I love how it retains a familiar feel, but at the same time it's so completely different.
- The acting and cutscenes are fan-****ing-tastic. Niko's already hilarious in a calm, bemused sort of way, and I'm only five missions in.
- Driving is INCREDIBLY fun, but at the same time a lot tougher than it used to be.
- Melee combat kind of resembles Bully, only a thousand times more varied and engaging. It's also a lot of fun.
- The filter is incredibly jarring at first, but after 15-20 minutes it feels more natural, and now with a couple of hours under my belt I'm fully appreciating the beauty of the game. The lighting really is everything it was cracked up to be.
- The density
(buildings, cars, people, radio stations) is absolutely awe-inspiring. The peds are awesome and the variety of cars I've seen so far (just in Broker, mind) is great and the traffic patterns seem to be a perfect balance between reality and playability.
- Stealing cars is a little more deliberate, or at least it feels that way. It's a nice improvement.
- Speaking of density, I haven't had any "turn around and the cars are gone" moments yet, thank God.
- "Goodbye Horses" is playing on the apartment radio right now.
- Radio Vladivostok is so ****ing catchy. Still not sure I luuuurv the radio as much as I did in Vice City, but I've probably only heard 4% of it so far. I did hear a very short but amusing interview with a certain extremely popular radio host from previous games, though.