I just read over at Next-Gen that Rockstar's newest installment of Grand Theft Auto will finally be hitting store shelves on April 29th. About friggin' time, I'd say.
I've been playing the GTA series since the 2nd, still top-down oriented, edition on the Dreamcast. I never could have anticipated how big the series would become with GTA III though, when it entered the 3D realm and gave players an entire city to play in, and a pretty decent story to be a part of. Then Vice City hit... and the world was shook. It was like playing through a mixture of Scarface the movie and Goodfellas thanks to the VO work of Ray Liotta. As a fan of crime fantasy film and novels, it was a dream come true.
Since Vice City, countless clones have come and gone... but not one has captured the magic of that title, not even San Andreas (which to me played more like one giant farcical look at 90s LA than anything). But Rockstar's been working on IV for a while. There's a likeable and identifiable (to me, anyway) protagonist as the main character. The over the top humor from GTA:SA seems to be gone. Maybe they realized Saints Row did enough of that schtick for both of them.
Most of all? GTA IV has characters with fingers. Thank JEEBUS. Really, I'm not sure what it is about the GTAs that draws me in. My local Gamestop guys find it odd that I'm drawn to these titles, being a lifelong Nintendo fan. I've played the recent GTAs on the PC only. I'm not your average "I-will-do-whatever-it-takes-to-fit-in-because-I'm-a-sheep" gamer. I just like the feel, the look, the alternate reality of the series I guess. The wide-open nature that Rockstar puts forth in the GTA series is second to none. Many games try to equal it, but very few come even remotely close. They may be fun in their own ways, but nothing beats what Rockstar puts out.
I guess, the point of all this, is to say that I'm excited. No more delays please. April 29th gives me a few weeks before AoC hits the PC. I don't want to cut it any closer.