Review by plastic1980
Great, but not perfect
Well Grand Theft Auto 4 has finally came out after being pushed back around 6 months past it's original release, and it was definantly worth the wait. Rockstart has taken a more realistic aproach in this version which may be a dissapointment to longterm fans of the series, but overall was a definantl change for the better. There are also pretty good online elements and an extravagent well thought out story to look foward to.
The gameplay, like I said, is following the band wagon of some other games by trying to be a bit more realistic. This means no more fire truck or taxi cab side missions because a fire doesn't break out every few minutes in real life and I don't exactly don't know why they took away the cab missions. I really liked those :(. There are still side missions like delivering packages and catching criminals along with many others so don't think they took out everything.
The biggest affect the change made was probably on the driving though. You can no longer go full throttle through the streets in pretty much any care because turning will be near impossible. Even going incredibly slow turns are still really hard to make. It's not as bad as it sounds though because it's a very natural feel that you should probably get used to pretty quickly, unless your a fan of motorcycles because they are now pretty much useless in the game considering you fly off at the slightest crash, and you will get in a lot of crashes.
The story is probably this games strongest point. The new European sterotype charecter, Niko Bellic, is probably the most likeable charecter of any GTA game to date. The story is pretty simple being that you, Niko Bellic, has travelled to America to get away from his home country and live with his brother (and another reason that you will find out later in the game). America isn't as great as he had hoped considering he moved to a ghetto like liberty city so he finds himself doing crimes like murduring those who have troubled friend of his brother and spotting his friends as they make drug selling deals.
That would be the main storyline, but further in to the game you will find the story branching off into many many side stories. I don't want to spoil anything but some involve high risk drug deals, organized crime, and even bank roberies.
Each of the friends you make have unique personalities that really keep the game interesting. Brucie is a streoid crazy mechanic, Packie is a stereotype irish immigrant working with his family in organized crime, and my personal favorite, Lil Jacob, is a rastafarian drug addict who even with the subtitles on you can't understand a word he's saying. Like Niko, you will really become attached to some of the charecters as most are very funny and likeable people.
The online in this game isn't exactly as good as you may have imagined. Of course the game is still better with it then without it, you will definantly rather be playing the story mode then play some of these mediocre online games.
One of the main things I'm not to fond of with the online is how game types are decided. It just works like, if you are lucky you become the host. That isn't really how things should work in a ranked game because people always screw up the games. Say you're playing with 5 people and they choose all of liberty to play on instead of one of the sub maps. You will spend minutes of boring wasted time trying to find an opponent.
And no, Cops n' Crooks, one of the most talked about game types, is not very fun at all. It's just a glorified team deathmatch. It works like one team is the cops and one team is the criminals, obviouse, but the cops are trying to kill the criminals while they try and travel to a certain checkpoint on one side of the map then get into a getaway vehicle on the other side of the map. This could be a very cool inovative game type considering you can become a cop which has never really been done (I don't count the cop side missions). The idea was ruined though because the cops and the criminals are basically one in the same. The cops can't do anything that you can't do as a crook which makes the game type quite bland.
Anyways I found this to be an incredibly fun game. An amazing, well thought out story mode with likeable charecters and fun side missions for when the game is done leads to a game you will be addicted to for quite some time. Some things, most considerably the online, isn't all what I expected though so I can't give it a perfect score but it is definantly a must buy for those of you with a 360 or a PS3.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (US, 04/29/08)
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