Review by Calamity

"Mostly just steps back for the series."

Grand Theft Auto IV was one of the most hyped games ever. It was receiving perfect scores from magazines. People were extremely anticipating the game to come out. The previous game in the series was pretty good as well. So, what could have gone wrong?

Graphics:7.6/10:The Graphics in GTA are pretty good. Outside of cutscenes not too much graphical improvement compared to previous games in the series. Cutscenes are nice though and you can definitely see the detail in characters. Overall okay Graphics.

Gameplay:7.3/10:Grand Theft Auto IV is a very fun game. It has a lot of problems with it's Gameplay though. Making it worse compared to previous games in the series. One of the major problems is car mechanics. Some cars have serious problems when you try to make a turn and are nearly impossible to make a perfect turn with. I understood they had to balance the cars, but did they have to make it that hard to turn? Rest assured some cars and motorcycles can execute turns fine. Regarding cars/motorcycles a great new addition is the new Graphics engine. If in a car your driving at a very high speed and crash into a streetlamp Niko will go flying through the windshield of the car. This easily applies to a motorcycle now. You crash into something driving a motorcycle Niko is going to fly off of it. While Niko takes a lot of damage from crashing with a motorcycle it's very humorous watching him fly off the motorcycle. Grand Theft Auto IV has more major problems as well.

The cops in Grand Theft Auto IV are atrocious. Cops are almost on every single street. You run over just one crowd of people and the cops are onto you. In previous games of the series it took more violence to attract the cops. As mentioned before it's terribly easy to attract the cops now. Even worse is when your driving away trying to escape the cops a few cops will randomly generate. This wouldn't be a problem if the game did not require you to drive out of a circle. As long as your in the circle police continue to pursue you. If you stay out of the circle for a short amount of time you lose your wanted level. Randomly generated cops make this task extremely hard though. Imagine this. You make it out of the circle and two cop cars spawn nearby. Your at a two way intersection and those two cops spawn. Guess what? No matter which of the two paths you take your doomed. Well you could just drive back, but not. The other cops who spawned much earlier are chasing you down that way. So, basically you have no way to go. Well since I complained mostly about the bad parts allow me to discuss the good parts of the game.

The Missions are great. While they follow basic formulas of kill a lot of people and take something Rockstar executes it nicely. In one very awesome mission you dress up for a lawyer job interview. You then go into the office and the guy interviews you. You need to kill him and escape. What's great is you have several ways of killing him and he reacts in different ways. If you use a baseball bat he becomes quite curious about it and finds it interesting. If you stand up and point at him with a pistol he gets scared. If you go around the desk holding a knife he gets a little worried, but doesn't think your going to kill him. Then you kill him and the security guards in the place go after you. You then have to choose how to get out of the place. What I chose was to walk out of there shoot everyone who gets in my way. I was at the top floor and could go out the more safer, but slower way by taking the escalators. Instead, I just jumped over the railing and fell to the bottom floor. I got hurt decently, but it saved a lot of time. Then I quickly switched to a less heavy gun and ran out of there. Then I stole a car and finished the mission. So, as you can see there is several ways to do missions. Well, more good things about GTA IV are the sandbox elements.

Grand Theft Auto IV is lacking in sandbox fun. I never really had much fun messing around with the cops in it. A minor funny feature they added was when someone tries to open your car door. If you drive off their hand gets stuck by the door. They are then dragged by the car and it's hilarious watching them swing from side to side as your driving. There isn't much more to the sandbox elements though. Most of the humor in the game comes from crashing on a motorcycle and flying five thousand miles. Overall Grand Theft Auto IV is fun, but lacking sandbox elements compared to previous games in the series.

Storyline:9/10:Niko Bellic a war survivor comes to America to live a peaceful life. He was persuaded to come by his cousin Roman lieing. The scenes are interesting in the game and I thought the dialogue was pretty good. Overall a pretty good storyline.

Music:6.5/10:Most of the radio stations have songs that you won't really like. I think Rockstar was aiming for variety rather then focusing on really good songs. So overall good sound effects, poor songs on the radio stations.

Overall:7.5/10:Grand Theft Auto IV is a fun game. Has decent graphics, but lacks in comparison to other titles. Most of the sandbox elements are worse, but missions are great. The Graphics engine is amazing as well. One of the biggest problems was the radio stations having mediocre songs. Overall a fun game, but a step back for the series.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/04/08

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

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