Review by Leather_Belt
The graphics for GTA IV are simply amazing. From the reflection of light on the cars to blood-splatter on the camera after killing someone, GTA IV has amazing graphics, even almost 2 years after its release.
Sound and Music: 9/10
Great soundtracks, and enough music while driving to satisfy anyone. My only complaint is the commercials on the radio, but I guess it gives it a more realistic feel. Also in game sounds such as gunshots, cars smashing into each other, cop sirens, falling off a building, and much more all sound really nice.
Gameplay and Story 4/10:
Story starts off very interesting, but after you are forced to leave your apartment the first time, I felt like it took a turn for the worse. After this you are basically trying to raise money to start off again, since you have nowhere to live. Sadly, the only way you raise money is through going to point A, where you are told to go to point B to kill people the person giving you a mission didn't like. I didn't like this because of the repetitiveness, and wanted more missions involving people that you or Roman had personal grudges against (such as Vlad), or missions where you're pursuing one person and may have to kill others to get to them.
Also, missions where you had to follow someone are a pain. You follow someone from location A to location B, and at least once at some point when you're following them for 3-5 real life minutes, you slip up. This consists of accidentally coming to close, accidentally pressing the horn which is the same button as the one you use to steer, or accidentally brushing up against one of the many many many cops in the game.
A large setback in this game is the number of cops. In previous GTA games, I could shoot at least 3 to 4 people, and at most I'd have a 1 star wanted level. Now, if I don't even have the chance to get more than 2 kills without a police officer in my face. Another example of cops getting in the way of fun gameplay is when you've finally completed a mission, and you're looking for a taxi or a car to take to return whoever it is that's with you back to their destination. Many times I would steal a car, get a wanted level, and have to spend a few minutes getting the cops off of me, or better yet, I fail the mission because of the cops and get to completely restart it. Perhaps the most frustrating thing which made me quit the game is when this would happen with a taxi. I'd signal the taxi over, and try to get in. I'd hold the Y button down (simply pressing the Y button let's you drive it, but holding it allows you to go in the car), but because I was standing to close to another car, I don't get into the taxi, but instead I steal the neighboring car, get a wanted level, and have to spend a few minutes getting rid of the wanted level, or depending on the mission, completely failing it. This doesn't just happen once or twice, but on practically every other mission. Failing a mission for these reasons is incredibly frustrating and makes me want to throw my controller at a wall.
Another minor setback is taking damage via cars. This may sound stupid, but I felt like I was always getting hit by other people driving around the city. No one else knows how to use the brakes. I could stand 100 yards in front of someone in plain view. They have plenty of room to brake but they don't until last second where they always end up hitting me, wasting about 5 seconds when I'm on foot running somewhere, or better yet killing me and making me restart whatever I was doing. This happens more than you think. Anytime you run across a road, you're putting yourself in danger. In previous GTA games this was never a problem.
Also, cops overreacting pisses me of more than anything. Any crime that you commit, no matter how small, and they'll be trying to hold you at gunpoint. In previous GTA's you never had the option to break the gunpoint hold, and in my opinion, this was an awesome feature they added. As time went on however, I realized how much they overused this. I punch someone in the face, a cop runs up and immediately has me in gunpoint. I break out of the gunpoint hold, and they proceed to shoot me taking away a large amount of my health, and in some cases raising my wanted level.
Finally, I'll have to give this game a 6/10. Its replay value is poor due to the repetitiveness, and there are too many frustrating aspects impeding the good aspects.
Overall there are just too many frustrating aspects of GTA. It's a game that's definitely worth a look at, but I can't say I'd recommend anything more than renting it.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Grand Theft Auto IV (US, 04/29/08)
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