Grand Theft Auto
Machine: Playstation, and many others
Initially, I was excited by this game. After all, it was me who had bought it, and we always try to love a game when we first play it. The signs were good: it had a retro feel to it, traditional controls and it seemed to allow you to explore wherever you pleased. But as I played it, I became frustrated by the totally unforgiving (read: badly designed) gameplay, the crappy mission structure and the childish frequency of the hero's cussin'. There was blood in it too, just another desperate gimmick. The game promised open ended gameplay, but this wasn't true. You couldn't really devise your own plan to help bank robbers, or whatever, you just chose which street to drive down. The secret of playing this game wasn't anything to do with your driving skills, or your ability to nod your head to the terrible tunes that played on the 'radio.' You just had to know the layout of the city that you were driving in. This knowledge could be acquired by driving aimlessly around but this really lost it's appeal after about ten minutes. Instead, you just had to learn from your mistakes by playing the incredibly picky missions which were given to you by various stereo-typed hoodlums ('Hey dude, go and pick up some shit from Downtown upper east side. Proper.You can't touch this.') Most of these missions were broken down into smaller tasks, all of which seemed to involve time limits. Boring. Not to mention frustrating. This game tried to hark back to the days of the 8-bits, but forgot to add any charm, humour or new ideas. Even to this day, GTA is a strong franchise for the boys at DMA design. Wake Up! Stop buying this game!