Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
The last couple GTA knock offs I played were Mafia, which I really didn't like. I felt like the car handling was just terrible for one. And the city was just dead. There wasn't much to do. They could've just made it mission based, because the only thing the open world did was mean you had to drive home and save it after each mission. I didn't get into it far enough to say the story was good or bad, but just beginning I really didn't like the extra ginzo-ish cousin.
The other one was Sabatuer, which had some good ideas. The black and white changing to color was a nice effect as you took over parts of the city. And the setting, Nazi occupied France, was a great idea. There were a few more things to do, radio towers and stuff like that dotted the map, so there were enough side missions to warrant the open map. My gripe with that was again the functionality. The driving was terrible. In both games I know they were kind of limited by the cars of the era, but I've still gotta want to drive. And the combat was a ball buster too. It just wasn't a great deal of fun to play. I made it about half way through before it got stolen, and I probably would've beaten it, it was interesting enough a concept to keep me going with it, but it got stolen, and I didn't like it enough to go out and buy it again.
As for Sleeping Dogs being better than GTA IV, I'm surprised, but I think I agree. Now I haven't finished it yet, so it could hit a level of attricion like GTA did. I know people rant about game times all the time, but frankly, as an adult who works 60 hours a week, I sometimes don't have the time to play a 150 hour game ... hence my never finishing Skyrim ... my playing is in spurts, so I need things to move forward to keep my interest. But it seems SD is moving at a pretty brisk pace. The city, while really well put together as Hong Kong, isn't quite as alive as Liberty City was. I think some of that is simply resources. The radio, the internet, the TV shows, the stand up acts, the things in GTA that aren't really playable, but serve as sort of satirical takes on the culture, are what makes it stand out so extremely from everything else. But the truth is I felt Liberty City was the worst at that of the major GTAs (I've said before I think they're hurt by not focusing on a time and place, like 80s Miami drug culture, or early 90s LA gang culture), but still, the city itself of Liberty City was so incredibly fleshed out it was amazing. I had some gripes with it's layout. It was harder to drive around than it should've been. But overall it was like an actual character.
Hong Kong is smaller here, by a lot, but the driving layout makes for a lot more fun getting around, and I'm not sure smaller is a negative at this point. GTA wound up adding the fast travel in the cabs, which may be an indication that their cities are getting too big. But Hong Kong is more fleshed out than the other knock offs I've seen, but it's still no Liberty City.
The reason I think I like it better is simply because the mechanics are that much better. The combat is obvious, but also, the free running and climbing is smoother, making running around the city not so arduous. The driving isn't as accurate from a physics standpoint, but I find it more fun in the right cars. The gunplay has a better handle on the cover pop and shoot layout. And some of the stuff is just new, like the ramming with the cars, which I feel is a really nice addition just from a playability standpoint, and the action hijackings, which are also a really nice touch.
Although I don't think this should be a shocker, GTA IV was an almost hard to believe 4 years ago now. So things have improved. They should have.
I blew through a handfull of races last night, and did a bunch of missions. Stopped at