Crispy Gamer writes: "Let's get this one out the way now: Grand Theft Auto IV will be a runaway success. It's been four years since San Andreas, and legions of button mashers everywhere reserved copies of Rockstar's next big game as soon as they possibly could. Still, open-world games have come a long way, and other titles -- Crackdown comes to mind -- have proven they can deliver compelling takes on branching, free-roaming gameplay in sprawling game worlds.
There's a special formula that only Rockstar can deliver, though. The GTA franchise sports the crudest NPC chatter anywhere, features media landscapes full of cutting satire, and gives you protagonists that seem out of a lost Hunter S. Thompson/James Ellroy collaboration, and although Rockstar's keeping mum on the story and single-player aspects right now, all of the above is still in effect in the multiplayer game. GTA IV looks great, too; it's running on the Rockstar Advanced Graphics Engine (RAGE), which made its debut with Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. Under the hood, it's also using Natural Motion's Euphoria technology to drive the artificial intelligence behaviors in the ersatz New York City of Liberty City."
-Trademark Rockstar grittiness translates well to multiplayer
-Improved aiming and shooting mechanics
-Driving controls still feel like they need work