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Grand Theft Auto IV

aka: GTA 4, GTA IV
Moby ID: 33867
PlayStation 3 Specs

Description official descriptions

The Serbian ex-soldier Niko Bellic had witnessed the horrors of war, which turned him bitter and cynical. Disappointed by life, he immigrates to the United States, which his cousin Roman enthusiastically describes as a country of wealth and pleasure. However, the reality is quite different: Roman is poor, has no stable job, and owes money to some dubious individuals. As Niko attempts to help his hapless cousin and pave a more secure future for both of them, he becomes more and more involved in the life of crime. A burning desire to find a man who had betrayed him in Serbia forces Niko to make deals with his conscience, and once he crosses the line, there is no way back...

Grand Theft Auto IV is the ninth title and the fourth main game in the Grand Theft Auto series, and also the first for the seventh generation of consoles. Following the tradition of the 3D installments of the series, the game is entirely located in one of the three cities of the original GTA, Liberty City, but now in present time, and with an environment reminiscent of GTA III, though bigger and more detailed. Liberty City is heavily based on New York, where the protagonist has to gain respect, welfare, and power throughout the game.

Like in most GTA games, the city map is gradually uncovered during the course of the game. The player starts in Broker (based on Brooklyn), and, in order to access the other three districts of the city (based on the other major boroughs of New York City), has to make progress in the storyline. The game has the usual structure based on missions. The player can sometimes engage in various missions at the same time and has free access to the non-mission features of the game while being on one.

Most of the usual elements of exploration and interaction with the city are included in GTA IV. Niko can cause mayhem in the city, hijack cars, listen to radio stations, observe the behavior of the citizens, enter thematic buildings, work as a vigilante, taxi driver, or ambulance driver, hire a prostitute, go to a strip club, and so on. Among the new features is the possibility to watch television (with several channels broadcasting various fictional programs) and connect to a fictional Internet, with functional websites (mostly of a humorous nature) created specifically for the game, and an e-mail program. Other additions include looking for criminals in the police department database from a police car, hiring taxi cabs to safely travel to selected destinations, extensive usage of the mobile phone, improved A.I. of the pedestrians, and others.

Some features from the previous games are missing, such as drivable airplanes and a few other vehicle types. Niko retains the ability to swim and engage in romantic relationships with female characters, features first introduced in San Andreas. However, the light role-playing elements (training to increase stamina, eating, etc.) from the previous entry have been removed.

GTA IV focuses on third-person shooter gameplay more than the previous installments; most of the missions have larger portions dedicated to on-foot navigation and shooting. Crouching, leaning and taking cover play a more important role in combat. Hand-to-hand combat has also been re-designed, Niko being able to execute more precise moves.

The game uses the euphoria motion engine, an alternate middleware solution much like ragdoll physics, which makes all people in the game world move realistically depending on the situation around them. For example, every time Niko enters a car, a different animation will be generated depending on his position relative to the car.

A new feature compared to its predecessors is multiplayer. The same free-roaming environment is offered for up to 16 players (32 in the Windows version) in 15 modes. Certain modes narrow down the environment to make sure players remain somewhat in each other's vicinity. Compared to the console releases, the Windows release features high-resolution graphics, a video editor to capture and edit in-game footage, and the possibility to customize the radio station Independence FM with its own songs.

Spellings

  • グランド・セフト・オートIV - Japanese spelling
  • 俠盜獵車手4 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

1,358 People (1,333 developers, 25 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 94% (based on 199 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 325 ratings with 10 reviews)

It's good and you should buy it. No question.

The Good
I've never been a fan of the GTA franchise. Ever. I got sucked up into the hype of GTA IV, however, and sort of just went along for the ride.

I picked the game up on launch day and upon tossing it into the Xbox 360, I was immediately bombarded with game invites. I wasn't even allowed to watch the opening intro or credits. I joined a group (10-14 people) of LoadingReality.com folks and started off in a Cops 'n Crooks battle.

It was a blast. In my first two hours of play, there were at least five "holy crap" moments. Here's one that I remember:

Uncle Chase driving a pick-up truck straight at me, without wavering. I took my AK47 and popped two bursts into the driver's head, without locking on. He died and the truck kept coming. As gravity would have it, trucks don't stop moving just because the driver dies. I got squished.

I've spent about 15 hours or so in-game, and it's been nothing short of "very good." I can see the possibility of boredom from the game, but am impressed by the vast amount of things to do that keep it fresh.

I'll be playing this game for a while.

The Bad
The "good" section above was written 15 hours into the game. I haven't played it since that point, due to the level of boredom that set in after the flair of multiplayer ran out. Fans of the franchise will love it, but those of us that are used to non-stop action (a la COD4) will be left wondering what's next.

The Bottom Line
Presentation: Nice. The game is laid out as good as it can be, the UI is flawless, and the cell phone menu controls are a nice touch for immersion.

Gameplay: Nicer. The cover system is really well-implemented and the combat itself works nicely. Driving is realistic and once you become a master of the handbrake turn, you're in there like swim-wear.

Graphics/Sound: Nice. The graphics are decently strong and push the hardware quite a bit. I noticed a bit of popping and vehicle glitching, but only about 30 minutes into huge free play, multiplayer games. The audio is as good as any game, ever. It's one of the things that the franchise is know for. The radio is so good that it hurts.

Value Factor: Nicest. The multiplayer is surprisingly strong and when combined with a true open-world experience, there is incredible freedom and replayability in the game.

Xbox 360 · by Brandon Tabbert (17) · 2008

mixed

The Good
The stories of past Grand Theft Auto games have been predictable and not very gripping (in my opinion), not so here because the tale of Niko Belic, the immigrant seeking revenge for the deaths of his friends and family is both interesting and exciting and seeing how it plays makes the game stronger on a whole.

As far the mechanics of the gameplay are concerned, the actual shooting works well, the game gives you the option to use auto aim (the default setting) or you can play the game without it. Playing without auto aim makes the game feel like gears of war or a standard third person shooter, I prefer turning auto aim off because sometimes you'll be in the middle of a firefight and accidentally target a civilian (if you have auto aim on), leading to some frustrating deaths.

The driving mechanics take some getting use to, mostly because the new physics engine (which makes the driving a lot more realistic) can be a pain, but once you do get the driving down, you'll like it.

OK, so the mechanics work well (for the most part) but what will you being doing with those mechanics, well, you'll being going on missions, a lot of missions, the missions range from stealing a bag of drugs from an abandoned hospital to chasing two bikers through a subway system. The missions have a lot more variety then past games, although maybe still not enough on a whole.

The tunes you'll here on the radio (while driving) vary from rock to reggae (theirs definitely something in here for everyone).

The Bad
The cover system is bad, really bad, its hard to choose where you want to go into cover at and even when you do, trying to get out of cover can be a pain(considering taking cover is needed to survive, this is a big flaw). Overall the controls aren't that great, to run you have to tap the A button and getting Niko to stop moving on a dime can be tough. The controls sour the experience more then they probably should. Besides the prettier graphics and better story their isn't much innovation over previous installments in the series.

The Bottom Line
Even though there aren't many flaws the ones that are here hurt really hurt the game, their is a noticeable lack of polish to just about everything. The bad controls and cover system (turned) will turn a lot of people off to Grand Theft Auto 4. The lack of innovation is very frustrating (you still cannot go in many buildings), When you add everything up Grand Theft Auto 4 makes for a fantastic rental.

Xbox 360 · by kent c. koopa (19) · 2009

One of the biggest disappointments ever

The Good
At the core of it, GTA is basically an okay game, as far as gameplay design goes. A huge city with places to see and people to be in, decorated with some of the finest graphics ever. Lots and lots to do, and an illusion of choice to gamers. Others can concentrate on the mission tree, others can release their inner psychopath and wreak havoc around Liberty City.

The game's world is entertaining, not really because of the story but because of the characters. With great writing and voice acting, especially characters like Brucie and Dwayne, feel interesting and three-dimensional. There is a lot of humor and sharp dialogue in the game, and the hilarious radio advertisements and great soundtrack add up to the experience.

The Bad
As far as the GTA series go, though, GTA IV might just be the worst, and it is weird to see how Rockstar just ignores all criticism their games have faced over the years. The shooting is still awkward, but for different reasons. The fact that almost every mission involves shooting hundreds of nameless criminals makes the shooting segments feel really dull.

The mission design isn't too great, either. It seems that every mission is either shooting a bunch of criminals or chasing a criminal through the city. And, of course, if you die or just otherwise fail the mission, you have to start all over again, which is infuriating because the game and the missions are too scripted. Sometimes the car you're supposed to chase is immune to all damage until you reach a certain point, but there's no way to know that.

The hand-to-hand combat is even worse due to the way our "hero" Niko moves - even trucks are more agile than him. Just walking on the street might cause you to take damage if you trip on something, due to the game's physics engine.

The biggest flaw of the game is that Rockstar, for some reason, tries to inject "realism" in the GTA word, which is an exercise in futility. The story is "darker" and "grittier" and the creative insanity from the earlier GTA titles is almost gone. Of course, there is a ton of funny moments, but a lot of time, the "edgy" humor feels forced. The game feels way too cynical and joyless from time to time, like you're playing the video game equivalent to Family Guy our South Park.

And then there's the "friend system" just about everyone seems to hate, and for good reason. For the last time, Roman, I don't want to go bowling with you! You're the most annoying character in the game!

The Bottom Line
Even if you're into GTA, you might have to think twice before deciding to get GTA IV. The game feels like a chore more often that it should, and while the production values of the game might be high, they mostly just succeed in hiding the fact that the gameplay is very underwhelming.

Xbox 360 · by Zokolov (49) · 2012

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Go PC! Unicorn Lynx (180476) Jul 7th, 2009
US$100 million beetle120 (2414) Jun 14th, 2008

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Grand Theft Auto IV appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Australian release

To avoid the problems Rockstar faced with releasing the GTA series in Australia in the past, a crippled version was released so that the game could meet the highest rating of MA15+. Rockstar is still refusing to tell Australians what was censored in their release. Here is a rundown of what has been changed: * There are no blood pools created after the player kills a person, whether they are a pedestrian or enemy; and bloody tire tracks cannot be created when the player drives their car through a blood pool. * When having sex with hookers, the car can only be seen bouncing from the rear view and players cannot choose between a blow job, hand job, and regular intercourse; and the sex animations are not present. Also, the camera is locked to a rear view and it cannot be rotated. * Light blood patches representing bruises and bullet wounds on the body are non-existent.

Brucie

Brucie, one of the game's "mission-giving" characters, can be seen working out during one of the cut scenes; it is easy to notice tattoos of Chinese characters covering his body. On his chest is the character 我, which means "I"; on the back are the characters 人妖, which mean... "transsexual"! Consider Brucie's constant bragging of his own masculinity and heterosexuality...

Development

  • Originally planned for a 2007 release, the game was delayed until April 29th. According to the publisher the delay was caused by the nature of dual-platform development.
  • Katt Williams and Ricky Gervais both did full motion and voice capture for their brief appearances in their own comedy skits on the television.

Melee Combat

The fighting style Niko uses is the Israeli martial arts style Krav Maga.

Records

GTA IV has broken the following records: * Highest Production Budget: in an interview with The Times in April 2008, producer Leslie Benzies estimated that production costs on the game reached $100 million, smashing the previous record of $70 million set by Shenmue. * Largest Soundtrack in a Video Game: The game features 18 radio stations playing 218 licensed tracks, beating the previous record of 156 songs set in GTA: San Andreas. * Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game: the game boasts a total credited cast of 861 voice actors, including 174 actors playing named characters, DJs, and TV voiceovers. Many of the additional 687 voices were volunteered by people who just wanted a chance to be heard in the game. * Most Successful Entertainment Product Launch: on April 29, 2008, the game generated $310 million of sales worldwide in one day.

References to other Rockstar Games

  • One area of the game features a wall of graffiti which has the words 'Claude', 'Carl' and the phrase 'Remember Tommy' written on it. These are references to the protagonists of past GTA games.
  • Official art from past GTA games is interlaced into some of the random graffiti found throughout the city. Notably 8 ball and El Burro from GTA III.
  • If you gain access to Playboy X's mansion the clothes of GTA III protagonist Claude become available for Niko to wear.
  • If you visit the miniature golf course it is possible to find the following land marks from past GTA games used on the course: The Ocean View Hotel from GTA: Vice City, the giant chicken from GTA: San Andreas, the farm windmill from San Andreas' countryside, the Watts Towers re-creations from Los Santos and the lighthouse from the old Liberty City, as seen in GTA III and GTA: Liberty City Stories. It is interesting to note that the models and textures are ripped directly from the original games.
  • When Niko hands his resumé to the lawyers it says he attended Bullworth University in England. The game Bully, also published by Rockstar, was set in Bullworth Academy in New England.
  • If you visit www.littlelacysurprisepageant.com at the Internet Cafe, you will find a page that warns you've been caught by an LCPD pedophilia sting and immediately receive a 5-star wanted level. Little Lacy Surprise originated on the radio in GTA: Vice City Stories.
  • Jimmy, the protagonist from Rockstar's game Bully can be found walking outside Hove Beach Railway Station at certain times. This also makes him the first child that can be killed in a GTA game.

References

  • The mission called "I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle" is a direct reference to Terminator 2. The exact phrase is said by the Terminator during T2's opening moments.
  • Like past GTA's, GTA IV contains references to other open world games. The area Stillwater ave. is named after the city from Saints Row. The hotdog vendor slogan, 'You can't beat our meat', is also the same as the slogan for the Freckle Bi****s restaurant in Saint's Row. Finally there is a 'squids row - budget seafood' billboard which may be another reference to Saints Row. Some people also conclude that this could be a reference to the term "skid row".
  • The mission 'concrete jungle' may be a reference to the poorly received Predator open world game.

The song Concrete Jungle by Bob Marley & The Wailers is also featured in the game on the Tuff Gong radio station.

References to the game

Grand Theft Auto IV was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 03/2009.

Awards

  • GamePro (Germany)
    • February 26, 2009 - Best Console Game in 2008 (Reader's Voting)
  • GameSpy
    • 2008 – #6 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #3 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #4 PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #5 PC Game of the Year
    • 2008 – Character of the Year (for Brucie)
    • 2008 – Best Story of the Year
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2008 - Xbox Game of the Year
    • 2008 - Soundtrack of the Year

Information was also provided by festershinetop, MegaMegaMan and piltdown man

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MichaelPalin.

Windows added by Sicarius.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Katakis | カタキス, Foxhack, Solid Flamingo, DreinIX, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Victor Vance, FatherJack, 64er.

Game added April 29th, 2008. Last modified December 2nd, 2023.