Last night, I took advantage of the free Gold access weekend for Xbox LIVE and played a single deathmatch round of Grand Theft Auto IV. It was a pretty terrible experience. Let me break it down for you.
First, I had to use the Internet to figure out how to start a multiplayer game. Evidently it’s via Niko’s cell phone. Makes sense now, but at the time I was just kind of boggled and running around his stupid apartment, dry-humping the fridge in hopes that it would take me where I needed to go. Kind of wish GTA IV had, um, a main menu screen or something.
Second, I decided to see what it was like to use the headset and chat with fellow gamers. Er, big mistake. While waiting for a game to load and get enough players, I listened to what might have been a beached whale moaning out in displeasure. Then someone kept calling someone else a Nazi. Lastly, this little kid just kept screaming, “COME ON! START! STAAAAAAAAAAAART! STARRRRRRRTF*CKERS I WANNA GO!”
Yeah, I remained silent the whole.
Third, the deathmatch itself. I had no idea what to expect…only to shoot other players as much as possible, die, respawn, and try again. And that’s mostly what I did. For 10 straight minutes. Sometimes I’d just die, respawn, die, respawn, die. Every now and then I’d get lucky and take someone out. I guess the goal was to kill as many enemy players and collect as much cash as possible. I didn’t win after 10 minutes, but I unlocked two Achievements and immediately turned the game off.
It was a very…empty experience. The level we were on was an airport (which I don’t think I’ve come across yet in the single-player mode), and you could run behind planes or hide behind boxes or desperately try and survive out on the open-as-all-gets runway. Listening to other players as they made unhuman noises and called them nasty words only made the deathmatch more not-fun. There seemed to be little skill involved the whole time; a lot factored on where and when you respawned, which ultimately would determine if you did or did not get the jump on other players. So you run around, you shoot things, you listen to people moan, and you do it all over again. Um…meh.
Don’t think I’ll try any of the team or racing multiplayer games after this, too. But I guess I’m in the rare here because there were a lot of gamers on last night, all ready to pew pew pew me in the head. To each their own, I suppose.