Grand Theft Auto IV Review
Welcome to the City of Happiness, where all of your desires can and will come true...for the right price. Enter Niko Bellic who just arrived off the boat ready to breathe in that so called free air he heard about from his cousin Roman. However once you step off the boat and meet with your cousin, you get a real glimpse of the truth and all the things Roman has promised you have melted away in a bowl of lies. Get ready for the fourth installment of one Rockstars number 1 series Grand Theft Auto IV.
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What is the first thing you want to do when you had a long trip and in a big American city? Steal a car and get yourself a safe house of course. Now the best thing about the Grand Theft Auto Series is the fact that you have millions of choices to do. You have your standard methods, shooting, looting, hand to hand combat, driving and of course dating. When you immerse yourself into this game it begins to feel a lot different in terms of all the upgrades you can do verses the other GTA's. This installment has evolved from the other series which forces you not to say that is it the same sandbox game as the others. Niko in this case falls into the realm of guardian who has a deep past which follows him to Liberty City. He takes up the role fully when his cousin Roman gets into deep sh*t and of course blames Niko for all his troubles, however without him Roman would remain in the position he is in...a lap dog begging for scraps.
All right now that you know the story, we can discuss the gameplay that you so love. Everything interacts with you in the game, especially when you attack people which will effect there movements. You shoot a person in the arm and they will cradle it or if you shoot them in the leg they will limp away. Little things like that make a game very interesting and more strategic when chasing down a person. All of you already figured out that the city is molded after New York City, but scrambled around a bit. However even though it is scrambled you can still recognize Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island. The combat system in the game is a bit less stiff then San Andreas because you have a more fluid punching and kicking movement. The gun battles have grown as well since now you have a hide feature where you can cling onto a wall and blind fire during cover.
What is the most important thing in any game besides continues and infinite ammo? Friends! The new deal in GTA IV is making friends, hanging out and communication. Communication you ask? Well you get your very own low budget cell phone in which you will upgrade later to a better phone so don't worry. During this option you can pull up your cell phone at anytime to make phone calls to people that you have met during the storyline. What does this mean? Well you don't necessarily have to wait for the other NPC's (non playable characters) to tell you what to do or wait for them to help you make the story go a long. The good thing about this is the fact it brings out a bit more realism but not too much to take you away to the fantasy element of the game. There is also an internet cafe where you are able to view your e-mails and check other websites in the game, so sorry for those that thought other wise.
The load times are totally eliminated from this game which if fantastic. You can go to each island without having to worry about the the screen going dark and loading the new area. Seriously it is a sandbox players dream come true where you can free roam the land without having a loading bar preventing you from entering for a long period of time. The laws of loading screens are in the past and speaking of the laws, let us proceed to talk about the cops. How should I explain this? You get out of the circle and you will get away from the cops, yea thats the best way I can explain it. A circle develops around your center when you have a wanted level and depending on the wanted level the harder it is to outrun the cops. However that just makes it more fun even when you have many vehicles to choose from.
The game is very flavored in different aspects of the city and culture. You can go to bars, restaurants, strip clubs and no there is no hot coffee so don't even bother (get a real sex life). Basically you have endless possiblities and you will not be bored because the game comes with an endless amount of replay value in which we all ask for each time. Now that I opened up the word replay value I will explain why to you how important this is. We now have multi-player on the next gen consoles. Yes if some of you might remember the PSP introducing multi-player, well don't worry it is now in the GTA IV realm with ideas opening up to new options. If you want to team up with someone you have that option to take a vehicle where you and a friend can do mafia missions and or death matches. My experience in the multi world is having a helicopter fight around the Statue of Happiness. Another feature that is very impressive is the fact that you can use the cell phone in the multi player area to call your friends or opponents to bug them lol. Hey don't run out and get it just yet! Wait for me to finish my review first!
So far the only thing that is a problem in the Playstation 3 version are the glitches. Hopefully the patch will fix things and stop those annoying hick ups that will have. Other then that the game is simply perfect, it has all the elements necessary for a sandbox game. Another thing that is is the soundtrack which includes tracks from Nas, Busta Rhymes and many other artist that makes your ears bounce with joy. The radio stations you can choose from are practically endless. I do believe that funk master flex makes a voice appearance on their as well.
To sum it all up you have a huge New York like world, many missions that seems more like an in depth movie then a video game, flavored culture with many interesting and interacting characters that make you feel as if you are right there. No load times during the travels through the islands and many choices between motorcycles, cars, boats and air crafts to take you places. If you are lazy you can take a cab around the city as well either skip the driving or sit and cruise with the annoying cab driver who sucks at driving all together. The soundtrack in the game has improved a lot with many voice actors and radio DJ's that you could recognize. They even have more licensed music since Vice City and San Andreas.Dating takes on a whole different and much more cleaner course, but that adds on to the possiblities and challenges in doing missions while having a social life at the same time. Then the end result is choice and that is important in any game, since Rockstar did a great job in giving you choices through out all their games. I would say that this would be a nice addition to your collection. All right I shall give Grand Theft Auto IV for the Playstation 3 a huge 5 out of 5. Definitely check this game out and if you can get your hands on the collectors edition that has interesting goodies. All right time for me to get my game on and as always "Stay Frosty".
Hardcore sandbox action, massive replay value including the addition of online multi-player and endless fun to boot.
A bit glitchy at times but patches should fix them.
PS3 Informer review:5 out of 5 baby!