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Should I trade in GTA4?

Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Fri, 28 Nov 2008

Ste Pickford

I'm not a big fan of the 'pre-owned' market, and I don't think I've ever (yet) traded in a game, but I'm also not a fan of the high price of new games. And I'm a bit skint.

My usual trick is to wait until the games I want to play drop below my 20 quid threshold, new, and buy them then (Excite Truck and Mass Effect were bought this way). Sometimes I buy pre-owned games too, but only because new copies aren't on the shelves any more.

It's very rare that I buy a new game when it's launched, so it's rare that I have anything worth trading in anyway. I bought Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy new, but they're keepers. I also got caught up in the hype and bought GTA 4 at launch (for only 26 quid with pre-order and quidco discount!).

I played GTA 4 to death and finished it quite early on, and even moaned a bit about some of it's flaws on here. I was happy and I got my money's worth.

Although it got an incredible critical response from the media, the considered response from gamers after the dust had settled was a bit more measured.

I don't have any direct links (althought the users' metacritic score is a lot lower than the reviewers'), but the consensus from the forums seems to be that gamers think that Rockstar left the best bit of the game undeveloped.

They didn't realise the potential of the free-form sandbox aspect of the world; the freedom to go around and make your own fun and interact meaningfully with the environment. Instead they focussed too much on forcing us through a pre-scripted, mostly linear story.

That's certainly my opinion of the game.

The great hope for the much anticipated DLC was that it could be Rockstar's chance to respond their audience's criticisms, correct their mistakes, and open up their lovely looking world to open-ended, sandbox, free-form fun.

I only played the online mode a couple of times. After playing through the whole game with auto-aim on (I just can't aim in FPS games very well), and enjoying that, I got swore at and shouted at in the online lobbies if I tried to switch auto-aim on, and ended up coming last as 'captain cannon fodder' with it off. No fun for me online.

I still kept hold of the game though.

I've no desire at all to play through the drawn out, over-long, cliched storyline again, with it's tedious check-point free missions, but I hoped, like many others, that the DLC would open up the world for me. Allow some meaningful interactions with the environment, and give me the keys to the amazing city they've created. I hoped the DLC would make the game fun.

Instead they're selling us another pre-scripted storyline.


I should have traded the game in when it was worth something. I'll be lucky to get a tenner for it now.

Still, a tenner off would get me Fable 2 for just a tenner today from Gamestation. If only there was a Gamestation in Buxton...


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