Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV Preview for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC
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10Out of 10
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Enough options already. Back to the action. I find Lenny on a train platform (you'll be able to use trains to get around Liberty City if you don't like driving). My mini-map, via a black arrow, showed he was positioned above me. After climbing stairs (Niko can only jog up stairs, not sprint) I trigger a short cutscene where Lenny and his goons start blabbering after I tell him I'm here to kill him. Like a foolish beginner I haven't equipped my Uzi in anticipation of things kicking off. Lenny and his goons dispatch me like the noob I am. I respawn at a nearby hospital, more determined than ever.

Searching for a car to nick I discover a little more about how Niko will interact with the people of Liberty City. Press B while walking in a crowd for an Assassin's Creed style push. But don't expect people to just take your aggressiveness - a push is counted as a violent act, and they will fight back. Start a fight with some randoms on the street and, if a cop spots you, they will try to arrest you.

Time to try and kill Lenny again. This time I remember to equip my Uzi before I trigger the cutscene - I take care of his goons and Lenny makes a run for it, jumping in a car and speeding off. I nick the closest car available and speed off in pursuit, wildly firing from the car window. A few lucky shots later and Lenny slumps forward, his car slowly grinding to a halt - I've hit him through the rear window and in the back of the head. Nice.

I now skip further forward to the fourth and final mission of my hands-on. This mission, called Harbouring a Grudge, begins in Dukes and ends in a dock in Algonquin. Niko has befriended a man nicknamed Packie (Patrick McReary) - one of a family of Irish thugs. We're in a car together, on our way to a job. I pass a TWAT - Totally Wireless @ internet cafe - Liberty City's chain of Internet cafes. I ask about how they will work. There will be plenty of websites on it, from news reporting on the chaos you're causing to more general stuff. There will be email access too - for one mission which requires you to go to an interview with a lawyer you'll need to submit your CV via email in TWAT. I'm told that GTA 4's Internet will look a lot like Rockstar's very own real life GTA 4 website, and will have an effect on gameplay. But I'm also told that TWAT will mainly be of interest for completists, suggesting you won't have to spend time surfing a fake version of the web if you don't want to.

I drive Packie to the Algonquin docks. Packie is very chatty, offering lots of life advice - most missions in GTA 4 are explained by accomplices as you drive to the job, keeping pad down time to a minimum. I'm told that if you repeat the game's missions the dialogue changes each time (there's about four dialogue versions for each mission). But repeat too many times and Packie, for example, will say he's bored of talking and asks if he can listen to the radio. It's a nice touch, and should help to keep things fresh, especially during repeated attempts of the more difficult missions.

Turns out that Ray, the Italian mafia guy we talked about in our GTA 4 first look, has tipped Packie off that the Triads are expecting a boat to arrive at the Algonquin docks with some interesting cargo. Ray wants him to wait for the Triads to load the cargo into a truck, steal the truck then get it to a safe house. In exchange he'll split the profits and, as you'd expect, help Niko raise some much-needed cash.

Packie advises you get to high ground in order to provide sniper support. It's here that I discover some elements of Ubisoft's own assassination sandbox Assassin's Creed have made their way into GTA 4. Niko can climb with X, shimmy left and right with the left stick, jump up with another press of X and drop with Y. Right now Niko's legs look terrible as he inches towards a fire escape that will enable him to get up on a roof top. But I'm reassured that Rockstar North is hard at work redoing this animation so it looks much more realistic when the game is released.

In position, the boat arrives with what Packie reveals are meds. As I wait for the transfer, I notice the graphical quality of the water - reflections are impressive and it ripples realistically. It looks like Liberty City's lakes and rivers will be one of GTA 4's most impressive graphical accomplishments.

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User Comments

Anonymous's Avatar
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Im getting it today horray!!! AT LAST!
Posted 00:26 on 18 July 2008
hihihihihihihi's Avatar
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gta 4 rules!
Posted 23:59 on 17 July 2008
canz's Avatar
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it really good you should play it
Posted 16:06 on 23 June 2008
FIN_90's Avatar
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I wonder.. now when GTA4 is released, do u people have a life at all or do u spend all your time playing this ? Im sure its a good game but, c'mon guys.
Posted 21:32 on 20 May 2008
dre's Avatar
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yo i mad i beat the game in 3 1/2 day but still fun after hit me up for tips o yea at the end kill dimitir
Posted 23:06 on 13 May 2008
Krishna Kant's Avatar
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Krishna Kant

Dude, your review is rockinga nd filling me up to play this game now. what a crap, I don't have any X-box 360 or PS3. May i translate your review in Hindi, on my site?
Posted 20:10 on 12 May 2008
Awesome's Avatar
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11 hours left sh*t!!
Posted 23:08 on 28 April 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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4 hours to go til the the local game store opens
Posted 18:51 on 28 April 2008
ps dude's Avatar
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ps dude

well atleast theres helcopters in gtaIII there was only a crappy dodo that only fluw for 2 secs and in liberty city stories nothing
Posted 08:11 on 28 April 2008
ray's Avatar
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omg this game is so awsome only bad part is less buildings to go in and no talking to pepole
Posted 08:08 on 28 April 2008
GTA player's Avatar
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GTA player

lame, you dumbass whore dont you ever talk bad about any GTA ever again. you must be a freaking moron not to like GTA. thus shutting you up.
Posted 06:00 on 28 April 2008
hydra's Avatar
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it wont be a dissapointment
Posted 23:02 on 24 April 2008
hydra's Avatar
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why dont u guys read the article instead of asking us. the artilce tells u whether there is planes or not and what not.
but yea ive read jsut bout al there is to it. its gonna be unreal.
been counting down for months. not a lie.
o yea its got like 100 hours of gameplay b4 u beat it. so ill be playin it for longer than a month sparkky. it took me a year to beat gta III b/c i kept takin breaks from it and ive beaten san andreas 3 times. gta never gets old unless ur a diehard for rockstar games.
Posted 23:01 on 24 April 2008
Jaded's Avatar
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I was hoping you would have stats you could spend points in ala The Godfather...oh well. And what's with Rockstar not wanting to push the envelope further with nudity? I'd kind of like to see an uncensored version, like they do with new movie releases, where you can buy either the toned down version or the x-rated version. Movie studios do this, why not gaming studios?
Posted 23:33 on 23 April 2008
poo's Avatar
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Posted 23:20 on 22 April 2008

Game Stats

Release Date: 29/04/2008
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 879 4
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