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Grand Theft Auto IV
Information about Grand Theft Auto IVGrand Theft Auto IV (commonly abbreviated as Grand Theft Auto 4, GTA4 or GTA IV) is a sandbox-style action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North. It is the sixth 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto series.
The game is set in a redesigned rendition of Liberty City, a fictional city based heavily on modern day New York City. It follows Niko Bellic, a war veteran from an unspecified country in Eastern Europe. He comes to the United States in search of the American Dream, but quickly becomes entangled in a seedy underworld of gangs, crime, and corruption. Like other games in the series, GTA IV is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives players more control over their playing experience. GTA IV is the first console game in the series to feature an online multiplayer mode, which contains fifteen game types.
Grand Theft Auto IV was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Oceania, Europe and North America on 29 Apr. 2008 (5 years ago), and in Japan on 30 Oct. 2008 (5 years ago). A Windows version of the game was released in North America on 2 dec. 2008 (5 years ago) and in Europe on 3 December. Two episodic packs are being developed for the Xbox 360, the first of which is entitled The Lost and Damned and was released on 17 Feb. 2009 (4 years ago). The next expansion pack will be called The Ballad of Gay Tony, featuring a character that made several appearances throughout the game by the name of Luis Fernando Lopez.
A major commercial and critical success, Grand Theft Auto IV broke industry records with sales of around 3.6 million units on its first day of release and grossing more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, from an estimated 6 million units sold worldwide. As of 11 Mar. 2009 (4 years ago), the game has sold over 13 million copies. Grand Theft Auto IV also received overwhelmingly positive reviews, becoming one of the highest-rated games of all-time on aggregated review websites such as Metacritic and GameRankings.
GameplayGrand Theft Auto IV is structured similarly to previous games in the series. The core gameplay consists of giving the player a large, open environment in which to move around. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, running, swimming, climbing and jumping, as well as using weapons and basic hand-to-hand combat. Players can steal and drive a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, boats, helicopters, and motorcycles. Grand Theft Auto IV takes advantage of Natural Motion's Euphoria engine, which combines artificial intelligence, bio-mechanics and physics to make NPC behaviour and movement adaptive and more realistic.
The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain parts of the map and content, they are not required, as players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can free-roam, giving them the ability to do activities.
It is possible to have multiple active missions, due to the fact that some missions will run over the course of several days and will require the player to wait for further instructions, etc. The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions. For the first time in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV features "morality choices" at several points throughout the game. The game has two different endings, which are determined by deciding which of the two missions to complete. The player can choose between a revenge mission or a deal mission, each leads to a different ending.
Combat and police responseCombat in Grand Theft Auto IV has been reworked to include a cover system.The gunfight combat system has been reworked to a third-person scheme. The player can slide to cover, lock on, blindfire, and free aim. When locked on, the target's health is indicated by eight segments inside the target circle. Additionally, if the target is wearing body armour there will be an additional armour circle inside the health circle, showing the target's armour status. Niko can also perform "cinematic executions", only possible with a pistol to certain characters/situations when the target circle blinks red. Players can target individual body parts using the revamped targeting system. Niko's health is represented by a green semicircle on the left side of the mini-map, while a blue semicircle on the right represents armour. There are more hand to hand combat moves than in past games in the series, namely punching, kicking, "alternative" punching, dodging/blocking, disarming an opponent, and counter-attacking. If Niko is injured, he can recover health by eating, drinking soda, sleeping, using medical kits, using his mobile phone to call for paramedics, calling one of his girlfriends for medical advice, or using the services of a prostitute. Health is generally reduced by physical injuries, such as being hit by vehicles when walking, going through the windscreen of a vehicle when crashing, and gunfire or explosions and stab wounds. Body armour is gradually damaged by gunshots and explosions. If Niko's health level reaches zero, the action stops, and he re-appears at the nearest hospital having lost 10% of his total wealth (up to $10,000). Niko is able to retain his weapons after re-spawning at a hospital, a feature not possible in other games of the series.
The Wanted level system operates differently from previous GTA games. The game retains the six star levels of previous iterations of the series, with increasing resistance on each level. However, the law enforcement agencies which come after the player with increasing wanted levels has also been changed from previous GTA games, with the focus on making them more realistic. As the wanted level rises in previous games, the police are replaced by SWAT teams, who are in turn replaced by the FBI (Secret Agents in GTA 2) and finally Army. In GTA 4, the Police are assisted by NOoSE (National Office of Security Enforcement) (Parody of DHS) officers at a three-star wanted level, who in turn are again assisted randomly by either NOoSE's Tactical Response Unit (Parody of NYPD ESU) or FIB (Federal Investigation Bureau) (Parody of FBI) at a five-star wanted level and beyond. Like previous GTA games, a police helicopter pursues the player at a three-star wanted level, but this is replaced by a helicopter gunship at the five-star wanted level, though like the previous helicopters it also utilises sharp-shooters rather than its mounted gatling guns.
When the police are in pursuit of Niko, a search radius appears on the map in which the police will be looking for him. The size of this radius increases with the player's wanted level and re-centres itself on Niko's location if he is spotted by the police. The player can evade the police by both escaping the search radius and temporarily keeping a low profile by not committing further offences. The wanted levels can also be lost either by driving into a "Pay 'N' Spray" (unless seen entering by police) or clandestinely changing vehicles in empty areas such as parking garages. The player has the option of attempting to escape arrest before being handcuffed, at the cost of increasing the wanted level by one star. Additionally, pedestrians with cellphones can report crimes they witness in the surrounding environment.
VehiclesDuring car chases, the player can focus the camera on the target vehicle by holding the cinematic camera button. Every vehicle in the game uses the in-game minimap as a GPS device, and additional voice directions are provided in luxury cars (but can also be activated in all cars or disabled in the options menu). "Waypoints" can be placed on destinations on the map, outlining the fastest legal route between Niko and the destination on the minimap. The ability to hail a taxi cab allows the player to travel to destinations without having to drive, and the entire journey may be skipped, allowing them to arrive at their destination instantly. The player cannot pilot fixed-wing aircraft, as was possible in previous games, but can still pilot helicopters.
The Bullet physics engine along with the Euphoria animation system causes Niko to react differently to every bike crash, instead of using a predefined animation. Niko can lose health or die if he crashes or smashes through the windscreen of cars during high speed collisions. Unlike previous games, vehicles will not explode if they are flipped over, however they may catch fire and eventually explode if the engine is repeatedly damaged via collisions, or if the vehicle is damaged via firearms. Explosions can sometimes render nearby vehicles unusable, or cause them to catch fire. Car engines can also break down, rendering them unable to start. Vehicles can also physically deform unlike in previous games, sometimes rendering them undrivable. When driving or riding in a car, Niko is able to smash the window, free-aim, and fire out of the vehicle with several different one-handed weapons. The player may also drop grenades or Molotov cocktails. In certain areas of Liberty City, Niko can stop his car along side a prostitute, honk his car horn and let her in. He can then engage in three different sexual activities with the prostitute at different costs.
CommunicationThe use of the mobile phone has been expanded to perform multiple actions. When selecting the mobile phone, a zoomed-in version of the phone interface pops up in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. The phone allows the player to view text messages and appointments, as well as arrange to meet friends for activities. Retrying a failed mission can be done by accessing the menu and responding positively to a certain text message. The player can take photos with the mobile phone and upload them to the police computer during certain missions. Niko can dial 911 to call emergency services, who promptly arrive to his location and will respond to a situation, or lack thereof, occurring there. The police will arrest felons, and paramedics are able to restore Niko's health. The phone also allows access to the game's multiplayer mode, online in a free mode you can also call other players to talk to them.
The game also features several different in-game databases that Niko can make use of. An in-game version of the Internet can be used by accessing the Internet café chain, "TW@", located throughout the city or by accessing a computer in a safehouse. There are over 100 accessible fictitious websites within the game, and Niko can also send and receive email (including junk mail) and set up prospective dates. Although the Internet café was seen in Grand Theft Auto III, it did not give the player the option to browse. In a police vehicle, Niko can use an in-car computer to access Liberty City's criminal database, discover information about various criminals in Liberty City and even track them down for a reward. The game also features in-game TV programming, with several viewable channels featuring programmes and advertisements. The TV shows cover a wide variety of genres, including a history channel, reality shows, card games, and cartoons.
MultiplayerGrand Theft Auto IV includes online multiplayer, with 15 modes of play available. The multiplayer supports up to 16 players (32 players in the PC version) and allows players to explore the entire city. Players use a customisable character in a majority of the modes, and cash earned during play translates to a level at which more clothing is available for their character, depending on the level. Hosts of the games can control many variables, such as police presence, traffic, and weapons. The online games are split into ranked and unranked matches. The reward for the ranked gameplay is cash, which determines players' ranks. The game does not feature any split screen or LAN multiplayer modes on console, but the PC version does have LAN support.
There are several different game modes available. Team based gameplay modes include Team Deathmatch, where 2-8 teams compete to accumulate the most kills in a traditional deathmatch; Team Mafiya Work, in which 2–8 teams compete to complete contract work for the "mafiya", such as escorting/killing targets or stealing cars; Team Car Jack City where 2–8 teams compete to steal cars and earn money for keeping them undamaged; Cops n' Crooks, featuring a team of cops who must compete against a team of crooks (which features the "All for One" variation - requiring the cops to kill the crooks' "Boss" before he is escorted to the extraction point - and the "One for All" variation - requiring the cops to kill all of the crooks before they reach the extraction point); and Turf War, involving two teams who compete to take control of designated areas of the map and control them for as long as possible.
The game also includes a variety of racing and cooperative modes, which include Race, in which players race through checkpoints in a traditional automobile race; a GTA Race variation, where players race through checkpoints in an automobile race, with the ability to combat their opponents; Hangman's N.O.O.S.E., a co-op mode that requires players to collect a person from the airport and safely escort him to the extraction point before the cops kill him; Deal Breaker, a co-op mission that requires players to assault a construction site captured by enemies, then chase a group of enemies before they escape; and Bomb da Base II, a co-op mission that requires players to clear out a ship, then destroy it with explosives, referencing the mission title Bomb Da Base: act II from Grand Theft Auto 3 which featured a similar objective of destroying a ship with explosives. The game also features a Free Mode, in which players have the entire map open to explore, with no end goal or mission to complete.
There are, however, limitations when playing Free Mode. Certain features from the single player story mode are disabled. The disabled features include the mini-games such as bowling, darts, and pool. Also disabled is other content found in the game, including cheats, clubs and the Internet café. These limitations also apply for all other game-types. Also, as you progress in multiplayer modes, you will unlock many new clothing items, and updated apparel. Head gear will also become available to you at certain points.
CharactersThe characters that appear in Grand Theft Auto IV are diverse and relative to the respective boroughs of Liberty City they are based in; belonging to various gangs and ethnic groups. The player controls Niko Bellic, a veteran of an Eastern European war. According to Dan Houser, virtually none of the characters from the previous games would return, as "most of the characters we liked were dead," further evidenced by in-game graffiti bidding farewell to these characters.
Unlike previous games in the series, the voice actors of Grand Theft Auto IV do not include notable and high-profile celebrities, instead opting for lesser known actors such as Michael Hollick, Jason Zumwalt, Timothy Adams and Coolie Ranx. However, several high-profile DJs host the various radio stations within the game such as Iggy Pop, Juliette Lewis, Karl Lagerfeld, DJ Premier, Fez Whatley and Lazlow Jones. Saturday Night Live actors Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis appear on the liberal and conservative radio talk shows respectively, with Fred Armisen playing several guests on Lazlow's "Integrity 2.0". Katt Williams and Ricky Gervais also have their likenesses and comedy depicted in an in-game comedy club. Numerous other comedians, including Jim Norton, Patrice Oneal, Rick Shapiro, and Robert Kelly, appeared on the radio and/or as characters in-game.
PlotGrand Theft Auto IV follows the story of Niko Bellic, an illegal immigrant and veteran of the Bosnian War. After persuasion from his cousin Roman who immigrated to America years prior to the game's opening, Niko leaves Eastern Europe to come to Liberty City, where he hopes to forget his criminal past and pursue the American Dream. After his arrival, however, Niko quickly learns that Roman's tales of riches and luxury were lies concealing Roman's struggles with debt and gangsters. Niko aids Roman in his troubles while hoping to carve out a new life for himself in the city.
It is later revealed that one of the reasons Niko came to Liberty City was to search for the person he blames for the betrayal of his old army unit: Florian Cravic. Niko creates ties with the Liberty City Bratva through Roman's loan shark Vladimir Glebov and later makes acquaintance with a major figure of the Bratva, Mikhail Faustin and his associate, Dimitri Rascalov. Niko completes jobs for Faustin before joining Dimitri's plot to betray Faustin and take over the organization. Niko assassinates Faustin on Dimitri's orders, but is then betrayed by Dimitri himself. It is revealed that Dimitri is actually in collusion with Rodislav Bulgarin, a former employer of Niko who orders his men to kill him. Niko fights his way through the ambush with the help of Little Jacob, a Jamaican arms dealer whom Niko befriended earlier. Dimitri and Bulgarin escape, however, and Jacob suggests dealing with them later.
Immediately afterwards Niko and Roman are forced to escape to Bohan when their Hove Beach apartment and taxi company are destroyed in an arson attack. At this time Roman reveals his plans to propose to his girlfriend, Mallorie. Desperate for money, Niko slowly obtains new allies and finds work in the various criminal organisations around the city, including the Pegorino Crime Family (Don Jimmy Pegorino, caporegime Ray Boccino and associate Phil Bell), along with their hired muscle, the McReary Irish Mob (mobsters Gerry and Packie, drug dealer Derrick and police deputy-commissioner Francis), Playboy X's gang, Dwayne Forge, Elizabeta Torres's drug ring, and others. After moving to a new apartment in Algonquin, Niko finally locates Florian, but discovers that he has changed his name to Bernie Crane, and Niko soon determines that Bernie is not the person responsible for his unit's betrayal, leaving him one remaining suspect: Darko Brevic.
Towards the conclusion of the storyline, a shadowy government agency (under the name of "U.L. Paper") that had forced Niko to help them in collusion with an aging mobster, Jon Gravelli, locates Darko in Bucharest and arrange to have him brought to Liberty City as a final reward. Niko confronts Darko, who has become a drug-addicted, guilt-ridden wreck. The player is then left with the option of either executing Darko or sparing his life. Afterwards, having dealt with his past, Niko is called to a bar where mob boss Jimmy Pegorino asks him one final favour; to obtain a shipment of heroin for him that he can sell to a buyer; Dimitri Rascalov.
FinaleThe story features two possible endings depending on the choice made by the player at this point in the game. In both endings Niko sees Pegorino as an enemy for allying so closely with Dimitri, and both antagonists die in nearly identical battles. The major difference in each ending is that either Roman Bellic or Kate McReary dies.
If the player chooses to exact Revenge, Niko ambushes Dimitri on his tanker while he is supervising a shipment of heroin. A gunfight ensues within the hull of the tanker and Niko kills Dimitri. In the aftermath, Roman and Mallorie's wedding takes place and Jimmy Pegorino, who is furious after the betrayal, commits a drive-by outside the church killing Niko's love interest, Kate McReary. Niko, Roman and Little Jacob follow some of Pegorino's men, who lead them to an abandoned casino in Alderney. Niko attempts to kill Pegorino, but he escapes via boat to Happiness Island. Niko, Roman and Jacob pursue in a helicopter, and Niko eventually kills Pegorino before lamenting on the supposed "American Dream" to Roman and Jacob.
If the player chooses to strike a Deal, Niko meets Phil Bell at the docks to make the exchange. Dimitri sabotages his side of the deal but Niko and Phil eventually retrieve the drug money regardless. Niko receives a congratulatory call from Pegorino who has now allied himself with Dimitri. Kate, however, who was against making the deal, is disappointed with Niko and refuses to attend Roman and Mallorie's wedding. The wedding takes place and an assassin sent by Dimitri to kill Niko inadvertently shoots and kills Roman during a struggle. A devastated and vengeful Niko teams up with Little Jacob and they go to an abandoned casino in Alderney to kill both Dimitri and Pegorino. In the casino, Dimitri betrays and kills Pegorino before escaping to Happiness Island via helicopter. Niko and Little Jacob pursue, and then kill, Dimitri. The story ends with a parting shot of the Statue of Happiness, with Niko concerned for the well-being of his soul.
DevelopmentWork on Grand Theft Auto IV began in Nov. 2004 (9 years ago), almost immediately after the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Around 150 game developers worked on Grand Theft Auto IV, led by core members of the Grand Theft Auto III team. The game uses Rockstar's own RAGE game engine, which was previously used in Rockstar Table Tennis, in combination with the Euphoria game animation engine. Instead of pre-written animations, Euphoria uses procedural animation to control the way the player moves, enabling character movements to be more realistic. The Euphoria engine also enables NPCs to react in a realistic way to the player's actions. In one preview, a player knocked an NPC out of a window and the character grabbed onto a ledge to stop himself from falling. The game also uses middleware from image (wallpaper) Metrics to facilitate intricate facial expressions and ease the process of incorporating lip-synching. Foliage in the game is produced through SpeedTree.
Grand Theft Auto IV sees a shift in the series to a more realistic and detailed style and tone, partly a result of the transition to consoles which offered high-definition graphics and the new and improved capabilities of such consoles. Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser said "what we're taking as our watchword on [GTA IV] is the idea of what high definition actually means. Not just in terms of graphics, which obviously we are achieving, but in terms of all aspects of the design....You know, trying to make something more realistic, more held together, but still retaining the overall coherence that the other games had." Art director Aaron Garbut said one of the reasons they decided to set the game in New York because "we all knew what an amazing, diverse, vibrant, cinematic city it is....And since we were hoping to push the detail, variety and life, for lack of a better word, to such a degree it seemed that basing the game in a city so synonymous with these things was a great fit." Dan Houser added "because we were working in high definition and we knew we'd need a shitload of research, we wanted to be somewhere where we had a foothold." The developers consciously avoided creating a block for block recreation of New York City, Dan Houser said "what we've always tried to do is make a thing that looks real and has the qualities of a real environment, but is also fun from a game design perspective." The Grand Theft Auto IV rendition of Liberty City is far more detailed and is the largest individual city in the Grand Theft Auto series. Although smaller than San Andreas, Liberty City is comparable to it in terms of scope when "the level of verticality of the city, the number of buildings you can go into, and the level of detail in those buildings" are taken into account. The goal for Liberty City was to have no dead spots or irrelevant spaces, such as the wide open deserts in San Andreas. To achieve a realistic environment, the Rockstar North team, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, made two trips to New York for research, one at the start of the project (which is done with every GTA game) and another smaller one further into development. A full-time research team, based in New York, handled further requests for information ranging from the ethnic minority of a neighbourhood to videos of traffic patterns.
The story of Grand Theft Auto IV was written by Dan Houser and Rupert Humphries. Unlike previous Grand Theft Auto games which have a strong cultural or cinematic influence, "[GTA IV doesn't] really have any cinematic influences", said Dan Houser, "we were consciously trying to go, well, if videogames are going to develop into the next stage, then the thing isn't to try and do a loving tribute or reference other stuff. It's to reference the actual place itself." Houser also said, "In terms of the character, we wanted something that felt fresh and new and not something that was obviously derived from a movie....Maybe could do something ourselves that would live alongside that stuff."
Music supervisor Ivan Pavlovich said "[we had] to pick the songs that make New York today what it is, but make sure they won't feel dated by the time the game comes out." The developers contacted over 2,000 people in order to obtain recording and publishing rights. They even hired a private investigator to locate the relatives of late Skatt Bros. member Sean Delaney to license the band's song, "Walk the Night". Citing sources close to the deals, Billboard reported that Rockstar paid as much as $5,000 per composition and another $5,000 per master recording per track. Developers originally considered letting players purchase music by going to an in-game record shop and for Niko to have an MP3 player, but both ideas were cut. Grand Theft Auto IV's theme song is "Soviet Connection" by Michael Hunter, who also composed the theme for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. People who provide voices for the radio DJs include fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, musicians Iggy Pop, Femi Kuti, Jimmy Gestapo and Ruslana, and real-life radio talk show host Lazlow Jones. DJ Green Lantern produced tracks exclusively for the game's hip-hop radio station The Beat 102.7. Record label owner and record producer Bobby Konders, who hosts the in-game radio station Massive B Soundsystem 96.9, went through the extra effort of flying to Jamaica to get dancehall artists to re-record tracks to make references to the boroughs of Liberty City.
The then Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division, Peter Moore, announced at E3 2006 (7 years ago) that the game would appear on Xbox 360, by rolling up his sleeve to reveal a GTA IV temporary tattoo. Rockstar Games initially appeared to be committed to the original 16 Oct. 2007 (6 years ago) release date; however, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter suggested that Take-Two may choose to delay the release of the game in order to boost its financial results for 2008 (5 years ago) and to avoid competing with the release of other highly anticipated titles, such as Halo 3. Rockstar responded by saying that Grand Theft Auto IV was still on track for release in "late October". On 2 Aug. 2007 (6 years ago), Take-Two announced that Grand Theft Auto IV would miss its original release date of 16 Oct. 2007 (6 years ago) contrary to their previous statements, and would be delayed to their second fiscal quarter (February–April) of 2008 (5 years ago). In a later conference call with investors, Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick attributed the delay to "almost strictly technological problems... not problems, but challenges." It was revealed that technical difficulties with the PlayStation 3 version of the game contributed to the delay, along with storage problems on the Xbox 360. On 24 Jan. 2008 (5 years ago), Take-Two announced that Grand Theft Auto IV would be released on 29 Apr. 2008 (5 years ago). As the release date approached, Rockstar Games and Take-Two marketed the game heavily through various forms, including TV ads, Internet video, billboards, viral marketing, and a redesigned website. A special edition of the game was also released for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. At a Take-Two shareholder meeting on 18 Apr. 2008 (5 years ago), Take-Two CEO Ben Feder announced that GTA IV had already "gone gold" and was "in production and in trucks en route to retailers". Overall, Grand Theft Auto IV took over 1000 people and more than three and a half years to complete, with a total cost estimated at approximately $100 million, making it the most expensive game ever developed.
ReceptionGrand Theft Auto IV received near-universal acclaim from video game critics. On the review aggregators Metacritic and GameRankings, it is one of the highest rated games of all time. Ahead of its worldwide release, most publications were not sent copies of the game. Instead, reviewers had to play the game on Rockstar premises or in booked hotel rooms.
The May 2008 (5 years ago) issue of Official Xbox Magazine (UK) published the first Grand Theft Auto IV review, giving the game the maximum score of 10/10. The magazine also stated that the game has an "amazingly realistic world; stunning action set pieces; genuinely engrossing storyline; hugely entertaining multiplayer;" and that it is "vast in every respect." PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) also gave the game 10/10 in their May 2008 (5 years ago) issue, describing the game as "a masterpiece that improves on all GTA's best bits." Xbox World 360 gave the game a 98% rating, the highest it has ever given to any game, mentioning the game was "everything we were entitled to expect, and yet somehow impossibly more." GameSpot gave the game a perfect 10, making it the first game since 2001 (12 years ago) that GameSpot had rated perfect. The review called the game "compelling," with a "plethora of online multiplayer features" and stated that GTA IV is "undoubtedly the best Grand Theft Auto yet."
Hilary Goldstein of IGN gave the game a 10/10 score, with the game earning 10/10 in each individual category: presentation, sound, graphics, gameplay, and lasting appeal. It is the first game in the publication's history to receive straight-10 subscores across the board. Goldstein called the game "just as big a leap forward as Grand Theft Auto III, albeit in subtler ways", and said it "sets a new benchmark for open-world games", with "no one major weak aspect." Goldstein's only serious criticism was for "the occasional flaw in the cover system", but the review concluded with the statement that "We don't give 10s often—just to games that merit the score."
The British newspaper Daily Star gave it a positive review, praising: "This could be a console defining title, one that in years to come people will remember as the stand-out of the era." The New York Times wrote a favourable review as well, calling it a "violent, intelligent, profane, endearing, obnoxious, sly, richly textured and thoroughly compelling work of cultural satire disguised as fun." The movie magazine Empire gave the game a perfect 5/5 in its game reviews section, calling it "damn-near perfect".
Despite the almost unanimous praise given to GTA IV, the game has received some criticism, particularly its Windows port. A review in Ars Technica states that the game "...[is] not perfect. It does not deserve unquestioned, unadulterated praise. In many ways, the slight regression of the series from San Andreas is surprising: there are fewer vehicles, weapons, and story missions, less character customisation, and even the size of the city itself is smaller." GameSpot noted that there are occasional problems with friendly AI and avoiding the police being "a little too easy." There were some minor complaints with the game's cover system, which reviewers noted, stumbled in box-filled environments and the stickiness of cover points being an issue. The occasional presence of noticeable pop-in was also criticised.
Rockstar has come under fire from Grand Theft Auto communities, Gamespot and other websites, due to the game's abnormally high system requirements, as well as for its poor performance, even on systems that exceed the recommended system requirements by a wide margin. The game has also been criticized for its dependencies, such as Rockstar Social Club, SecuROM, and Games for Windows - Live, noting that single player progress can't be saved unless Windows Live is also installed. On 13 dec. 2008 (5 years ago), a patch for GTA IV was released to mixed opinions.
As of 2009 (4 years ago), Grand Theft Auto IV holds the second and fifth positions of Gamerankings' highest scores charts for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 respectively.
Awards and nominations
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