Well I'm finally getting to this. I'm ashamed really. I mean there's really no excuse except laziness and forgetfulness. I bought this game (special edition too) on the 29th of April, it was pretty cold and when I got there about an hour or so before there was only about 6-10 people in line. By the time the clock struck 12 the line went around the corner of the store (at least 75 people). I think that was the only time I've waited for a game to release at 12. I think I considered Gears 2 but took a pass and Halo 3 was when my Xbox RR'd. Maybe Recon? Anyway now for the review:
Well to start the game is amazingly detailed. The graphics are amazing, really this is probably one of the few games that I admire the environments, I literally would find a helicopter to fly and enjoy the sunrise over the city. People complained that the game was to gritty or realistic. Shut the fuck up. They're in a fucking city. A city modeled after New York City (and I'm not slanting New York here, I actually have been there twice now and it's very nice). My point is that it's not the fucking country side, cottage by the lake or your fucking Caribbean resort.
Now for the games single player. On one hand there's a ton of diverse characters (Brucie is probably my second favourite GTA character ever), fun missions and great voice acting. On the other hand the story just isn't that intriguing. It's okay, but there could have been improvement. There wasn't really anything that turned the game on it's head for me. Remember in GTA III when you find out the girl screwed you over and you get a cell phone call from her telling you not to start the car because there's a bomb? And then you have to go over to the other island and live there, working for triads. It's awesome. And nothing really did that for me. Seemed sort of cliched at points. (Someone dies at a wedding, who knew?). But the missions and cut scenes are awesome. One in particular I'm going to tell you about is when Niko is talking to a guy (don't want to spoil it) and this lady just comes in and pops a cap in his ass. That's what this game needed more of, spontaneity. Sort of like The Departed.
The atmosphere was perfect though, hot dog stands, buses, the different neighborhoods, statue of liberty, etc is all there. The people are hustling about doing their business. A person is jogging, another is having coffee, etc. It's amazing.
And then they kick it up a notch. The multiplayer is insanely good! And although the gun play is fun (deathmatch/team deathmatch) everything else steals the show. They could have just put in the car races which are unfuckingbelieveably fun, but no, they put in motherfucking helicopter races! If you've never raced 8+ people around skyscrapers and under bridges and with rotors coming within inches of yours then you haven't lived my friend. Makes you wish they put in air planes. Then there's other things like cops and robbers and co-op which are great too. One time me and some guy were just hanging out on top of a building with helicopters shooting shit.
On the last note the game was designed well, I experienced few bugs except one. I got 98.3 percent completion when I beat the fucking game! Goddammit!
Programming: 9/10 : It's amazing that an open world with tons of area and A.I. has less bugs then a game like Turning Point. But they fucked me over on my 100% goddammit!
Graphics: 10/10 : The graphics are amazing
Story: 8/10 : Great cast but bland story
Atmosphere: 10/10 : I thought it portrayed a real live city extremely well
Multiplayer: 10/10 : Tons of multiplayer modes and tons of fun
Overall: 9.5/10 : Deep, fun innovative game
P.S. Can't wait for the DLC