Grand Theft Auto IV: The End of the World

That isn’t actually the title of the game, but if you read enough stories in the media surrounding the game’s release, you might think that it should be.

Myself, I’ve never played a GTA game.  No wait, that’s not entirely true.  I’m pretty sure that back in 1997 I pirated a copy of the original game off a BBS and played it for about an hour.  I was bored.  My brother also gave me his copy of GTA: Vice City for the PC, which I’ve been meaning to install and play for a couple years now, but haven’t.  All in all, I’m just not excited about the series.

I’m not worried about the violence or the sex… the reason I’m not excited is because I just don’t generally enjoy playing the “bad guy” in games, unless I know there is going to be redemption.  I play games to be the good guy, the hero, the one man who stands in the way of the complete annihilation of the human race, or something like that.  Being the villain just isn’t my bag, baby.

There is a video floating around, I’m not going to link to it, showing clips of a few of the sex encounters with hookers from GTA IV.  Its definitely something I wouldn’t want my children to see if I had kids, at least not until we’d had the “sex talk” and I was sure they understood the difference between games and reality.  Of course, the sex is actually the least of the reasons why I’d want to keep the game from my kid… the way your character treats the women actually sits above that, and then there is all the violence which is actually at the top of the list.  But then, the game is rated M, so my kids wouldn’t get to play it, unless I were sure they could handle it, which is something I would determine for my child on a child by child basis… that’s what I hear is called “parenting”.  I certainly wouldn’t need the media or the government to make that decision for me.

Wil Wheaton (yeah, the kid who was on Star Trek: The Next Generation) has posted was I think is an excellent summary of how I feel on the whole brouhaha over the game.  Thanks to Ryan at Nerfbat for the link.

Anyway… unless someone tells me that GTA IV allows you to play through the game without being a criminal, or that you can play such that your criminal actions are for the greater good, I’m going to continue my course of not playing the GTA games.  Do they make GTA style games for good guys?  That I might be interesting in playing…


  1. You can’t get through all the missions without committing crimes. So far all the crimes have been against other criminals, and the reason Niko is in the US is for retribution against a guy who betrayed his entire military squadron in Russia (he’s one of three survivors).

    If you grab a police car, which you CAN do without hurting cops (sometimes they are parked on the side of the road), you can actually hack into the computer and respond to criminal activity.

    I’ve been doing that lately and it’s a blast, especially because I too would prefer not to really be a criminal without reason.

    You never have to beat up women or have sex with hookers or anything either. I’ll admit that I did go to a hooker one time because I like to try everything in a game once, but I didn’t beat her up after and I haven’t gone back.

    It’s interesting trying to play as a reactionary criminal. Meaning, I try to only do the missions that are against someone who has done me or a friend wrong (which so far is almost all of them), and I only steal a car if the person yells at me for being in the road or hits me… I call it “road justice.”

    I pay my tolls, I don’t run people over, I don’t crash into other cars, I play a lot of pool, bowling, and darts. I also don’t drive drunk. Not only is it really freakin’ hard, but even if you are parked a cop will immediately pull you over for it. Same goes for cop killing: I let them catch me if it comes down to killing them or jail (usually I can get away without either).

    Anyway, if you want to “finish” the game, you will have to commit crimes. I don’t think you have to commit crimes against innocent people ever, which is cool.

  2. Jason says:

    Given that review, I may check the game out eventually, but I know some of the previous GTA games were not completable without being a real criminal. I’ll wait and hear from people who have finished. Then again, it might make for interesting blog commentary to post my exploits trying not to be the bad guy.

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