Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

The Grand Theft Auto series returns and for the first time on next-generation consoles.

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10Out of 10
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The characters, Roman in particular, are the stars of GTA 4.
The characters, Roman in particular, are the stars of GTA 4.

The characters, Roman in particular, are the stars of GTA 4.

As great as these core elements of GTA 4 are, it's the characters that steal the show and make the game truly special. Niko's cousin Roman is without doubt one of the most charismatic and likeable characters ever seen in a video game, and it's Niko's relationship with him - and his love of family in general - that underpins the storyline. You're never too far from the introduction of a new face and for the first time in GTA history Rockstar has absolutely nailed the mix of comedy and drama - helped by some brilliant voice acting and facial animation. Rather than one scene feeling at odds to another, they play off each other wonderfully, immersing you into the story as you grow to like or dislike the characters - sometimes even determining their fate.

As a 40-hour game for most average gamers you might expect the action to let up a little, but if anything there's always too much to do. Aside from the brilliant and increasingly dramatic story missions there's an abundance of side missions: those given out by the key characters which in turn allow you to call in favours; dating, including certain perks; mini-games such as bowling, darts and pool; getting drunk and wandering around the city in an inebriated state; a working GTA 4 internet service with email, purchasable ring-tones, internet dating and news; and more.

The problem is that you just won't want to stray from the core story missions - they're that good. A realistic city in which you can fire weapons and drive vehicles might sound like a recipe for lots of repetition, but that's just not the case. Although you do carry out missions that are similar, the variety is incredible and often unique in how you personally play them out. One moment you might be taking down managers in a strip club and the next you're robbing a Bank and escaping Heat-style - a mission that must go down as one of the greatest in GTA history.

You've got land, air and sea vehicles to steal.

You've got land, air and sea vehicles to steal.

Liberty City is a brilliant game world. We've had other games that have claimed to be set in real worlds, but nothing has come close to this. The map is split into so many different areas and suburbs that it's hard to understand how Rockstar ever managed to get this game out onto store shelves. The level of detail is just staggering. Whereas San Andreas featured numerous relatively empty 'filler' areas, there's nothing but quality in GTA 4. The city is full of people too, getting on with their lives, getting into fights with each other, talking on their phones and generally acting real. Of course, they're not real, and do display some signs of stupidity - most often in their quite ridiculously slow and poor driving - but any casual observers will be blown away by what they see.

Moving from the quieter areas you begin in to the more densely populated areas of the city is a great game moment in itself. Having played for hours in a poor neighbourhood, only to drive down a glitzy road surrounded by neon signs and billboards, with traffic congestion mimicking that seen in New York, is a sight to behold. The sense of moving up in the world isn't laid out on a plate as it is in previous GTA games; in GTA 4 you'll just slowly realise that you're in a better part of town, living in a better apartment, dressing in better clothes and earning money more readily. It's not an instant thing, and works in conjunction with the storyline, with the bigger fishes appearing as your profile is raised.

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User Comments

Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ thegta4-fanboy

...Lol
Posted 20:10 on 24 February 2011
thegta4-fanboy's Avatar

thegta4-fanboy

i finally got permission from my mom that i can get this game when i'm getting 16
Posted 19:28 on 24 February 2011
safc's Avatar

safc

this game is amazing the story mode is good too please buy this game if you dont have it also the online is alright too, this game deserves to be 10 out of 10 but i dont think its no way near good as call of duty 4, CoD4 should be rated 10 out of 10
Posted 09:43 on 11 February 2009
rowland1987's Avatar

rowland1987

My favorite gta yet!!!!superb me thinks and the dlc sound wicked
Posted 21:46 on 04 February 2009
TheWarriors's Avatar

TheWarriors

yeh Wrong Side of the Tracks, GTA: San Andreas. once you stuff up, its back to the start again.
Posted 11:48 on 14 January 2009
TheWarriors's Avatar

TheWarriors

I think that Rockstar should have made up a new city for GTA 4. Instead of same old Liberty City. But the game sounds great.
Posted 11:39 on 14 January 2009
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TRBO RAD

this game was great made me alittle mad though that no more plane flying and lots more cops....toooo many confusing buildings.....easy easy easy....and the driving grrrrrrr.....in all other GTA games i can drive backwards and do 360s and no one can keep up well on this one well i get hit and run in to things...and the damage system i walk onto a street and a car goin 10 mph bumps me and i fall and takes half my health then i get up and walk....trip and get ran over all i the middle of a mission.....ANGER OVERLOAD
Posted 11:13 on 03 January 2009
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I finally got around to finishing the main storyline in GTA: IV this morning. The last few missions easily warrant all the 10 scores that this game ended up with and I'm now enjoying going back through it all again for the other achievements and making different choices this time around.

After which, that 'Storyline Complete' game save is going to come in very handy just for some crazy sandbox fun whilst pigeon hunting, I just hope I don't overwrite it by accident in the meantime as that's very easy to do.

I think GTA:IV's biggest flaw was asking gamers to be patient for the first 20 hours or so before they could unlock the good stuff, but my advice is persevere, unlock those islands, nick a few helicopters, grab an RPG and make use of it, drop grenades out of your car window during chases and definitely kill Dwayne instead of Playboy X when you get the option because he's so depressing on a night out.

I thought the Bellic brothers were great characters, how they're going to top that in future GTAs will have to be seen but I'd be quite content to see Nico again in GTA:V.
Posted 18:46 on 22 October 2008
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

this game was a day player for me
if you dont know what i mean il tell you:
i rented this game for a week and only played it for a day due to (it didnt rock my boat)
Posted 10:46 on 15 July 2008
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sumantaxp

your website is owesome
Posted 06:33 on 15 July 2008
Flyboy's Avatar

Flyboy@ J7

Gangs ! Thats what it was in san andreas. Thats whats missing. It took so much of your time with looking after your terrortory etc. But i hail GTA iv for getting way from that pitiful excuse to killing a gang member for no reason other than hes from another gang. Who would do such a thing eh :p I know i would. In a game obviously pft if i would do it for real. :bored:
Posted 01:17 on 30 June 2008
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J7

Technically the games pretty good and huge, yet somehow it just leaves me cold and I hardly ever play on it, with san andreas i couldnt stop playing it as with vice city and gta3. Im far from the only person alot of people have been the same with this game that I know. Cant put my finger on what it is
Posted 00:48 on 30 June 2008
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Anonymous

75euros for gta 4 slave to the video games
Posted 21:30 on 18 June 2008
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Anonymous

my gta4 review driving sucks 6/10 shooting the computer does the shooting sucks 6/10 mini games well does few 5/10 over all 7/10
Posted 21:29 on 18 June 2008
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Anonymous

vice city
Posted 21:26 on 18 June 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Grand Theft Auto IV
10
Out of 10
Grand Theft Auto IV
  • A mature story
  • Unbelievably large
  • Incredible presentation
  • Tonnes of variety
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 29/04/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 205 12
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