Websites with new content: IGN, GameSpot, Kikizo, GameSpy, ComputerAndVideogames, GamesRadar, TeamXbox, VideoGamer. Based on the sheer amount of information covered, we suggest reading Kikizo's mammoth 8 page preview - they even drew a map of Liberty City from memory! Below is a brief summary of some of the new/updated information from the previews, however, I recommend reading one of the full previews if you want to know everything.
- Websites received a 90 minute demonstration
- The stuttering frame rate has now been smoothed out and the city is now fully populated
- A new style of wanted meter has been implemented - this has already been briefly mentioned, but in case you don't know, "A circle appears on the map around your car and if the cops are outside that circle the wanted status will decrease."
- Drive-by shootings are now easier - "In an example of the increased physicality of the new GTA, Niko smashed out the driver's side window with his elbow before pulling out a pistol. Indeed, guns can now be controlled with the right analogue stick, making it easier to shoot out tires to end a chase quickly."
- GTA IV will now auto-save progress after important mission way-points.
- If you fail a mission you'll be given the option to jump straight back in and have another attempt, using text messages on Niko's mobile.
- Currently two minutes equates to one hour of game-time, although that is subject to change.
- Niko can listen to music whilst on foot, using the phone. "Sound quality is, as you'd expect from a mobile, realistically tinny and having the soundtrack accompanying you on foot is a welcome addition"
- Liberty City has a subway system which Niko is able to use.
- It took roughly 5 minutes (real time) to pilot a speedboat round half of Algonquin.
- A new character called Bell is revealed
- Characters wear different clothes instead of wearing the exact same outfit through the entire game (as in previous GTAs)
- Building relationships with characters is important. Some will meet you rather than you meeting them. Being on bad terms with them won't help you.
- Pool, eating, darts, bowling and going for a drink are some of the activities you're able to do (using the phone to access them)
- There is a radio station called IF99.
- In this demo, the cell network is called Badger whereas in previous demos we learned it was called Whiz.
Once Niko has the car away from the attention of the cops he can access the police database, via the onboard police computer. By tapping in the name of the informant Niko is able to pinpoint his home address – Long Street in Broker, which would be our next stop. Interestingly, Rockstar mentioned it would also be possible to upload photos of people from your phone's camera into the database to attain details as well