So, as any gamer with the internet surely has heard by now, the much-anticipated teaser trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV has been released, along with drastic reactions from gamers and politicians alike. Rather than contribute the the festering pile of guesses about what the teaser implies for GTA IV, I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss what should be in the game, because, really, who cares about what actually will be in the game.
Realistic NPC reactions
Rockstar has done a great job before of creating a big sandbox world with a ton of character, but here's something that bothers me: when you start shooting or attacking innocent citizens, all they ever do is run away screaming or attack you. I want to see more reactions! If I'm waiting at a bus stop with people, and spontaneously punch one of them in the neck, I want everyone to look at me in disbelief, like "hey man, what the hell?" I think running away, screaming, would be a bit of an overreaction to a single jab. Or how about the delusions-of-grandeur guy who think he can talk me down from the roof with my rocket launcher? Good luck, delusions-of-grandeur guy.
Mix Tapes, iPods, and Audiobooks, Oh My!
Sure, everyone loves the plethora of radio stations that you can tune into from any vehicle, but is that all the people of Liberty City listen to? I want to get into a car, and have a 1/1,000,000 chance of having the first thing I hear be Walter reading a love note to his girlfriend at the beginning of the Romance Mix 2 he made her for her birthday. Hell, finding those could even come with achievement points on the 360. Or what about getting into a car to find someone's iPod plugged in, playing some Jerry Seinfeld stand-up?
No, not the conversation; the too-big-for-sidewalks-yet-too-slow-for-roads, "futuristic personal transportation" device. If you've ever seen someone roll into a Starbucks on one of these things, you'd appreciate being able to knock them off it or play chicken with them on a bicycle.
Since Liberty City looks more than ever like NYC, I want to have some celebrity sightings. Any Manhattanite will admit that these happen once in a while. Or even better, could I please crash into Jon Stewart's Daily Show and demand an interview?
Logic-defying Rush Hour Traffic in Midtown
Yes, GTA: San Andreas had random pile-ups and minor traffic accidents among automated drivers, but what about heavy traffic jams, so heavy that you're forced to get out of your car and either hoof it or start blowing stuff up? Don't tell me that there's ANY way to get through Time Square at 6pm by just swerving onto the sidewalk.
New York has Yankees Stadium, Shea Stadium, and Giants Stadium. Wouldn't it be a blast to float mid-game into Giants Stadium on a jetpack, steal a hot dog, intercept the football, and fly away, cheerleader in-arm? C'mon PS3, show us what you can do. Can you render a 45,000 person audience?
Central Park in All It's Glory
I'm sure Liberty city will have some sort of central park-type area. Here's hoping it has ice skating, pan handlers, picnickers, little-league baseball games, street musicians, Tavern on the Green restaurant, paddle boats, Nuts 4 Nuts stands, rollerbladers, painters, and horse-and-carriages.
New York has some fantastic museums, and I'd like to see how hard it would be to waltz in and take something. I wonder how much I could get on the black market for an ancient turtle skeleton? Or maybe I could pull a Hiro Nakamura and steal an ancient samurai sword!