The highly hyped and highly anticipated sequel to the Grand Theft Auto franchise has now been released. Does it live up to the hype, the high rated scores and does it deliver to its fans? Here's what I have to say about it:
The story begins with you taking the role of Niko Bellic, an immigrant from Europe who decides to come to Liberty City to meet up with his cousin Roman and set a new life there leaving behind the memories of war and betrayal that he had experienced back in his country. His arrival to Liberty City was not only to seek out a new life but to seek out 2 other men who he believes one has betrayed him in the past.
Upon arriving to America he realizes the pompous stories his cousin Roman has fed him via letters and phone calls about how he lives a lavish upscaled life of money, glamor and women is quickly diminished as Roman only owns a cab company and does not live extravagantly at all.
Throughout his adventures in Liberty City, Niko makes new acquaintances that are introduced to him by Roman and begins to make ends meet by following out various crimes and hits, soon establishing himself as a man to hire for the job and so the game continues this way throughout.
The graphics for the game are nothing mind blowing but that is due to the open world nature of the game itself and so there shouldn't be much to expect from a game of this type. It's above average and does well for what it does. The game is beautiful in its own rights.
The game play adds a new cover system that works well while you are on your missions and fighting enemies. There are a vast array of car types, motorcycles, helicopters and speed boats to test drive as you wander around the huge islands of Liberty City. The weapon selection is small but enough to have a lot of fun with. If you don't feel like driving from point A to point B you could always call a cab that will take you to your destination in a few seconds or you could relax in the cab and take in the scenery to your destination. The missions could feel very repetitive though as they're all basically the same in their mechanics.
There's not much to do outside of the missions and the small side missions don't give you much incentive to carry out because they are lackluster. The random dates and hanging out with your friends can get boring and not worth the time to carry out. There are a set of mini games where you can shoot pool, play darts, watch entertainment and bowl but aside from them, there really isn't much else.
The online multi-player adds a lot to the game's replay value and is quite fun to play. It opens up Liberty City for you to play against others online but there really isn't anything special to it at all. There is also a Social Club on the GTA website that allows you to carry your information from the game onto the internet.
The music in the game is quite good and does a good job at reflecting the American life and its music interests. The cutscenes and voice acting is also very well done. The one new introduction to the franchise is with the character development and the first time where the protagonist and other characters are very interesting and likable and you feel a little more attached to them than with previous iterations. I really enjoyed playing as Niko and I liked many of the characters in the game as well.
All in all, Grand Theft Auto 4 is a great game even though it does feel repetitive at times and the story can be a little stale. It's a good game and it does well at what it was set out to do.