Niko Bellic, a Serbian veteran of the Bosnian War, arrives in the United States in hopes of finding the American dream. When he first steps foot on the docks of Liberty City, he’s excited to see his cousin Roman, who brags in his letters to Bellic of his success.
Sadly though, Roman’s story of fortune is in fact a story of debt. For Niko, this is one of many moments of disappointment he will experience on his journey to find what he desires on the streets of Liberty City.
But for the player, there are hardly any disappointing moments when they experience the world of Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360.
Grand Theft Auto IV is more of a revolution in console gaming than just another video game. Thanks to the hardware of fourth generation consoles, this is not the Liberty City that players experienced in Grand Theft Auto III.
The city has been redesigned to resemble New York City, and Bellic no longer drives around on his own; a Global Positioning System is available to navigate his rides. Furthermore, while most games just focus on showing off their shiny new graphics (and ignore elements such as plot and playability), GTA IV focuses on the smallest of details to provide the player with a spectacularly real adventure. Even Bellic’s bullet holes look genuine.
Combat and action aren’t ignored either. Both have receive a complete overhaul that improves the gaming experience, and the inclusion of rag doll physics and realistic blood splatter has made GTA IV the most violent entry in the series yet.
The depiction of the Liberty City Police has also received a complete make over as officers patrol the streets wearing a variety of uniforms and armed with traditional law enforcement weapons. The law is now more of a challenge than ever, as higher felonies will attract more than two police cars, and if you’re lucky, a helicopter.
Finally, as if to complete an already perfect experience, for the first time ever in GTA history there is option for multi-player gaming. Up to a glorious 16 players can work together or fight it out in either a death match or a street race.
However I do feel it falls short in regards to having a verity of choices in regards to shopping locations, dinning establishment and weapon selections. While an upgrade compared to GTA III, the selection of choices feels like a downgrade when compared to San Andreas.
Despite this minor shortcoming, Grand Theft Auto IV is truly one of the must have games for the Xbox 360.
Truly, this is an experience that words alone cannot explain. Try it for yourself and feel the amazingness that is Grand Theft Auto IV .
Final Score: 9/10
Disclaimer: I bought this game for the Xbox 360.