New York Times is hip to Grand Theft Auto IV’s groove

    Though most gamers playing Grand Theft Auto IV will probably be more interested initially in the amount of fire power available and the styles of vehicles available for thieving, The New York Times singled out an often overlooked aspect of the game as among its most impressive:

    “At least as impressive as the city’s virtual topography is the range of the game’s audio and music production, delivered through an entire dial’s worth of radio stations available in almost any of the dozens of different cars, trucks and motorcycles a player can steal. From the jazz channel (billed as “music from when America was cool”) through the salsa, alt-rock, jazz, metal and multiple reggae and hip-hop stations, Lazlow Jones, Ivan Pavlovich and the rest of Rockstar’s audio team demonstrate a musical erudition beyond anything heard before in a video game. The game’s roster of radio hosts runs from Karl Lagerfeld to Iggy Pop and DJ Green Lantern. It is not faint praise to point out that at times, simply driving around the city listening to the radio — seguing from “Moanin’ ” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” to “The Crack House” by Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne — can be as enjoyable as anything the game has to offer.”

    The radio feature started in Grand Theft Auto III, and has become an increasingly complex feature of the game with each installment in the series.  Grand Theft Auto IV features eighteen unique radio stations. The stations’ full playlists will become available as conscientious gamers rise through the ranks of organized crime and post their findings on the Internet. [The Daily Swarm]