GTA IV: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Editorial, Gaming

And The Ugly…

This is the ugly stuff. The features that leave me really wondering how Rockstar could leave these features out, but include an in-game internet. What were they thinking?

You Can’t own businesses

I know I touched on this above, but this is serious, why the hell can’t Nico own anything? Sure you get yourself a few safe houses, but they aren’t yours most of the time. You can take over Playboy X’s apartment, but why can’t I take over his business also? Why doesn’t Dwayne let us have a stake in his club? Why can’t we dump cash in to Ramon’s cab businesses to help increase sales? Maybe if Nico could own something that made money, even if it cost money to start or run, he wouldn’t complain about his cash flow so much.

This could also add a huge dynamic to the game. What happens if one of Ramon’s cab’s is destroyed? That’ll need a good $20k to sort out, if you haven’t got the money, you’ll get a reduction in cash flow till you do. What about the strip club? Can’t I “test drive” some girls like the gangsters that took over the place did? I want to own the comedy club and choose the acts, maybe I could own a TV station or a website of my own. The possibilities for this are endless – especially with the inclusion of TV and internet – and I am utterly shocked that Rockstar would leave this feature out. It was one of my favourites from the past few GTA games and to see it not present in this one was a big let down.

Vice City ice cream businesses

Who wants to be an errand boy?

Nico came to America for many reasons, but one was to live the American dream that his cousin was supposedly living. While Rockstar might be making a point that’s been made many times before – the American dream is just that, a dream – I don’t want to be an errand boy for most of the game. I know I haven’t finished the game yet, but even if Nico turns out to be the Kingpin of Liberty City, I don’t want to wait over half the game for that to happen. All the missions – so far – have been someone else telling Nico what to do. Nico is a bad mother, can’t he make these low lives work for him? Can’t he take one of his myriad of guns, from wherever he keeps them all, and demand some god damn respect and servitude?

San Andreas has us running the streets, cars full of heavily armed thugs, with whole portions of the city under our control. Vice City has us as the owner of an expansive mansion, guarded by tens of Hawaiian shirt wearing Italians. What does GTA IV have? Nothing, just Nico – and very occasionally Lil’ Jacob, but that’s rare. For a game that was supposed to be the next generation of GTA, I was expecting small armies having massive street skirmishes with Nico directing the troops a la Freedom Fighters, but instead we just have to do everything ourselves, again.

Shot from freedom fights. All men seen in this picture could be ordered around
with simple commands.

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Last modified: February 23, 2011

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