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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 reviews8

this game is so depressing it made me want to die
«Buggy as hell»
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
So... Grand Theft Auto 4 is a big Game in itself, but what bothers me extremely about it is Windows Live! Why? Why was Windows built live with it I start GTA 4 going away (on Clo or Kitchen ...) come back from usual I expect that I am already in the Main Menu, but what is? "Please log in to the Social Club" and when I Then start game clicking comes the error Message "Social Club registration failed, Please try again." I entered password and E-mail correctly but it doesn't work! No matter GTA 4 is awesome but the Windows Live and Sacial Club thing is real schei * e! But do not recommend it. I'd rather save Money until you've had enough for GTA 5.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
When I read that the Game on Windows 8.1 is not supposed to work, I got stubborn when I Bought it. It was actually the case that the Game was not running at The start and I was forced to search the Internet for Solutions. An Estimated 2 Days it cost me to make the Game run, as I did exactly, I don't know exactly myself, because I am not a computer freak and therefore only do what different Forums have advised:D The Game itself is a Lot of Fun and you can hide with it for half an Eternity. Of Course, you can't compare the Graphics with that OF GTA 5 and the Game world is also rather measly in Contrast to the one of the "latest" part, but that's not supposed to diminish the Fun of The Game. Therefore, I can't complain and am absolutely happy with it for a Price of 4 (!!!) To have got euros in an Offer ^^
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
In Short: Absolute Mis-buying for me. Without the external Help of IT-Spezis, it is almost impossible for ordinary Users to walk. Support for laptop/notebook and its Gaming Graphics Cards: FEHLANZEIGE. Graphics cards with more than 2GB Of VRam are not recognized, but they can find Help in many Forums. Yes, even today you still need a GfWL account for the Game next to Steam (Now called the Microsoft account), an Account on XBox-Live (you also want to be able to save your Game?) and a Membership of Rockstar Socialclub (Prerequisite for online MPlayer). So from because of it just buy fast, download and get started. Wishful Thinking, at least at the laptop. Anyone who tells you something else is lying to you ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ brazenly. Why Rockstar still doesn't shrug and take a Port of the Game on Steam, just as the other Studios left the GfWL have done, remains speculative to me. Why is there no Patch for the Game that is optimized with the new Generations of mobile Graphics Cards? Well, at The end of January 2015, I don't think anyone asks the Question anymore. P.S. My negative Criticism is due solely to lousy technical implementation/Portierung/Support. The Game Content itself remains unaffected by it. Cheerz
The game has a great story, great and well-built characters, a badass protagonist, game mechanics are really good besides some bad things here and there (well, even GTA V have its).
«Underrated»
«That ending!»
GTA4 steam version is imposible to play, crashes 100%
«Ugly as my life»
I finally revisited the series since I played San Andreas ten years ago! GTA IV is a good game, and it's definitely worth your time even if you are a Japanese indie-strategy lover or worse. I won't touch upon the subjects that was discussed through and through such as the gameplay (you kill and steal, duh) or the soundtrack (brilliant and authentic as always) or anything like that.

My personal experince was that in this GTA I really loved shooting. Never before assaults in the series have felt so good. Which is probably why there are lots of missions involving assaults in some form. The weapons felt different and guns make you change the playing style. This was the first game where I loved to shoot the pistol, the weapon that is usually regarded as the lamest one. Mastering the pistol is very rewarding in some sense, because when you finish storming the building full of gangsters wielding AK47s or M16s, you feel like a bad ass antihero that Niko really is.

In some sense, the game is truer-to-life than San Andreas, since there are no jetpacks or easily-stealable tanks or spy-planes. In some sense, it is not, since you can't work out to fight or run more effectively and you can't put on weight either.

As for the story, I demote the overall score from Exceptional to Recommended because of it. The story is sometimes not logical and sometimes too predictive (something like a bad action B-movie), some really interesting characters that you meet don't develop at all and die quickly. In this sense GTA IV really make you revisit Liberty City, since GTA III also suffered from the bad story (but it was kinda the first game in the series, so it was justifiable back then).
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