Jack Thompson Reviews Grand Theft Auto IV
To build your criminal empire, you must engage in horrendous, unspeakable crimes. Each time you successfully offend our lord, a loud clown honking noise plays and you are awarded 500 points. Niko may travel through Liberty City on foot, but the developers discourage this by having thousands of seagulls relentlessly attack your character when walking around.
To survive the mean streets, Niko must break into vehicles and steal them. Sometimes these vehicles are occupied by families traveling to church. As Niko grabs the helpless driver, you can hear the man plead, "please do not hurt my wife and children, they are the love of my life," to which your character replies "now they are the love of my KNIFE" and begins violently stabbing them as bonus points fly out of their exposed chest cavity. None of the game's drivable vehicles allow you to signal turns or activate the emergency brake when parking on hills.
In addition to cars, trucks, and motorcycles, your character may pilot helicopters and planes. As a grotesque tribute to terrorism, Rockstar Games included specific code that lets players fly a plane into nearly any object in the game, including large buildings... large buildings RESEMBLING A CERTAIN WORLD TRADE CENTER. If this company had any decency whatsoever, they would have modified planes to be semipermeable. Ideally, upon boarding a plane, a very large American flag would appear and a list of all the 9/11 victims would scroll across the screen while a really patriotic midi song played in the background.
The game's inherent violence is easily apparent in the controller's design: one button punches, one kicks, one strangles people, and the last button performs an abortion. If you input secret combinations of buttons, your character gains new abilities, such as the power to covet multiple neighbors' wives at once. The so-called "trigger buttons" on the controller act like triggers in real life, further blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Rockstar Games seeks to "pause" your relationship with Jesus Christ while "resetting" your morals and replacing them with "shoulder bumpers."
Soon your character gains access to more powerful weapons such as machine guns, bazookas, grenades, knives, bombs, and birth control. Your character may play "miniature games," which are nearly as perverse as the main game itself. I have compiled a sample of just a few "miniature games" offered in the Grand Theft Auto IV violent video game:
- Run over all the white people as fast as you can and earn Gamer Points which you can use to decorate your car with images of bloody penises.
- Plant dynamite in an elementary school for children who want to grow up to become police officers.
- Murder the wife of the mayor and then strip her corpse and pose it in obscene positions and use Microsoft Live to share the photos with your gamer friends who are using Microsoft Live to download pornography from the internet.
Rockstar Games concentrated on making the audio equally offensive, offering a course and vulgar selection of "music" available through its in-game radio stations. The game's radio can only be activated by breaking into an occupied vehicle and smashing an infant against the dashboard a certain amount of times. A majority of these songs focus on ho-related topics.
The radio additionally offers a talk-show channel which is free of such disgusting filth, but it is apparent Rockstar Games put very little thought or effort into this feature. The talk-show hosts claim to dislike the Jews and blacks, but their discussion ultimately comes across as an empty gesture. I had a difficult time believing these people truly hated the Jews and blacks, which ruined my overall immersion and game play experience. Also it is apparently impossible to call their show and get on the air; I called repeatedly and spent hours on the phone, yet I was never allowed a single opportunity to share my views. Looks like Rockstar Games is still afraid of this humble old man!
As you may have expected, I simply cannot recommend the Grand Theft Auto IV violent video game to anybody except perhaps sociologists interested in discovering the motivation for crime. Rockstar Games has sold the souls of our children, and soon the devil will come to collect. If anybody in their company had souls, I would wish God's mercy upon them. But considering your character Niko Bellic must ultimately track down and assassinate God Himself during the climax of the Grand Theft Auto IV violent video game, I doubt there are any "continues" left for the designers' souls.
FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 1 / 100 (the single point awarded to the score is due to the large, slow-moving boat in the first scene, since I am very fond of large, slow-moving boats)