Unless you either live under a rock, or have a chronic fear of the Internet, you know that Grand Theft Auto IV was released on all major consoles. This game has been met in the usual fashion for a GTA game: Incredible admiration and excitement from fans, blame for all the ills of society by people like Jack “The Worlds Biggest Douche-bag” Thompson and the media. Uptight pricks aside, Grand Theft Auto IV is an amazing experience and should be played by anyone who enjoys gaming.
Italian mafia: double check. Black gangster: check. This time around players take control of Serbian, Niko Bellic as he searches for the man who betrayed his army unit. Players will scour the revamped Liberty City(New York), and yes players of GTAIII will still remember the feel of Liberty city, even with it receiving a bit of an overhaul. During their time in the city Niko will meet a wide array of colorful and, at times, amusing characters to take on jobs for ranging from races, bank heists, to murder of rivals.
The series has made a lot of big changes this time around, toning down the humor and putting an almost inordinate amount of detail. Covering everything from locked cars, paying tolls, to actually climbing out of cars that are flipped, GTAIV is amazingly realistic and detailed. The graphics, though aren’t as visually breathtaking as some other games due to come out, are still trully awe-inspiring. Even the people have a surprising amount of detail int hem, in and out of cut-scenes that really makes you appreciate the work Rockstar put in.
The controls have been tweaked and refined but remain true to the classic GTA style, making it easy to pick this game up and play it right from the get-go. However players will have to be a bit more careful in their wheelings and dealings, running through toll booths on the bridges will get the cops after you instantly. However Rockstar added a nifty feature that makes getting from point A to B nice and quickly: You can actually hail a taxi and go to important locations or waypoints you set up. To really drive the point of realism and detail home, players can now make calls on their cell phones, calling up NPCs they’d met and establish friendships and relationships with them resulting in various perks and bonuses like weapons or a taxi whenever you need it.
Now of course it’s not all glitz and glam…you also get to kill the shit out of a lot of people. Honestly, isn’t that why we all play GTA? The targeting system stays true and simple, easy to pick up, not as easy to master. I find it helps to think how every person I kill in the game pisses off Jack Thompson a little more.
Controversy aside, Grand Theft Auto IV is a very good, solid, and fun game. Personally, I’m not crazy about shooting and more ‘real’ games, but GTA is fun, no denying it. There’s also no denying that you’re probably sick of reviews and adds for it. But, I’m here to review games, and I’d be stupid not to review one like GTAIV. I may not be the first to review it, thank you very much Joystiq, but ala Game Lord, Grand Theft Auto IV scores an easy 9 out of 10. Nice work Rockstar.