Sunday, 30 November 2008

Real Niko Bellic Art

There’s a comparably new artistic style of image manipulation that’s called untooning. In essence untooning is when an artist uses one or several photographs of real people (mostly faces) and manipulates them in a way to give the effect of realism to a cartoonish character.

The most well known artist for such photo manipulations is an artist called pixeloo (Jax Pixeloo). He started to attract more attention after untooning GTA IV’s main character Niko Bellic for the Official Playstation Magazine. The artistic piece received great feedback and a lot of recognition.

Not everyone was amazed by pixeloo’s creation and one Brazilian artist, who also did similar pieces in the past, decided to make even more realistic portrait of an Eastern European war veteran. mataleoneRJ used eight photographs of different people to get the best possible result. The artist added wrinkles, extra details around the eyes and one or two scars to get the true gangster look.

Both artists achieved incredible results, and both pieces look superb.

Source: pixeloo.deviantart.com, mataleonerj.deviantart.com

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

1UP Multiplayer Preview

The closer we get to the PC release, the more new information revealed. People at 1UP had a chance to play multiplayer on a PC version and reflect on it. They also confirmed a lot of rumors about the gameplay, so many of you will be pleased.
What happens when you throw 32 thugs into the same neighborhood? We find out ourselves during a PC multiplayer session.

If you've ever wondered what might happen if you dropped nearly three dozen people into a neighborhood in New York, gave them automatic weapons and vehicles, and left them to fend for themselves, well, Grand Theft Auto 4's multiplayer might prove to be a decent simulation. While the upcoming PC version sports the usual array of improvements (snazzy resolutions like 2560x1600, general visual polish, a new radio channel called Independence FM that lets players listen to their own music, and a new video editor), multiplayer's getting a significant improvement: 32-player support. Anthony Gallegos and Thierry "Scooter" Nguyen got to jump right into a multiplayer session with personnel from Rockstar Games' various studios (fun fact: Rockstar Lincoln is not located in Lincoln, Nebraska, but in Lincoln, England) to experience some 32-player hijinks. Here's what they had to say on the subject of multiplayer vehicular homicide.

Scooter: Turning a 16-player game into a 32-player one sounds like a dorky bullet point for the back of the box, but in the case of GTA4 multiplayer, it officially amps up a multiplayer session from "crazy" to "f***ing nuts" on the Scooter Intensity Dial. No matter which of the numerous modes you play (we checked out two of the 15 modes), the addition of more players -- plus the new keyboard/mouse controls and the accuracy they grant -- results in some interesting matches. I can say one thing for sure: Padawan Anthony is damn good with the mere pistol due to his superior keyboard/mouse skills.

Anthony: It's true -- a keyboard and mouse definitely makes the pistol a viable weapon. It wasn't terrible in the console version, but it works fantastically for headshots if you have a steady mouse hand. But even an awesome mouse hand doesn't mean that you're going to wipe the floor with your opponents, since there's little that mouse hand's going to do when 12 cars are barreling down the street at you while four thugs are popping shots off at your head. Scooter's right: It's accurately described as "f***ing nuts" most of the time. Whether it's a free-for-all match or a mode with four teams of eight, you can be pretty sure that something's always going down close to you.

Scooter: Yeah, our first 32-player match was in an 8v8v8v8 Team Deathmatch session in the Bohan borough (GTA-speak for "the Bronx"). Even before jumping in, we noticed that the developers added a custom match browser, where you can search for an online session that fulfills specific criteria (gameplay mode, number of players, and so forth). It's a small but welcome touch, considering how the console versions pretty much just put you in a random online match. Like in the console versions, you can tweak your character's appearance a bit; Anthony rolled with a team that coordinated their outfits to be the same color while I had a sort of "what if Santa Claus was younger and a registered sex offender" look. The matches were pretty damn straightforward: You spawn in, run (or drive) around for a weapon or two, and just shoot the guys sporting other colors. Kills earn money, and the team with the most cash wins. Despite being constantly lost, a crazy firefight was always nearby due to the sheer number of players. Heck, even though I was crouching to up my accuracy, my assault rifle wasn't enough when Anthony rolled up with his whole crew?.

Anthony: It's true -- more so than when I played on console, I felt the need to run around with a posse. Being accurate is good, but having a group spray a wave of bullets is even better! And thanks to the spawning system that keeps placing you near your surviving teammates, I generally found that I was never far from friends or from the action -- despite playing in a large chunk of the city.
And while my teammates coordinated their outfits, I certainly never felt like it was a necessity. Between the minimap and the tags above players' heads, I never had trouble sorting out who deserved a bullet in the brain; in fact, besides the time when we played Team Deathmatch, this was never even a thought that crossed my mind, as everyone was a target in most of the other modes. I don't know about you, but when we tried out the GTA Race mode, the last thing I was concerned with was driving the proper course on the track.

Scooter: Oh, yeah, you want to talk craziness -- how about GTA Race mode? What's hilarious about GTA Race mode is how quickly it devolves into zany free-for-alls. It's actually kind of cool to be in a real, legit vehicle race with 31 (GTA Race also has a 32-player limit) other dudes, but cramming 32 people on a stretch of highway usually turns even a well-intentioned race into a bunch of guys hopping in and out of cars while trying to cap each other. Actually, since everyone starts out in a similar car, GTA Race mode ends up playing a bit better than Team Deathmatch for me. While it took me forever to find a car in Team Deathmatch, in GTA Race, because people kept on ditching their rides in an effort to take out other players, you have a lot of abandoned cars to choose from. Also, since each player in GTA Race respawns in a Faggio (the GTA name for Vespa scooters), you can see which spot is a warzone due to how many discarded Faggios litter the street.

Anthony: Yeah, I appreciated the craziness of GTA Race mode, but I worry that some people online will take it too seriously and end it within a few moments of when it starts. I guess, if nothing else, people who love to torment others can take pleasure in trying to derail those players from achieving a swift victory. And I completely agree with you that GTA Race mode is a great, as it not only still tracks your kills, but it also constantly gives people new vehicles when they respawn. Fighting on foot is fun and all, but there's something to be said about dropping grenades off the back off a scooter. GTA4 PC's multiplayer proved to me that, as far as the amount of players in a match, more truly can be better.

Source: 1up.com

New R* Social Club v1.1

Rockstar Games decided to refurbish their entire Social Club website before the PC release of Grand Theft Auto IV. First, the news on the ‘Video Editor’, then the announcement of the new ‘R* Social Club TV’ service to host all the GTA IV fan-made movies and now this. Rockstar Games obviously made all the preparations to make sure that PC release of the most wanted game in the world will be as sweet as possible.
Welcome to the New and Improved Rockstar Games Social Club.

You may notice a few changes around the house today - just a few elements redesigned to create a smoother user experience. Rest assured that all the original features you liked are still here - just a tad easier to reach now.

You can now access the Grand Theft Auto IV and Midnight Club Los Angeles areas through the Games section, available on the top navigation menu. Our News section has also been revamped and given a dedicated area, allowing for more in-depth coverage when called for.

Stay tuned for much more to come over the next few months - including unique community features like the Social Club Friends system and the Message Wall. More on that to be announced soon. Keep checking back for all the latest and greatest updates to the Social Club and make sure to stop by Social Club TV when it launches on December 2nd.

Source: socialclub.rockstargames.com

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Exclusive PC Gamer Review

UK based magazine PC GAMER has reviewed GTA IV and it has received a score of 92% and been awarded their 'Must Buy' badge. The game looks great and the keyboard and mouse combination is effortless to use. Make sure to pick up a copy in your nearest shop.
  • Keyboard and Mouse feels effortless to drive with, there seems no issues with this combo in general (mouse obviously being brilliant to aim with).
  • Wall hugging bugs from console has made it to PC - When up against certain walls or cars you still sometimes can’t always peak around to shoot which causes some frustration to the player.
  • Bizarre decision has been made regarding multiplayer - You need to log into Rockstar’s Social club AND Windows Live to be be able to log into the game online.
  • Game looks amazing with a Dual Core and a 8800 card. It did have some major framerate wobbles, “nothing fatal though” insists the reviewer.

  • Source: gtaforums.com

    The Lost And Damned

    Looks like all the waiting and speculations for Xbox 360 owners are finally over as the very first installment of DLC has finally arrived.
    Rockstar Games is proud to announce that the eagerly anticipated first episode of downloadable content, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, will be coming to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system via Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. Available exclusively on Xbox LIVE worldwide on February 17th 2009, The Lost and Damned will feature all new content and is the first of two episodes announced for Grand Theft Auto IV on Xbox 360.

    Developed by Rockstar North and set in Liberty City, The Lost and Damned features a new main character and plot that intersects with the storyline of Grand Theft Auto IV; new missions that offer an entirely fresh way to explore Liberty City with new multiplayer modes, weapons and vehicles; and a diverse soundtrack with additional music - all with the incredible production values that are the trademarks of Grand Theft Auto.

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned requires players to have the full version of Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE membership to download.
    Dan Houser, vice president of creative development for Rockstar Games, gave some inside information about the main character in the upcoming episode.
    Johnny is a very different character than Niko, with a very different background. I can't go into too much detail on the story, because we try not to give away too much plot before the game is released. But I can say that the story will show you a different side of Liberty City.

    Source: rockstargames.com/IV, usatoday.com

    Wednesday, 19 November 2008

    Social Club TV

    Rockstar Games finally realized how beneficial YouTube became to them and released the similar service called Social Club TV. There is an enormous amount of GTA fan made videos out there, and most of them are hosted on YouTube. Those videos get immense amount of hits and perhaps Rockstar Games decided to be in a center of that creativity. The new service will allow gamers to record edit and host their videos online for everyone to see and judge. It’s exclusively for PC owners and only for GTA IV.
    Grand Theft Auto returns to the platform that birthed it this December 2nd - with the fully-enhanced Games for Windows release of Grand Theft Auto IV.

    Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC will feature exclusive details such as stunningly detailed, high-resolution graphics; 32-person multiplayer with Custom Matching for an optimized experience; and the ability to customize a radio station using your personal mp3s via the new radio station, Independence FM on the Liberty City radio dial.

    Most excitingly, Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC offers players the chance to become the Cecil B. Demille of Liberty City via the all new Video Editor feature. Capture in-game footage (whether from single-player or multiplayer gameplay) and make real-time edits using a built-in suite of tools that can change the camera angle, audio, speed and depth-of-field or apply special effects to alter colors and add filters. Add in-game music, custom titling and transitions to polish off your masterpiece.

    After you're done editing, you'll be able to share your video online by posting it to Rockstar Games Social Club TV, the all new user-video section of Rockstar Games Social Club.

    Social Club TV will launch with Grand Theft Auto IV PC on December 2nd, and will be the exclusive place to upload videos direct from the game (while connected online). Note that Social Club membership will be required to post videos, but non-members will be able to freely visit to watch any and all posted videos.

    Social Club members will be able to manage their own profile pages to track videos they've posted, as well as participate in ongoing special contests and video-based competitions.

    Source: socialclub.rockstargames.com

    Monday, 17 November 2008

    New Chinatown Wars Info

    Member Valay at Nintendo Everything translated an article from the Spanish games magazine, which reveals some new information regarding Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It was the same magazine that originally announced that Chinatown Wars will be using almost entire Liberty City from GTA IV.
    • Camera can swivel 360 degrees.
    • Trains will pass overhead in the city, cars will circle, pedestrians will be walking, etc.
    • GPS seen on the touch screen while you move through the city.
    • PDA allows you to gain access to the map with more details as well as the goals of missions.
    • You can mark points that you want and the GPS will always tell you the shortest legal route to the destination with yellow or blue arrows.
    • New discoveries (such as gas stations) are added to the map.
    • Top screen brings you all the action, while the lower screen will let you control elements like the PDA, GPS, the radio, access to the people on the map, or using Motolov cocktails and grenades.
    • Drugs have a big importance in the game.
    • Drug system can be compared to Drugwars.
    • You have to control the stock of drugs, buy them in one neighbourhood and sell them in another • Good way to make money in the game.
    • You are given a map so that you know what people demand and at what prices.
    • Like other GTA games, in Chinatown Wars, you can catch a taxi - whistle into the microphone so the taxi will stop.

    Source: nintendoeverything.com

    Sunday, 16 November 2008

    GTA IV Paper Craft

    If you love arts and crafts then you lovemaking dioramas. Nico Bellic already ravashed Liberty City, time to steal cardboard cars and shoot papercraft prostitutes.
    Presenting a new happy 3d papercraft tribute to the new game with cars and people walking about IV. It has pigeons in this one but I couldn’t fit them on my papercraft because the scale would go under even my tolerance levels for making small things.
    You can get the template here. Print it, carefully cut out all the bits out and glue all pieces together. Make sure to follow the instructions written on the template in order to get the best result. You now the proud owner of a unique GTA IV memorabilia.

    Source: tubbypaws.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, 12 November 2008

    Grand Theft Auto IV Icons

    Since Grand Theft Auto IV for PC is almost here, even though with a slight delay, deviantART’s member firba1 released four glossy icons for the game. They probably the best ones out there, so make sure to get them.

    I also would suggest to visit artist’s deviantART gallery, where you’ll find many other well made icons for your favourite games.

    Click here to download these GTA IV icons.

    Source: firba1.deviantart.com

    Saturday, 8 November 2008

    GTA IV Style Fan Art

    Another fan artwork done in GTA IV style but this time it’s from a female fan, Lizzie. Lizzie has many other portraits done in similar style in her deviantART gallery. I really like this piece, but I would enjoy it even more if that was a portrait of a femail.

    There’s also Lizzie’s progress step by step.


    Source: xxblackmagicxx.deviantart.com

    Thursday, 6 November 2008

    GTA IV 100% Key To The City

    Looks like Rockstar Games decided to please everyone this Christmas even if with some delays. PC owners will finally get to play GTA IV and console owners are started to get their 100% keys. Majority already forgot about Grand Theft Auto IV 100% Club Contest, so you can imagine the surprise of those who received them. Gamers began to post the photos of their newly arrived keys on many public forums to show everyone the proof of their great achievement.
    Be among the first to join Grand Theft Auto IV's 100% Club, a members-only distinguishment for Liberty City's most elite players. The one-week challenge begins with Grand Theft Auto IV's official release on April 29th. Eligible Rockstar Games Social Club members who complete 100% of the game will have their achievement commemorated by being awarded the coveted "key to the city".

    Tuesday, 4 November 2008

    Custom GTA IV Vans

    User [SEANYA] at Nike Skateboarding, made a pair of stunning looking customs. Design is based on GTA IV artwork of Lola Del Rio and Niko Bellic. [SEANYA] received a lot of positive feedback for his creation, and it’s not surprising when you look at the end result. They look so good! Creator was so proud he even branded them with his username.

    A lot of GTA fans would really want to get their hands on this pair, and who would blame them.

    Source: nikeskateboarding.org

    Saturday, 1 November 2008

    Grand Theft Auto Fan-mania

    Some people take the whole fan thing to the whole new level. As you can see some individuals decided to express their love and admiration for Rockstar Games and well known Grand Theft Auto series in artistic and quite painful way. It’s hard to understand why someone would go to extremes like putting permanent free advertising, but then fans are known for doing crazy things.

    Many of you might already be familiar with the photo above. This guy tried to live the game for real, but forgot that in reality things work a bit differently.
    A Canadian man’s apparent fondness for the video game “Grand Theft Auto” has led to his arrest in connection with an auto theft, police said on Wednesday.

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Shylo Kujawski — who has “Grand Theft Auto” prominently tattooed on his back — was spotted acting suspiciously in a Vancouver suburb where several stolen cars had been reported.

    Using the tattoo to identify Kujawski as a convicted auto thief, police said they then set up a stakeout that nabbed him attempting drive away in a stolen car.

    During the stakeout Police also watched Kujawski thwart his own attempt to drive away in another stolen vehicle by accidentally disabling the car with the owner’s steering wheel lock.

    Kujawski, of no fixed address, has been charged with possession of stolen property in connection with an auto theft, as well as breach of probation and driving while suspended.
    Grand Theft Auto fans got bad reputation because of few individuals who blamed video games for their stupid actions. Fortunately, majority of fans simply enjoy the gameplay of a highly successful sandbox style video game series. I’m sure the two guys below are just enthusiastic fans who wanted to show their loyalty to the company, which created so many great games.