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.


Maximus said...

Completely agree with you.

Gusdor said...

Agree Strongly.

I had never considered the control system to be as bad as you do. I also agree with the checkpointing.

If you die, its a hastle. I want to be able to snap back into it without having to nip to a gun shop first.

These are the reason I bought the game, but no expansions.

Reds said...

I wouldn't say I outright think the control set-up is awful. I just think it errs a little much on the side of simulation sometimes, which can be a bit of an obstacle if you're still
tuning into your control limits.

I know American cars bounce about a bit, and cars in general struggle to replicate Hollywood stunt maneuvering, but I'm not sure I want to be reminded quite as often in a game.

That's managable though. My main bugbear was the Sexy Time mission. I had a right stink on with it! That particular Helicopter has a tendancy to lurch wildly at the slightest height adjust.

Agreed Gusdor. I don't particularly care for having to jump backwards and forewards to replenish basically mandatory tac-vest health, amongst other things.