Honestly i have never before played a game that i would recommend that everyone play for the story alone. Very rarely do i feel a game can stand up to movies. Granted i don't think that this game can stand up to the great gangster movies of all time but that doesn't mean that if it was released as a Movie with no game tie in it wouldn't receive rave reviews.
The most interesting thing to me is that the mission types have not changed much from the Older games but the game play within the missions is so vastly improved that it feels like a brand new game.
The story arcs within the game made me sometimes pause the game go in the other room and think. What the hell would Niko do here i would always ask myself. Then i came to realize maybe i was not asking what Niko would do in this situation but maybe i was asking what I myself would do.
The cast of characters range from the Hilarious (Brucie), to the psychotic and depressing. if you did not care about the characters perhaps you skipped the cut scenes or just maybe you don't have much of a conscience
I was amazed and shocked by this game how can something that seems that it is trying to be controversial also be so good. Its not just that they put a lot of time and effort into making this something youre going to remember and if you play it to the end i think you will.