Now, before you start panicking that GTA has gone the whole Saints Row route and just abandoned realism completely, you need to calm down a little and listen. While we were all bemused about an achievement that referred to collecting the parts for a spaceship, the real peculiarity is that, yes, this game does feature a sequence in which you have to fend off an army of aliens with a giant gun. Has GTA lost the plot? Has the realism of GTA IV been toned down to the extent that this is just another Saints Row? Well, no; at the end of the sequence, it's revealed that Michael has in fact just been talking to a "legalise weed" advocate, and so his experience is nothing more than a weird hallucination. Though this surreal flourish might not be to all tastes, it's a pragmatic way of toning down the somberness of the previous game while still rooting itself in a sure reality.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.