Posts Tagged Reviewing

Reviewing Philosophy

Yes folks, an update. We do apologize for the lack of commitment on Indexed for the past 2 months (“Whaa” it’s been that long?). We do try our best to stay committed and release new posts but time has really been rare for the crew. No, we’re not dead. We’ve just been busy(REALLY BUSY) as of late. Now, on topic: Today, this post will describe how I review games, products, etc. So I guess this is my “reviewing philosophy”. To me, to review something is to show its’ good and bad qualities. I try to not be as biased as possible. (I wouldn’t say that I’m unbiased as I don’t believe there is an unbiased person) The point of a review is to let others know about the good and bad things but not to make a decision for them. I try to let people know about the positives and negatives and let them decide to see if the product really is for him/her. Another thing I don’t enjoy doing is giving a number rating. Like I said, I try not to give my opinion too much. Rating a product based on numbers is essentially rating the product with your own opinion, because you’re grading it as you see fit. Finally, at the end of my review, I like to add a small section where I restate what is good and bad about the product I reviewed. That’s really all I have to my reviewing philosophy…for now anyways.

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Reviewing GTA IV

The Grand Theft Auto series has evolved greatly over the past years. From the the simple, yet fun GTA I to the action packed Grand Theft Auto IV, the series has won the hearts of many people. I personally LOVE these games just because you can pretty much do anything you wish in the game. Whether it’s stealing cars, driving helicopters, doing crazy car stunts, the possibilities are almost endless. Today I will be reviewing GTA IV. (I might review the expansion packs to this game on the other consoles later on but for now, I want to stick to reviewing games that are PC related)

Campaign and gameplay:

You play as Niko Bellic, an Eastern European who goes to Liberty City to start a new life. His cousin, Roman, presents various problem for Niko. You will be killing and enforcing in missions and sometimes have to option of choosing the outcome of a mission. An example is sparing the life of someone you’re about to kill. Your decisions have different consequences in the later parts of the game. The length of campaign mode ranges from 60-100 hours of gameplay, including all side missions. There are many cinematic cutscenes that are nicely presented and are no doubt fun to watch. Niko has many abilities in the game, something the previous games lacked, such as scaling fences and taking cover behind objects. Covering behind objects makes gameplay so much easier. You’re able to just until enemies are reloading and pop up and shoot them down. (However, be aware that you may cover somewhere that you don’t want to.) There’s also the auto targeting system where you don’t even have to aim manually. You can just aim and the cursor will automatically point to an enemy. The police chasedowns have also been remade. Whenever you get a wanted level, police cars will start to chase you and you need to get out of a search area and waiting a few seconds to lose your wanted level. These features redefine gameplay in a more simplified and realistic way. Overall, the campaign mode features interesting characters and a good storyline. Niko’s new abilities add to an enjoyable gameplay experience. However, some players may not like these features as it does make gameplay more realistic but less “fun”. In previous GTA games, your character could do crazy stunts that you won’t be able to do in GTA IV. Driving a car in GTA IV may not be as fun as it might have been in the previous series. Players may miss the fun aspect of the game that made the series so popular in the first place.

Multiplayer:

Multiplayer wasn’t needed to make this game good but it is a nice feature. There are plenty of game modes to play with other people such as Race and Team Deathmatch. Game rooms can be customized. You have the option of adding features, such as friendly fire, different weapon sets and more. There are rarely any connection issues. Lagging issues are minimal in multiplayer. I really don’t know what else to say for multiplayer (haha it seems I never have anything to say for online play for any games i review).

Graphics:

They’re beautiful. Absolutely stunning. Of course, if you play this game on a PC, you do need high specs to be able to play at the max settings.  If you don’t have relatively high settings, then you’d probably not wanna play on max and may be disappointing as the graphics do “shine” a lot in this game.  Graphics are realistic. (It seems as though everything about this game is realistic :P) The characters, objects etc are well cropped and rendered. The environments are very nicely defined. There is a lot of detail around you. The edges, colours etc all add to provide a vivid feeling and atmosphere of Liberty City. This adds to the overall feel of the city and how busy it is.

Persistent World:

We all love GTA because of its’ gigantic virtual world to explore. Even if it’s a virtual world, it seems and feels like reality. The virtual world truly defines what a “persistence world” should be. The graphics are great. Textures and details look great in this game. They have been enhanced many times compared to the previous GTA titles. Liberty City is filled with different gangs in different neighborhoods. Richer neighborhoods will have more security and richer citizens. Poor neighborhoods will have more criminals and homeless people. People will act like they will in real life. They’ll help people in need or run to find shelter under bad weather conditions. It feels like Liberty City is alive and the citizens carry on with their lives like in real life. There is much to do. You can race with others, kill anyone you please, steal cars, blow up cars, and much much much much MUCH more. The radio features a variety of songs to listen to and my personal favourite is the internet. You can so much on the internet, such as looking for a girl and she might date you if you likes you. Socializing is also a great addition in GTA IV. You can socialize with your friends and hang out with them in bars, go bowling and more. This just adds a realistic aspect to the game. (Did I forget to mention you also have a cell phone where you can call people, receive text messages and more?) The AI’s intelligence ranges from a variety of different levels and makes the game great. The enemy’s skill level can range differently, depending if they’re just a newbie killer, or a professional. The driving system has been greatly redefined in this game. As I mentioned early, driving may not be as fun as it was in the previous GTA games. Different cars have different attributes. So a race car may be easy to drift with and a truck will be less balanced when driving. When you crash your car into a wall, your character will fly outside of the car, showing you the physics system in this game. But this realistic aspect is not liked by everyone and may annoy people more.

Goods: Good storyline, interesting characters, interesting combat system and police chasedowns, good range of new abilities, fun multiplayer, persistent world, realistic world, realistic physics system, beautiful graphics

Bads: combat system may be sloppy at times, gameplay may be too realistic

Conclusion: GTA IV is a great instalment in the GTA series. Your character is faced with an interesting storyline and filled with an entourage of interesting friends(or foes). The new combat system and police chasedowns are redefined and make gameplay easier and more interesting. Multiplayer has a variety of game modes for you to try out and is plenty fun. The real aspect of this game that shines is the freedom given to the user, allowing him/her to do almost whatever he/she desires. There is so much to do in this game that you may get distracted from concentrating on your missions. Be aware however you might not like the realistic aspect of the game compared to the previous games in this series. But other than that, the game is plenty fun and is a great installment. Worth your time and money? Definitely

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