Few cities in gaming are as convincing as Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City. Considering the scale of the place, it's incredible. But something's not quite right.
In fact, there's so much odd behaviour going on, we're amazed Niko doesn't have a Truman Show-style episode and start trying to rip an exit hole in the horizon. Check out this little lot.
Like... ever. They roam the streets, hanging off the back of the sanitation lorry, looking like they're working really hard. The people of Liberty City have put their rubbish out ready for them. That's tax well spent. But... the bin men don't stop to pick it up. They just drive round and round, leading us to the sad conclusion that they are indeed 'rubbish men':
Can you smell the testosterone? It's arm wrestling time for the Lost biker gang. The guy with the huge biceps has just won and his opponent growls that he wants a rematch. The others whoop and cheer as they look on. A few more games go by. But as day turned to night and night into day, it becomes very clear that this guy just doesn't know when he's beat.
Two shifty-looking men are standing around outside the pub, smoking. They don't acknowledge each other, but occasionally look at Niko, sizing him up. Their cigarettes seem to last for ages. And then the night falls and the lights come on. Still, they smoke. Still they look shifty. But after 12 hours smoking the same cigarettes, their menace doesn't quite have the same impact.
Ah, sunny suburbia. Some guy sweeps his yard as the sun begins to set lazily behind the skyscrapers. But then the sun goes away. It's dark. Then it's midnight. And still he sweeps at the same square half-metre. Out! Out, damn spot!
Everybody uses the taxis in Liberty City. You can see them through the windows, chatting on their way to their destinations. An old man here, a young couple there. And two people we saw being picked up near Star Junction. If only they realised they've just entered a yellow prison on wheels.
There's no straight route to the journey, as the taxi doubles back on itself and crosses major bridges, only to drive aimlessly around back streets and industrial parks, never reaching its long-forgotten destination. The only sign of life is the occasional empty soda can tossed from the window.
If only we'd stopped to have a look, we'd probably have seen the note contained within: "PLEASE KILL ME".
13 May, 2009
The most insulting GTA IV video you'll ever see
Complete with the worst language you'll hear on Radar
Naked Gun intro done in GTA IV
Our game-based homage to the famous intro sequence
Pushing people down steps in GTA IV
Niko helps Liberty City residents eat step