Hitting the jump button will now allow you to execute a number of new actions such as climbing, mounting or just hopping over obstacles. This revamped system allows you to seamlessly hurdle through this vastly detailed terrain without breaking stride ... in theory. In practice, however, assigning all environmental interaction to one button, a button that already has a vital function--jumping--is an exercise in stupidity. No, it's more than an exercise. It's a grand athletic competition in stupidity. It's the motherfucking Olympics of stupidity. Maneuvering through this city is complicated now by the very details that make it great. Because the path is no longer flat, some sense of agility on the part of your character is absolutely, fundamentally necessary. Ideally, small obstacles would be handled automatically--your character should step up foot-high ledges, hop over fire hydrants and make tiny-distance jumps on his own. But he typically doesn't, and you find yourself having to force him to do these things quite often, but not always. This uncertainty leaves you to continuously wonder: Is he going to just step over this curb, or am I going to get caught jogging in place alongside it? If I hit the button now, does that mean hop over that guardrail, or leap in front of that speeding bus? Does pressing jump actually mean jump, or does it mean vault over the safety railing and fall to certain death?
This is a hell of a snap decision to make at a tense point in the game. At no point should pressing one button mean either:
A.) Use the sidewalk
B.) Kill yourself
Maybe Niko is supposed to be dangerously bi-polar and this is just Rockstar's way of simulating his mental instability. Either way, it doesn't help me to not throw the controller at my neighbor's kids.