Grand Theft Auto 4 Review
You play as Niko Bellic, a war veteran who comes to Liberty City, USA, (Modeled after New York City,) after his cousin, Roman, tells him about how he has great wealth, a mansion, sports cars, etc. As Niko soon finds out though, Roman was lying. This starts Niko off on a long journey, that even surpasses Assassin's Creed in terms of story quality. The cast of characters in GTA 4 are all incredibly well defined, and grow on you as the story progresses. At the points where i was given a decision to make, i found myself thinking of how each decision could affect the other characters in the game, before I made the decision.
This game introduces new gameplay mechanics to the series. One of them is the the new gun-fighting methods. It is now cover based and players can target individual body parts. As great as the gunplay is though, the close combat does not work that well. Thankfully, you don't need to do a lot of it. Niko also has a cell phone that can be used to access missions, communicate with characters, and access multiplayer. Vehicles now control more realistically. Police chases are now radius based. The A.I. in this game is very smart. Enemies will use cover, react differently based on where they are shot, pedestrians will even call the police if they see you do anything bad. Once you complete the story, there is still a lot that you can do. There's deliveries, "Exotic Exports," assassination missions, races, stunt jumps, random characters, etc. You can also hang out with/date some characters. Doing so with some provides bonuses for Niko, such as the ability to call for backup, or the ability to call a discount gun salesman.
GTA 4 is the first game in the series to include online multiplayer. In multiplayer, up to sixteen players are dropped into the entire city to play one of fifteen game modes, including the standard deathmatch and race, and inventive modes like Bomb da Base II and Cops n' Crooks. The online play is lag free and plays great.
GTA 4's graphics are much improved over previous games in the series, thanks to Rockstar's R.A.G.E. engine. There is occasional pop-in. I only experienced slow down during one mission, (To the game's credit though, it was a really hectic mission.) The voice-work, original score, and sound effects are great, the former helping define the characters. There are also over 200 licensed song that are played over the game's radio stations, covering a wide variety genres, so you're almost guaranteed to find a that you'll like, (And if not, you can listen to one of the humorous talk-radio stations.)
In conclusion, GTA 4 is the best game that I have ever played. The gameplay, the story, the multiplayer, everything is absolutely fantastic. I recommend it to every. If you haven't played it yet, go play it now.