Rented and completed it last Weekend. The end was pretty anti-climatic and kind of stupid to be honest. The story itself wasn't that good to begin with, not once was i surprised, most of the 'plot-twist' could be easily predicted.
Wondering who's going to die next? Checklist:
Is he/she sitting in your car?
Is he/she talking about starting over/starting something completely new and awesome in their life?
It's the typical "Dude, you'll see, tomorrow, everything is going to be different, i'm gonna be a new guy. Life is gonna be awesome again."
It couldn't be more obvious.
The whole social aspect of the game and the characterization in general falls very flat. You never really spend much time with the characters, besides missions. GTA IV may have annoying cousins, but it also had characters that had something to tell. Personally, i'd have to admit that i didn't care much for any of the characters. The non-existing facial animation didn't help either. I thought most of the voicework was bad too.
Then there's the girlfriend thing which is still don't understand. You date a girl once, only to never see her again, but you gain some intel on your map. The more girls you date, the more intel you gain. I dated four girls in the game, then suddenly a mission popped up where i had to spy on one of them to see if she was 'cheating on me'.
And Shen was also kind of furious about it, even though he dated three other girls and even though it was just one date. All of a sudden the game acts like they have been a couple for the last two months.
The girl complained to Shen about dating some other girl and then it kind of disappeared. So either she was overly attached or the developer forgot something. What a waste, truely. One of the girls is voiced by Emma Stone. You'd think there are better ways to waste your money.
The combat is fun, sure, so's the driving and especially the drive-shooting, but the missions, story and characters fall all flat.
Another thing that bothered me was the sound. I always think that the motor sound of some cars is extremely annoying, so i turn that down to 4 and it's still noisy as hell. I turn on the radio and i can't hear it anymore. It's like a pair of scales. Turn the radio up and you don't hear the car, turn it down and the motorsound shatters your ears.