Review by vc315

Reviewed: 05/05/08

Game of the Year? I think so...

The Grand Theft Auto Series has always been great, but Grand Theft Auto IV has taken the series to a new level. This game has added many new features that previous GTA's were missing that kept it from being this good.

Graphics: 9/10
Car animations are as amazing as I've ever seen; bullet holes, car glass being broken, flying through the windshield in car crashes, etc. In rain storms, you can literally see the rain drops hitting the ground and rain puddles spilling over the curb when your car turns. Mouth movement of the characters are in sync with words being said. Only rant I could possibly think of would be the lighting. At night, it is sometimes difficult to see, even with the brightness turned up.

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay is top notch and as detailed as any game I've ever played. There are so many activities you can do, from missions to dating to bowling. I'll start with the missions. There are an enormous amount of missions to do and many choices you have throughout the story. The missions in general are easy, but there are those few missions that can get you frustrated. Many cut scenes during the story that can sometimes seem boring and seem to last forever, but most are very interesting to watch.

The controls are also brand new. The driving and walking are hard to get used to, but once you are used to it, it seems enjoyable. The new cover system can let you hide behind virtually any object. It makes GTA seem much more realistic when you can now take cover during a firefight. It makes GTA have a Rainbow Six Vegas/Gears of War feeling.

Also, there is a new police system, but it seems very difficult and sometimes very frustrating for me. When you hit a police car, or rob a car in front of a police officer, etc; you will get a number of 'wanted stars' against you ranging from 1 star to 6 stars. On your radar, there will be a circle, which is the area in which police officers are trying to arrest you. With 1 star, the circle is minimal, but starting with 3 stars, it can be huge. When you escape the 'circle', you are supposedly safe and away from the police, but a lot of the time there will be more police cars just waiting for you outside of the circle. You can spend 10 minutes and finally escape the police search area, and right as you think you are safe, a police car spawns right next to you and you are now trying to escape, yet again. But, this is one of only a few things to rant about.

Lastly, there is a pretty fun dating system. You can take girlfriends on dates. In those dates, you can play darts, bowling, go to a bar, go to a show that is surprisingly quite hilarious to watch. In San Andreas, that dating system was very boring, but now, it is something I enjoy. In the internet cafe, you can search for new girlfriends and email them. If they decide they like you, they can meet you and you can call them whenever you like to arrange activities.

Sound: 9/10
The soundtrack may not be as good as the previous GTA's, but it is still something to look forward to. There are only about 5-6 songs I enjoy in the soundtrack, but the commercials are hilarious to listen to. Also, when you are driving and you barely miss hitting a civilian, they may scream at you and curse you off. Gun noises are clear and are still great to hear!

Multiplayer: 9/10
The best addition to the GTA series. With up to 16 players online, it is a blast. There are so many things you can do online. You can free roam with your friends and drive helicopters. Some gametypes off the top of my head are team deathmatch, cops and crooks, and GTA race. The online can get very intense where any kill can cost you the game. It is for the most part lag free. Although, one thing that can get annoying is when you search for a game and the room you enter has settings that you dislike.

Extras: 10/10
What makes this game potential game of the year. There are many small things you can do throughout the game. You can go to strip clubs, watch television, call friends on your cell phone. Many animations that make this game look so realistic, such as when you are stealing a car and are holding a gun up, they get out of the car with their hands held up. When walking down stairs, you walk down as if you are really going to stairs.

Overall: 9/10
The best game I've ever played, but some small flaws keep it from getting a 10 out of 10.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (US, 04/29/08)

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