CRank: 5Score: 54450

User Review : Grand Theft Auto IV

  • Excellent graphics (expected of this generation){Euphoria is stunning (thanks NaturalMotion){Still free roaming (expected of GTA... no?)
  • A parody of itself{Lack of true innovation or progress into new generation{Disconnected story flow, events and charcters and boring mission design

From a franchise veteran, GTAIV: the honest review.

My 2 weeks leading up to the delay of my Tesco preorder were spent in pure anticipation, and the week spent waiting was worth it, I still believe it.

Now let me start by saying, I have been a GTA veteran, from a totally illegal age, and I know the ins and outs of the series. And I am guessing a lot of you have come to the same conclusion as I.

I have played the GTA's in chronological order, minus the cash-fodder PSP executions. GTA was fun, and was never anything to write home about, but I must have been 9, and hearing swear words and shooting people was enough for me, and although I couldn't analyse it then GTA started that famous gameplay element: sandbox. GTA2 brought hilarious advertisements, that left me and my friends chattering about SUZI machine guns, and the oil skid weapons gave hours of enjoyment. I remember once sitting on the can and daydreaming about finding a jet fighter in the game.... little did I know what the future held. That concluded the generation.

With the next generation came GTAIII, now bear in mind, Driver had also been a favourite of mine, and Driver 2 was astounding. So this was a dream come true. And my favourite part of Driver: Free Ride was the basis. With unparalleled art style, a cast of cinematic legends and undeniably the best storyline in any of the GTA series it was the pinnacle of the franchise. It was it's golden years, and it was good. The follow Up Vice City added more, and had another great story, worse than GTAIII, but with great style again, heightened by the 80's setting. And finally with the most expansive map in a GTA yet, came San Andreas, the behemoth. Not the masterpiece of the series, and in terms of gameplay and content, just due to technical advances it was the best, but it wasn't a masterpiece, that title belongs to GTAIII. I completed the storyline of all 3. This generation was about dreams coming true - fighter jets, and sarcastic jabs at competitors like Driver and big name companies.

Finally GTAIV is released. It seems like a long wait, and something is wrong. It's spring! GTA belongs in fall. But don't think the departures of the series end there nor do they get less noticeable. No famous cast, lack of types of vehicles, incohesive storyline and sometimes less than realistic characterisation.

The story is awesome, and the characters are excellent on their own. But this is the worst executed story ever in a GTA game. And events seems so artificial and easy in comparison to the realism they were aiming for, double standards won't work for a games narrative, if you want some elements to be realistic, make them all reaslistic. The characters are also edgy too as if you can't tell a friend from foe. Depending on which ending you have Jacob and Roman sound dodgy so often it's unbelievable. I expected Roman and/or Jacob as final 'bosses'. And instead my ultimate goal was to get revenge on some guy who sold me out weeks ago to a rather underdeveloped character: Ray Bulgarin. Basically the story has so many loose ends, you just have to hope the DLC for 360 might finish it off, but the game isn't worth it anyway, because some of the ends have been tied off, and yet they are still cryptic and strange.
The phone was an absolutely awful decision. It's a cheap way to avoid a menu, and the integration of multiplayer into it seems strange and unneeded since there's a perfectly great pause screen. It also breaks up the narrative, and because of the short phone conversations, big plot turns seem so minor.

Mission design, this is by far the worst GTA. The only Missions of note were kidnapping a certain woman because of the way the car behaves and pulling over vans to check for TVs. The rest was chase, shoot or follow.

It's whole direction is excellent and contemporary, it gives me; a foreigner, an idea of New York beautifully. The music is great as always, and the art direction although more realistic still retains a beautiful look, due to that post processing watercolour filter.

The graphics are fantastic, for such a huge scale world. Details make the difference: the water effects, the fire effects, and the blood splatters are beautiful. Sparks flickering, and clouds of dust create beautiful atmosphere after shocking explosions. And reflections of lights on cars are especially impressive, when you see them changing on account of the massive dents you inadvertently created.

Physics are just astounding. Cars crash brutally and dent, and boxes go plying, and mailboxes get knocked over and fences are blasted through but the obvious highlight is the 'ragdoll'... or should I call it 'ragpuppet'. It's what Assassins Creed wanted to be in terms of crowd mechanics when pushing past them. Running people over is sickening and you find yourself avoiding it, unless on an intentional rampage. Shooting people is truly shocking as they stumble in accordance to your individual bullets, protecting their anatomy like they won't ever respawn and obviously stumbling down a cellar outside a certain Irish pub when completely smashed is hilarious. It was an achievement.

But an achievement for who? Rockstar? I certainly don't think so, and it's not an achievement for Take2 either, because they had to spend so much on NaturalMotion to come in and sort the game out with Euphoria. The missions are basic, the story is disconnected and graphics can't be praised, we are in the new generation, and the standard is set, the game deserved an overhaul. The disgusting irony of this game is that without Euphoria this game doesn't separate itself from the one thing it used to have the liberty of parodying: Driver.

So... This game is hypocritical, and it doesn't feel like GTA. What is saving it? The name, and definitely the fact that they didn't remove the sandbox completely. In fact, I prefer the game to be realistic as it is, I loved Driver for it, but it's not GTA.

Fun Factor
IAmChad155612d ago

your review is a basic review, just remember to use puncuation.

NO_PUDding5612d ago

Yah sorry....

Usually my punctuation is flawless :P, but I was rushing to get this finished. I just wanted people to hear what it's actually like without GTA fanboy glasses on, or being paid money to give it a 10 all before going to bed.

BeaArthur5612d ago

Have to agree with the multiplayer score. I am pretty disappointed in how it turned out.


Grand Theft Auto 4 Anniversary: The Beginning of the Age of RAGE

Grand Theft Auto 4 is an important game for Rockstar, not least because it was the first title in the franchise to use the newly created RAGE engine.

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franwex153d ago

Wasn’t the Table Tennis game the first to use RAGE?

isarai153d ago

Was about to say the same, but they do say first "in the franchise" so 🤷

cammers1995153d ago

The fact it hasnt been remastered is insane.

Abear21153d ago

Rage engine made driving on the sidewalk in cinematic slow motion camera a blast


Fifteen Years On, 'Grand Theft Auto IV' Is Still the Series’ Best

There’s never a bad time to relive its magic, and with rumours of a potential Grand Theft Auto IV remaster making the rounds, why wouldn’t you?

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Machina156d ago

The series' most overhyped and overrated (especially by critics) more like.

Number1TailzFan156d ago

Not sure tbh.. I'd say 3 was the most overrated. It's pretty rough to go back to, it was quite rough even trying it just after Vice City. Lack of humour and vehicles that had the weight of polystyrene with top speeds to match.

VC & the stories games (even LCS) were all fun. I remember there being a lot of praise for GTA 3 on TV and in game mags, saying it was a Dreamcast killer of a game or words to that effect, and honestly after playing it on PC I didn't think it was that special and kind of dull, had the odd moment of fun but hardly anything. I heard they cut online multiplayer at the last moment for PC, shame because it could've made all the difference.

Would've loved to have seen what kind of cartoony GTA style game they could've done on Dreamcast as a competitor, I bet something along the lines of Simpsons Hit & Run would've worked well.

BlackTar187155d ago

@numberz How can the game that defined a generation and was copied by everyone be overrated? Was a asinine comment

seanpitt23155d ago

For me 4 was better than 5 was more realistic and the physics was on another level! 5 was a major let down in that department!

Number1TailzFan155d ago

@blacktar you have your opinion i have mine. I found the game dull, and it is for the most part. It set the foundation for the much superior SA and VC however.

KwietStorm_BLM155d ago

You say GTA III is overrated because it's rough to go back to and rough to play after Vice City. Your entire opinion is in hindsight. Of course it's rough going back to it today. It came out over 20 years ago. That doesn't take away from the fact that it pioneered a lot and was a paradigm shift for a lot of trends in game development today. Vice City in a lot of ways is just a more refined version of III. It was San Andreas that took the big leap forward from a design perspective. If III doesn't release, who knows if the open world genre would be what it is now. How can that be overrated?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 155d ago
1nsomniac155d ago (Edited 155d ago )

Not at all. My most played game of all time. Truly stunning accomplishment in gaming and with PC graphics mods it just took it to levels beyond anything that came before and possibly even after.

People who moan about it generally tend to be people who played it on under powered consoles and couldn’t handle the more realistic car physics. It was the slightly more realistic approach that made it stand out more. Absolutely love it. In fact I always said Vice city was my favourite of all time. But after going back to the remaster I realised 4 was actually the best.

Profchaos155d ago (Edited 155d ago )

I'm no critic and I consider it the best games in the franchise after recently replaying every entry it's story when paired in conjunction with it's DLC was and still is amazing.

shinoff2183155d ago

Lol. Fun fact. That dlc cost a certain green colored console 50 million for exclusiveness. Un heard of back then. Just to point out the hypocrisy of the 3rd party exclusive agenda going on.

Anyway how the dlc better then the base game by a mile. Lol imo

DigitallyAfflicted155d ago

I've enjoyed gta4 the most from all the others too.

DarXyde155d ago

San Andreas holds a special place in my heart. Honestly, I couldn't get into IV at all. Didn't even finish it. I had some pride in playing it at first because I'm originally a New Yorker, but it just didn't do it for me.

To each their own.

shinoff2183155d ago (Edited 155d ago )

Gta sa for sure. To this day my favorite. My least fav is gta 4 easily. Gta 4 made me feel like the dude in next friday trying to take the cd back talking about i cant get jiggy wit this.

Maybe looking back it would be 3 but 3 did so damn much for gaming in general. . My first gta was of course the top downs so the series has came a long way.

notachance155d ago

Yeah I remembered falling asleep playing the last mission in GTA4.. the most boring protagonist (out of all the voiced protag), and the town is too small.

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-Foxtrot156d ago

Not really



Liberty City despite being a reimagined version for the HD era lacked any variety

Lacked the GTA fun charm overall

Niko was bland compared to past protagonists like Tommy, CJ or Victor

blackblades155d ago (Edited 155d ago )

GTA 2 was the best, lol my only owned GTA game. Vice city was alright when I rented it back then. I cant really say which is the best cause those the only 2 games i played but GTA 2 was fun on PC back in the day. Closes game to it that I enjoyed was SR3 and I dont care what people say. That none serious tone was fun enjoyable.

banger88156d ago

Like hell it is. San Andreas was far better, much more fun and a better game overall.

isarai156d ago

Nah, it's a masterpiece in attention to detail and the amount of immersive systems at play. But it really isn't very fun, ESPECIALLY when compared to the previous games in the series. Like tons of things are just wonky and actively kneecap lots of experimentation, or is just lame. Like why do I take huge damage when falling into water, why can I only stand in very specific large trucks when they are moving but not smaller trucks and vehicles, why is the melee combat such a massive down grade from GTA SA and GTA IV, why is the euphoria nowhere near as reactive, why is being drunk using a rasterized animation of staggering rather than the far more entertaining euphoria GTAIV and RDR used when you were drunk, why do npc vehicles barely react to you popping there tires even at high speed, etc etc.

I've always loved playing around in GTA games world. Like the campaigns are great but the majority of my time was always spent just playing in the open world. Yet GTAV is the only game in the series I never really returned to after beating it, it just lacks that fun factor the others have, I spent more time in GTA SA remastered than GTAV

chicken_in_the_corn156d ago

It's one of my least favourite GTA games. It's clunky, the ai is exploitable, it's far too long and the writing is absolutely awful.