Grand Theft Auto IV Review
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One of the greatest video game stories ever told. It may have its flaws, but it is the most ambitious game made to date and, without a doubt, the best game so far this generation.
- The movie-caliber storyline
- The stylistically unprecedented recreation of New York City
- The vast online experience
- The slight framerate dips and pop-in
- The lack of a checkpoint system
(continued from previous page) ...genre. The sweeping color palette flows across the morning sky as the sun rises over the ocean horizon. The people, the city, the cars, everything is highly detailed yet beautifully stylized (the game implements depth of field and motion blur to full effect). The framerate is prone to dips when the action gets really heavy and pop-in isn’t overly rare, but these issues are overshadowed by the grand scheme of things. The little details shine as well. The smoke that rolls out of car windows when driving around with resident Rastafarian Little Jacob feels just as impressive to me as the Statue of Happiness. Whilst playing GTA IV, you get the overwhelming sense that Rockstar really cares about Liberty City and its fictional inhabitants, and that makes you care as well.
What better way to show your appreciation for the city than tearing it up online with up to 15 other players? Rockstar has finally seen the light and given its fans something they’ve been wanting for the longest time now – online Grand Theft Auto. As if the offline experience wasn’t enough to warrant the $60 price tag, Rockstar went the extra mile and provided its users with incredibly in-depth online capability as well. Not only will you be able to roam free in Liberty City with up to 15 of your friends, but you’ll also be able to completely customize the look and feel of your online persona. When you first hop online, your options for customization will be somewhat limited, though fortunately you're able to purchase new clothing with cash you earn as you rank up.
Outside of Free Roam, Rockstar has also implemented 14 other gameplay modes that you can partake in, ranging from deathmatches to mission work, cat ‘n’ mouse games to turf wars. The guys over at Rockstar North left little to be desired within the brilliantly executed online environment. One of the more pleasing features of the online portion of GTA IV is the ability to play online with not only pedestrians and traffic enabled, but with non-player police serving as a third party in various scenarios. With that said, the inauguration of online play within the Grand Theft Auto universe provides a huge step up in not only the game's direction, but user-experience altogether.
If this review went on for another 10 pages, I still couldn’t list everything you can do in Liberty City. I’ve completely managed to avoid mentioning the scandalous drunk driving mechanic within the game. That proves testament to my point though – Grand Theft Auto IV is filled to the brim with limitless opportunity. Contained within Grand Theft Auto IV is one greatest video game stories ever told, and that’s only the beginning. It has its flaws, but it’s the most ambitious game made to date and, without a doubt, the best game so far this generation. Keep on rockin’ Rockstar, you’ve got yourself a winner.