THEY SUCK YOU BACK IN
This is a request to spouses and significant others everywhere to be understanding and forgiving when the love of their lives seems inclined to spend the next few dozen hours in front of an XBox 360 or PlayStation 3, playing the latest installment of over-the-top video game mayhem from Rockstar Games, available everywhere today.
If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, here's a brief background from the New York Times:
"During the next two weeks, some five million couch jockeys are expected to plunk down $60 to buy Grand Theft Auto IV, a violent and episodic game that hits stores Tuesday.
The release is expected to be one of the biggest video game debuts ever, extending a franchise that has already sold 70 million copies since its arrival in 1997..."
"Avid fans of the Grand Theft Auto games acknowledge that buying the new Grand Theft Auto — and spending hours descending into a free-for-all of crime and punishment set in an animated facsimile of New York City — can require some financial sacrifice.
But for many, the purchase of the game is justified by its entertainment value. Finishing the game can take more than 40 hours, turning a $60 investment (tax not included) into entertainment that costs $1.50 an hour (food and bathroom breaks not included)."
For those of you who've never played a Grand Theft auto game before, this 9-minute video review by Gamespot provides a comprehensive flavor of what goes on in a typical GTA game (warning: Not safe at work or around children).
They liked GTAIV enough to give it an Editor's Choice award, and a 10-point perfect score, something I've rarely seen from in the years I've been a reader. Here's how they introduce the game:
"Stepping off a boat in the shoes of illegal immigrant Niko Bellic as he arrives in Liberty City at the start of Grand Theft Auto IV, you can tell immediately that Rockstar North's latest offering is something quite special.
Yes, this is another GTA game in which you'll likely spend the bulk of your time stealing cars and gunning down cops and criminals, but it's also much more than that. GTAIV is a game with a compelling and nonlinear storyline, a game with a great protagonist who you can't help but like, and a game that boasts a plethora of online multiplayer features in addition to its lengthy story mode.
It's not without some flaws, but GTAIV is undoubtedly the best Grand Theft Auto yet."
So loved ones everywhere, please try and understand. It's not just a game, it's a total, bloody addiction.