Review by Mephistofun
"A Good Game but a move in the wrong direction."
GTA has one of the best narratives in an action game to date. It has endearing characters that will have you crying with laughter and shedding tears of sympathy for their hardships. It has a believable, living world in which to play in and the cartoon physics of the earlier games are toned down. With all these steps forward it is perhaps forgivable that the press have heralded this 'game of the year but look under all the gloss and hype and the old GTA series has taken steps forward in multiplayer (ie it works) and graphics, and realism but taken a good solid step back in longevity. The gameplay after you finished the game grinds to a gentle halt as you run out of things to do.
Gone are the fire truck missions although the water and fire physics are all there prompting my suspicions that DLC might add them later, and the ambulance missions too are missing. There are no rampages, few clothes, fewer interiors than one would expect. San Andreas and Vice City were both more complete sandbox games.
I write this review to coincide with the first DLC to hit the shelves and Xbox Live. I haven't bought it and I probably won't. Firstly it is set at 400 points higher than all the other DLC! Inflation doesn't justify that one! For 1200 you can get the entire San Andreas game and have a decent arcade sandbox for months afterwards.
I liked GTA 4 but it isn't the best of its' genre. I found even the multiplayer side waning after a few evenings as we exhausted the selection of games and toys to play with.
Graphics: Superb. This is what got all the professional reviewers wowed. Along with the AI. (10)
Gameplay: As a Narrative based game it's one of the best. As a sandbox it comes in second after San Andreas for me and third after Saints Row 2. (8)
Sound: Voice acting like you have never heard before. Brilliant. The radio stations are somehow underused this time in favour of the TV shows. Two of them are good. Look out for the Halo references. The music isn't as iconic but still good. (9)
Longevity: It will last you beyond the main story mode but you probably won't bother playing it twice unless you really want the second ending. DLC is over priced. By an entire game for the same money instead. Multiplayer was massively over hyped. Big playground, less things to do than you think but better than average. (7)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/08, Updated 02/19/09
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (EU, 04/29/08)
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