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GTA IV Live Blog: Welcome Back!

gtablog.jpgTrust me, after losing 29 hours of your play time and writing 3,400 words on GTA IV, it’s hard to dive in and start again. Niko’s story is a sweeping, detailed epic that asked so much of me– since my GTA IV review experience was based in a darkened room, with only miscellaneous snacks for company, I almost begrudge the idea of playing it in broad daylight.

That, though, is the nature of the GTA IV beast. Of all the games to go through again, mission by mission, this is easily the worst possibility: sandbox games are hardly as replayable as platform games, for example. I didn’t want to play through GTA IV again.

Somehow, though, I’m still obsessed with it. I’ve had three GTA-related dreams since my review period ended, with new each incarnation being weirder than the last.

In the first, I was slipping out of the real world, and into the shoes of Niko Bellic. Oddly, I was walking past the Bournemouth International Centre, and then the HUD flashed up– I was playing as Niko, and I was taking shots at the police.

In the second, I fell down an alleyway and woke up in Liberty City, as Niko. In the third, the Liberty City skyline kept shifting between GTA III and GTA IV; why am I telling you this? Well, I was hoping it’d be a measure of the impact that GTA IV has had on my thoughts, both in their conscious and unconscious forms.

welcome.jpgGTA IV is one of those games that has latched onto me, as GTA III and Metal Gear Solid 3 did on the PS2. When I fired through the first few missions again, this morning, I felt as joyous about the game as I had two weeks ago.

Even after the crippling aftershock from playing 27 hours in three days, it’s a gaming classic. GTA IV is constantly breathtaking.


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