A Reason for All the Perfect Scores?

I’ve not had one viable reason to trust the reviews from the big boys when it comes to GTAIV. Recently, I came across this: something from somebody I trustóa person who actually used to be with the big boys.

The story is what I came to see. And Iím having trouble putting my feelings for this gameís story into words right now. Iíll spare you the fumbling and just say that itís probably the greatest game story of all time, both in content and how itís integrated into the rest of the game.

I’m curious as to what others (even here) may say about the storyline. This statement comes from a guy who plays games for a livingóa lot of games. If it’s a tale of redemption, I will be greatly impressed. However, if the story is so brilliant, how come almost none of the reviews mention how excellent plot is?


  1. The story (insofar as I’ve played it,) really does press heavily on the concepts of the American Dream, redemption, hypocrisy in the mainstream American ‘urban’/rap-star/glorified-gangsta life so often idolized, and on top of all of those things, it progresses with a decisive drive that doesn’t come off as “a collection of missions,” but an actual progression of your character. And I’m not sure, but I think I’m about a third of the way through it.

    That said, just because it has a great story, doesn’t mean it’s a great game. San Andreas, for instance, has much wider gameplay (tons of side missions and things you can spend your time doing apart from the main game,) but in this game the story definitely comes across as more driven, more purposeful, and just damn good.

    I’ve yet to go on a single ‘rampage’ and try to rack up kills or do stupid stuff like that even once. (Though, people do seem to love to jump out in front of me when I’m escaping the cops, who usually start chasing/shooting-at-me because I bumped someone in traffic.)

  2. I have a hard time believing that it could be as good as Portal’s story, knowing Rockstar’s storylines in the past.

  3. tooPrime says

    I respect Jeff a lot, but having just finished the game, dude, itís not the greatest story ever. I like the way it is presented, talking and driving is a good way to force people to listen to cutscenes without there actually being cutscenes, and the ending is pretty good, but not mindblowing. There are a lot of good video game stories out there, this is probably the best integrated story into an action game, but it canít beat games that focus on story like all the Bioware games or Metal Gear Solid or something.

  4. Nototooprime says

    He is mistaken. That is all.

  5. Ooooh, our first troll.

  6. flamingsquirrel says

    You can hardly call that trolling…

    I’d like to try the game, but I have no console to play it on. Maybe a friend will pick it up, and I can leech off their purchase. Though, my friends with one of the required console to play GTA IV are the kind that buy the cheap $20 games at gamestop…

  7. tooPrime, It’s definitely not “the greatest story ever,” and I was careful to say that a great story doesn’t inherently make a great game. But I stand by the contention that the story has weight to it. Now, I’m not saying ‘games’ haven’t seen a story of this heft before, but most certainly the GTA series has not. This isn’t GTA besting Portal, Bioshock, or whatever. This is just GTA joining the ranks of ‘games with worthwhile writing’ to say “I, too, have something of value to say.” At least, so far.

    Though, for what it’s worth, I really couldn’t get into the Metal Gear series, so I can’t compare there.

  8. Games are the sum of their parts.

    Maybe the story is great, but if the gameplay is poor, if the graphics don’t serve the story, if the audio makes your ears bleed, if the voice acting makes your eyes roll, or the controls make you fling a controller than the game has problems.

    I’m not saying that GTAIV has all that or any of that, but I find it disingenuous to give a game a perfect score because that sells games. I’ve had many people tell me they’re now interested in the game because it’s reviewing so well.

    Maybe it’s a great story, but the odd thing is that I’m not usually getting much of a vibe from the reviews on the plot. Does a great story omit other problems with the game?

  9. tooPrime says

    I don’t disagree Jeffool, I was actually responding to the quote in the original post. You have a pretty good grasp of the of the story and I really don’t object to anything you said.

  10. @flamingsquirrel

    I don’t want to give him anymore credit, but the person in question was cross posting on some threads just being contrary and anonymous without adding any value to the discussion.

  11. steve bradley says

    The blog at Dubious Quality has a great seemingly unbiased review of GTA and it’s not that favorable.

  12. I’m about 8 hours in now, and I’m starting to get into the story. While it’s not “teh bestest evar!!1” so far, it’s actually pretty engaging.

    It’s not too shabby at all.


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