So it arrived Yesterday morning at 11am and I jumped straight on it. I can honestly say that I've never been blown away by a game before, until GTA4 that is. Seriously, I was like "DAMN". The place is huge, the pace of the game has slowed dramastically, so no more sprinting away from the law faster than a speeding bullet. The fight system is good too once you learn to dodge and attack properly, guns work well and the cars handling is pretty intense too. I'm not a fan of the handbrake though, there's no real reason to use it as sliding around a corner seems to involve too much going to the side than going forward, In other words you tend to hit the wall you were turning away from in the first place.
As I said, jumped straight on it, ran through a few missions, trying to get the hang of the controls. Began wandering around the first island that I'd unlocked, played pool, bowling, never got around to darts. Did more missions and eventually unlocked the second island.
Had a little mess around on the multiplayer free roam, happy to find that the entire map is available to you if you choose. Weapons, armour, health are scattered all over the map, instead of shopping for them. I picked me up a sniper rifle and went in search of a helicopter to see how plausible it'd be for me to get on top of a roof in a multiplayer game and snipe. Glad to say, it's definitely do-able.
Ready to jump into more of the game today, see if I can't get to the third island and maybe hit the ranked games online, see how others have taken to it. The game definitely delivers on what it promised and I don't feel it's been overhyped either, entirely justified.