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Anticipating the approach of the latest Grand Theft Auto isn’t the same as yearning for a new Halo or Resident Evil. Most games make you anticipate the experience that the designers dole out to you in a prescribed way, whereas with GTA, you anticipate all the ways in which you will create experiences of your own design. Even if the main draw for some players is the story - and the marketing for GTAIV aims to show this will be the best story yet - there’s still the sense that the story won’t be shoved down your throat. You can still dip in and out of it at your own pace, and with your own style.
When launch day hits, players won’t be sitting down for an hour-long slog through the “first level,” sharing slightly differing variations on scripted sequences. If in-game player pathways could be mapped onto a chart, it would look like the Big Bang, with branches blooming out in all directions as players express their personalities and fantasies. So what type of player will you be? We’ve got a lineup of the most common suspects, followed by variations in the form of known accomplices.
Modus Operandi: For a Completist, beating the game is just the beginning. And the story, entertaining though it may be, is nothing but a dainty appetizer to the bloated feast ahead. Days, weeks, months and occasionally even years later, the Completist will play on, never resting until that single magic statistic reads "100%." In fact, the majority of his or her GTA time is actually spent in the menus, gazing lovingly at long lists of text and pitying the truly deprived gamers who shall never experience Unique Stunt Jump #67 or Vigilante Level 12.
Won't be caught dead: Without a pen or laptop, several maps of each island and hundreds of printed pages containing guides, walkthroughs and checklists. It's not cheating - it's preparation! Also, multiple save files, preferably stored on multiple hard drives or memory cards, are an absolute must.
True Identity: In the real world - you know, the one in which driving over prostitutes is generally frowned upon - Completists are often obsessive and perfectionist types. Observed and recorded behavior includes the following: alphabetization of game, music, movie, comic book and/or obscure action figure collection; constant calibration and recalibration of television's picture or sound settings; compulsive cleaning of controllers after every use by a greasy-handed stranger; and, of course, rampant and unashamed Achievement whoring.
Often heard saying: "Yes, I'm still playing San Andreas" or "%#@#$# ambulance mission!"
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