Review by Kuuten
"Gaming forever has been changed."
Introduction - Its very hard to believe its been three and a half years since we got out hands on San Andreas in the US? Everybody thought that game would revolutionize the shooting genre as we know it. Ever since people got their eyes to the commercials and ads for GTAIV, the anticipation had been sky high. It was a shock though when they announced it would be in Liberty City, where GTAIII took place. That perhaps, got people even more excited to see what they have done different in all of the years between the games. Once GTAIV came out, millions of people flocked to stores to get their copy of what people believed to be the greatest game of the year even before it came out. But once people put that disc into their gaming console, they saw what could possibly be the greatest game ever created.
Gameplay - If you want to talk about a game that has some of the elements of the game from before, you have to include GTAIV. The shooting in the game is the best it has ever been. If you want to freeshoot anything you want to, just partly hold down the left trigger. For a full targeting system, push it all the way down. One of the biggest changes with the game though is the brand new driving system and the ragdoll effects. The driving has been made extremely realistic now. You can no longer go as fast as you want and just tap the brake to go around a tight corner. You have to either slam on the brakes to a really slow speed or progressively slow down to make it. To make it even more realistic, if you run somebody over, they no longer slide off of the front end. If you hit them hard enough, they can go over your car. It is just so fun to watch a fat guy go flying over my roof. On that topic, this game has the ragdoll effects of the FlatOut games. If you are not familiar with the FlatOut ragdoll effects, here is what it is. If you slam into something hard enough, you will fly out of the windshield and tumble onto the ground. And the tumbling, is just so awesome. Whenever you hit the ground, you can see blood on the ground. For jacking cars, there are many ways to do it now. You can point a gun at the driver and he will run away most of the time. For the ones without a gun, you can either just pull them out and send them to the ground as in previous GTA games or kick them if they resist too much. One of the best features with this now is that if you shoot the person through the windshield, their blood will splatter all over the windshield and it will be severely cracked. And for the first time, if you die and get sent back to the hospital, you will keep your weapons! No more will you have to keep going back to buy them because you won't lose them unless you run out of bullets.
Story - The story in GTAIV kind of goes with the story of Vice City in the beginning a little. Beginning as a Russian immigrant and your cousin being Russian as well, they can get some of the funniest cutscenes within the serious ones. Your cousin is the owner of his own taxi service which has a bad reputation because of his drivers. Your first few missions will consist of driving mostly his taxi car which is really slow. He is in serious debt with a guy named Vlad. After some missions, Vlad will come and you will begin to do some missions for him which consist of getting his money or, in one mission, stealing a car for his boss. Most of the time, you will get calls from people asking to see you or do some side job for them. One of the first you get is from your cousin where he wants you to help out the family by being one of his taxi drivers. The shooting doesn't start until a little into the game when you meet thing Jamaican named Little Jacob. He is usually drunk or high and he speaks really screwed up English so he is just too funny with his cutscenes. He wants you to accompany him to a place where he wanted to meet somebody. He gives you your first pistol as backup. All of the characters you meet are funny in some way that you just want to know how they came up with that perfect combo that makes you feel like they are a real person.
Graphics/Sound - The graphics, so real. Thats really all that needs to be said but I will go on. Everything in this game looks so awesome. Even on the boat coming into the game, you can see this is the best looking game possibly ever made. One of my most favorite looking things in the game are the explosions. They feel as though the people in the next island can feel it. It is even more awesome when you link cars in a train explosion. This was really fun in San Andreas but GTAIV just brings it up to a level never reached before. Everything in this game has show what the next gen consoles can do. From the cars, to the people, even to the storms can make it feel as though it is a playable movie. The sounds are just as good. One of the things that got me the first time was during a big storm. Remember back in San Andreas when it was just a little lightning that made close to no noise. Not in this game. It booms with extreme volume and shakes the controller like if Niko got scared by it. The cars are detailed as well with the muscle cars having real deep engine sounds, exotics and foreign cars having a real high noise, and bikes just being bikes.
Play Time/Replayability - With the levels being a mix of single straightforward things or alot of small missions in one, it will follow the GTA way and take a huge amount of time to finish. Even if you finish the storyline, there are tons of side missions to do that could take you years to complete. But everything is made so great by Rockstar that people who finish the game completely will feel like going through it again in anticipation for what they will come up with for the next game.
Final Recommendation - Is this game worth it? Yes, this game is worth it and much more. The pricetag is sells for is seriously a buy for a game this well made and produced. Three and a half years of planning and modifications to this game has made it one that will contend for game of the year and possibly be in a running for one of the best games ever. With only a few minor problems here and there, this game has revolutionized gaming as we know it today. What next game will Rockstar fly onto shelves at every store around? Time will just have to tell. Until then, this game is perfect and should take it's place up in the top of the gaming records as the game that changed gaming forever.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/05/08
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (US, 04/29/08)
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