If there is one thing more irritating that the cavalcade of over-hyped promotional writing that went on during the build-up to Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV, it’s the amount of needless filler that the game’s release has left in its wake.
The game been out for almost a month now, and still I see a new variation of the “Top 10 things to do in Liberty City” article on a daily basis. I know there’s a beating heart in the statue of happiness! I know you can pay a cab driver to go faster! I know if I beat up the car it’ll stall! I know all this because I’ve played the game, just like everyone else.
Granted, Grand Theft Auto IV could be the biggest game of the year, if not the decade, and for that I can forgive the all-pervasive and self perpetuating build up. Yet, the come down from the release feels so poorly covered and lazy. The vast majority of these list articles are examples copy-paste journalism at its very worst. Perhaps writers and bloggers were expecting the game to be more expansive than it is, that they would each discover their own beating heart in the Statue of Happiness. It seems they’ve been let down.
There is so much untapped discussion still locked tightly within GTA 4. It contains social commentary and satire of the very highest order. Every day I play, I trip over another little surprise which makes me think so much longer and harder than any of these utterly unremarkable statements like “wow, i herd sumthin on the radio and thn it wuz on the intrnetz”.
For example, I noticed today that all the streets surrounding the projects in Bohan are named after famous prisons. Isn’t that such a profound statement on poverty and the socio-economic climate in urban America? Yet, that goes practically unnoticed while “I walked into a club and saw Ricky Gervais!” is front paged on N4G.com.
Maybe it’s too much to ask for writers to think twice before they churn out more articles that really don’t contribute at all to the literature and discussion surrounding this or any game. Uninspired articles that state the obvious without delving beneath the skin look like nothing more than cheap shots at getting their website, whether well-known or obscure, its 15 minutes of internet fame.
[See also: Grand Theft Auto IV gallery]