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Which Version of Grand Theft Auto IV?

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-04-28 11:43:13

Fanboys - Time to Fight!

So IGN is claiming that Grand Theft Auto IV is the "best game since Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time", and they're slapping 10.0 scores all over the place. I don't give the review too much credence, because I'm suspicious of the circumstances of their early access for the "exclusive review", and because they have a tendency to over-inflate scores. Nonetheless, based on media coverage at large, GTA IV is almost assuredly a must-own title.

If you are a hardcore gamer with both an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3, which version are you supposed to get? I get accused of being a 360 fanboy, but I'm system agnostic. I'll support whichever gives me more of what I need. With the last generation of GTA games, I made a point of waiting for the Xbox versions. Among many other issues, I couldn't stand the pop-in of the PS2 titles. I found it infuriating when I'd be driving on the wrong side of the road, and oncoming traffic would suddenly appear in front of me. Issues like that caused me to deem GTA III unplayable until the port to the superior Xbox hardware.

The situation is now reversed, with the PlayStation 3 purportedly performing better. I'm an audio/video whore, so any minor upgrade weighs heavily on my decision-making. I want the superior PlayStation version, no matter how marginal the differences might be.

And yet, I found myself snagging the Xbox 360 edition for the following reasons:

1) Multiplayer. I have to continually audit my Xbox 360 Friends List because it hits the maximum. I have exactly one friend on the PlayStation Network. Mucking around Liberty City together looks to be a hell of a good time, and I'd rather do it with buddies instead of strangers.

2) Custom soundtrack. GTA is a long game depending on how you approach it. The in-game radio stations are always fantastic, but I'll eventually want to spin my own tunes.

3) As Wedge so eloquently argues - exclusive DLC. There are rumors that it will be as substantive as Vice City and San Andreas were to GTA III. I do take this with an entire saltshaker full of grains, but the source article was published with nary a peep from Microsoft or Rockstar. The fact that they didn't even issue the typical non-denial denial "no comment" implies that there's at least some truth to those claims. Microsoft wouldn't pay $50 million dollars for just a couple of bonus cars.

On the other hand, I have no idea why they aren't coming clean about the DLC. The game releases tonight, and this selling point ought to be marketed more clearly. There are conjectures that the DLC consists of just a few extra missions, all the way to the hopes of a massive equivalent of New Jersey to compliment New York (Liberty City). The phrase "episodic content" allows for a great deal of leeway in interpretation.

Further obscuring the issue is the confirmation that the PlayStation 3 GTA IV will also receive downloadable extras. Does that mean the Xbox 360 DLC is a timed exclusive, that will later be made available for the PS3? Or will the PS3 be simply receiving some GTA branded furniture and knickknacks for Home?

In any case, I'm wagering on the 360 version, simply because I can't take the risk that the exclusive DLC will be terrific, and because I need to play rocket tag and crash helicopters into each other with my buddies.

Now Playing - Dark Sector, Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

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