If you listen to the brayings of uninformed crisis-mongers like CNN's Glenn Beck, you'd get the idea that Grand Theft Auto IV not only requires drunk driving in the game, but also is training people to do it in real life, and convincing them they can get away with it. Seems plausible. After all, Guitar Hero has also convinced millions they too can play a guitar and get away with it in real life.
This NSFW long-awaited (and teased) Kotaku original video, conceived with a lot of suffering (and you'll see it in the end) explores how easy, and hard, it is to do things drunk in GTA IV. And yes, we're carrying it to a logical - and inappropriate - extreme. There's more discussion (and spoilers? I feel stupid typing that) after the jump. So watch it on the front page - probably not around polite company either - and then go looking for more.
While the game's drunk driving engine is no party, it is nothing like playing the game totally hammered. Both are of course, a stupid waste of time (and liquor). But a lot of what you saw was me actually trying to drive carefully, while I was sober and Niko drunk, and then just saying fuck it as I got drunk and progressively drunker.
You can also see me completely mistaking the controls (laying on the X button to powerslide and turning on the headlights instead; changing the radio station during the rollover, and firing the gun instead of hitting the brake.) Big newsflash: Being drunk slows your reaction time and makes you prone to errors.
But in all honesty, anyone who says this game trains you to drive drunk is an imbecile, and anyone who believes such a statement also is an imbecile. With the two-stick, above-the-car perspective, maybe it could train you to drive an RC car drunk. But that isn't a felony. The first-person drunken cab ride sequence is a more realistic approximation of alcohol and cars, and you are in the backseat, a danger to no one.
Some other details:
• We had a segment about hailing a cab that was cut for space. But Rockstar does not make it easy on you, at least in the 360. I was laying on the left bumper to hail a taxi, never got any indication one was, unless I saw its turn signal come on, and half the time I ended up carjacking it.
• Also, if you stumble out of the bar trashed and can't find a cab, you can set your controller down and make a sandwich. Niko sobers up completely in three minutes; the controller stops vibrating after 2:30.
• Yes, I am impersonating David Hasselhoff in the introduction sequence. Major kudos to Adam Barenblat for learning how to do the 3D relative zoom effect just for this video.
• This was culled from more than 20 minutes of gameplay footage. I tried to keep a crash and body count but, as you can tell, I'm not that detail-oriented after about six shots of Early Times bourbon. Early Times did not actually sponsor this, but I am in general grateful to that company.
• I actually ended up doing nine shots. What you don't see is, after shot eight, I got up (camera still on) and stumbled around to take a break. Then I realized I had to finish this, thought I hadn't done my eighth, pounded that and played out the last drive.
• The ending was in fact staged.
• I slept from 8:30 pm to 8 am the next day following this. The hangover I had is deterrent enough for me, and it should be for you.
Which developer has a copy of the original table-top Dune sitting on their work desk?