on June 11, 2008
This game has hard core fans with disparate expectations. There are a myriad of rave reviews on this game. I thought I'd write one for those who are finding GTA4 to be...so-so?
I've read the positive reviews--it's a GTA for grown ups (weren't they all?), it's darker better, grittier (based on your character's facial hair I assume), it's more REALISTIC.
Ok. stop right there. Sorry but I don't want realism. I don't want to drive clunky cars that can't take a 90 degree turn at 30 mph without plowing through a storefront. I don't want to call up friends when I'd rather be doing something else just so I can keep the relationship (and the perks they offer) going. I don't want a GTA version of the virtual Secondlife or SIMS. I want to jetpack around in my tightie whities and a mohawk, 200 lbs overweight, listening to Conway Twitty. Now you're talking about fun.
Seriously, fun has been the ultimate of the GTA's until now. Niko Belak is NO FUN, he'd tell you personally. Previous GTA's all offered that thrill of exhilaration. I'm just not getting that here.
*Taking cabs--much better than cross country treks that go awry when you make a wrong turn and crash into the ocean.
*Having a lawyer for a girlfriend--good idea
*Evading the cops by stealth rather than bribes
*Very cool graphics with smooth transitions
*Best bank robbery mission ever
*Good weapons/aiming control
*Repetitive missions (shoot em up, run away from the cops)
*A little too easy. In all the other GTA's I've gotten stuck somewhere, simply b/c I'm not the best hand-eye coordinator. Nothing in GTA4 stymied me for more than 2 repeat tries.
*Lack of customization
*Lack of skill improvement (i.e. cars, shooting, bikes, endurance, etc)
*Lack of haircuts and accessories(Hey, I'm a chick, what do you want?)
*Drastic changes in driving controls
*Lack of 'stuff' to find in nooks and crannies
*Second-shelf music selection
*Inability to buy businesses
In sum, I just shelved this game at about 80% completion for another one I got for $20. That is the most demonstrative comment I can offer. Previous GTA's were my heroin--this one's more like methadone. Save your $60 and wait 6 months--the market will be glutted w/ extra copies.
on September 20, 2015
Rockstar produces a great game. Falls right in line with all the other GTA games. Does have a little bit more of a serious tone to it but that didn't take away from the game at all for me. The only thing in the game I didn't care for was the friends calling up wanting to do something all the time. Love everything else about the game though and have played it several times since beating the story line.
Just when you think you have Rockstar Games and their legendary Grand Theft Auto series figured out, they pitch you one heck of a curve. Speaking as a guy who spent so much time running amok in Vice City and San Andreas that I practically had to file tax returns there, I have been consistently surprised by the depth of play in GTA IV. Yes, it's true that the character modeling and some of the action moves are a little choppy, but most of the game looks great. Far more interesting, however, is the fact that this is not a video game per se - it borders on an interactive movie. The crime and violence in fuzzy-lit, pastel colored Vice City is practically cartoonish compared to the gritty reality of life in Liberty City in GTA IV. You're not just a thug with a bat trying to decide which car to lift, you're an immigrant with plenty of emotional baggage, forced into a series of moral quandries the outcomes of which carry implications throughout the entire game. Things you do even turn up later on the in-game radio stations!
Every generation of game console, some game is proclaimed the next coming, be it of graphics, or gameplay, or some other measurable category. GTA IV is different. You can wallow in the muck of street violence and prostitution as always, but there's a deeper moral play going on that feels unlike anything else I've encountered not only in GTA, but in video games in general. Rockstar Games may have finally located that most ephemeral of experiences - one equal parts game and cinema, without belonging entirely to either. It's going to be interesting to see how many critics and politicians seize on only the overt, adult content, without grasping how far more creative and artistic this "game" is than your average deadening FPS or racing game. Rockstar Games is to be commended for what truly deserves to be called "genius."
on May 8, 2008
Usually, when they make a highly anticipated sequel to a much-loved video game franchise, the list of available activities goes up. It seems to me that with GTA IV, that list actually went down. Anyone agree?
I waited anxiously for GTA IV just like many other gamers. I have only been playing it for a few days, and I am already 50% of the way through. After playing GTA: San Andreas for a few days, I was thrilled to discover that I was only about 20% of the way through and still had not revealed the entire map! More detail at the sake of less space to explore = "Looks great. Sure wish it was bigger."
One of the most exciting moments in my video gaming history was discovering that you could finally steal the airplanes in GTA: San Andreas! One of the most disappointing moments in my video gaming history was discovering that they had eliminated this from GTA IV! What a perfect opportunity to make the flight ceiling higher and the destinations more interesting! Sorry, turns out it's back down to one smallish city. Plus, realizing that you could jump of of planes and sky-dive was freakin' sweet! Not happening this time around.
The controls for the various vehicles seem to have become more difficult. (More realistic?) I preferred being able to grab the handbrake and execute crisp turns and 180's to the new "touch the handbrake and spin out" scheme that exists now. And the motorcycles? It seems they've switched the reasonably grippy tires they normally used with tractionless rings of plastic.
And where have the fire-truck and ambulance missions gone? What about the ability to swim under water? Why haven't I been able to carry around a samurai sword or a chainsaw? Where is the flame-thrower? And what a great location the new Liberty City would have been for a jet-pack!
GTA IV seems to be a lot of "been there, done that" with very little new to keep the legions of fans happy. It will sell a billion copies because of the name it carries, but overall, this game is a disappointment.
on May 13, 2014
This is the 1st really 'open world' game that I have played, this means that if you can imagine the character doing it in the game, then you can really do it in the game. Remember when there used to be a pixelated wall blocking you from going further in a game, or trying to see what would happen if you kick something or drive off a cliff?
Well there is no limit to what you can do in this game. I have only begun to scratch the surface of the depth of this massive Liberty City, which seems to be endless. Plus, every time your character dies, it doesn't mean that you have to start over, the challenges aren't too hard & there are many ways of playing the game, so far I haven't gotten stuck in any 1 place. This game is so entertaining, but it is for adults due to shooting people & drug dealers, violence, hookers, topless dance clubs, it is really so funny because it is a game & not real. Since I am an adult I know the difference in right & wrong so I can enjoy this game & think it's real funny, but definitely not for kids, no compromises, just don't get this for your kid!!
If you do get stuck on a mission or level, then there are walkthroughs online & the game itself isn't hard to play. This is my 1st game in a long time & I am just blown away at how cool this game is with the gameplay, the realness of the characters, the plot of the story, the endless open world environment in which to wander & discover, you can even go buy sunglasses & new clothes.
What I don't like & I say this not knowing what the online game play is like; is that I am stuck playing Niko the 1 character who is a man & since I am a chick, I want to create my own female kick ass version of the character.
This game is #1 in my book & will always be my favorite game I think!
on March 17, 2009
This is the best video game EVER!!! I am 41 years old and have played a lot of video games and this one is by far the most enjoyable! If you are offended easily by cursing, then you may not like this game. This game has it all....driving cars, boats, motorcycles, helicopters...dating, hanging out with a friend at a strip club (and getting lap dances), going to shows, out to eat, pool, bowling, darts, video game (within the video game), and of course plenty of missions to accomplish which often involve car chases and shooting. There are plenty of characters that the player will encounter and develop relationships with (good or bad!).
It is just so much fun and so entertaining and also challenging.
I would recommend this game to anyone who wants to play, in my opinion, the best video game you can buy.
I can't wait for GTA 5!
on March 14, 2009
The graphics, the storyline, Niko, Packie, the in-game internet, the Infernus, THE GAMEPLAY!!!!
That's pretty much what I love best about GTAIV, but almost everything is perfect. There is so much to do in this game. Even if you beat it, you still want to play it again and take the different paths laid out in the game... My favorite additions, (apart from non-cartoon vehicle handling and the amazing graphics) are the ability to hang out with friends, hide behind stuff, the ability to switch targets (You supposedly could in San Andreas, but I can't seem to), and the variety in cars, pedestrians, and missions.
Rockstar has done it again, wowing us (or at least me) with a new masterpiece that push expectations of what the perfect video game should be. So far, in my book, Grand Theft Auto IV has that title. The characters are hilarious, and many times, have a story behind them.
If there were anything I could change about this game, It would be the monochromatic environment. By that I mean, unlike San Andreas, there is, for the most part, only one terrain type, and that is city. Not that I don't love Liberty City, or that I believe a console is capable of having graphics as amazing as in GTA4 and at the same time having a massive environment, it's just that f you can't find anything to do (which is pretty hard) the game can feel stale. If there could ever be a game as graphically...amazing.... as GTA4, have the variety in vehicles, peds, and missions, and the same increcible gameplay, yet have the same massive and varied environment as San Andreas, that game would most likely win the best game of all time.
So apart from the lack of terrain variety, and the strange appearances of vehicles of the same kind you are driving parked on the side of the road, This game is PERFECT.
on April 2, 2009
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone just introducing themselves into the GTA series.
Even though I don't have insight into the past games I'm going to say that they did a great job with this one. In the reviews I've read everyone is griping about realism... too much, not enough, etc. I think they hit an excellent balance! Too much and it would be too tedious, too little and it doesn't suck you in and give you the thrill.
So far I've been fully addicted to this game. It's challenging but fun and usually holds my interest for hours. It was a bit frustrating at first getting used to all the controls and how to interact with everything, as they just throw you into it, but like any game it eventually becomes natural. My biggest gripes are the motorcycle chases and that to replay a mission you have to go through all the interaction again - frustrating when you have to retry something a few times. I still love it though!
The interaction is amazing. The graphics are great. The cops are vicious. Combat is excellent once you get the hang of it. Driving is decently realistic without being painful (also takes getting used to). I love Brucie - totally modeled after FPS D.
I see some gripes about the driving and my comment still stands. Get a decent car and learn how to drive it! It's the realism they were shooting for and I think they hit a perfect balance. Maybe they should have made an option to tone it down for people that want it to be like "Mrio Krt" but that would really detract from the experience. Driving and shooting simultaneously are really tricky but you can manage after some practice.
I've only had my system freeze once EVER and I think that was a heat issue (my fault). Big thumbs up to Sony =)
on August 8, 2010
Let me just start out by saying I have played GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas and this game. I love sandbox style games, always have and always will. After two years of owning this game, I can honestly say it collected dust. It is a masterpiece on the eyes as the graphics and real world physics are amazing. However, the very thing that made GTA so fun and playable has died with this new addition to the series. As many other gamers have mentioned, we are missing the idea of flying planes, racing on dirt bikes through dirt roads, getting lost in the forest, jumping off cliff, gambling at casinos, having good hand to hand combat, listening to great radio stations, entertaining mini games, great driving controls and of course full customization of the main character and cars. As well as many other things...GTA IV has failed to provide the gamer with simple, but fun game play. I have missed these concepts so much that I went out and purchased a Playstation 2 and a greatest hits copy of GTA San Andreas again because GTA IV after two years sucks. After playing GTA SA, I played GTA IV, just to see if I could get back into it and see if I was wrong. Well, I ended up trading this game in because I jumped right into a car, floored it, tapped another vehicle and due to tapping the other vehicle lost all control of my vehicle and crashed into a building. I was done, after playing the game for a few months out of the two years I owned it; it should have been like riding a bike. Instead it was confirming a last generation game still is better then the latest and greatest. I can only hope that by writing this that a member of Rockstar will read this and make the next GTA better. If gamers wanted games with real life physics and driving scenarios we will buy "Defensive Driving Course - The Video Game". If you are an Amazon.com customer, please save your money, wait for Rockstar to restore the original game play and dynamics that made GTA so great in the past.
on February 15, 2014
To be honest I have overall a mixed view of this game, mostly negative. I just completed the last mission to this game yesterday after about a month's worth of playing it (55 hours actual gaming time) and I have to say that this game really pushes the envelope and not in the ways you might think.
I will first comment on the graphics, the best part of the game (but still somewhat iffy). I like the water effects and the way that the larger skyscrapers in downtown Liberty City will still be somewhat visible even on the edges of the map. Also, you can smash more stuff in this game versus its predecessors. Car damage is more realistic in some cases but you can't really rip off doors and fenders like in previous games. Furthermore, there is really no differentiation between the various boroughs of Liberty City (aka NYC); Staten Island has the same grimy poo flavored neighborhoods as Brooklyn and the Bronx (don't ask me what R* called these places in the game). And since when does Manhattan have garbage and crap everywhere? I thought that Manhattan was fairly clean compared to the rest of NYC. And how come half of the people look like fat little Keebler elves? I swear that the police in this game looked like Keebler elves packing heat. Also, sunlight is very glitchy in this game; I've had the entire sky turn a blinding white sometimes while I'm playing the game and everything is lit up so much that you can't see very well.
THe sounds and music also leave a lot to be desired. The voice acting is annoying and muffled; Little Jacob (the Rastafarian gangster guy) has way too deep an accent to understand. Many of the characters sound like they're talking through a pillow when they talk (and I have my volume on my TV up fairly loud). And the music is really bad; the stations in Liberty City must be stuck in HipHop/Rap hell since that's all they play. Changing the channel does you no good; it's wannabe gangsta hell on every station. I muted the stations in the game after maybe 5 minutes of listening to it and kept it mute for the rest of the game. Sound effects are good though as explosions and gunshots sound like what they're supposed to. The cops also sound hilarous (even though they're deadly in GTA IV).
THe controls are probably tied with the actual gameplay for being the worst part of GTA IV. Almost every car handles like it weighs as much as a dump truck and accelerate like crap. I've slid and spun around in cars even at speeds similar to jogging on foot which is ridiculous. Cars will flip onto their side and you'll be stuck there trying to tip them back onto their wheels for a long time. I've had cars get stuck into places they shouldn't for that matter; a couple of times I'll be driving and the car gets wedged between a fence and a wall or something even though it obviously shouldn't which is a real PITA. Car physics are also way off; the big heavy vehicles (like semis and buses) are basically useless since they have no acceleration yet can't really push smaller vehicles out of the way nor can they even bust through obstacles as you would expect. Cars will bounce and hip hop all over the place without any real reason at all. And good luck with the stunt jumps since most cars can't do them.
THe other obvious joke in the controls is controlling Niko (the main character) himself. Niko's movements are poorly designed; holding down X has Niko do a sort of jog while rapidly mashing X has him run. With the amount of running you'll be doing in the game I would imagine that the controls would be a bit more comfortable, don't you think? The gun controls are even worse; lightly holding down L2 has Niko going into sort of a aiming mode where you can aim for any location you can. However, the target could be pointed towards something further away (like an enemy) and Niko shoots and the bullets bounce off something like a wall right in front of you, for example. And auto aim is HORRIBLE; I could have someone right in front of me pumping bullets into Niko and the auto aim locks onto a civilian running on the other side of the street; I've lost numerous times thanks to this POS control scheme and it makes me mad even thinking about it! The manual and auto aim is finicky as well, you can't really press L2 that much without going to auto aim which is really irritating if you're being ganged up on. Also, grenades and molotovs are worthless since throwing them is almost impossible thanks to the crappy controls (and since when does a molotov cost $500?) and bad aiming.
The gameplay is obviously the biggest and most important part of any video game and this is where R* really lost their marbles on this one. First, the main missions are okay overall but tend to be copies of each other. Many of the missions involve way too much idle driving to be really fun; I thought this was GTA, not Grand Theft Traffic Jam. The game's plot tends to hop around quite a bit here; I still am not really sure who the main villian really was in GTA IV; was it Pegorino or Dimitri or Darko? Or someone else? I don't know but you do missions and jobs for some of these guys before you blow them away. As far as Niko goes, I actually think he's a fairly decent guy. I actually wanted to see him rise to the top along with his cousin Roman and as far as I'm concerned they were the only real likeable characters I knew of in the game. All of the others were annoying or people that I found irritating; Packie is one of them. He was a jerk to Niko during the missions for Packie and then out of the blue becomes a friend to Niko. WTF? Then you have Kate and Michelle as 'girlfriends' during the game and I'd rather push them off a skyscraper in Star Junction (aka Times Square) than date them, they're nasty to me! Side missions include: dating, playing pool, bowling, darts, going out to eat (at Clucking Bell and Burger Shot, hahaha) vigilante missions (accessed by the computer in a cop car and don't reward you financially as far as I'm concerned) and shooting pigeons (called flying rats in this game). Taxi missions are available but only through Roman and only when he actually has work to give you. For a game plot revolving around money in a city supposedly flowing with money, actual money and money making enterprises in GTA IV are relatively rare. You can deliver packages for Little Jacob but you get maybe $500 for each mission. Given that you'll spend much more than that on weapons and armor, it's a loss leader actually. THere are two missions in the game that actually do reward you with a lot of money; one is a bank robbing mission done for Packie (which is very long and tedious) and the other is the actual ending mission (mine was gunning down that Pegorino clown); each one gives you $250,000 and is probably going to be the source of most of your money in the game.
Other stuff has been stripped out of the game, like most of the weapons we are used to, so you're stuck with mostly handguns, bats and whatever machine guns the enemies drop. Guns are ridiculously expensive in this game with the Rocket Launcher topping $15,000 just for the actual launcher itself. Body armor is only available at the weapons shops or during some missions when it sits in some corner of a room you're going through. No more flamethrowers or miniguns or chainsaws or anything from San Andreas and Vice City, just the crud weapons.
Vehicles are also way stipped down; there's no Rhino Tank or anything close to it in the game and the Hunter attack copter only makes one appearance in the game when you're chasing Pegorino on his boat. Motorcycles are basically useless since even a small slide has you flying off the bike and into God knows what hard surface in front of you. No planes at all and only one type of helicopter makes its appearance in GTA IV (and is a pain to control and land). Most good vehicles are either gone or extremely rare so your choices of transportation in GTA IV are:
* The various types of taxis driving around
* Muscle cars built like cardboard and with the speed and handling of a tub (all of them are alarmed too!)
* Some mid 90s four door domestic Car POS
* A huge SUV which is good for ramming stuff but not much else
* Crossover cars (the most common I've seen in GTA IV) that smoke and stall after running through fences
* Forklifts in the industrial areas (you're better off walking)
And R* wonders why it's losing ground in the gaming markets!
GTA IV also glitches a lot:
* I've had car alarms go off on cars suddenly after I have been driving them for a while
* I've run over cops in the game and I sometimes get no wanted stars
* I've shot a gun in the middle of nowhere and GOT a wanted star
* I've driven into the hot dog food carts and my car EXPLODES for no reason
* Controls sometimes won't respond when I push them deliberately
* I've driven into steps on the ground and my car EXPLODES for no reason
* Parked Cars sometimes won't spawn for several minutes in the game.
* Moving cars will spawn out of nowhere right to my side or behind me
* Niko sometimes will not go through a door or up stairs when he is supposed to.
* Cops will appear and disappear at random
* Sometimes for no reason you can't order food at Burger Shot/Clucking Bell
I would say that overall, GTA IV is like a lot of video games today: it's blingy junk. It's good as a stress reliever (which is the only thing that kept me playing it) and not much else.