Do you want my long personal history with video games spelled out in detail?  No you don’t, because this isn’t Aint It Cool News.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)  So short version: I’m a male born in the 1970’s and have played every major system along the way, albeit very casually for the past 15 years or so.  I had not previously played a GTA game for more than a few minutes.

But GTA IV looked exciting, and it WAS exciting for the first many hours.  But as the game got harder one asinine & avoidable flaw kept rearing its hideously ugly head…

Not being the greatest gamer around I do have to start the occasional level over.  That’s fine, I don’t need the game to be easy. But let’s say the mission I’ve just failed involved me leaving my place in Broker, driving to meet some shady character in Dukes, and then driving with him to somewhere in Algonquin where we have to roam around a bit and get halfway through a mission before I do something stupid and die.

WHY  – dear God, WHY when you choose to retry the level does it start ALL THE WAY BACK IN FRAKKIN’ BROKER??

I didn’t buy a driving sim.  As a driving sim alone this game doesn’t work.  Yet the majority of each mission is made of up driving from A to B and sometimes C.  That’s fine the first time through a mission. But forcing me to redo all the the pre-mission driving when I fail does not make me learn anything new about how to beat the mission; it’s just a chore. Why not restart at the beginning of the “action” part of the mission?  It would still be a massive, long game.

But no.  They want us to drive.  And drive and drive and drive and marvel at how big the city is and drive and listen to the clever radio stations and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive. And drive.

And it’s just not fun.  And if it’s not fun, why am I playing?