Grand Theft Auto V (PS4): COMPLETED!

I started it about a year ago, but after around 15 hours play GTAV was put away because I bought a Nintendo Switch. And Zelda happened. And then I thought actually getting back into GTA would be hard and I’d have no idea what I was doing any more. A few weeks ago, however, I gave it a go and was sucked back in.

My aim was to just concentrate on the story. A lot of fun is to be had in GTA games just messing around, doing the side missions, or (my favourite) Taking A Bike Where A Bike Shouldn’t Go, but my priority was to get the main missions done to clear the game off my backlog. And that’s what I did, although often it was difficult to tell what was a main mission and what was a side mission. Sometimes the mission “trail” went cold, and I’d have to do some other tasks before I was back on the path.

There’s not a lot to say about the game that hasn’t be said elsewhere, not least because it’s pretty old now. What I found, however, was that it was really rather good, but it’s too big. There’s too much in here. You can’t mark it down for that, but for me, so much of it was wasted. Case in point: in the end credits I saw a golf course. Did I see a golf course in the game? No. Can you play on it? It seems yes. Wasted.

Oh ho. Did you see what I did there.

Mechanically, the game is fine. I pressed the wrong buttons hundreds of times because there are so many and they change function depending what you’re doing, but that’s mostly my fault. I never managed to find a camera position when driving that I was completely happy with, but I coped.

Importantly, the story is pretty good. I’m not convinced that in any real world, Michael, Trevor and Frankin would ever even give each other the time of day let alone cooperate on a massively dangerous bank heist, but it sort of works in the game. Where the story isn’t perfect, the characters are. They’re excellent.

I suppose to summarise, it’s not perfect, there’s a lot more I could do (but probably won’t), it was fun, funny, varied and I enjoyed it. It’s no Vice City, but then nothing is.

Anyway. Here are some videos:

GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (360): COMPLETED!

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Seems I was a bit wrong in my stats last time. I was 50% complete at 8 hours. However, I was pretty close to completing the story, with only a handful of missions available. Still, it took me over 12 hours in total before I completed it.

Thankfully, the ending mission was more lighthearted and less back-stabby than both Nico and Jonny’s plotlines. Even if it did turn out to be utterly ridiculous. Fun though.

GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (360)

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I’d previously been playing Perfect Dark Zero on my 360, when, after about 6 levels I thought – “Why the hell am I playing this?”. It was rubbish. And I had a billion other better things to play, like this already downloaded ages ago DLC for GTA IV.

Whereas the main story was all over the place, but mainly involved Russians, and The Lost and Damned was all bikers and backstabbing, Gay Tony is overblown silliness involving nightclubs and helicopters and diamonds and helicopters and basejumping AND HELICOPTERS. Lots of helicopters. ENOUGH WITH THE HELICOPTERS ALREADY.

Seriously. 5 missions in a row were helicopter based.

Not that I dislike helicopters, but I don’t want half the game to take place in the sky.

Anyway. The silliness is funny. As always, the characters are great, the acting is amazing, and the story is gripping. If silly. And Yusef Amir is outstanding.

I think, according to the stats, I’m around 60% through now. Past experience says that the end is just around the corner (as 70%-ish complete is normally “story done” in GTA games). Which is a shame as it seems short. Mind you, TLaD only took about 8 hours to do, so it’s on par with that.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS): COMPLETED!

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I’ve just completed this. And it was aces. The story was a proper GTA story, the missions were proper GTA missions, and the feel was proper GTA.

It was probably easier than most previous games in the series, but that wasn’t a problem. It was just GTA in your hand, and that’s excellent.

GTAIV: The Lost and Damned (360): COMPLETED!

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Erm, right. That was a bit short, wasn’t it? Yeah, so I have 11 of the 12 races left, and some of the gang warfare stuff, but I’ve done everything else. And it took me about 8 hours.

I’m sure I read somewhere that The Lost and Damned expansion was supposed to provide “around 35 hours” extra gameplay. If so, I’d love to know where it was.

Not that it really matters as I enjoyed it all anyway. At first I wasn’t sure, but I soon got sucked into the story and really liked all the crossover stuff with Nico. The final mission was the easiest mission in GTA history, though, so was a little disappointing. Every other GTA finale has been stupidly hard requiring $hlmun retries, but not this time. Again though, it didn’t really matter.

More DLC on the way, Rockstar?

GTAIV: The Lost and Damned (360)

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I started playing this a bit before the weekend, then played it again for a couple of hours again today. So far, I’ve been enjoying it, but it isn’t quite working for me yet.

There’s nothing wrong with it, as such, it’s just not as much fun as “proper” GTA IV was. Johnny is, in appearance at least, a carbon copy of Nico, and all his biker chums appear to be the same and I don’t remember who is who. Also, as much as I love bikes in GTA games, they’re mainly fun for mucking around in. This storyline is bike-heavy for missions – and they’re rubbish handling Harley-like bikes too. I much prefer a nice car for most missions, really.

But as I said, there’s nothing actually wrong. I’m liking the tie-ins with the original storyline (you even redo a mission that Nico did – with Nico) and seeing some of the characters from another angle.

I’m not, however, enjoying the full-frontal nudity of Stubbs. GTA has gone too far!

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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Well, that’s all the cars nicked for Stevie – all 30 of them. One was a little tricky as it was parking in a police station car park – next to a policeman. Managed to escape having shot the cop before stealing the car though.

And then it was on to races for Brucie. Could I find a decent car anywhere though? No . So I turned up in this rubbish Mondeo-alike only to find a starting lineup of Infernuses. So I tried “cheating” by blowing the cars up as we pulled away from the line. Sadly, that abandons the race. As does popping the tyres before the flag goes up. And killing the drivers. Luckily, even in Infernuses, they drive as slow as you – so I beat them in the end without resorting to anything less sportsmanlike. Tch, eh?

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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First up this evening was nicking more cars for Stevie. One of them was a real pain to find – it said it was next to the Liberty Transport Authority building on Rotterdam Hill, but it was actually miles away. I spent a good 45 minutes trying to find it. Anyway, I’ve nicked 20 cars for him now.

Then I played online for a few games, mainly in Ranked Team Deathmatch. I was disappointed not to get the achievement for killing at least 5 people from other teams, even though I killed 19 (and yes, there were at least five different people that I killed – I managed to rocket-kill 9 of them in one shot!).

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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I’m starting to run out of things to do now, which is a shame. Having said that, I’m not going to milk it for all it’s achievement points, because some of them simply aren’t fun and will spoil my memory of the game.

I finished off nicking all of the cars Brucie wanted (it turned out my email inbox was full, so wasn’t getting emails from him), which took most of today’s play. I went on some heli tours – lots of them, in fact, but didn’t get the achievement for them all. I don’t know how you’re supposed to know when you’ve done them all – I’ve been in all three helicopters from all six helipads, but nothing.

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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Dwayne’s special “power” GET! Jacob’s special “power” GET! And, thanks to finally getting hold of Brucie and taking him out loads of times, Brucie’s “power” GET!

But I still can’t nick cars for Brucie, even though his like for me is now 94%.

GTA Glitch Watch
Aside from Brucie’s not-sending-me-emails bug, the game stops working every time I try to got for a heli ride with him. I call him up for one, drive to his house, and the game “takes over”, I get out the car, and him and two women walk up to me. He says something about “taking the bitches for a spin the chopper” and nothing happens. The game continues to play out – cars go past, Niko shuffles on the spot, people walk by, but nothing else. I can’t walk anywhere, no cut scenes, we don’t get in the helicopter, and no-one says or does anything. I can’t move the camera either – just like the bug earlier in the game when the same thing happened at a burger stand near Firefly Island. Hmm.

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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I’m trying to build up relationships with all my in-game friends at the moment. Packie and Jacob in particular, as their like for me are both very low. Spent most of today’s play doing that, but also nicked another couple of cars for Stevie. No emails from Brucie though about nicking more cars for him, although he only likes me 35% so that might be it…

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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Yeah so anyway. It’s complete but there’s still stuff to do! By day, I’m friend-to-all, taking my chums out for meals and drinks and games, and by night I’m nicking cars for Brucie and Stevie. It’s an ace double life!

Only Brucie isn’t sending me emails with requests for cars any more. I think it’s because his like for me is only 35%, but I can’t increase it as he never answers the phone! Pff.

What percentage do you have to get your friends at to trigger their special ability anyway?

Grand Theft Auto IV (360): COMPLETED!

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At 57 hours game time, and on my third attempt, I completed the final mission and killed Dimitri. Game over! And around 20 minutes of credits too – they even name the office receptionist…

But I wasn’t happy with the outcome. Someone dies, and I didn’t like it. So I went back to a previous save and chose to kill Dimitri then rather than work with him. The result? Another death. A different death, sure, but one that was a bit easier to take in, even though I still didn’t like it. Then the “new” final mission, which was much like the other one to begin with, but with a different chase sequence and a different “boss” – who was much easier to kill once he was on foot.

And then the end again.

I decided to “keep” this ending, and carry on playing from it rather than return to the other one. I then spent ages taking friends out eating, drinking, going to see shows, going to strip clubs and playing darts. It’s going to be a long process getting them all up to 100% though – most are still less than 40% even after the wining and dining.

It didn’t help that I simply can’t do Jacob’s package deliveries, and his Like for me drops every time I fail.

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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Played mainly online today. Started off with a bit of Free Play, then Deathmatched for a game or to, before finishing off the session with several rounds of Mafiya Work. The latter of which was actually better than I was expecting, but seemed far too random to require much skill – whoever was nearest the target when it appeared tended to “win”.

After that, I was kicked off Live for some reason, so played offline for a bit. I attempted the final mission – going after Dimitri – and failed when he blew up my boat with a rocket. And it takes aaaaages to get back to that point. Grr!

Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

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So I tooled up and retried the mission, completing it without any problems this time. After which it was time for Roman’s wedding – a wedding which I was told was going to take place at 10am. I hung around a safe house, shopped for a new suit, and went for a walk while waiting. But the game never told me where to actually go. Come 1pm, I decided to save my game, and then immediately afterwards got a call from Roman asking where the hell I was. Bizarre! (GTA Glitch Watch?)

Anyway, the wedding happened and then a nasty spoiler. A nasty spoiler which didn’t sit well with me and I didn’t like at all. So much so, I’m going to go back to an earlier save and kill Dimitri.