Grand Theft Auto IV - PlayStation 3
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
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.

Pluses
*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

Minuses
*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
*Uninteresting NPC's/stories/dialogue
*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.
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107 of 137 people found the following review helpful
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.
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133 of 172 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 1, 2008
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."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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.

LOVE it!!!

I can't wait for GTA 5!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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 =)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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.
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38 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
Well I just played my first 6 hours of GTA IV (mostly exploring and hurting people.) I was able to get a copy during the midnight sale at my local Meijer. I don't even know where to begin...The game so far has been everything I expected and then some. The graphics are far superior to past GTA titles but not quite up to par with other games I've played on my PS3. Most people know that the graphics aren't what this franchise is about so It's OK. That being said, holy crap this is a FUN GAME. The first surprise I got was when I crashed my car into a wall at high speed. Niko went flying through the windsheild and smashed into the wall!!! Almost killed him. The car damage is awesome, way more detailed and more realistic. The car will actually stall out if it gets beat up too much. The hookers are back and sluttier than ever...You can go into a bar and get ****faced and stumble around or drive drunk(it gave me a headache, i recommend taking a cab) I have only completed 8 missions so far but they are the same type of stuff as before (drugs,protection money,driving hos around..)at least so far...I can't write anymore now because all I'm thinking about is getting back into Liberty City besides I don't want to ruin any more surprises. I haven't tried the online yet. If you haven't already ordered a copy I highly recommend it. you won't regret it....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
Let me begin by stating that I absolutely loved this game from the first mission to the last. I felt that it absolutely revolutionized the sandbox/rpg genre. The graphics were superb, and the plot was virtually flawless. Gameplay was crisp and fluid, leaving me so absorbed that I found it difficult to believe that I was playing a video game. The characters were remarkably unique, each with incredibly deep pasts and personalities.

However, as much as I enjoyed the game, I did encounter several significant flaws. The most notable of these flaws is the lack of originality in the missions. The first 30-40 missions were a blast, however they soon become very repetitive. Almost every task seemed to involve driving to a certain location, pursuing and killing the target(s), and evading the police afterwards. Obviously, not every mission followed this pattern, but I can honestly say that many did.

Another significant flaw was a complete lack of customization options. GTA San Andreas featured an abundance of customization options, such as car modification, physique and appearance modification, and the ability to purchase homes. Surprisingly, GTA IV, for the most part, lacked these fantastic options. The ability to change clothes remains, as well as other assorted features, however many customization options were scrapped.

Overall, I feel that GTA IV was a worthy addition to Rockstar's venerable franchise, and was revolutionary in its own right. However, it certainly was not perfect, as some seem to believe, and significant improvements can be made to the next installment.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I don't know how some review sites can give this game a perfect 10 rating. It is a great game, but far from perfect. The PS3 version suffers from several technical problems that have been pointed out here ad nauseam. One patch has already been released, and hopefully future patches will fix the rest of the problems. As for the game itself, it's one of the best ever. It's definitely a solid "9", but far from a 10. If you can wait awhile and avoid the hype, you may be better off waiting until most of the major problems are fixed. Online play has been partially fixed, but it still isn't perfect.
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