CRank: 5Score: 26920

User Review : Grand Theft Auto IV

  • Liberty City is as immersive as ever{Enthralling narrative{Terrific voice acting
  • Graphics aren't up to scratch{Missions aren't diverse enough{Friend feature is an annoyance

Does it live up to the hype?

Well it's finally here, one of the most hyped up games in gaming history, Grand Theft Auto IV.

Coming off the back of San Andreas, the GTA series was expected to hit another high, and critically it has, now it's my turn.

The immersion in the game has definitely improved. I haven't seen the same person in the street twice, pedestrians answer phones, there are unique conversations in the street, police arrest and pull over civilians, you can hear drowned out radio through a car, it all adds up to create the most immersive Liberty City yet.

The story is pretty good, with you developing a relation with the main character Niko Bellic, which is strange for an action/adventure. Niko has moved to Liberty City to live with his cousin Roman Bellic, and together, they can pursue the elusive "American Dream". Roman has been telling Niko stories of how he has been living a good life at the top of the food chain. It turns out they were only stories. Soon they are both catapulted into a life of debt, drugs and violence. With the promise of money, Niko works for multiple employers so that he and his cousin can live a good life in Liberty City. Although it tends to stop and start at various locations in the game, the overall narrative is deep and enthralling, making you want to play just so you can witness the story develop.

The core GTA gameplay is still there. You are in an open world and there are various icons to show the locations of your mission on the GPS. You can go and do the missions at any time. The menu has changed as is mostly incased in your phone which you look at by pressing up on your pad. Your phonebook, organiser, messages, camera and all the things you would expect from a phone are here, as well as an option to jump into multiplayer, which I'll come to later.The main missions aren't really that diverse. It mostly follows the structure of "go there, kill him, come back", although there are some different which make the game just that little bit more enjoyable. Driving is more realistic with each car having its own handling system. I'm sure most people will find it annoying, I personally didn't really mind it. There is also a cover system which in general works well, but is a bit unresponsive.

Some of your employers will become friends which you can phone up and spend time with. If you get to know them well enough, they will grant you special abilities, like selling you guns at a discounted price, or lending you a chopper etc. While the concept of this is good, it boils down to your friends pestering you about ignoring them, and it ends up being an annoyance. You can also date people, which follows the same structure. The activities you can do with them range from drinking to bowling to going in helicopter rides. You can also go on computers and go on the internet. In addition, you can buy clothes that Niko can wear, giving him that extra bit of character, although the range is slightly more limited than it really should be.

The environments are good with three islands that you unlock as you progress through the story, although the area you can explore is smaller than that in San Andreas, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Graphically, GTA IV is mediocre. There are great lighting effects like when the sun beats down on the water. The ripple effects on the water are there, but unless you strain your eyes or use something big like crash into it with a helicopter, you can't see them. Textures aren't great, and character models are sometimes expressionless. There is a dynamic weather system which include rain and fog. Rockstar tries to mask the texture deficiency by implementing a lot of blue when your moving fast. There is also noticeable pop in as the city loads as you go through.

Voice acting is great, especially Niko's and the soundtrack on the radio is diverse, although you'll find yourself sticking to one or two radio stations.

Multiplayer is a good addition with a healthy number of game modes. It isn't that addictive, but fun nonetheless. It's not a third person COD4.

All in all, GTA IV performs well in living up to the hype. Some may think it fails miserably, but if you avoid comparing it to other GTAs and observe GTA for the masterpiece it really is, you will see that it actually is worthy of all the hype it gets.

Core GTA gameplay, and the cover system is a good addition.
Textures aren't great but lighting effects are to be praised. Character models can be expressionless at times.
Voice acting is terrific and the soundtrack is diverse.
Fun Factor
Although there isn't a good diversity in missions, you'll find yourself having lots of fun with Niko. You'll also find the storyline to be gripping.
Good addition, not as cohesive or addicting as COD4 but it'll keep you entertained.
Snake Raiser5680d ago

Good review. I, BIG BOSS, am tired of GTA4 getting 10/10 or some stupid low score from reviewers. It is a great game, but not 10/10.
you are right on.


Looking Back At 2008, An Unbelievably Incredible Year Of Video Game Releases

Huzaifa from eXputer: "2008 was home to the likes of Call of Duty: World at War, Dead Space, GTA 4, Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, and many other hits, which is outright remarkable."

ChasterMies78d ago

Some of these low paid video game “news” writers weren’t born before 2007.

just_looken78d ago

Here here

Those that were around before 2000's i am sure are like me that think we entered a world of non readers or those that follow without question.

I can not wait to see fallout 3 a goty game even though it was about water with non content until you add the dlc/updates then you got the performance/crashing

CrimsonWing6979d ago

I don’t think anything can compare to 2023

lucasnooker79d ago

1998 - the best year in gaming! Metal gear solid, crash bandicoot 3, medievil, half life, ocarina of time, thief, tenchu, resident evil 2, Spyro, tomb raider 3, oddworld abes exodus, banjo kazooie.

It was a different breed of a gaming era. You’ll never understand what it was like back then. The aura of gaming, it was different!

KyRo79d ago (Edited 79d ago )

I second this. Gaming was a lot more varied and fun than it is today. I'm 35 so getting on compared to some here but I got to see all the changes from NES up to now but I've never felt so disappointed in any generation than I have this current gen. I was expecting more from this generation rather than prettier versions of games that came before it. Game mechanics have become so refined that alot of games feel the same and has done for a while now.

Maybe it's time to have a break for a while. I love gaming but I don't feel I get much fun in the traditional sense out of it anymore.

CrimsonWing6979d ago (Edited 79d ago )

Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 2, Abe’s Exodus, and Ocarina of Time are the only things from that list that I liked.

Here’s the 2023 game releases that I personally liked… and big releases that I didn’t care for:

- Dead Space Remake
- Wo Long Dynatsy
- Resident Evil 4 Remake
- Diablo 4
- Fire Emblem Engage
- Hogwarts Legcay
- Street Fighter 6
- Hi-Fi Rush
- Like a Dragon: Ishin
- Octopath Traveler 2
- Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters
- Final Fanatsy XVI (actually ended up not liking this, but it was still a big deal release)
- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
- Lies of P
- Mortal Kombat 1
- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- Starfield (Ended up hating this one, but big release)
- Super Mario Bros. Wonder
- Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (I’m an old-school Zelda fan, but didn’t really enjoy this game)
- Alan Wake 2

I mean, honestly I’ve never seen a year of major IP releases like that, ever.

Profchaos79d ago (Edited 79d ago )

Isn't it just a generational thing realistically.

I've been gaming since way back and I some of my favourite games go as far back as the late 80s for me each generation has a year or two of game changing releases one after another before an inevitable dry spell.

I kind of agree gaming had a different feel games hit different because we didn't have the internet nothing got spoiled and you really had to put in the effort to beat a puzzle which could set entire groups of people looking for a solution. But most importantly games were experimental and not as cookie cutter as today even basics like controls were not universal today r2 is shoot l2 is ads garunteed you can't deviate from that in a shooter back then it could of been square, R1 or R1 and circle nothing was standard.

But as time moves on a new generation picks up their controller they are going to be interested in different things that PS1 demo disc with the t Rex blew our primitive 16 bit brains back on launch but to kids today it's laughable.
The new gen of kids coming into to hobby seem to value different things to us there seems to be a huge focus on online play, streamers, gaming personalities, and social experiences, convience of digital downloads. To me I value none of that but that's ok like my parents not liking the band's I would listen to its just the natural cycle.

Gameseeker_Frampt78d ago

Just about every year in the 7th generation was great and something we most likely won't experience again.

2009 for example had Assassin's Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age: Origins, Uncharted 2, Halo 3: ODST, Killzone 2, Borderlands, Bayonetta, and Demon's Souls to name a few.

just_looken78d ago

It still amazes me we got over 7 rockstar games ps2/ps3 but 3 for the ps3/ps4/ps5

Dragon age 1-3 and mass effect 1-3 in 7ish years what a generation.


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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franwex437d ago

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

isarai437d ago

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

cammers1995437d ago

The fact it hasnt been remastered is insane.

Abear21437d 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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Machina440d ago

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

Number1TailzFan440d 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.

BlackTar187439d ago

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

seanpitt23439d 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!

Number1TailzFan439d 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_BLM439d 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 439d ago
1nsomniac439d ago (Edited 439d 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.

Profchaos439d ago (Edited 439d 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.

shinoff2183439d 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

DigitallyAfflicted439d ago

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

DarXyde439d 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.