Needful things

GTA IVWe need things like air, water, food and shelter. We want things like T-bone steak dinners and down comforters. All of us have the things we need. Luckily, most of us have a lot of things we want.

Somewhere around the 20% mark of GTA IV, it went from being a want to a need. I have become thoroughly engrossed in the story and I’m anxiously doing missions so I can see what happens next. I need to see how things end. It’s no longer a matter of wanting to. My well-being depends on it. Which is the main reason I’ve been so sparse around here lately.

I’m working on a bigger post for GTA IV, but I do want to point out a couple things, one good and one bad. The bad — almost all of the humor, the “jokes”, the throw-away details are puerile and immature. It’s not fratboy-humor, it’s 13 year-old, giggle everytime someone says “Hancock” humor. It gets old fast. The citizens of Liberty City are unnaturally foul mouthed and hot-headed. They will throw-down at the drop of a coffee cup. It also gets old. I could do without a lot of these “details”.

The good — the main character, Niko, is really well done. I don’t know if Robert De Niro was an inspiration for this character, but I see a lot of him in Niko. The facial expressions, way he talks, the hand-gestures and posture are all spot-on. Even though the guy is morally bankrupt, he is still interesting in a “The Professional” sort of way. I am anxious to see more of his character.

So with that, I must away with myself. Liberty City calls.


  1. I’m finding much the same – the missions just draw you in more and more into the characters and the city in general.

    Niko’s easily my favorite GTA character thus far, like of all the series. I’ve only seen him briefly, mind you, but he’s got this psychotic with a heart quality that’s engaging. He knows he’s had a dark, stupid life – but he isn’t sure what to do with it.

  2. My Xbox is dead. 🙁 Withdrawal!

  3. I love Niko, though he seems to have become a bit more mercenary than he was at the beginning of the game. I love the way that he basically looks at everyone around him and realizes how short-sighted and idiotic they are and then goes on to take advantage of their stupidity in order to line his pockets. I’ve seen glimpses of a deeper storyline and aspect to his character but most of the things I’ve been involved with so far are based on him getting rich.

    That said, I agree with Tony about the puerile humour that is omnipresent in the game. There are some really funny bits but the fact that everyone is swearing their heads off no matter where you turn gets old really fast, esp. on the radio. I liked the earlier games as they at least pretended that they were bound by broadcast standards. That was what made them so funny as the stuff being said was so absurd. The talk radio in GTAIV is nowhere near as funny as the older games and I think a large portion of that unfunniness is due to the prolific swearing.

    I’m cool with swearing when it’s contextual but when it’s just gratuitous vulgarity, it’s grating. Roman was annoying for this near the beginning of the game but now he’s much more tolerable, even though he has a potty mouth.

  4. @Josh – Like Brock says, he becomes a bit too mercenary as the game goes on, but he’s still got a heart that seems like it could be good, if he wasn’t messed up from the start. He’s still cold-blooded, though.

    @Zack – Oh man, that is not even fair. I feel for ya, man, I do.

    @Brock – Overall, I think the writing is hilarious at times. Some of Niko’s one-liners are laugh-out-loud worthy. Other citizens, not so much. I’m okay with the swearing, in moderation, like you said. Too much gets lame too quickly.

  5. Swearing is what irked me about the last island in Crackdown and also the Brothers in Arms games.

    As one who has done linguistic studies of the Revolutionary War and WWII, I can tell you that no GI ever spoke like the guys in BiA. Yes, they swore, but not at that level. What irked me even more is that the developer was touting historical realism. Not once were GI curse terms used (FUBAR, etc.)

    As far as the over the top swearing in GTA (or any game with it), it only adds to my argument about the violence. Why is it so over the top? What’s the point?

    I believe it to be a lack of good dialogue writing. You have nothing to write, so swear. It’s sad because a lot of movies are going this way, or have been: Tarantino, Ritchie, Scorsese(gasp!). I’ll give Scorsese a nod though because I’ve been to Boston–they don’t have curse words. 😀

    Give me some good dialogue, not cheap production language.

  6. flamingsquirrel says

    granted I have only finish the first BiA game all the way through, I HAVE played Earned in Blood a lot, and I don’t remember excessive cursing..

  7. It’s not excessive, but out of place in the BiA games.

    BTW, I’m looking forward to the next one.

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