October 28, 2009
GTA4.Net noticed this “ad” in the Episodes from Liberty City instruction manual that, reading between the lines (or around the torn out part, anyway) seems to tease where the series is headed next. And maybe when.
The ad, apparently for a fake movie, declares “Liberty City, It’s Over!” implying, naturally, that we’re all done here. “Next stop,” it says, and that portion appears to be torn out, except for the word “Seagull.” I think it looks like the name of a hotel, but who knows.
To the left of that is “Opens March Everywhere,” and your guess is as good as mine as to what that means. But Rockstar knows what it’s doing here, it’s getting people to talk, and we’ve taken the bait.
May 29, 2009
In contrast to Grand Theft Auto IV’s seedy biker gang expansion The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony is said to focus on the glitzy “high-end night life” of Liberty City. The second Xbox 360 exclusive episode will put players in the role of Luis Lopez, confirming previous rumors, as his part-time hoodlum duties are supplemented by full-time work for nightclub impresario Tony “Gay Tony” Prince.
According to the official announcement, “players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price.”
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is slated to release on Xbox Live this Fall for $19.99 USD or 1600 Microsoft Point. I had no interest in the Lost and the Damned, but this could be promising.
November 20, 2008
So by now Xbox 360 fans have had a chance to download and play around with the new Xbox Live update. This is Microsoft’s first major firmware update for the system and totally redesigns the user interface into a more flashy and streamlined version. The new Xbox experience kicks off with a cool intro video and then you select an avatar. It took me a while to scroll through the choices before picking an avatar that looked like me but thats not much of a complaint as I’m sure the developers at Microsoft just couldn’t come up with someone quite as charming and sexy as myself.
Next you are taken to the welcome screen which is pretty much useless but you can make sure it doesn’t show up again. Then you’re taken to the main menu screen and can browse through the new menus. It will definitely take some time to get used to these changes but hopefully they will be for the better. I noticed when you start out the system you are taken to the main menu of xbox live instead of your game starting up immediately. Not really a fan of that. I dont like when you press the guide button on your controller that the new interface comes up in the middle of the screen. Before it would come up on the left and you could still see whats going on the screen so if youre watching a movie and need to check your messages or friends list the pop up wasnt intrusive. Now that it comes up in the middle of the screen you are blocked from seeing whats going on until you exit out of it which is a real annoyance. I havent dived into the Netflix thing yet but if for those of you that don’t have a netflix account the feature is no good to you, so only a collection of us will be able to use it. Other than that, it seems to be a nice new change that will surely grow on people as they get used to it.
– Also USA Today revealed the first details on the new Downloadable Content for Grand Theft Auto 4. It will feature Johnny Klebitz, a member of Liberty City’s biker gang The Lost as the main character instead of Niko Bellic. The episode, titled The Lost and Damned, requires players to have the full version of the Mature-rated GTA IV (ages 17 and older) and an Xbox Live membership to download.
“Johnny is a very different character than Niko, with a very different background,” says Dan Houser, vice president of creative development for Rockstar Games. “I can’t go into too much detail on the story, because we try not to give away too much plot before the game is released. But I can say that the story will show you a different side of Liberty City.”
Lost and Damned for Grand Theft Auto 4 will be released on February 17 and there is no price point set yet, but expect it to fall between $15-20.
November 1, 2008
Didn’t get your fix of open world killing simulation from Grand Theft Auto 4 earlier this year? Well Saints Row 2 will surely drive it home til you never want to think about jacking another car or shooting a pedestrian again. Saints Row 2 is the sequel to the Xbox’s first real open world game, Saints Row, as the GTA franchise was exclusive to Playstation at the time. Now with this sequel the developer’s have taken everything they could learn from the last 2 GTA’s and its emulators to give you a more thorough and updated gaming experience.
If Grand Theft Auto is The Godfather, Saints Row 2 is a Leslie Nielsen parody. The game is very tongue in cheek and takes away all of the self importance of Rockstar’s franchise to create something more cartoony and edgy. You can shoot enemies with septic waste, film your own version of COPS, bang hookers using a mini game which requires you to find the G-spot, and of course kill rival gangs and reclaim your spot as the King of Stillwater. Saint’s Row 2 major strongpoint is its story. The character dialog, voice overs, and plot are all entertaining and very well done. Unfortunately its when the cut scenes stop that the game loses its steam.
This is no Grand Theft Auto 4 in the controls or visual departments. Changing weapons in the middle of a fight is a chore, the aim system is completely lackluster, and the graphics are just not impressive by any standard. The soundtrack pales in comparison to GTA, as do the car’s, and weapons. When you drive down the street of Stillwater, the traffic is nowhere near the depth of GTA 4’s NYC replica, and the detail is pretty bland. The True Crime series had more detailed cities on the PS2 than this game can manage with a next gen system. Piss off a gang and an endless parade of gang members come after you, unfortunately they all look the same with very bulky movements. I noticed a lot of clipping and the framerate slowing down at various times.
This map system isnt nearly as good as GTA, and the in-game cell phone doesnt offer you as many feaures either. Although its nice to have it from the get go in Saints Row 2. I really can’t suggest you buy this game unless you really are craving something similar to GTA 4. For the casual fan, I think a rental will suffice as you’ll probably be able to beat the story in a few days. They say Saints Row 3 is in development, let’s hope its not released in the same year as a GTA game because that severly taints an experience thats just too similar, but unfortunately not similar enough in the parts where it matters.