Why Grand Theft Auto IV Isn’t a 10

We’ve all been watching the hoopla surrounding Grand Theft Auto IV this week. Heck, you can’t avoid watching it. It’s everywhere.

Like most of you, I made my way over to a local retailer Tuesday and picked up my copy. I brought it home, sat through the 4GB install on my PS3, and then leapt in. Judging from the perfect scores that have been thrown at this game like panties at a Wayne Newton concert, I expected to be completely blown away.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t. In fact, I was amazed how much like the previous editions of GTA it was. Now, I’m not one for messing up a

good thing. The truth is that I like GTA IV, just as I’ve enjoyed previous iterations of the series. The problem is that it’s receiving perfect scores for a less than perfect game.

Grand Theft Auto IV is basically GTA III with a new character, a lot more voice acting, and an a

dmittedly stunning graphics makeover. It really does little to nothing new, and leaves me wondering if perhaps the preview copies came with some sort of awesome swag we should know about.

This is why I distrust rating systems for games. Games like GTA IV (and Halo 3, etc…) are hyped into the stratosphere, given perfect scores, and then at release are found to be good, but not the shining gem of perfection we were all led to expect. Why can’t people just be content to say something like, “Wow, this game is pretty good, and it’s fun, but it’s really just the same old GTA again. I’d give it a nine.”

No, they have to spout off about how glorious it is, and wax eloquent about its majesty, only to leave us who didn’t play it prior to release feeling somehow slighted by the actual game we receive. Therein lies the tragedy: A good game leaves the gamer feeling somehow cheated because he isn’t experiencing the rapture the previewer obviously did.

Let me reassure you that GTA IV is a good game, even an excellent one. It’s just not perfect, and therefore, not a ten.


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