Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Video game number four: Grand Theft Auto IV, Episodes from Liberty City

Game review number four in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Grand Theft Auto, Episodes from Liberty City".

I hesitated for only a moment on whether or not to call this "a new game". Although the version I played comes on a standalone disk that I bought at Best Buy and doesn't require your Grand Theft Auto disk or saves to play, it contains two episodes of the game that were originally released as downloadable content over Xbox Live. According to the achievements, that means this game is actually a part of Grand Theft Auto IV, which was released almost two years ago. I'm using the traditional definition of "new game" on this one. I went to the store, I purchased a game disk, it's got two new adventures on it that I've never played before. To me, that counts as a new game.

I actually bought this game back in November when Best Buy had a "buy two games, get one free" sale. I bought two copies of Episodes from Liberty Cities and a copy of the Boom Blox sequel for the Wii. A friend and I split the discount and that made each game about 10 dollars cheaper than it would have been by itself after taxes. I had already beaten Grand Theft Auto last year, so before I played the new episodes...I wanted to go through the old game one more time, but on the PC. I worked on GTAIV for the PC for several months, playing for an hour here or there....but I only made it about halfway through the game. This meant that I never got around to downloading "The Lost and the Damned" or "The Ballad of Gay Tony", because I was still waiting to beat GTA one more time. It's not like the game takes months to beat, there were just so many other good games released last year that I found myself not wanting to spend the majority of my free gaming time replaying something I had already beaten (even if it was a great game and there were separate achievements on top of that). I had always planned to start Episodes from Liberty City over my holiday vacation but somehow I ended up not playing until today.

I started with the Lost and the Damned missions. The Lost is a biker gang (you encounter them a few times in the original Grand Theft Auto IV missions), and you're the leader. Right off the bat, the bikes are more fun to drive than they were in GTAIV. I hated riding motorcyles in that game, so I was glad to see that they'd improved them in this game. The objectives are the same: Drive around, kill people, steal things, etc...but now you do it on MOTORCYLES. It's great fun, and I definitely plan to beat the game.

I haven't made it very far yet, so I'll have to return to this post at a later time to give it a final review after I've beaten both episodes....but so far, it's just as entertaining as Grand Theft Auto IV was, and I'm really enjoying it.

Overall score so far: 9/10. Grand Theft Auto IV is one of my favorite games of all time, and this is just more of the same. Brand new adventures with new characters, it's good stuff so far.

Here is the achievement I've unlocked so far.




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