Monday, 9 November 2009
An Evening with Gay Tony
Spend a little time away from Grand Theft Auto 4 and you forget how to play it. An extended breather unlearns all the ticks and tricks you've amassed to cope with a control system that at its worst feels like mindless corralling. Your car spins out wildly when you attempt corners at speed. The jumble between movement and cover gets you shot in enclosed space. Helicopters often feel completely uncontrollable. This disconnect is more pronounced than ever in latest side-quest Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. For this installment Rockstar North have decided to include a post-mission breakdown screen that rates and ranks your progress: You didn't do it quick enough. You didn't know to adhere to invisible objectives. You didn't do it first time. Your aim wasn't consistent. You didn't even try and shoot them in the head! It's not enough to scrape through missions now, your method is under scrutiny. By God I resent this! If you want to start cataloguing a player's interact deficiencies, you'd better give them a solid, flexible, interface to begin with. A steady stream of relevant (but skippable) tutorial information would be preferable. It'd be nice if you give players chasing tiny speedboats in a suicidal helicopter at least a taste of a reticule. And if you're going to insert helpful checkpoints, I think it only fair to restore weapon sets and health to the value users reached said markers at. In short, the fault had better lie with them.