A truly addicting and wonderful adventure!
This has probably been said like a million times before me by everyone else, but this GTA really is the best in the series. In my opinion the fact that Rockstar has taken a more realistic approach with this one is just great. The game is more realistic than its predecessors but thankfully that realism hasn't lowered the fun factor at all. You can still do all sorts of crazy stunts, blow things up and so on. And the new physics engine (especially Euphoria) make it even more fun.
I'm going to tell you about my only criticism about this game right now - it's quite a bad console port. At least it was really bad when it first came out. By now (after three patches) it's getting better though, the last patch gave me about 10 FPS boost. But still the performance should be better. I can't complain about the controls because I have never played neither PS3 or 360 version of the game. I think they're are good with keyboard and mouse. But you can occasionally see strange control solutions - you have to exit various menus by either pressing E, Backspace or Escape - in my opinion this is kind of consolish (guess I just made up a new word ). But other than controls and performance, it is truly an amazing game.
The game takes place in rebuilt version of Liberty City, the city we have seen in the first GTA and GTA III (also in GTA Liberty City Stories but I've never played that one). This version of Liberty City is by far the largest and the most realistic one. It is heavily based on real New York City and really is just a wonderful piece of art and architecture.
The protagonist this time is Niko Bellic - an immigrant from southern Eastern Europe, he's native language is Serbian, but it isn't clear if he really is from Serbia. Niko is a veteran of Bosnian War and has a really troubled conscience because of some horrible things that had happened to him and his friends in the war.
Niko was invited to Liberty City by his cousin Roman, who claimed in his e-mails that he is living in a big mansion, he's very rich and owns sports cars. Of course this is not true, he's actually in big dept to all kinds of crazy characters.
Soon into the game however you'll find out that Roman's lies are just one of the reasons Niko arrived in Liberty.
I'm not going to tell anything else about the story of GTA IV other than it's just incedibly well written and wonderful in every way.
The soundtrack is also great, including music from a wide variety of genres. The music is delivered once again by radios stations that can be heard while driving the vehicles in the game.
I've played this game now for over six months, I've completed the story about seven times and still haven't had enough of it. The game is just so addictive and great. Even if you just take Niko to a walk in Middle Park or Alderney City or wherever, everything around you is always just so well-crafted, unique and breathtaking.
Everyone should play this game, even people how don't like violence in games.