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GTA IV Live Blog: The Intro

gta-036.jpgYou won’t be blown away by GTA IV’s intro. There’s no massive explosions, kick ass gun fights, or overblown characters. But in about 13 minutes of cutscenes, interspersed by a short player-controlled drive, Rockstar manages to infuse its protagonist with more personality than it takes most developers an entire game to do.

Although Niko is a criminal, we sympathise with him. He has been dropped into this big city alone, with little direction in life, and with a cousin who has filled his head with grandiose lies. When Roman blurts out some rushed directions, before leaving Niko alone in his rotting apartment, Niko’s confused reaction (“I’m new here”), echoes just what the player is feeling – make no mistake, you’ll connect with this character far more than you did with Tommy Vercetti or CJ. It is also worth noting that GTA IV is giving us sympathetic portrayal of the ‘immigrant criminal’ – a character that frequently gets demonised in other stories. Edgy.

Now, back to the game!

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