GTA IV is out today
Take Grand Theft Auto IV. It's out today, and, like certain other big titles from last year and this year that end in a "4" or "IV", I'm not particularly interested in playing it. However, it seems that each year there are one or two dozen games that are "must-plays" for the year. In order to have kept up with the times and the industry, you need to have played these games. Haven't seen "Juno"? Even if you didn't want to see it, to not have seen it somehow induces a guilt-trip for practicing cultural anarchy. "Oh, didn't see Juno, huh?" (What, you don't like movies? Do you sit in your room and play video games and write all day or something?)
Such is GTA IV. The open-world thing isn't new to me, nor is the concept of awesome graphics or voice acting, but it's a cultural phenomenon. I can afford to not play much Smash Bros. Brawl. It's an update. It's just a game. I can pretend I've played just by having played Melee on the Gamecube. But every so often come the Commander Shepherds, the Desmond Miles', the Gordon Freeman's, the GLaDOS' of the world. GTA IV's protagonist is Niko Bellic. Games with real characters.
Like Halo 3, this is a game I'm not excited about, but if I own one an XBox 360 and I don't play it, I'll be left out and have my "gamer" card taken from me.
So let's see, the game I'm reviewing now will get me 25 bucks in credit...