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Grand Theft Auto IV: Liberty City (5)

June 12, 2009 | Misc

I recently bought an apartment and moved there, I’m now in the process of unpacking, cleaning and detailing. Just before I started packing, I was fanatically playing Anno: Create A New World on the Wii, so the first console I unpacked after moving was my Wii. I packed the casing of the game, but left the disc itself in the console so I wouldn’t have to go look for the game in the couple of boxes containing my games collection.

But I finished Anno fairly quickly after that and didn’t unpack any other games yet, so I decided to start putting my gaming setup back together by getting my Xbox 360 out of storage. Fortunately, this console also had a game already in the drive: Grand Theft Auto IV. Enabling me to put off unpacking the game collection just a bit more, it was time to get back to Liberty City and do some more activities after I already completed the story and The Lost and Damned a while back. Of course, Achievements were the main criteria for what to do in the city.

So after completing some assassinations (Assassin’s Greed), blowing up a lot of vehicles within little time (Chain Reaction) and obliterating the highest score in QUB3D (King of QUB3D), I looked for an Achievement to do that would give me some smaller Achievements along the way. Having neglected most of my in-game friends, I didn’t unlock their special abilities and connected Achievements yet. That made Liberty City (5) the Achievement to go for, because I would earn Dial B For Bomb and That’s How We Roll! in the process.

Now, a couple of days later, I’m still working on it. Roman was the only one who already liked me enough, Jacob soon followed after a couple of drinks. But since I chose to kill Playboy X instead of Dwayne, I even had one more friend to have to attend to. The reason why this it taking so long is because all the like percentages were around 50% and I have the habit of calling people in the middle of the night, which affects these percentages negatively. Taking a friend out usually raises their percentage with 7% and you have to get it to above 90%.

This means, on average, I have to take out a friend six times and I have three more friends to go. But while doing a couple of these dates every evening after work, I noticed I’m not treating this undertaking just as an Achievement. These guys are genuinely becoming some sort of friends, as taking them out really gives you more insight into their lives and personalities. The result is that I’m not just calling them to then pick the first activity from the list and go do that. No, I’m carefully selecting in which order I’ll call my friends and spending even more time thinking about where to take them.

Somehow I would like my friends to think of me as an all-round person, not taking them to the same place every time. Not that the system would mind that, but I would. And now that I’m spending most of the time in Liberty City just on dates, I’m doing multiple in a row. I just can’t comprehend why I don’t let myself do an activity twice in a row, while just going for dinner is obviously the easiest thing to do. Well, not entirely, because I do take into account the personal preference in food of the person I’m taking with me. But why can’t I go out for dinner with Brucie and then call Dwayne for another meal? I’m sure Niko wouldn’t mind an extra Bleeder burger.

I’m hoping to wrap up this Achievement this weekend, because I’m getting way to involved with these digital, fictional characters. Do I really care about them? Probably not. I laugh every time one of them gets hit by a car when he is following me across the street and I don’t spend a minute more than necessary on the date itself. It’s hilarious to pull Packie from his chair in the strip club just after he sat down. I don’t even take the effort to drive them myself, everything is done by cab. That’s why I never go out drinking, driving yourself is pretty hard and you first have to sober up a bit before you can even enter a taxi. Somehow Rockstar triggered some real world emotions and thought processes with the creation of their digital world and the people that are supposed to be close to me, like they haven’t done before.

As soon as I earn this Achievement, I don’t think I’ll pay any attention to them anymore and they’ll just be used for their services I unlocked while getting this Achievement. Then it’s back to blowing up stuff, driving people over and killing some criminals in my attempts to unlock Cleaned The Mean Streets and Manhunt. I also have to get started on getting those multiplayer Achievements.

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