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.

Review Verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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It's a little rough in places, but GTA is still a stunning game to look at.
It's a little rough in places, but GTA is still a stunning game to look at.

It's a little rough in places, but GTA is still a stunning game to look at.

Production values are through the roof all over GTA 4, with both versions being about the best you'll see on each console (full console comparison including video). The day/night cycle creates some unbelievable lighting and the weather effects set mood in certain scenes that will likely change if you need to replay a mission. Quite randomly during one particularly morbid mission the weather turned for the worse, and the sky was filled with thunder and lightning. Some players are likely to never experience the mission the same way, but for that moment it echoed the mood perfectly. Praise for the visuals could go on forever, covering the sublime explosions and resulting carnage to the way characters react to being shot in different body parts.

Equally superb is the audio work, which has most definitely raised the bar for video games. The in-game soundtrack is colossal and varied, and voice work for once really is of Hollywood standard. These are 100% believable characters no matter how extroverted they might be. Rockstar could have released the game in hour-long chunks and it would have been rated up there with the likes of The Sopranos as classic slices of cutting drama. The comical radio talk shows and the hilarious TV shows (viewable from your apartment) are also worth of praise - we'd even pay for more shows released via DLC.

GTA 4 most definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it and will certainly go down as a defining game of this console generation, but it's not perfect. Visual blemishes such as pop-up and a sluggish frame rate plagued previous GTAs, and while nowhere near as bad in GTA 4 these problems are still present. The game puts a visually pleasing blur on distant objects, so your view of the city is still incredible, but as you speed along certain things do pop into view. During the most intense moments the frame rate also takes a dive, but these two complaints aren't enough to prevent GTA 4 from being one of the most technically impressive games ever released.

We doubt any game released this year will better GTA 4

We doubt any game released this year will better GTA 4

A problem of more concern is the lack of mid-mission checkpoints. How much this bothers you will be a personal thing, but no matter how long a mission might be, failure at any point will result in you having to start from the beginning. Considering many missions require a lengthy cross-city drive before the action starts, doing this numerous times can be frustrating. You can often take a taxi or one of Roman's cars to your destination, saving some time, but it's a shame Rockstar didn't provide a solution for what could have been a non-issue.

Slight problems aside, no-one old enough to play GTA 4 should pass it up. It's certainly a mature experience - in tone, violence and language - but that actually makes it even more unique. For all the controversy that Rockstar generates, GTA 4 has moved video games on to a point that most developers just won't be able to compete with. We all knew GTA 4 would be a great game and sell millions of copies, but I didn't expect it to shame pretty much every other game I've played this generation.

This review is based entirely on the single-player campaign. Head over to our GTA 4 multiplayer feature for our thoughts on the game modes that will keep you playing for months to come.

You can buy GTA 4 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at GAME.co.uk.

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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
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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: 185
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