Rockstar has given open access to a few select press outlets in New York interested in being the first to play GTA IV. Many of our favorite gaming blogs have gone live with their coverage of the multiplayer modes and the general concensus among them is WOW.
GTA has never been one for the multiplayer modes. The PC version of San Andreas had a hack that allowed you to go co-op in gang battles and the like thanks to a third-party add-on, but this being the first next-gen console version of the franchise, multiplayer has never been readily available.
But waiting has apparently proven advantageous. Being able to see where other multi-player modes succeed and fail has meant the Rockstar cats have had time and data with which to refine this aspect of the game. Some reviewers are even calling it the better half of GTA IV which has classically relied on its sand-box and mission based campaign modes.
Here's what some of our East Coast pals had to say about their hands-on experience with the game:
kotaku.com says: "All but one of the multiplayer modes supports up to 16 players. (The co-op missions only support up to four.) The host has an amazing array of options that they can control. While setting up a game, the host can choose to modify the routine, like respawn times, weapon selections and friendly fire, or the unusual, like the time of day, the weather, how heavy the traffic is or how many people are on the street. You can even control police presence in your matches.
"While the game allows you to select parts of the map to play in, choosing specific boroughs, smaller neighborhoods, or areas like the airport, it doesn't prevent players from roaming the entire city during any given match. Instead the respawns and weapon drops only occur in those areas."
destructoid.com says: "Before starting our gameplay session, we were given the option to modify our avatars appearance. Options like gender, face, hair, and clothing are all available at the outset with limited selections. We were told that these selections would be added as a player’s rank up, between 0 and 10, which can be increased by picking up money across the game’s various multiplayer modes.
"…it looks like Rockstar are looking to deliver a reasonably fleshed out multiplayer experience that shouldn’t disappoint fans."
gamespot.com says: "While the Deathmatch modes were fun, the real attraction of GTA IV's multiplayer may well come from the many other modes that Rockstar has dreamed up. We wondered just how much of a role multiplayer would play in GTA IV, and after seeing it in action, we're pleased to report that it's far from being a simple afterthought to the game."
TheFeed says: "Dang, we jealous."
Looks like we're in for a hell of a treat with this whole GTA IV experience, ladies and germs. This is one blog that will be posting minimally on April 29 as we will have bought the game at midnight the night before and will be overdosing on nodoz and 17-hour energy powders instead of coming to work. This might happen all throughout May. You have been warned.
GTA IV Multiplayer Rundown