Before I invested in an XBOX 360, I was starved for core games as a Wii-only owner. I was going through a drought in games to play, and the Wii version of The Godfather was starting to pick up buzz. I had never watched a Godfather movie or played a Grand Theft Auto game before, the promise of being able to point my Wii remote as a gun or beat thugs down with swinging fist motions seemed really cool. Also, when you don’t have that many options to choose from, you’re more willing to step outside your comfort zone for some satisfaction.
As the oldest child on my mom’s side of the family, I learned very quickly that I would have an influence on my younger siblings and relatives wheter I consciously tried to or not. Before my younger brother could ever get into playing toys, he got a hold of a Gameboy and a Super Nintendo controller and never looked back. At the time, I figured it was just the kid thing to do, but those early days of playing Super Mario World really did change his life.
In April of 2008, Grand Theft Auto IV captured my imagination with a great story and fun open-world gameplay. Prior to GTA IV, my only open-world gaming experience was with The Godfather on the Wii. While many may have grown accustomed to (or weary of) the Grand Theft Auto formula by this point, I was completely caught up in the life of Niko Bellic, trying to find my way in Liberty City.
Almost two years removed from that experience (and almost one year since the release of The Lost and Damned), I have begun playing Episodes From Liberty City, which I received as a Christmas present from my girlfriend. Will this GTA IV add-on experience grab me like GTA IV did? Will it stand out on its own terms? Does the GTA IV style of play hold up even after I’ve played other fantastic open-world style games like Assassin’s Creed II and Borderlands?
Yes, the game as a whole is great. Yes, it plays pretty much as you would expect a Grand Theft Auto game to play. And maybe this whole drug-dealing thing is just side stuff to do while you work your way up the ranks of the Triad.
But right now, I’m all about pushing that weight.