Grand Theft Auto IV is without doubt one of the highest profile games due for release in 2008. The latest trailer for the game has reassured us that the game is shaping up well, but we wanted to go one step further. We've taken a close look at the footage to bring you our thoughts on what we might be seeing in the final game.
A cover system
It's hard to say for sure, seeing as most of the trailer footage seems to be from cutscenes, but at 1:21 there appears to be footage of your character popping out of cover and firing at enemies. Who knows if this will actually be part of the gameplay, but if so it would be a huge improvement on the clumsy combat controls seen in previous games.
Improved hand-to-hand combat
Hand-to-hand combat has always played a part in the series, but the trailer suggests that it's much smoother. Again, it could just be a cutscene from the game, but combat is certainly going to be a major component of the game. At 53 seconds an enemy is seen striking you with his gun. Perhaps melee attack will be a combat option this time, rather than an automatic action if you are close enough.
A dancing mini-game was featured in San Andreas, and it appears that this could be returning in GTA IV. Characters are also seen playing pool. Could this be another mini-game? There's also a sign of a love interest, with your character receiving a kiss from a female character. For those who want more instant gratification, strip clubs also seem to be making a comeback, although what's on offer isn't clear. We're guessing Hot Coffee won't be making an appearance though.
"Say hello to my little friend!"
If the dialogue of the trailer is anything to go by, we could be looking at a classic Scarface-style storyline for GTA IV, where a foreigner comes to the land of the free to make his millions. Could we have a classic rags to riches plot that ultimately corrupts our anti-hero? When Niko arrives he is greeted by his cousin, who says "the mansion is coming. That's the dream". "What do you mean?" Niko asks. "We're going to the top Niko! Soon, even you will forget about the old country" he replies. Tony Montana eat your heart out.
"This is the mansion?"
There's always been a hub of some description in GTA games, and from the third trailer it looks like that trend could continue in GTA IV. When Niko steps off the boat in Liberty City he is brought to a run down, decrepit flat by his cousin, which looks like it could serve as your hub at least during the early part of the game. It's no mansion for sure, but as Niko's cousin says, that's the dream. As it is with other GTA games, we'd expect to be able to upgrade your base of operations as you earn more cash and improve your status in the city's seedy underworld. We certainly hope so anyway, since Niko can clearly be seen looking at a crushed cockroach stuck to the bottom of his boot. Nice.