Chinatown Wars has given me Liberty City nostalgia and I have caught myself hitting up my unfinished second play-through of GTA4.
I was thinking while taking a random phonecall from Little Jacob how I really love how GTA4 encourages you to live the story, as opposed to telling it to you.
While Nico's blind thirst for revenge and the American empire's fall from grace permiates the entire story, many of the events towards the end of the game are quite unrelated to events at the start. This is not a story of a character in a single situation, the story of GTA4 is a slice of time in Nico Bellic's life and video games is the perfect medium for such a story.
You live Nico Bellic's life for several months. You don't just do missions; you live his life. This is expressed so well through the interactions with characters outside of missions with the mobile phone and social meetings. So many of the characters are so complicated, yet the player would know nothing about them if not for the time spent with them outside of missions.
I think this style of storyliving (see what i did there?) is what has garnished the most criticism for the game, as people have an expectation that sandbox games will let them do whatever the hell they want (a la Saints Row). But for me, GTA4 shows the true storytelling potential of sandbox environments. Without being rushed through a fast paced campain that takes place in 24 hours of gametime, the player is really able to explore the characters and world and bring so much more life to the world.
I don't think anything I said in this entry is new, but on this second, more analytical play of the game, it is really standing out to me.
Also, happy 20th birthday Gameboy, that is amazing.
And yay for a new Fallout game in the near future.
My brother finally got Gears of War 2 and we are hammering away at Horde mode on Jacinto. After a few nights, we have gotten to Wave 30. Not looking forward to Waves 45+, not at all....