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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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

Anonymous's Avatar
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mini games suck big time ,bring on gta 4 lice city
Posted 21:26 on 18 June 2008
bigdar25's Avatar


Well this game is good but if u ask me its not violent enough like when u shoot at someones leg or head it should fly of and squirt with blood like the gore cheat in past games.i was a bit disapointed with it dough like there is no countryside you cant fly a plane or parashoot jump there are no mountains and cars can get very anoying at times, there are also less weapons like who disided to take away the chainsaw they should be also cant free aim the hand weapons either so i cant smash up cars. you also cant swim under water. its not exactly free to do wat u want game cuz i feel restricted.u cant build musules get tatoos or a hair cut or starve to death. you cant own the city through gang fights.there are no f16 planes after you when youve got 6stars wanted level. online is cool dough
Posted 15:01 on 10 June 2008
047gaboca's Avatar


Well, this is definitely a game that stands out head and shoulders above all games on PS3 so far. I can't play it enough, it's worth every dollar. People complain about this game like too violent or promote violence......guys this is a game only. If people don't like it then don't buy it. A lot of them try to push it down for no reason. It was the same story with SAN ANDREAS or the HITMAN games. These games ARE 10/10.

Love this game. The only thing i would ask for is the "in-mission" saving option. Otherwise, it's a real doubt.
Posted 08:04 on 04 June 2008
aidee's Avatar


This game is the reason i bought my xbox360. Its worth the R3000 spent on the console, plus the R750 for the game.
Cant wait to get it next month
Posted 14:47 on 03 June 2008
claes huey's Avatar
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claes huey

Posted 14:45 on 17 May 2008
MSX's Avatar
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MSX already have some hacks ready to go for this game, should make for some interesting gameplay =D
Posted 20:22 on 16 May 2008
azure2s's Avatar


GTA 4 is another one of those games that promote violence and immoral acts. Do not support this game.
Posted 20:21 on 14 May 2008
rudolf's Avatar
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im hopefully buying it and the 360 this weekend. i just cannot wait, due to the hype generated by such a supposedly maginificent game. MON THE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS!

a month of non stop gta 4, here i doth come. thou now hath my soul.
Posted 16:07 on 14 May 2008
Me's Avatar
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I HATE XBOX and PS they eat PC games .... GTA 4 very good game and it must be on PC.
sorry for my English
Posted 23:05 on 10 May 2008
Frey's Avatar
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The contrast/brightness/saturation is hard to control to get a decent picture quality. If u make the picture nice the cell fone is to dark. Its getting to be a pain.
Posted 18:33 on 10 May 2008
perezone's Avatar
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this game is great. but the graphics is not all that great. I have hd tv with hdmi cable hooked up to my xbox 360 and i found the graphics in COD4 to be better . the game play is great but driving so far to do missions is a bit tedius
Posted 19:55 on 08 May 2008
from Ukraine's Avatar
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from Ukraine

I hate Xbox and PS3 i Love PC GTA the best
Posted 08:29 on 08 May 2008
The Flush's Avatar
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The Flush

Wow, these guys must be sniffing some bad glue to say stuff like this (you know, criticize the much improved content). If they hate it so much, give the game to someone who will apreciate it and go back to gta 3.
Posted 00:14 on 08 May 2008
Rogue_Soul's Avatar


Use the edit button?
Posted 00:58 on 07 May 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Grand Theft Auto IV
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: 298 25
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