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GTA 4 has been met by near unanimous praise by critics, including ourselves, but all isn't well in the hardcore GTA fan camp. Disgruntled reader John from Croydon contacted with his complaints earlier this week, after spending time with what he expected to be a game he'd be playing for years. Having put thousands of hours into the GTA series over the years, including playing through GTA 3 twice, Vice City six times and San Andreas three times, he's more than qualified to offer his opinion on what many are already claiming is the game of the year. Read on as a GTA fan goes head to head with GTA 4 and reveals what a growing number of GTA fans think of Rockstar's latest game.

John Vs GTA 4's Driving

It's all related to realism or their attempt at it. All the fun of the old GTAs has been severely reduced because you cant do stuff any more. The driving; you used to be able to fling the cars around at almost max speed - it was really fun. Now they are forcing you to drive slow at corners or you skid off. When you roll out of a car, you take tons of damage - it used to be much less. The driving isn't even realistic, ask anyone who drives. Someone on a forum joked that their Vauxhall Corsa can take corners faster than any car in GTA 4, and he's right.

You can't do crazy stuff any more and survive. The windscreen thing, flying out of it, that's just so lame. If you have a head on crash, you want to continue, because you've already been slowed down, not go flying for miles, lose tonnes of health and have to run back to the car.

It's not just me. A guy on a forum summed it up pretty well:

"I can drive in GTA, I can outrun 4 star wanted level w/o breaking a sweat (or crashing for that matter), but that doesn't change the fact, that I find the - so called realistic- driving boring. If I wanted realistic, I would set up a racing wheel and knock around with Forza, Sega rally et al. I miss the arcadey controls of previous iterations."

John Vs GTA 4's Cops
The cops are harsh. They usually crack down on you for the tiniest things you do wrong: pointing a gun at a pedestrian, firing one bullet into a wall, etc. It might be realistic, but it's not fun. You will have cops on you straight away. While my brother was playing he walked on the stage in the strip club and the bouncers came after him and beat him up. Again, it's realistic, but it limits what you can do - It's a game not a life sim.

The cops are on you really quickly, and you have to forget whatever you were trying to do, and just get out of the radius. It's not even realistic, no cops turn up that quickly. In GTA 4 there are usually 2-3 cars within 10 seconds. They kill you so quickly via headshots and stuff, and they kill you inside the car. You used to be quite safe in the car until it got too damaged and caught on fire, but now they can shoot through the windows

John Vs GTA 4's game world
Despite having so much stuff, the world seems really empty, there's nothing to do - no hidden weapons or hidden side missions that I could find. The city is just really detailed, with things that snag your car as you try to explore and makes it really tedious.

John Vs GTA 4's Combat
The hand to hand is lame. Niko is a wimp. You can't really beat two people up at once as you're likely to die if you do. The game doesn't make you feel powerful any more. The gun combat, the lock-on sucks, always targeting the wrong thing - prioritisation is rubbish. It will target things behind a wall instead of the cop right in your face. And cops seem to take too much damage. I shotgunned a few right in the face 2-3 times from almost point blank and they were fine, kept getting up.

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trolol1990's Avatar


Whoever said that gta IV is best said that only becouse of the graphics and becouse it is more realistical than the previus games.If you think so too,why dont you just go outside and play.You will love the graphics,and it is even more realistical.
Posted 22:49 on 04 August 2013
Tydrum456's Avatar


Hello.......I strongly agree with everything that's typed on the took
The words right out of my mouth.......I think rockstar games could have
Done a little better.......
Posted 11:58 on 26 June 2013
Planetpiss's Avatar


So you think that the future of the series is to emulate real life?What part of any of the gta games is relatable to real life? I would imagine that most people buy these games to shoot people with rocket launchers, kill hookers in the park, and drive like a maniac Ina stolen sports car. Naw lets go ahead and make it more realistic, go ahead and hop in the moderately priced sedan and only drive 5 over the speed limit.
It's a good game but they could have focused more on things like customizing your character and accessibility of the environment. I could really care less that the NPCs are going about their daily fictitious lives that has no effect on gameplay. Put those same NPCs in an apartment building or shopping mall that I can use as shields in a shoot out?sweet as.
I understand that it was the first gen on a new console but isn't 360 supposed to be bigger, faster,stronger etc? I'm running around with half a million dollars in my pocket and all I can buy are crap clothes and guns?
I think rockstar is taking the realism thing in the wrong direction, it works great for sports games like madden and other EA titles but in terms of the GTA series just make it look good dont tell me what I can and cannot do while I'm controlling a guy whose job it is to murder and steal.
Posted 22:17 on 26 April 2013
NarutoFan5969's Avatar


there are hidden weapons in the game..... and special missions
Posted 19:56 on 30 March 2013
mrrattlesnake's Avatar


This guy has a few legit complaints... but realism? are you kidding me? realism is the entire point of a game like this. THE MORE REALISTIC THE BIGGER THE POTENTIAL. Obviously there are loads of other factors that make a game playable and stuff, but the future of this franchise is emulation of real life. I hope they make the driving less cartoony and ridiculous. Ya know, so it's not impossible to drive normally if you have to? or just stay in your lane? when the vehicles/planes/bike's become more of a realistic experience the game becomes more meaningful/exciting. After all it's not saint's row kid's game. It's freaking real life do what you really shouldn't ever do in real life game! BECAUSE WE CAN!
Killing people should almost make you sick... just kidding... but seriously.....sick
Posted 00:14 on 06 December 2011
DireWolf84's Avatar


The driving is far too clumsy. When you need to make a turn, you end up either missing the turn or hitting something. In the missions from the police computer, it does not give you enough time to get there plus manage all the twists, turns and people getting in your way. While you are missing turns in a chase or a race, the other AI drivers don't have that turn handicap while you do. They can make sharp turns easily. Don't even get me started on the final mission when you have to chase a boat with a dirtbike.
Posted 07:43 on 16 October 2011
mr_keep_it_100's Avatar

mr_keep_it_100@ Niko Bellic

If realism was so improtant in this game why can't you spend the money you earn? WTF is that about? You can't build an empire. GTA IV is 80% lame and 20% fun for me.
Posted 08:14 on 19 December 2010
mr_keep_it_100's Avatar

mr_keep_it_100@ Chris

Chris how could you say thumbs up for this rubbish game? You earn money for doing jobs but all you can spend your money on is women, clothes and guns!!!!! Niko came from nothing and he arrived in America to start a new life but he can't buy cars, a home, start a business like his cousin, take girls back to your pad and watch tv, hang out have them sleep over or anything. What's the point in having money if you can't spend it? Do you go to work, get a pay check and then let it sit in the bank? I think not. You have bills to pay. So if GTA IV was suppose to be like real life why can't he do any of these things? ROCKSTAR KILLED GTA IV!!! And that's from the heart. I am a die hard GTA fan and this game really disappointed me.
Posted 07:53 on 19 December 2010
Amarganth's Avatar

Amarganth@ Hunter1984

I don't mind realism, I love it...but GTA 4 is everything BUT realistic. Cars do not behave like that in real life, people aren't blobs that fly hundreds of meters into the sky if they get a bit hit by a car. It isn't that easy to shake of the police in real life, and if you do they won't pass you within a minute and not recognize you. Guns don't behave like that in real life...etc.
Point is, GTA 4 is not realistic. The only game similar to GTA which is a better version of the style and is totally realistic is Mafia. Now that's a game which has got everything going for it, it's not's REAL, hell...they thought of everything, even the car running out of gas. Everything is realistic, from driving the cars, and the police, to the usage of guns, etc.
GTA never had a story worth even knowing of, they should implement a "skip the stupid scene"'s not Final Fantasy, or Metal Gear Solid, or Silent Hill. GTA never had great graphics, GTA 4 is no exception, it literally sucks. I wanted to say it's not Crysis...but damn, even Super Mario Galaxy has better graphs... worked, cause GTA never tried to be all of those things, GTA was just fun... Whenever you would get tired of those hard realistic games, whenever you'd get enough of complex worlds, story and gameplay...GTA was a game to have some simple and mindless fun, but not anymore. It's frustrating to say the least, it isn't fun all, not fun as a "complex" game it tries to be but fails epically, not fun as a dumb but jolly game it once was.
Finish it off with the horrible port to the pc that I'd say is even worse than the game Deer Hunter you got yourself a perfect money game, so dumb yet popular that all those dumb kids will buy it so they aren't branded as uncool for nothing having GTA 4. Well, I burned my copy.
Posted 13:28 on 10 July 2010
Hunter1984's Avatar


I totally agree with you, John!!! I played GTA Libery City Stories, Vice City, Vice City Stories, San Andreas, and now GTA4, and I ll tell you there is something missing in the newest game. it was so romantic to drive in VC and listen to Tears for Fears or to Laura Branigan, to listen to Lynard Skynard while driving thru Back O Beyond in SA... and in this game there is nothing, nothing interesting apart from as you said realistic things. and its really annoying to hear Vladivostok FM while driving in the heart of NY city!!! what the , are we in Russia? lets wait for GTA Vladivostok first and then listen to this bulls**t!!! i dont know, with this reality, Rockstar became obsessed and forgot about GTAs unique romantic athmosphere, what makes the games original!!! and the soundtrack, it really sucks i would say all the radio stations are so boring to hear, what happened to Rusty Brown Ring Donuts??!!! everything is just so realistic in this stupid game that i want to get the hell out of the Liberty City to the sky , what is impossible, by the way cuz according to the reality, there s no cars flying in the sky!!! and what is really annoying, is that Niko falls out of the window EVERY TIME he s driving!!! and don say that Im a bad driver, no, I ve been playing GTA for many many years, and I can drive as hell in GTA SA, by the way Im telling you now that its the last game im playing in the series, and i m not returning to this website, i just made this account to write my opinion on this bulls**tting game, do whatever you want with this comment, i dont care, and no, i m not crazy, i m just emotional, and i am not going to come back. thank you John, so much for this article, and I agree with you, and my last words are: (then i m going to leave forever)
GOODBYE GRAND THEFT AUTO, i love you so much, go get more realistic, stupid Rockstar, and let millions of fans like you all enjoy th e future which sucks and leaves us to believe everything will change!!!
Now I am leaving this account and this site forever, delete this comment, so whatever you want, but firstly let some people read it. Thank you. And Goodbye. Forever.
Posted 11:42 on 01 May 2010
Lost's Avatar


Have you even played the game for more than ten minutes? You keep complaining that there are no hidden things. How about the hidden bits or "Flying Rats" Also the hand-to-hand combat is alittle boring unless you counter their attacks. Overall I think you misjudged the game.

Ok why are you complaining about BMXs your in amajor city you idiot just drive a sanchez and get over it. The aiming does suck a little but if your using an AK47 does it matter. The cops are fun being chased bye. My brother an I have spent hours just running from the cops. I think you need to put on som big boy pants and grow a pair you idiot
Posted 04:48 on 28 April 2010
victorkpm's Avatar


GTA IV is very good, the graphics are amazing,
but i liked GTA San Adreas more.

There are lots os different locations, different kinds of vehicles.
lots os minigames...
My first deception at the beggining of the game was that i was unable to ride the rollercoaster oe to play the minigolf near the first house...

No more bikes, the police is very boring, every time you rob a car, you have to scape the police... actually i always use the comet car cheat, because otherwise game becomes boring if i have to scape the cops everytime.

The map is sub used. Very big but they didnt used them properly. There are many locations that they can put lots of minigames, or oher stuff.
San andreas have many details that are playable, as marathon, haircuts, more clothes, motocross minigames, yo can dive and search for seashells...

no more planes too

I hope Rockstar in the next game mis the pros of both games, graphics of IV and gameplay of sanandreas.
Posted 13:26 on 14 January 2010
steezer's Avatar


For me, there are far worse things to complain about than the things complained about in this article.

Realism is good in a game. I'm always looking for extra realism. That much they got right. But why take away all the customising options, character development, ability to buy houses, etc? That's a step backwards and nobody will be able to concince me it's not.

But for me, the REAL complaints I have are these: Graphical glitches (the z-fighting problem on ati cards- this game has been out for what? Well over a year and this to my knowledge hasnt been addressed even once - unforgivable). You HAVE to have a windows Live account in order to save your game. WTF is that about? I just want to play a game on my PC, I dont want to have to sign up for this, that and the third just to play it. Bad. Bad meaning BAD.

The guy has some legitimate complaints, but for me, the real bad things about this game were unmentioned. And what makes his opinion so more valid than the rest of ours anyway? I notice nobody else is being asked for their opinion so that a big whiney article can be written.

In closing....there are some really good things about the game but they are far, far overshadowed by the negatives and you need state of the art gear just to get some kind of satisfying experience out of it. This game was never worth a 10 on any format, no game ever is. Perfection is unattainable. There are always things to improve on. 10/10 for this game is just a blatant fanboy rating.
Posted 05:28 on 10 January 2010
devilking1994's Avatar


iv played them all and there's nothing wrong with gta4 stop crying like a baby john it realy good i would give all the gta games 10 out of 10 i mean the aiming i have no such problem with it aiming at the wrong thing it aims correctly for me may be you should get some glasses man i mean come on just becouse you don't like it man i love it you cant expect their to be no glitches on the game like aiming errors or such other things. its realty hard to make a game like gta 4 theirs always things wrong some times small things other times big things but i can officaly say that gta 4 kicks f**king ass!!!!!
Posted 21:14 on 28 November 2009
Duckish's Avatar


Pfft....More like "John vs. Good Taste"

You know john, i'm glad rockstar didn't catter this one to people like you. People like you keep the gaming industry in general from evolving because you're all gimmick and convention whores, publishers love people like you..

So you overplayed every GTA release...good for you, how bout reading a book for a change or comming up with a videogame idea of your own...oh can't, you're a consummer, you want to be spoonfed "fun" .

I'm glad rockstar smartened up a bit and tried something deeper. And i'm glad this GTA gets praised for immersion and story. Videogames should long have evolved into a respectable interactive medium, the time of dumb casual "fun" should have ended with pinball arcades.... And that's where you belong johny the past.. Maybe a century from now they'll discover your dusty remains in the same dusty basement you're talking out of now and you will be the past, but i can't wait that long, videogame evolution is way overdue.

Thank you also, i was searching to coin a term for people like you....and it so happened i came across your article. So this rant is not even adressed to you, it's adressed to "Johns" all over the world.

P.S. Why is this kid even wasting this site's bandwith with his so called review?? What he's too good for message boards or is this site runing out of article material?
Posted 22:18 on 14 October 2009

Game Stats

Release Date: 26/03/2006
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,485 194
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