Excuse me whilst I get my geek on.
Okay, a few days ago I was browsing through the archives of Films According to the Profound, just to get my mind up to speed a bit, and I noted my ‘Grand Theft Auto 4: Part 1′. It functions fairly well as a separate piece touching on a couple of aspects of GTA4, but the part 1 tag kind of suggests a part 2, right? I decided to sit down, re-familiarise myself with the game, and see what I had to say about it now – especially considering that the two expansions, ‘The Lost and Damned’ and ‘The Ballad of Gay Tony’, had gone some way to fixing the things that weren’t very good about the original game.. Well, TBoGT did, TLaD is more like the unwanted cousin we keep in the closet under the stairs, and only get out when we fancy riding around on motorbikes that all look quite similar and drive like shit.
Anyway I was cruising around for a bit, switching between my various saves for different experiences, before I decided to go and hit up the Perestroika cabaret club. This is always a giggle since the place is usually full of gun-toting Russians, meaning you get a bit of a fight, and it’s also got rooftop passageways and hideaways by the dozen, for playing with the cops after you get the inevitable wanted level. I did both of these things, holding out and generally going a bit crazy with my explosives, until I got bored and decided to make a futile-seeming run for it (with six stars). With my rusty credentials I wasn’t playing too well, although I did manage to get a block away from the club, being shot at by a helicopter in a state of health where a dangerous gust of wind could have killed me, alive. I blew up an FIB Buffalo, stole a car, went to the hospital to get my health back, had to kill about 50 cops who chased me there, drove south to find a free Turismo, failed to escape in it multiple times, losing my health again in the process of getting the car out of the driveway, ditched it for a new one under a bridge, drove literally right past an FIB car without being spotted, and finally managed to escape my wanted level as I drove past the Perestroika club.. where it all started.
It was quite a giggle for my first time playing in months. Needless to say, after this I was pretty much done playing. I grabbed a taxi and randomly sent Niko to Star Junction, GTA4’s equivalent of Times Square. The taxi booted Niko out right in the centre of the junction, and I left him there to go and do some other things. I kept glancing back though, and noticed a shadow was crawling across the ground, slowly but perceptibly, due to GTA4’s sped-up timescale causing quite swift sunsets. I decided, since I wasn’t doing anything else, to make a picture diary of the passage of the night in Star Junction.. and in doing so reminded myself how very nice the art of the game is.
This is just after arrival.
A more dramatic shot, showing the fading out of the sky.
Chasing the line of the sunset. This was when I decided to make a hobby of this.
Night fell suddenly, like a sack of bricks. I only looked away for about a minute and BAM all the lights were on.
At about ten o’ clock, it started to rain.
I decided to get a bit meta and took a picture of Niko taking a picture of the traffic. Said traffic had not moved for hours on account of a single taxi, the driver of which had somehow either died or simply vanished, leaving his vehicle blocking the road. Thankfully, these guys didn’t start honking, but instead sat there quite peacefully. For hours.
The moon came out, very briefly. Shortly after I took this picture, it was gone again. This is after midnight, in true dark, when the brightness is turned up to 11.
This fella had been in the traffic queue so long he fell asleep.. Only kidding, the truth is much more gruesome. Somehow, he ended up dead. The streets of Liberty City are a dangerous place indeed. And in all the time I was there, no ambulance turned up to try and save him, no police turned up to investigate what had happened.. and no fire truck turned up either, but they wouldn’t have had anything to do if they had so I’ll let them off.
Dawn made everything go quite bulbously teal. Don’t those Burger Shot signs look fucking disgusting? Knowing GTA, that’s probably almost definitely the point.
Then sunrise made everything go a quite horrific shade of pink.
And we come full circle. Advertising must go on, after all. It’s sad that the bright and false lights of Star Junction in the night creates a much sharper definition than natural light can. Don’t the daylit pictures seem warmer, but fuzzier than the night-time ones? It could just be me. Either way, I guess that’s the nature of cities which, in reaching for the sky with skyscrapers, ironically end up blocking out the sun.
P.S. This isn’t part 2. But there will be one now.