We all know about never ending battle between two most popular consoles today. Playstation 3 from Sony and child of Microsoft – Xbox 360. Some loved PS3, some – Xbox360, and then announced new Grand Theft Auto series – the 4′th one. Everybody thought that this one will make peace between these consoles for sure, but… Really The War is gonna start! Read about most scandalous distinctions betweens two monsters of gaming in GTA 4!
It’s widely known that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are very powerful yet very different machines. While third party developers do their best to ensure a ‘single vision’ of their game is created on all the platforms they develop it for, there are ultimately always differences between various platforms. GTA IV is no exception to this. No, we’re not talking about the exclusive Xbox 360 downloadable content or the Achievements and Gamerscore here, there are more fundamental differences that will be manifested throughout the gameplay.
Continue reading to find out what we learned while visiting the Rockstar offices for our first GTA IV hands-on report.
First off, GTA IV for the PS3 will be yet another game that mandates a large up-front installation. We’ve been told that between 8GB and 10GB of data (the most of any game to date) will be read off the Blu-ray disc before you step one foot in Liberty City. We were also told that while the installation procedure does its work, your TV will display the inside of a creaky dimly lit cargo container aboard a ship nearing the end of its trans-Atlantic voyage.
We spoke to Kevin Thist, Creative Director from Rockstar for GTA IV. He said the 85 minute installation procedure was ‘meant thematically to get the player into character,’ adding,
‘You start the game with nothing’ you’re an immigrant to Liberty City being snuck into the country with the understanding that you’ll work off your debt. We realize it sucks, but hey’ crossing the Atlantic in a shipping container would suck in real life too and we’re striving to bring next-gen realism to next-gen gaming. We didn’t want to pull any of that ‘go make a sandwich’ crap that Capcom did with Devil May Cry 4 either, so you have to periodically push buttons to proceed through the installation process; such as pressing X to step on a rat carrying the plague. If you don’t sit there and press the button within 3 seconds, the installation process starts over again.’
A little bit of trivia: GTA IV is the first game you can die and lose before ever getting to play!
After the long installation procedure, Kevin explained that ‘you emerge from the shipping container on the docks in Libery City. Because you’ve been in this container for 2-3 weeks, we’ve utilized the high dynamic range lighting capability of the PS3 to completely overpower you with extremely white whites. You’ll have a hard time seeing sh*t in the game for probably two hours. In our internal testing centers, this led to some hilarious sh*t with people wandering directly into traffic, people accidentally pushing children in front of trains, one guy even walked off the wrong side of the ship and died in the harbor!’
The media demonstration was done in a room containing six PS3 demo units and six 360 demo units. There were about 16 members of the media present, so while we all got extensive hands on time with the game, we also got quite a bit of time to roam around and watch other players playing. One thing that returned from previous games is ’employing the services of a working lady’ to replenish your health. As a side note, Rockstar’s internal testing crew make no attempt to judge and openly calls the characters ‘whores’ and when they were asked to give us a hand to help guide us through the game simply referenced them in conversation solely for their purpose, such as ‘now go pick up a whore, your health is low and you’ve got a ton of money.’ At first it came off as rather calloused, but we grew to like the simplicity of calling the whores ‘whores.’
I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything had I only had access to one platform, but I noticed the ‘whores’ on the PS3 seemed to ‘do their business’ quicker than the 360 whores. When I brought up the observation, one of the testers replied ‘Yeah, the PS3 whores are faster’ they’re streamed off the hard drive’ the 360 whores have to be read from disc. Take a close look’ the 360 whores are actually drawn to be a little older and they’re more haggard looking. It’s an inside joke of the programmers and artists.’ as he chuckled. He then looked around to see if his boss was listening and whispered ‘the whores on the 360 version only have red lipstick on 3/4 of their mouths’ check it out next time you play, but don’t make it to obvious, we’re hoping to slip that one through certification testing. Brad, the artist that did that, calls it the Red Ring of Herpes