Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars DS version, first impressions

GTA Chinatown Wars is the first game in the GTA series I've played, let's delve into it
You play as the son of a dead drug-lord making his way into the New York parody that about four other GTA games have been set in and working his way up from the bottom of the underworld to the top. From what I understand that's what the rest of the GTA games are about, and here we come to the first glaring issue with the "Open world"
You can't just do whatever, there's a specific line of missions you have to take on to proceed, and what if you don't WANT to run around town doing your uncles bidding? Then you can run around the city jacking cars until you run out of health, and then go do your uncles bidding. There's something wrong with the "Busted" mechanics as well, quite similar to the ones in Need for Speed: Undercover, because for every time I was able to get away from a cop by bailing out of the car and jacking his cruiser there were three more times where I got busted by him because nobody in Liberty City has the common-sense to LOCK THEIR DOORS. Also, I have a feeling that the cops only appear during missions when you don't want them around, and when you're running around the city committing crimes left and right, jacking every car that comes along hoping to get a wanted-level so you can run around exploring the city and hoping that they have police-boats that'll chase you if you go into the water while they're on your tail they're nowhere to be seen! One time I was on the drugs mission for the uncle (About the third mission in the game, and if I remember correctly, I might have just been messing around) when I swapped out the slow-moving cargo truck for a speedy sports-car in front of about twenty cops and wound up losing them by taking a few detours around buildings. Unfortunately I wasn't looking where I was going and flew off a dock into the water. After smashing the rear-windshield out I noticed the first boat I had access to a ways to my left and jacked it. After finding out that it was lodged between some barges and the sea-wall I exited it to fine myself trapped in the corner between the boat and three walls. I got back into the boat to see if I could dislodge it to no avail and exited the boat, hoping to squeeze through the tiny gap to the far right, but to no avail. So I started swimming back to the boat for one more try before resetting my DS and by pure accident I swam through the sea-wall and began swimming UNDERNEATH THE CITY! This went on for a long time, swimming around trying to find similar holes that would lead to freedom, but despite swimming all the way to the bridge connecting the main part of Liberty City to wherever I had wound up and found a wall there. Fortunately I stumbled upon a boat-ramp that wasn't blocked off and I jacked the speedboat that was right next to it to run around the ocean a little while before getting bored and shutting it off.
Before I wrap this up I need to address the fact that it is INSANELY hard to keep pace with the other cars since the DS has digital buttons, and I have a feeling this is the case for all the GTA games made prior to the standardization of analog triggers. If you're trying not to draw attention to yourself it's hard to keep on one side of the road and sometimes it's hard to steer, that gained me a wanted level on numerous occasions when I was trying to avoid being caught.
All in all GTA:Chinatown Wars has only dampened my enthusiasm for Metal Gear Solid 5 and along with Spider-Man 3 hasn't sold me on open-world games. It's both buggy and a little bit broken, and I got pretty bored in under four hours of gameplay. It might get better later on but I probably won't finish it to find out.
Image credit Wikipedia