Grand Theft Auto IV Review for Xbox 360

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This is how good GTA 4 is
This is how good GTA 4 is

This is how good GTA 4 is

It takes an awful lot for me to spend extended periods of time playing games. I tend to pick at them, putting in a few hours a day over a week while doing other things in between. So, when GTA 4's game-time stat read 35 hours after just three days and my eyes were blood-shot it was obvious that this was not your average video game - not even your average great video game. After more than 40 hours Rockstar's most ambitious game to date was over and left me wondering if I'll ever be able to look at 'normal' video games in the same way again.

Starting GTA 4 for the first time, it was hard to know what to expect. I knew you played as Niko Belic, an ex-military guy from Eastern Europe, that the game is set in Liberty City and that Rockstar had worked on sorting out many of the issues in previous GTAs, but beyond that I came to the game pretty fresh. As to be expected, the opening moments drip with quality, the kind you'd expect to see in the latest $200 million blockbuster movie. In the office the whole gang had gathered to watch the opening moments. "That's so cool" was said more than once in the first five minutes - before the game had even given me the controls - and it's a phrase that became increasingly common - joined by big grins - over the course of the game.

Things start off unexpectedly slowly. Early missions revolve around helping out your cousin Roman, who runs a taxi cab business. It's here that you'll get to grips with the ins and outs of GTA 4, including the new waypoint system for navigation (in-game GPS), your mobile phone (essentially your link to all your contacts in the game), the new combat system and the way missions work. Of course, you'll likely go off the rails, experimenting with the new physics system by ramming innocent pedestrians with your car or inflicting enough damage to cause your car to explode. It's all very next-gen and far too easy to waste hours of your life on.

You'll also come into contact with Liberty City's finest, the LCPD. The wanted system has seen some changes over previous GTAs, making chases all the more entertaining. Do something naughty, like reverse into a patrolling police car, and you'll have a one-star wanted level. The cop will start a pursuit, staying on you as long as he has you in his sights. Get outside the relatively small search zone for a short period of time and the search will be called off, but things can get a lot worse. Once you get up to a three-star wanted level (shoot a cop or go on a blood-thirsty rampage) things aren't so easy, with helicopters giving the cops an eye in the sky. Just hope you never have to see the dreaded level six.

Gun combat has been greatly improved over the previous games

Gun combat has been greatly improved over the previous games

Cars in GTA 4 all handle very differently, as do the bikes. Larger vehicles are pretty sluggish and don't take to power-sliding around corners all that well, while sportier cars have an almost arcade racer feel, ideal for nipping about the busier roads in Liberty City. The motorbikes are the most nimble though, weaving in and out of traffic with relative ease. It's easy to get a little too confident though. In a car a high-speed head-on collision can see Niko fly through the windscreen, but do the same on a bike and you're guaranteed to be eating tarmac, and whatever else your lifeless body careers into as it flies through the air. Helicopters and boats also make an appearance later on in the game, both offering a far more peaceful form of travel.

As deadly as vehicles can be - you can even manually aim a weapon while driving - it's on-foot where you'll do most damage. With a target lock-on and free-aim system the game has most gamers covered, although it's not quite perfect. In confined spaces the camera can get a little lost and the new cover system occasionally locks you to the wrong piece of scenery. Trying to balance free-roaming gameplay and solid shooter controls can't be easy, but Rockstar has done an excellent job. To begin with you'll be limited to your fists and a baseball bat, but soon you'll have access to a pistol, then automatic rifles, sniper rifles, grenades, molotovs and RPGs - lots given to you for certain missions, but also available at the numerous gun stores in the city.

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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
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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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: 88 17
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