Grand Theft Auto IV

Download Grand Theft Auto IV and enter the gritty world of Liberty City as Niko Bellic! Engage in heart-pounding missions, explore the sprawling city, and rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld. Your journey to the top starts – play now!
a game by Rockstar North Ltd.
Genre: Action
Platforms: XBox 360 (2014), PC (2008), Playstation 3 (2008)
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 6.8/10 - 114 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Action Games, GTA Series

Grand Theft Auto IV brings the popular open-world action series to next-gen consoles for the first time. Developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, GTA IV builds on the formula of previous games while introducing a number of refinements that make this entry the best in the series so far.

It is the biggest and most complex game in the series so far, and even though tsome people might miss the old locations in past games, the Liberty City map is an incredible recreation of real-life New York City, which is amazing.

About the game

Liberty City has changed dramatically since players last visited in Grand Theft Auto 3. The environment and characters feel more alive and believable than ever before. Protagonist Niko Bellic is the most complex and likeable hero the series has seen. Unlike the sociopaths of previous games, Niko shows genuine remorse over the violence he perpetrates under pressure from Liberty City’s criminal underworld.

The supporting cast features superb animation, voice acting and expressive facial captures. While occasional glitches can causes AI characters to get stuck, these problems are relatively rare.

Gameplay Enhancements

GTA IV introduces a wide range of gameplay enhancements over previous entries. The shooting and cover mechanics are vastly improved, making combat more fluid and less frustrating. Driving feels great whether you're in a sports car or garbage truck.

The new cell phone not only allows calls to friends and contacts for missions or help - players can also use it to call emergency services or listen to the radio when on foot. Activities like dating or watching in-game TV shows make Liberty City feel life a living world where there is always something fun and rewarding to do.

When you compare what Rockstar achieved in GTA IV with the Saints Row series, which also offers over-the-top open-world crime action, GTA IV benefits enormously from its grounded tone and characters. Where Saints Row veers into absurdity with elements like superpowers and aliens, GTA IV keeps the player invested through its gritty realism and storytelling - think The Sopranos versus Zoolander.

That's not to say GTA IV doesn't have an outrageous and satirical edge, it just chooses its moments more wisely. GTA's radio stations, TV shows and internet parody stand out as highlights. Ultimately, both series have their merits depending on whether players prefer comedy or drama from their urban sandbox.

Review: 10/10

With Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar North have not only delivered the best game in the series - they've created arguably the greatest open-world game ever made. The compelling story and characters pull players through more than 30 hours of action-packed missions and side content, while the online multiplayer opens up a whole other arena for mayhem.

10

Some minor issues with visuals and AI can occasionally distract, but never ruin the experience. For fans hungering a return to Liberty City, this game is essential.

Pros:

  • Superb character-driven story
  • Feels alive like no other open world
  • Great protagonists and voice acting
  • Massively improved combat and driving
  • Funny radio/TV shows/Internet sites
  • Multiplayer supports 16 player mayhem

Cons:

  • Some problems with friendly AI
  • Occasional glitches

Download Grand Theft Auto IV

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

There's An Outside chance that you've heard of Grand Theft Auto IV already. A little-known game from an obscure Scottish developer, it sold a paltry 631,000 copies on its first day of release in the UK, breaking the record for the roundest number of things ever sold in a 24-hour period.

GTA IV is big news of course, a giant of a game whose shocking popularity on consoles is so graciously matched by its stratospheric quality.

A city based on New York acts as a backdrop to a complex freeform game, a story spanning well over 10 hours, and the best acting, action and humour you'll find this side of movies and TV.

Rockstar invented open-world gaming, and with GTA IV they filled that open world with detail and nourishing choice. It's a game where you're never at a loss for something to see or do, or someone to shag or murder. It's a masterpiece.

The PC version is something we've spent many a breakfast time worrying about. "Firstly," we'd muse as we waved our spoons, "does it even exist?" It does, I've played it. "Secondly," we'd ask, muesli flying in the air, "how long will we have to wait?" Just a short while, it's here in November. "Thirdly," we'd enquire, making stabbing motions with a butter knife, "how will it play?"

Port Authority

Well, stick a 360 pad into your USB port and it's almost impossible to tell the difference between the PC and the console version. Besides the obvious improvements in resolution, draw distance and some texture qualities, it is take-for-take a carbon copy, as flawless a port as you could hope for.

Being published under the Games for Windows LIVE umbrella means perfect gamepad support right out of the box too, as well as online support similar to Xbox LIVE's. Achievements, the ability to jump into and out of online games without needing to move to your keyboard to switch servers - it's probably the first time you can begin to appreciate the usefulness of Microsoft's clunky online service. Combine that with the fact that Gold membership is now free, and we could be ready to get off our high, anti-Microsoft horses.

Back To The Pad

Downing the pad and taking to a more traditional keyboard and mouse setup throws out a few concerns however. These range from niggling things such as motion blur as the camera whips about your character (perfectly acceptable on a smoothly panning analogue stick, not so much on a twitchy mouse) to more pressing problems such as camera controls while driving. A jaunt through the options menu will no doubt remedy the former, but the latter seems to be trickier to fix.

Players of the console version will be aware of the camera's tendency to lag as you take sharp corners, compelling you to make liberal use of the right tluimbstick. A similar tactic when using a mouse requires not a minute gesture of the thumb, but dramatic, theatrical sweeping movements. Even on-foot shooting sections play out better on the pad, such is the effort Rockstar have put into getting it right on console. Unbelievably, locking on to enemies and flicking the left thumbstick up to snap out a headshot feels far more satisfying than the precision offered by a mouse.

And get this: there was no custom radio station in the preview build we saw. Whether this feature, which allows you to play your own music through the radios of Liberty City's cars, boats, helicopters etc, will appear in the final release is unknown, but if we can't listen to our Stephen Fry podcasts while reversing over hookers' faces, we'll be unaroused.

This points to the PC version of GTA IV having an inseparable bond with its console roots. And that's no bad thing as long as you're prepared to pick up a 360 pad, which you really should be by now. Keyboard and mouse controls stumble on a few counts, mostly through no fault of Rockstar's, but instead because analogue controls benefit GTAIV in almost every aspect. It's a world with the sort of believability that'll make you want to walk at a certain pace, drive at a certain speed and corner in a certain way. A keyboard's digital input is a barrier to that. So we should all get 360 pads. Sigh.

Grand Theft Auto IV Is Still A Mystery to many. Sure, everyone's seen the trailer, and a few of us have seen a demo of the game running. But hard info? Not so much. You still jack cars, pilot choppers, swim, and pack heat, but is that a surprise to anyone? All we know about multiplayer is that GTA4 (coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360 this October) won't be a massively multiplayer online game, nor a death-match showdown, but "will match single player," according to a Rockstar rep. OK...good. We know a little about the story: Protagonist Niko Bellic heads to Liberty City from Eastern Europe to turn his life around, only to find that the wonders his cousin promised were unfounded.

What we know the most about is the setting. As in previous GTAs, LC is Rockstar's version of the Big Apple. And while those earlier games made you feel like you were in a city, none of them made you feel like you were in the city. One of Rockstar's biggest goals is to change that and really nail the NYC feel.

Fact is, we've been impressed by what we've seen. Graphically, it's a beaut. And since this is Rockstar's most ambitious re-creation of the metropolis yet, we wanted to see how far the developers have come to mimicking NYC. So we sent a photographer to try to match screens shot for shot. Let's see how close he came...and in turn how close Rockstar did.

THE SQUARE

Make no mistake; GTA4 has impressed many doubters with its graphical splendor, delivering the series' first bona fide gawker. But a pretty world can only serve to draw you in. It's the people who fill that world that make you want to stay, and that's where GTA4 has us most intrigued. More specifically, we focus our attention on Times Square, the most recognizable intersection on the planet and a bustling slice of human idiocy, both in the real and virtual world. In the NYC pic, the corner and crosswalk teem with activity, with some people walking at a determined gait, others casually crossing the street. Most of all, their minds are on their own immediate destination. And you know what? While LC's square ain't as dense (we really didn't expect it to mimic Manhattan's nearly 1.6 million inhabitants), those peds give off the same "I couldn't give a s***" vibe. They're going about their own thing and, amazingly, aren't all copies of each other. And don't forget the signage and stock-market ticker: The GTA-style satire makes its mark again.

THE BROWNSTONES

OK, we couldn't find an exact match for these NYC staples, but we have a good reason why (besides LC's fuller trees--wrong season!). See those elevated tracks in the background? We know of no such tracks that have brownstones next to them. Now, part of this may be due to the game only copying four of NYC's five boroughs, but what about this: Transportation between the boroughs and Jersey is easiest via the subway, but Rockstar hasn't put as much emphasis on the underground, instead focusing on aboveground tracks that go above the already modeled city? Could be. We do know that the developers have put a lot of emphasis on the interiors. One of our favorite parts of the demo was seeing Niko slip into one of these apartments--a detailed flat with lots of furniture--gun drawn, before escaping through the back door. The thought of a more compact but deep city, complete with details like people sitting on the stoops and birds chirping and Niko looking their way, only further gives Liberty City life.

THE SKYLINE

This NYC/LC showdown features the biggest aesthetic differences simply because of the game's more streamlined city. The real city is much more developed (especially apparent to the right of the Empire State Building). But take note of all of LC's skyscrapers (as well as that beautiful sky). Rockstar is stressing vertical density, meaning when you're touring the financial district, the buildings towering above you will block out the sun and really give you a sense of being encapsulated in this city, just like in the real thing.

UNDER THE TRACKS

If you've been following our GTA4 coverage, you know we love the little touches. Like when Niko breaks a car window with his elbow in order to unlock it. Or the way he takes a big step up and shifts his weight when he approaches a curb while walking. Or pedestrians taking a drag, chatting on a pay phone, or just leaning against a wall. In these particular shots, LC doesn't feature as many storefronts as this packed NYC strip, yet it has just as much going on: folks minding their own business, faded bills on the foreground pillar, trash on the sidewalk. You'd better believe we'd love to see more shops along the street...all the better to rob and escape out the back, something Rockstar tells us is indeed possible.

THE COASTER

We've put a lot of focus on the hearts of the cities so far, and rightly so, but it's worth pointing out that GTA4 isn't all high-rises and wild cabbies. Places like Broker and Alderney (GTA4's versions of Brooklyn and New Jersey, respectively) offer some diversity in the environment (though nothing like San Andreas' boonies). The Coney Island riff here has the same run-down, dilapidated look of the real thing. And again, you'll notice a misplaced elevated-track pillar in LC, which in the real city is a block away.

In what other game can you blow up half the neighborhoods, kill a lot of people, and get away with just repainting your car? Legendary mechanics and gameplay rise again from the ashes in the updated Liberty City of the legendary action game Grand Theft Auto IV. Use your entire stock of murderous fantasy and full gun magazines to carry out the city's most interesting and bloody quests.

Immigrant Weekdays

Straight from Eastern Europe, Nico Bellick arrives in a free city. A thirst for revenge and a letter from his own brother pushes the man to come. In reality, however, the brother is not such a well-to-do citizen and lives in a squatter's house, burdened with debt. A relative's connection to the Russian mafia forces Nico himself into dangerous missions, for the sake of money and his brother.

Let revenge not be straightforward

However, the most important reason for Nico's arrival in Liberty City is revenge for his military unit, which was destroyed by someone who now walks quietly through the streets of the city. Mafia showdown, long fights and dangerous missions on a variety of vehicles. All the obligatory attributes of the game Grand Theft Auto series are preserved in the fourth part.

Quest and Entertainment Methods

However, although the old trends have remained, the new part has brought no less new features that were previously completely absent. Such innovations include:

  • Two ending options. Will Nico take the path of revenge or let his nemesis live? Depending on the option you choose, the plot will change.
  • Internet. The World Wide Web with over a hundred sites awaits its readers in internet cafes and in the protagonist's phone. Use the new way of communication to find everything and everyone, for each of the missions.
  • Television. You want to come home after a hard day and relax, but the choice comes up: watch TV or play? Grand Theft Auto IV will save you from the choice, because you can watch TV in the game. You can even see the heroes of some of the shows on the streets of the city.
  • Police Computer. Searching for criminals will be twice as easy if you have a car with a huge database on hand. Complete extra missions, call in reinforcements, and just make finding your enemies easier by simply stealing a police car.
9

Unchallenged open-world shooter with the most massive mafia showdown and the most tolerant of murder and bloody mayhem - Grand Theft Auto IV will be an indispensable aid in getting rid of stress in the most sophisticated way. Find the cause of Nico's nightmares and remorse and make your fair choice in the city of freedom - Liberty City.

Snapshots and Media

XBox 360 Screenshots

PC Screenshots

Playstation 3 Screenshots

See Also

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