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GTA IV: October Release Confirmed, Episodes Coming in 2008

By: César A. Berardini - "Cesar"

In its financial results conference call, publisher Take Two has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto IV will be shipped simultaneously for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in October.

Take Two also announced that Rockstar will introduce in 2008 exclusive episodic content downloads for the game.

It is worth mentioning that back at E3 2006, Microsoft announced a deal with Take Two's Rockstar to have exclusive episodic content for the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV.

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I hope they actually bring something new to this one. GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas all felt like the same game.

The same *awesome* game. :happy:

I know what you mean, though.

They were all very awesome but it almost suffered from Madden syndrome by the time San Andreas came out. I'd played the others before and if I own one I don't need the next. Vice City had enough enhancement to make it stand-out from III but San Andreas really felt like a great game I had already played. I love stories in game but the stories of these games aren't enough to pull me into it or make it feel different from the others, so I topped out at Vice City and let SA attack my friends' wallets instead.

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San Andreas had a lot of subtle changes, actually. Not only was it about 3x the size of VC, but they added the customization engine, (changing your wardrobe, hair, weight, etc.) they reworked the battle / gunfight engine, they added new vehicles and really brought it with the story. Granted, most of these changes weren't for the better, but it wasn't the same game as Vice or Liberty.

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San Andreas had a lot of subtle changes, actually. Not only was it about 3x the size of VC, but they added the customization engine, (changing your wardrobe, hair, weight, etc.) they reworked the battle / gunfight engine, they added new vehicles and really brought it with the story. Granted, most of these changes weren't for the better, but it wasn't the same game as Vice or Liberty.

And you can swim!!!!!

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  • 4 months later...
Take-Two has just announced that Grand Theft Auto IV has been delayed until 2008. The company said it has moved the game to the quarter ending in April 2008.

The publisher also announced that it would miss its sales and profit goals for this year.

Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick said that "certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms."

Ben Feder, the chief executive of the new management team, said that "putting Grand Theft Auto IV out in the Easter season or so isn't necessarily the worst thing."

Whatever. I wasn't getting it at launch anyway. I'll be too busy playing Mass Effect.

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  • 2 months later...
GTA IV will have 16 multiplayer for PS3 and 360

Gaming Excellence has managed to get some very interesting information pertaining to GTA IV at the PlayStation Holiday Preview Event held in Toronto recently. While GTA IV wasn't being covered at the event, Rockstar was in attendance to show off Manhunt 2.

Now GTA IV being GTA IV, this meant that the topic eventually came up and many of the usual questions were asked, BUT Rockstar had some notable items to divulge.

Firstly, the developers have been busy testing various plots and have even considered having the entire world unlocked for the player at the start of the game. GTA veterans will know that one of the staples of previous GTA games has been locked areas that can only be accessed by progressing past certain missions or pivotal story elements.

Some fans enjoyed this system, as it gave them incentive to move through the story and continue playing the game, while other fans found the system somewhat limiting and unecessary.

Secondly, and more importantly, Rockstar is aiming for a multiplayer component to compliment the singleplayer, with up to 16 players fighting it out in various multiplayer modes.

Of course, for PC users, this won't be such a ground breaking and new experience because modifications opened the door to multiplayer Grand Theft Auto III soon after its release for PCs. For console users however, the Grand Theft Auto series has been a strictly offline affair, so the possibility of multiplayer is a huge plus and will no doubt make up for the delays in the release of GTA IV.

GTA IV is slated for release in Q1-Q2 2008 on PS3 and Xbox 360.

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  • 1 month later...

For anyone who hasn't seen it, you can stream it or download it here.

Personally I'm disappointed in it. I can see why it's been delayed. Bad framerate, animations, and the people look so much worse than the cars and environments do. Hopefully they will fix these in the time they have left. The GTA series have all had these problems though, so I doubt they will get fixed.

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Check out this article to find out all the new features, and where the game is at now in terms of production.

You can't get fat anymore. You can take a taxi anywhere on the map. There may be bums lying in front of a car on the street. And, for once, someone other than you might be getting chased by the police.

These are just a few of the details we soaked in Tuesday afternoon during a private 90-minute demonstration of "Grand Theft Auto IV" at developer Rockstar Games' headquarters in downtown Manhattan.

After shooing a black cat from Rockstar's game-demonstration lounge, a company employee sat on a big couch, turned on an Xbox 360 development kit and large flat-screen TV, and played three "GTA" missions set in the game's massive New York replica, Liberty City. The game looked as good as it does in its trailers, with advanced lighting, and a special physics system that makes characters walk, fall and leap in natural and often distinct ways. It had short load times; slightly out-of-sync lip-syncing, which is still getting polished; a line of sight that made buildings 10 blocks away viewable; and a bounty of unexpected visual and gameplay details.

"We just want to get you excited about the game," the third man in the room, Rockstar Games Vice President of Product Development Jeronimo Barrera, told MTV News. He said this game was immense, guaranteed to keep players busy for a long time and promised that its release would be the biggest entertainment event of the year. But mostly, he let the demonstration of the game do the talking. Several times he referred to the game as a "reinvention" of "GTA," and what was displayed demonstrated an exceptional attention to detail and an apparent effort by the developer to address every one of "GTA" players' complaints about the series' deficiencies.

The missions Rockstar demonstrated were typical of the series. They began with the new game's protagonist, Niko — an immigrant newly arrived to the big city and in search of the American dream — visiting people who want him to kill other people. "GTA" is still about crime life. Perpetrating those crimes, however, has changed. Consider the simple need to get from point A to point B. As in past games, players can steal any car. Unlike past games, they can, at any time, press a button to hail a taxi or call for car service that, for a fee, will take them to any point the player selects on the game's map.

The Rockstar demonstration of this feature had Niko waving down a yellow cab. Niko got in and the game switched to a first-person view. The cabbie turned around in his seat to ask for a destination and then starteddriving . Niko could pay the driver extra to ignore traffic laws and drive recklessly, or pay even more to skip the taxi sequence and jump straight to the destination. During the drive, the player can watch Liberty City pass by or switch the camera view to watch the car from the exterior. To a non-"GTA" player, this new system may seem like a trifle. To experienced players, it's big.

Other news about travel in "GTA" includes the breakthrough that cars that Niko steals now have GPS systems. A yellow route will be drawn on the player's mini-map in the lower-left-hand corner of the screen to get them to a selected destination. Players that steal luxury cars will discover that the GPS in those vehicles can talk.

The police system has been changed. Previous "GTA" games always showed a "wanted" meter in the upper-right corner. This showed how much trouble the player was in with the law, based on a number of stars. The stars only went away if the player went into hiding or was taken down by the law. The new game doesn't have a persistent "wanted" meter. Instead, crimes cause no change in the player's notoriety unless they are witnessed by a nearby police officer.

Characters still went running for cover when the Rockstar rep had Niko open fire on a truck in a crowded street, but it took awhile for a police officer to show up and give chase. Once a police officer does show up, the wanted stars pop up. What's new is that a circle flashes on the player's mini-map. This represents the part of the city where Niko is in trouble. If he can get out of it, he's out of trouble. If he doesn't split, he's going to get hunted down. And if he fights the cops, that circle is going to get bigger, making escape more difficult. In previous "GTA" games, Barrera said, "It was, 'I can commit a crime, and I just stop and hide.' But now if you do that, you'll stay wanted. [The new system] keeps you on the move."

New systems are fine, but the thing that "GTA" gamers hammer the series for is an often-unreliable targeting system. "GTA" games require lots of shooting but seldom provide controls that win any cheers. The system has been overhauled for "GTA IV." Using the Xbox 360 controller, the Rockstar rep playing the game showed that during a shootout, the player can pull the 360's left-analog trigger for a zoomed-in "free-aim" mode. That puts Niko to the left of the screen with his gun pointed at his enemies, à la "Resident Evil4 " and "Gears of War." Pulling the left trigger all the way locks the gun's sights on the nearest enemy. During a lock-on, the controller's right thumb stick can be used to target legs, torso or head. Flicking the stick left or right switches targets. Pushing the right stick directly into the controller allows for an even more zoomed-in perspective. None of this is new to games, but like the new one-button "Gears of War"-style cover system "GTA IV" has, it is a sign that Rockstar is learning from the proven control schemes of other games to remedy some longstanding issues. (The reps were proud of a blind-fire option that enabled Niko to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at a bunch of shady dockworkers while still keeping cover behind a wall.)

So much can be expressed in a 90-minute demo. The Rockstar team demonstrated the game's new dynamic car chases, which weave in scripted events that are triggered if certain situations align. For instance, during a hot pursuit past the Liberty City airport, Niko had to dodge barrels that came tumbling out of a swerving van. Other special events not shown but mentioned by Rockstar include a gas tanker driving into a gas station, or a completely unrelated car chase involving other crooks and cops whizzing by. These events won't happen in completely predictable ways, and players won't see them every time.

Rockstar showed the ability to get drunk. This made Niko's walking and driving controls wobbly and the camera so shaky that MTV News quickly asked to move on to the next feature. Niko has a cell phone and can go to Internet cafes to search the Web. Stealing a police car provides access to a police computer that can be used to find suspects. The developers talked about enemies playing dead. They showed bums lying on the street. They talked about a feature that will ensure that when a player repeats a mission, some of the dialogue may be different to keep players from getting bored. And they said that if a player fails a mission then, for once in a "GTA" game, they can press a button to warp right back to where the mission started instead of having to drive back to the beginning point on their own.

Some things were left out. The Rockstar developers did not show multiplayer. They didn't show anything romantic. They skipped the series' familiar clothes-customization features, though Barerra said players will have a less eccentric range of options. You can no longer get fat if you eat a lot of food. And you can't dress silly. "You can't have cowboy hats and pink Mohawks," he said. "That's not the mood of this game."

There is no updated release for the game. Rockstar's publisher, Take Two, has slated the game, once scheduled for October, to the company's second financial quarter, which runs from February to April. Barrera said that's still the plan, and the game certainly looks like it's going to be ready for that time frame. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are steaming ahead, and at least the 360 version appears to be shining with polish — which isn't to say Rockstar is averse to further tweaking. At one point during the demo, Niko was getting a briefing for a mission while standing outside. It was raining during the scene, but neither Niko nor his buddies were flinching. "It shouldn't rain in this mission," Barrera said. It didn't look right to him. He sent an e-mail. It's going to get changed.

Drunk driving? I smell the next big controversy.

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This game keeps sounding better and better. I like the idea of a "hot zone" for cops looking for you. It always irked me that you could flee the police in the past games, get somewhere safe, be all alone, and out of nowhere a cop walks up shooting.

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