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4.2 out of 5 stars357
4.2 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation 3Edition: Standard EditionChange
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on 4 May 2008
Hype is hype, people get drawn in and then are dissapointed as soon as they play the game because it's not the "simply perfect" in every way game they were promised. Of course the game isn't perfect. But if you love GTA then there's no question you will love this game.

The positives?

Well the map is great. Graphics are fantastic, I did find the city a little dark for me and my tv so I simply changed the in game brightness to a level my eyes liked.

If you have played GTA before you will know the mission layouts. Go somewhere and kill a guy or two. We all know that. But Rockstar have tweaked things a little this time. The missions can overlap, some take time to complete. In that time you can choose to go off and do a different mission. Also at times in the game you are given personal choices to make on who lives and who dies, sometimes that choice can be a pretty tough one too! There is also an alternate ending to this game, depending on what choice you make in the last mission.

The main thing I have enjoyed so far is the storyline itself. The common theme of GTA games is to start from the bottom and finish at the top. This is still the same but it's not so easy this time to get from one to the other. You will suffer setbacks along the way and at one point you are actually in a worse position than when you started. I liked that.

The social aspect of the game has been hugely improved. You can still take your girl out on a date like San Andreas. But this time round you can take your friends out. As you progress you pick up a fair few friends and taking them out for a drinking session or perhaps a game of darts can really benefit you. Get your friends to like you enough and you will unlock their special talent. One friend will sell you guns at cheap prices, another will provide you with a few goons for back up if you need it.

The mobile phone! I love this new way of connecting with the GTA world. You can do everything via your phone. Call your friends for nights out, call them for jobs, call them for guns or back up like I said above. You may also use the internet. You can apparently date girls off networking sites (haven't dabbled too much into the net myself). But I love the way I can prepare for a mission by calling my man Jacob up and requesting him to meet me somewhere so I can buy a collection of guns and grenades off him.

An if you haven't got a car to go meet Jacob with? hail down a taxi. This is actually something I find myself using alot more than I would have thought. They really are a great way of getting around. You can skip the taxi journey by pressing X. Also in the early days when your bank balance is not so large you can call your cousin Roman up and ask him to send you one of his cabs to pick you up and take you to your destination for free, as he owns a taxi company.

The cover system is a great addition too. It takes getting used to. But give yourself time and you will be using it very effectively. Shooting itself has been improved too. Also if in a gunfight or just beating up a poor bystander you can leave them half dead. What I mean by this is you can beat them up until they have only one bar of health left and then sit back watch them as they stagger this way and that and then fall over in a heap. They don't die until you finish them off but it can be a great feeling playing out a mission, chasing a guy all over the city, killing all his goons and then have him half dead in an alleyway, unable to move and just begging to be shot one last time. Maybe I'm just cruel.

Multiplayer!!!! Finally GTA has the ability to go online and it's pretty damn good on first impressions. You can choose different gametypes etc. You've got deathmatch, team deathmatch, cops and robbers just to name a few. I went straight into a team deathmatch and loved it. We were able to go anywhere on the map and cause as much chaos as we liked. You generally start off with an uzi gun and have to search for other types. But don't worry about that as there are plenty of weapons around every corner. The team deathmatch can be summed up by the vision of a team mate pulling up his car to pick you up, you get in and go commit a drive by shooting on the nearest enemy on the map. Great stuff. Also I got a thrill out of playing "cops and robbers" and the racing was interesting lol

Positives? man I feel like I've forgotten some. Oh yea, the games are quite good. Darts, bowling and pool all serve as nice additions.

OK negatives.

Business owning. I always loved having a business make money for me in the past GTA game. It's not been put into this one so I'm a little dissapointed with that and I'm kind of left thinking there is less to do after completing the missions, compared to previous GTA's where I never felt bored of the game even after completion. There is a feeling of "well what do I do now?" once you have completed the game.

Safehouses - Now I've done all the missions I'm a little confused as to why I don't have more safehouses than I do. After San Andreas where you have houses all over the map. That's not the case here and you never really achieve that mansion style house we all want.

Driving? This to me isn't a negative. But I'm going to put it in the negative pile because I think most people won't enjoy the driving on this one (until they get used to it). It's basically more realistic. You can't fly round a corner so easily. You have to slow down and turn with caution. The cars themselves are fantastic. They take damage brilliantly and the "flying through the windscreen" is a nice touch. Also people will get killed in car crashes now, just tonight I hit a car side on at full speed. I was ok but the other driver slumped out of his car door and died on the pavement.

Review long enough? lol overall a great game. Definately worth buying and I have had no problems with bugs at all. I think after completing the missions there may be an issue with if there's enough in the game to keep you playing. But it seems Rockstar have sacrificed that for a very good online multiplayer. So if you do play your console online that's where the longetivity will come from I believe.
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on 8 May 2014
I didn't play this on release, but as I've asked for GTA 5 for my upcoming birthday, it seemed time to get in the right mood by playing GTA 4. One big advantage is that I missed out on all the hype. Any big game release is going to leave some people feeling disappointed after months of sneak peaks and rumours.

It is certainly a much grittier "real" world you step into compared to titles such as Vice City, but Rockstar have done a wonderful job of turning New York into Liberty City. I had to tweak the contrast and brightness a touch which made things much easier to see and brings out the detail of the city. The main Story Mode sees you as an arriving immigrant, expecting the streets of Liberty City to be paved with gold after hearing of his cousins wonderful life there. Finding his cousin down on his luck and in debt, the reality is very different to the letters sent back home.

The story really drew me in with some interesting characters to meet. The crazy story lines have gone, but I must say I prefer the new approach. The basics are still there, go meet someone who gives you a task to do, with game play jumping in and out of cut scenes as the story demands. They seem very easy to start with as you are introduced to the controls and your mobile phone which you always carry, but as you progress you have to be smarter to take down the bad guys. There is often more than one way to go about your mission, so when an all out attack fails you start looking for safer ways to achieve your goal.

As ever, much of the fun comes between missions with shops, restaurants, bars and clubs to visit. In a similar fashion to Red Dead Redemption, you can also take part in games with darts, pool and bowling on offer. You have more reason to explore these thanks to the new friendship feature. Spending time with people you meet away from the main story builds a relationship that often results in some benefit. For example, a call to a new friend can remove a low wanted level to get the police off your case or they might call round with weapons for sale.

Driving seems more difficult this time round when you first start to play, but you actually have great control once you get used to the driving physics. Drifting the back end out round a corner in an American muscle car is a joy to behold! Damage is nicely modeled and accidents can even cause you damage. Hit something head on at a high enough speed and your character, Niko, is sent flying through the windscreen. Bikes have some odd handling quirks, although this is addressed in the expansion Episodes from Liberty City if you do want to spend a lot of time on 2 wheels.

You are also faced with a number of choices as the story unfolds, when Niko has to decide between different views of the situation. There are some tough choices which might set you thinking along with others where one option is obvious, tempting you into the possibility of doing the opposite.

Overall I enjoyed the story and was genuinely surprised by some of the twists. The graphics are very nice with different boroughs very well detailed. The run down neighbourhoods, with their potholes in the road and gun carrying gang members give way to the bright neon of Star Junction where business people mingle with tourists.

I spent around 70 hours over a few weeks to complete the story, about half of the side missions and generally enjoying the experience, so that's pretty darned good value! I don't tend to play console games online so I can't really comment, but there is a good mix of options available for online carnage.
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on 7 May 2008
Okay lets start with the posetives, some of the animations are improved from previous GTA games and we have a new storyline and characters. Rockstar have given everything that they promised but is that enough? no because so much is lost which was in San Andreas.
Firsty you earn money for doing jobs, however there is nothing but weapons to spend your cash on. This means no assets, no businesses, no personal airport and no buildings to spend your money on, which makes getting paid pointless. I got 200,000 for one mission which is silly when all I can buy is 10,000 pound gun.
Secondly the envirionments are rather grey and dont have the desert,forest,wilderness,farmland and all the other cool areas of San Andreas.
Thirdly there are no canes,golf clubs,katanas and other milli weapons anymore, and you can no longer preform stealth kills as in San Andreas.
Fourthly repeatitive vehicles and no planes,tanks,jets,harriers,combines, tractors and another 30 or so other vehicles missing from San Andreas.
Fifthly you can no longer dive whilst underwater, or change your physic, and nor can you develope weapon skills.
Those are the things that are missing and although Rockstar never said that these things would be in it, this means that for those of us that loved San Andreas this is not the game for us.
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on 23 August 2015
Probably the game i've personally played the most on PS3, even excluding any DLC. I prefer the gameplay and control scheme to that of GTAV and if i want to show off GTA to a friend i will still take a taxi ride across the city and show them a stand up show.

I freaking LOVE this game. And Pre-Ordered the collectors edition.
With the exception of the original GTA on PC (becuse i was 13), and GTAV i bought every GTA to date on or by the first christmas it was out. Having lost/lent my copy of GTA:SA shortly after getting my PS3 I was eager to try GTA on the NEXT Gen, much as in the same way GTAIII(3) excited me with new stuff in a NYC inspired setting.

I was not disappointed, but was somewhat baffled by the seemingly more realistic and gritty departure from the comparative cartoon feel of previose games, the glitz and colour of the last two instalments completely gone. The new, more precise control scheme felt complimentary to the more realistic physics and vehicle damage.

A lot of the game is a cover based shooter, but the control scheme is tight and responsive on both xbox260 and ps3. a lot of objects are destructible, some are bafflingly not, and on exploration i have found a lot of buildings, like apartments not used in story mode can be entered.

Despite the comparative graphic limitations of IV(4) the city (Liberty City) and universe feels a lot more fleshed out and there's just feel like more polish and detail, despite it's largely dingy New York Inspired setting, everything from the, NPC interactions with taxi drivers, the voice on certain cars satnavs, the ability to take guided tours, more dining options, dating, better music (personal opinion), more perks from friends/lovers; all feel like they're building on the social aspects of GTA:SA [San Andreas]

yes it felt like they'd taken a lot of stuff OUT from GTA:SA,
i.e. nearly all the stuff that was customisable in GTA:SA from the custom vehicles, build and appearance of the characters etc. was completely stripped out, but I again, subjectively, feel that because Niko was more of a complete character than CJ making more than an aesthetic change to the character was not necessary, and some friends never bothered changing Nikos outfit if not required for a mission.
TBH most of the customisable stuff reappears in GTAV, but again is more limited in single player and the options in multiplayer remained locked to rank and require grinding to unlock.
GTA IV is a more open ended story with branching decisions than any GTA prior or to date.
The online was incredibly limited but was released early in the lifecycle of the PS3, so it's forgivable.

Long after completing the story mode in all the variances, both before and after the introduction of trophies. We created a timed challenge in single player, and have spent countless hours taking it in turns; trying to find the quickest way to visit, and swap vehicles at every safe house while maintaining at least a 3 star wanted level.

I ordered this for a friend who was off sick, and recovering from surgery, i thought i'd ordered him GTA5, but i clearly suck at roman numerals. He also enjoyed it.

But when i did get him GTAV: HE found the more realistic physics in 4 to be trickier to handle, and found the controls etc in GTAV a lot more accessible to someone who's never played any GTA before.
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on 15 December 2010
Having read some of the other reviews, especially those who rated the game 1 and 2 star, I felt that most of these people missed the point of the game.

Most of the reviewers rate GTA: San Andreas as a better game. This is obviously down to preference but I personally found this game much more entertaining and a better all round game. In GTA: SA I found the main character became really annoying, was something of a coward, and the graphics were not brilliant. In GTA: IV the main character is funnier, harder, more of a bastard really, which at the end of the day the main character is, although, like most people, he can get annoying. The graphics are much better, not the best out there but considering the free flowing game play and depth of the game they are perfectly reasonable. The storyline is good, though it can drag in the latter stages of the game, however giving the player choices in certain missions as to how they wish to play keeps things fresh, and I will admit to, for the first time ever, replaying the storyline almost immediately after completing the game for the first time.

Another bone of contention with those who have rated this game poorly is the move away from the ridiculous and fantastical elements of GTA: SA and the introduction of more realistic elements in GTA: IV. I for one am in favour of that. Car driving is much better, actually having to break for corners and drive properly is a big plus in my book, and removing silly missions means that the whole game has a more grounded feel to it. I found with GTA: SA that there was too much time spend driving between cities on long, boring highways. As GTA: IV is one large city with a well connected public transport service this problem is negated slightly, and whilst people complain that things such as the jet from SA is no longer available, what would be the point of flying a jet when there aren't vast distances of nothing to cover, and there is only one airport?

Some people seem to have completely missed large elements of the game, including numerous and varied side missions. But for me, the worst reason people are giving this game negative reviews is the fact they can't play it. They complain about the revamped `wanted star' system, when really not a lot has changed. You can still pay and spray to get rid of cops, but now you can hide as well. In the old game you just drove and drove and shot until something happened, where as now you know how well you are doing in evading the police. They also complain about the new car controls, this isn't an arcade racer where you can power slide at 100mph round a corner. It takes about 30 seconds to realise you actually have to drive the cars properly and from there on in it is easy. For those of you who had buggy games, that's just bad luck as I have yet to encounter any problems.

Overall, I would say that this game is fresh and new, not a continuation of GTA: SA, just as SA wasn't a continuation of Vice City. It may take some time to adjust to the new style of game play, but persevere and you will be left with a great game. Just don't give up as soon as you find it difficult to play. And if you do, there as always is a wealth of cheats to brighten up your day.
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on 19 October 2010
Just a few little notes from what I've experienced so far:
There a some nice new features like the multiplayer option. Also chosing missions,jobs and re-tries from your mobile is great.
The cars handle like bath tubs, or like my son commented 'like a sack of mussels' American rear-wheel drive never was any good for cornering, but this is getting to extreme to handle. I prefer how these buckets handle in Gran Tourismo.
Nico can jump from a pier into the harbour, swim around and climb out again. On the beach he drowns when he gets waist deep into the surf - not very realistic.
If you drive through a park at night you see groups of Jewish guys meeting up in the dark - don't want to know what they get up to! I kept running them over because they drop lots of money and the wanted level doesn't seem to come up.
A lack of safe houses/lock-ups where you can store your nice motors and the shabby interior with pin-up posters where the girls have all their clothes on.
I didn't realise that eastern European mafia is such a big deal over in the States - I thought it was pretty bad having all the Polish strawberry pickers here in Cornwall ;o)
Every game has it's good and bad sides - I like it a lot - I can turn into a sadistic bugger and squish pedestrians against the wall to get big red smears all over the car ;o)
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on 9 May 2013
I have been to New York, and the journey you take into Liberty City is just as breath-taking, awe-inspiring, frenzied and characterful as the real deal. The epic proportions of detail bestowed upon this masterpiece of not only gaming but 3D rendering and of story-telling, are utterly masterful.

Even besides the thrilling and challenging missions, just driving around, you will encounter a living city, walking, working, chatting, bickering, police-evading individuals fill every sidewalk, road and park, hooting you as you cut them up or run lights, dropping their cells to dive out the way of your screeching tyres, there is something happening all the time and it is so involving as to pursuade you of an alternate reality in which you must strive for survival and success.

Anyone could enjoy this game. My dad just loves skipping red lights adn cutting traffic queues, he could do it all day!

If you haven't experienced this game you can buy it now, for £15, it won't depreciate, you can sell it second hand for £15, so what's the problem? Take out the stree of everyday life on fictional beings in a simulated environment, it's the safest way!
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on 17 January 2012
This is a game that is a hallmark of a true classic and makes other so-called action gaming franchises look like child's play and it comes as no surprise why it went on to became one of the best-selling GTA games to date. It has almost everything you could want in a game like this thanks to a sharply-written script, clever and witty dialogue with some great one-liners, top notch humour, some superb voices, fantastic characters, some well-executed set pieces with solid action scenes with reasonable pace, a stunning soundtrack with some fine music and hilarious talk shows including some really funny ads, news and weather reports, a storyline that's almost as gripping, tense and exciting as a modern-day Hollywood blockbuster, has fine visuals and some great graphics and it's even got some big-name celebrity cameos such as stand-up comedy acts and a few DJ's and there's lots of other things to do besides. I think it's a good time to play this game again before GTA 5 is released in the near future and that could may well be a understatement.
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VINE VOICEon 13 May 2008
GTA IV- arguably the biggest game of all time delivers in almost every way.
Just don't get swept up in the hype, this isn't the best game ever made, not even the best in the series. But there is lots to love, though somehow it never meets the scope and variety that San Andreas had so much of. It took 45 hours to complete the main story and begin to get bored, which is large enough.
But unlike past iterations, the desire to go back and finish EVERYTHING just wasn't there. Then again, GTAIV has an online mode to rival anything else available, with a nice selection of game types and a refreshing amount of freedom.

It was inevitable that reducing the customisation options would disappoint some fans. Admittedly, most of it was pointless anyway.
Yet it does feels like every new addition has replaced something else. Tattoos and casino gambling would have fitted perfectly with the realistic tone. Disappointingly, theres also no car modding, despite street racing being available.
But these are small gripes, and when GTA IV gets so much right they are easy to dismiss. The shift in focus towards realism is admirable. The relationship system works, but does feel like the dating game from San Andreas. Build friendships for rewards, like gun toting thugs, police bribery and car bombs. Most of these are genuinely useful, and this whole aspect is worth perservering with, despite the repetition.

The audio in IV is certainly the best ever. Theres around 20 radio stations to suit all tastes. Favourites include Liberty Rock playing classic Rock & Roll, Electro Chocs Dance, hosted by Francois K. The Vibe plays Soul/RnB, playing my favourite tune to perform a drive by; Criticise by Alexander O Neal. There are even 2 talk stations, and an Eastern European channel! The humour is darker and more satirical; with nothing escaping Rockstars savage sense of humour. Designer babies, prostitutes and Rockstars competiton all get torn apart, amongst many others. Broadcasts after missions describing your actions are as good as ever. The new Zit text service, which sends the artist and title of any track, is a brilliant addition. The way character dialogue changes after repeating a failed mission is ingenious.
The TV programmes are also sensational, and genuinely funny. The advert for Piswasser beer had me in tears of laughter. Ricky Gervais even makes a guest appearance with a stand up comedy act. It all adds to the illusion this is a living, breathing city.

The apparent glitches which have unfairly dragged this games score down, were virtually non existent when I played. Graphics do glitch occasionally, particularly upon entering a building. But this doesn't make the game a one star. I've seen far worse.
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on 21 September 2012
Probably the craziest game I have ever played. You can literally do anything in this game, you can kill anyone, you can steal any vehicle and drive it anywhere. I swear that if you play it long enough you'll lose your mind. The latest addition to the GTA family brings a whole host of sweet cars, ridiculous weapons, and downright crazy missions plus there are extra missions like kill all the pigeons and steal all the cars that can literally make you end up playing this game for weeks at a time. It's definitely the kind of game that you can lose a whole day playing if you're not careful.
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