I guess I'm asking a bit of a weird question here... basically I want to start the game again but with some sort of extra ambition or direction. In hindsight, this ended up including my thoughts on various aspects of the game. Maybe people might have some ideas on how to make the most of the things I discuss, more than I have so far.
I've already got 100% and have all the Trophies except for that damn 'Wanted'. I recently started a new game and pretty much completed the story again but then through careless file management on my part, I lost the Infernus that Bernie Crane gave to me (it was the much nicer darker one too!). Anyway, I got pissed and decided to start again, again
This time though, I want to do something extra. For instance, last time I used the Super GT cheat to spawn a black one which was to be my car for the entire game. I like holding onto a car for as long as I can (I fucking hate it when a mission makes it disappear without warning!!!) but I ended up just abusing it and flipping my phone out to spawn a new one whenever I found myself stuck anywhere without a ride. I wish there was a way to make cheats just a one-time thing, or be able to remove them from the phone. Anyway, it was one of the extremely rare occasions I've used a cheat in any game and I don't want to use any at all this time.
During my last playthrough, I for the first time made the effort to date the internet girlfriends and got every girl in the game up to 100% fondness. However I found that all of their abilities are virtually useless... Alex's clothing discount isn't worth the phone call in a game where cash is never ever
a worry; Kiki always seems to be on her period whenever I need her to get the cops off my back -- which only becomes necessary at 3 stars or above really, as anything lower than that I generally lose by myself by the time she answers the phone -- and Carmen apparently can't even help you deal with gunshot wounds, so she is a complete waste of oxygen from the outset.
On the other hand, some of the friendship abilities can be quite useful. I don't frequent weapon shops a whole lot (made a grand total of just one single visit in my recent playthrough), but when I do need an ammo top-up, Jacob's mobile gun store can come in very handy instead. A more recently discovered one for me was Dwayne's "backup". While it sounds like a sweet deal, I've found his goons to be utterly useless. I first tried using them on a couple of Assassin missions and the Jacob package drop-offs which turn sour, and they did absolutely fuck all to help. When I tried calling them during a story mission they were unavailable.
I really wish these things were more integrable with the missions, especially the main story ones. Packie's car bomb is another one... I can't see a single way that could be used other than just while dicking about away from missions to earn a wanted level. See, I'm not a massive fan of aimless carnage; I need direction.
The big thing with all of these though, is that I generally don't unlock most of them until very far into the game. I'm wondering whether it would be a good idea to focus on friendships as much as possible from the very beginning. To fill the time between outings I could search for the "random strangers" and do other side missions. I would still need more of an idea of what stages of the story they will become most useful though. If there was some sort of vague guide out there of how to make the most of every aspect of the game, in terms of what is available to Niko and when, that would be really interesting.
A moral code isn't really going to change things much for me as I usually play the good guy anyway. I only chose to kill everybody during my first (PS3) playthrough to save time for 'Liberty City Minute'.
The one significant thing I do have is to turn off the radar and HUD in the 'Display' menu. This would no doubt change the game massively but I have suspicions that it would make some areas impossibly difficult. Still, it could very well be the challenge I seek. I just noticed a 'Blips Only' option for the radar, which could be interesting (you literally just get an empty disk while the map markers remain). The biggest problem with turning the HUD off seems to be the lacking weapon information -- you have to actually look at Niko to see which one you have selected, and of course there's no way to know your ammo levels. Has anybody here experimented with these in the past? Thoughts? -- Tl;dr --
- Relationships suck but I wonder if there is any real potential in the reward abilities?
- Is turning the radar and/or HUD off a good idea for a slight challenge shift, or is it overkill?
- Any more ideas on how to savour a GTA IV playthrough??