1 May 2015 | TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews
Opera in the streets
You play as Luis(D'Leon, with attitude and professionalism), a Latino and the ex-con bodyguard/business partner/platonic friend/the guy who does the dirty work of Gay Tony(not Stark, though they do look alike; Kenner, with the two having an old married couple, bickering, relationship) who owns several nightclubs. He has become something of a junkie and letting the business suffer. So he, among others, loans money from the wrong people, and you have to clean up, work off debts and take out the garbage of the wealthy. Others keep mispronouncing your name(Lou, Lewis, etc.), often on purpose. Willing to kill if you have to, you don't really want to or seek it out. You start out in the bank heist, though you do, accomplish, and contribute, zilch, nada, nothing. Along the way, you will deal with the same stolen goods and the like, including, yup, those same diamonds. We again have the lead show up somewhere the other two did, and this time, you're on the opposing side, so you fully appreciate what happened, and, thankfully, you're not just doing the exact same thing(third time's not the charm).
This has essentially no famous actors, opting for more distinct characters and voices, and the casting is good all-round. Your mother is hard on you, strong, passionate and complicated relationships between family members. You'll work for Yusuf(Djalili, a powerful Arab in love with hip-hop culture, keeps using the N-word), who, as pointed out by another character, "wants what he can't buy": he likes to have you steal military vehicles and shoot your way back out. In general, this sends a lot, at least a dozen or two, of police, some Homeland, helicopters at you, which you're well-equipped enough to take out. Brucie(Adams, roided up) constantly doing martial arts and/or physical exercising, every second. We now meet his older brother, Mori(Gurner, who is clearly where a lot of his self-esteem issues come from). You'll deal with the Russian mafia, and can meet optional minor characters. They will talk about their current situation, comment on recent events, etc. And you may be double-crossed, and change sides over the course of this.
MP remains the best part. It's just about the only way this challenges you. Almost everything you could hope for is there. While some of that goes for a lot of recent titles, this is one MP that is as chaotic, open and crazy! The guns especially work for this, with people blowing up and plowing down each other. It does feels out of place how much heavy weaponry this puts in your hands, with explosive bullets, an LMG, etc. Maybe they were worried about competing with Just Cause, Saints Row and the like – thus, they compromised their product. This comes with a server list! With filters, at that! Ranked Matches can be found, albeit few are on these days, regardless. There's also, at the time I submit this, been about two weeks straight of issues with the RSC, which keeps us off. Nevertheless, I've had few issues with it or the GFWL – others have had many, and it'll also crash. Customizing is limited to appearance, with only a handful of options, and through their combination, a bunch of choices. Modes are cut down to the bare minimum, and we're left with a more basic experience.
Less atmosphere than San Andreas which is in general better than this small and grey city. That is even more visible now that it's supposed to be glamorous. Sure, there is bright glitz in some areas, yet, it does feel out of place: Vice City delivers properly on that front. That had the help of being an entirely different setting, and one has to wonder why they tried to pull this off, given what they had to work with. The hard rock remains, as well
Like the others, this has a separate identity, which is: ethnic nobody with a record in the socialite world that he doesn't belong in. At first I didn't think I'd get into it, then, as usual, I very much did. Liberty City is based on New York, with three main islands. Bronx is Bohan, Brooklyn called Broker, Manhattan now Algonquin and Queens renamed Dukes. There is still too much of going from close to one end of the islands to the other – even if this is credible, it's annoying.
You have two friends who have stayed in the lower area they all grew up, and won't accept your offers to get them jobs in the upper class. The three of you can engage in Drug Wars: you'll all drive to a certain spot and: hijack a transport possibly in motion or take money possibly first having to ice the guy handing over the money. These gradually increases in challenge, though you aren't getting closer to some ultimate goal, since you're ripping off others', not establishing yourselves. Every 10 won unlock a new addition to your arsenal. They try to talk with you during it, but you insist they focus, perhaps because they keep going over the same lines, and either it's an attempt to prevent us from noticing by keeping them short, or they find that as annoying as we do
seriously, why not just not have them talk every few times, instead of the same lines several times. They argue, with lots of gay jokes. You can all hang out together, the two of them are just about inseparable, and one offers discounts on hardware from his van that he'll park nearby, the other will steal and deliver cars.
A number of things from the 4th game have been addressed, some improved, or even fixed. Unfortunately, the core frustrations remain: too slow movement, that in part ruins the ill-conceived cover system, tedious shootouts and repetitive gameplay.
There is a lot of strong language, bloody violence, sexuality and disturbing content in this. I recommend this only for those dedicated to trying everything in the franchise. 7/10