Light theme

Grand Theft Auto IV review
Exceptional
by bgsmith3

Grand Theft Auto IV is kind of a reboot for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series. Technically this game is the first in the “HD” universe of Grand Theft Auto games. I am unaware if these recent games (including GTA V) exist in the same universe as the old Grand Theft Auto games, but I highly doubt it as these games seem to be more connected to each other as opposed to older games that are merely referenced in easter eggs and not outright referenced by a line of dialogue or something more concrete. But I digress. GTA IV centers on Niko Bellic a war hero and immigrant from Eastern Europe as he tries to find a new life in America and contend with the criminal element that can either help or kill him. The game is in itself an immigrant story of sorts. There is a lot of diversity that is reflected in the game, both in aesthetic and the open world design as well as the stories and missions. This is seemingly reflective of the reality of New York City, which is the basis for the setting of this game. The game follows the struggles and hardships that immigrants face when placed in the overbearing culture and boundless opportunity that America is known for. The city, Liberty City, is based on New York City. There are four boroughs that are modeled on the four boroughs of New York City. Something that always comes to mind for me is how decadent and disgusting the city appears. I don’t expect New York to be this clean shiny city, but this game really goes out of its way to show how nasty this city is (both physically and perhaps culturally and socially due to the characters and actions that are depicted in the game). The gameplay is really good. Few games really capture driving mechanics as well as GTA does. Most games kind of pull a Saints Row where the driving mechanics feel so weightless and nonexistent. The gunplay and physics are good, especially for 2008. However, some of the movement mechanics are rather clunky. The graphics are severely dated, it’s not distracting but it’s definitely a product of its time. But textures and the rendering in this game is really bad, oddly enough I think Red Dead Redemption shares that element as well, sadly, I will pay attention when I play through it to see if this is the case. The game is vast with plenty of things to do and immerse yourself in. Not as much as say, Red Dead Redemption II or GTA V, but it’s enough to be annoying and not overwhelming. For instance, the supporting characters can have closer relationships with Niko if he spends time with them, so that leads to the annoying bombardment of your ingame cellphone with suggestions and invitations by other characters to go grab a drink or go bowling or engage in the numerous activities featured in the game. That gets annoying. Also, it’s really annoying to complete a mission, call the mission provider to inform him or her that you completed the mission only for you to tap X or A to speed up walking a bit, or to get shot at by a police officer or a criminal which cancels that action. The police in this game are so annoying. The voice acting in the game is very good. Rockstar has the tendency to cast quality voice actors that no one has ever heard of, or at least I haven’t heard of and I like to think that I keep up with films and other mediums. While flawed, this game is definitely a must play for anyone. It hasn’t aged well for me, but it doesn’t diminish the overall quality of the game.

Rating: 4.5/5

Other reviews24

Knowing that this game is 16 years old is really mind blowing.
Of course the graphics shows their age, but not to the extent that I was expecting.

The things I loved:
- Very cool, funny, deep, & many times dark writing & character.
- The protagonist is really interesting & written very well.
- The world is nice & brings back that time.

The things I didn't like:
- The VERY boring & repetitive gameplay loop.
- Too many missions that are just basically the same.
- Having to restart the mission from the beginning each time you fail.
- The cars driving is not very solid (I'm on pc)

I would give it a rating of: good - very good.
I understand that side quests are a major factor in GTA - since It's a really big game -, but my god, why are so many deviating from the main story?

I got hooked by the premise and have played for hours on end just to make progress in what really matters to me, and it's incredibly time-consuming. After the betrayal of Dimitri Rascalov, I feel like most quests lack development. After 20 hours of gameplay, I did myself a favor and quit. Perhaps that's why most people choose to ignore the campaign and do whatever they want, besides following the game's instructions.

Unfortunately, GTA 3, VC, SA, and 4 left me with the same feeling of wasting time. I loved playing them as a child, though.
«Waste of time»
Amazing
«Blew my mind»
Pretty good. Graphics were top notch for its time, the story is actually engaging and missions are quite fun
nice game!!

respect!!
«Better with friends»
adds
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
i was only a child when i played this so i did not shit myself because i was freshly potty trained. However, i gurantee if i or you played through this masterpiece again we'd both shit ourselves. 10/10
I was 14 when this game came out, so i was the exact target audience.  And they definitely hit the target.  Great soundtrack, truly impressive scope (for the time, not at all now), and some great writing for a video game.
Niko Bellic and his cousin Roman, GTA IV is a true masterpiece, great story, graphics, controls, everything but one thing... the PC port, IT SUCKS! a 2008 game cannot be run without slow frames and braking bugs after a thousand updates since then.