Grand Theft Auto III‚ changed everything.
Featuring a brave, bold and truly open three dimensional world where players could come and go as they please; and their actions had deeper consequences then a game-over screen, coupled with innovative graphics and an incredibly deep branching storyline, one thing was evident “" the gaming industry was growing up.‚ Now, nearly a decade later, the series is rewriting everything we thought we knew.‚ From the massive size of Liberty City, to its strikingly gritty, yet gorgeous visuals “" everything about‚ GTA IVis truly an achievement.
Dec. 2, 2008
Fresh off the boat from Eastern Europe, Niko Bellic,‚ GTA IV’s protagonist, is looking for a fresh start and his shot at “the American Dream.” However, the visions of an endless supply of money, women and fame his cousin Roman promised quickly fade and reality sinks in as Niko finds himself in the middle of a gang-war that will grip Liberty City by its core. Of course you’ll be stealing, shooting and killing like in previous installments of the series, butGTA IV‚ manages to make even these series standards seem new and exciting.
Sure, Niko is the game’s poster boy, but undoubtedly‚ GTA IV’s main character is Liberty City itself.‚ Yes, you’ve been to Liberty City before, but not like this “" not even close. More than ever, Liberty (clearly based off New York City), is alive. From the bums in the back alleys to the suits in the financial district, Rockstar has done a great job creating a‚ believably rich and populated environment that seems like it could go on even without you there. You’ll get stuck in traffic, watch construction jobs go from start to completion, even establish relationships with your fellow city folk, but remember “" this is‚ GTA, and most people you meet aren’t the type to bring home to mom and dad.
Truly,‚ GTA IV‚ is the deepest title of the franchise, if not the entire industry has ever seen. Think of it as the love-child of‚ The Godfather‚ and‚ The Sims. Like‚ Vice City‚ and‚ San Andreasbefore it,‚ GTA IV‚ gives players the freedom to truly explore and enjoy the city around them. Feel like hitting up the local bowling alley, but don’t want to leave the house?‚ GTA IVfeatures its own fully functional bowling-alley complete with bowling mini-game and purchasable snacks. You can go out to nightclubs (and yes, that includes those nightclubs), restaurants, amusement parks and even famous landmarks like the Statue Of Happiness; Liberty’s version of the Statue of Liberty.
Even with all of its functionality, Liberty City looks amazing. In the game’s opening moments, we’re treated to a cinematic opening that rivals that of most major Hollywood productions, and things just keep getting better from there. The city and the characters (especially in the superbly acted cut scenes), the entire world that‚ GTA IV‚ pulls us into is covered in a brilliantly gritty art scheme that seems to combine real life with the seedy side of New York City we see in the movies. It’s hard not to marvel at certain moments in the game “" watching the sunset over the river or standing in the middle of Times Squa…excuse me, I mean Star Junction… is nothing short of breathtaking.