3) The aiming
To put it bluntly, this has to improve. It’s been steadily getting better, and was OK in San Andreas, but in order to compete with other action games it has to be reliable and satisfying. They could do worse than look at Scarface - which had good auto-aim, but put the twin analogs to good use and allowed for manual aiming as well. Or they could use the Manhunt system that made it vital to use cover at all times.

4) The missions
Many critics of GTA complain that there are only a few mission types, that are repeatedly used with only the locations and personnel changed. While this is perhaps slightly harsh, it is true that a rethink of missions is needed - while chauffeuring, escort and fetch and carry missions have their place, they shouldn’t dominate like they did in the recent PSP games.


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