14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV - Platinum Edition (PS3) (Video Game)When I first started playing this game, I admit I couldn't really get into it. It's an entirely new direction I'm used to with the GTA series. I felt this one took itself way too seriously and although good, I didn't feel it was great. However, after playing a good couple of hours and getting off the first island, everything really started picking up. Now it's completed, I'm left with thinking it's up there with the best in the series if not higher.
Plot: You play an immigrant getting off a boat to start life in America. You then work your way up from the lowest of the low to working with the big boys in the crime world. Pretty much the same as every other GTA game in the series then but with the twists and turns provided throughout the game, it never gets old.
Graphics: Just wow. From the rain hammering down while the leaves are blowing around in the wind to the bullet holes and blood stains on your car, it was like watching a movie sometimes (even more so when you switched to cinematic view while driving around the streets).
Sound: Everyone has a different voice. I know most people take it for granted nowadays and it's definitely becoming more common place but you still get the odd game that just has the same guy doing all the voicing for each character. Ruins the experience in my opinion and does nothing for the plot.
All the sounds are very realistic too. Sometimes in games you hear something and you know what it's supposed to be but yet it doesn't really sound like it at all. That's not the case with this game. It's the little touches like people chatting on the streets as you drive by in your car immerses you that entire bit more. There's a world living and breathing that will carry on if you're there to see it or not.
Controls: They are quite a bit different to the usual GTA controls and to begin with I couldn't get to grips with them. However, once you stick with it, hopefully you'll end up like me and prefer these controls to the old layout. Everything feels more streamlined and it make's the entire experience a lot easier to play. For example, the shooting focuses mainly on the right and left bumpers which leaves your other fingers free to utilize the buttons facing you.
Another thing that's worth mentioning is the cars have some weight to them this time round. Before it was very much in an arcade style but this time they really moved like a car with each make of car feeling completely different to drive to another one. Speed, braking, turning, you need to find the car that matches the kind of driver you are. Didn't really bother me in the previous games but now they've added it, I would hate to play the game any other way.
Lifespan: GTA IV game took me just under 40 hours doing the main mission alone. You could probably knock off up to 15 hours from that time as I took my time immersing myself within my surroundings but if you add the extra side missions to it, I reckon you could get a game of 60 hours if not more.
Not much replayability to be found though. You can play online with it and join other players but I haven't done so to comment on the experience. Other then that there are the achievements you could aim for but as far as playing through the game again, it's going to be pretty much the same each time.
Overall: GTA IV has a couple of problems for example the complete restart of a mission if you mess up no matter how close you are to the end but it does have some great qualities too. The addition of the cover shooting was a great idea and made the game feel more realistic then the others. So all in all it's a great addition to the GTA family and I shall look forward to playing the Episodes from Liberty City.