Review | Grand Theft Auto IV
Last time I already mentioned the two major down points in the game. The whole social life experience and the amount of realism the game has. I would actually post this piece last weekend, but because I wanted to have a better overview about the story and gameplay I decided to put it on the site this time (last update of 2008). Prepare yourself for a fullschale Review, this time on (NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW).

STORY: The game has a well designed and developed story. Althought the whole hype around the person Niko Bellic is a bit to much. The major point off sceptimism in the story line is that you don't control a mafia son or something. He is totally done with all the killing, and wants to start a better life. But what he doesn't know is that his cousin was lying about the whole american lifestyle he would have. It is all an american dream. The way the story goes on during your playing sessions is in the beginning quite slow. (After this it will speed up a bit more, thank god). Mostly because all of the social life will be explained to you. And so there is this hickup again ! The whole social life experience in the game is holding the story back till a certain point. You can switch this off, only then you might face the problem you won't get any calls from your mission givers as well. But let us continue on the social life now that we are at this point.

SOCIAL-LIFE: As I said above you will get interrupted by it during the beginning of the game. After that point it will drop back, like it should. Side effect of this is that your story with some of the caracters will drop back as well. And you will only get a call of them that you still need to do some jobs for them (the so called: side missions). And this is weird if you remind your self to the point you were overwelmed in social calls. These unwanted calls will keep apearing during the whole game. Not all the time just as much but still. The most disturbing about them is that they apear during missions asking you if you want to bowl with them. And even more annoing if you are already on the way to one of your social friends to do 'something' and they call if you want to go out with them instead. I can go on and on about this, but last thing I want to spend on this subject is the following: They are trying to be realistic, but what is realistic about the following situation... You will get an text message and on behalve of this you want to call this person. Unfortantly they aren't available to get on the line. They can contact you and spam you with text messages. But the other way around is not an option. Not even all the time with key caracters. And that is a loss. Because it would really add an amount of realism to the game. Not that I would want to have this amount of realism in the game but that's another 'story'.

REALISM: For this particular new chapter in making and producing GTA they stuck them selves with a refreshing physics engine. And this engine does his job quite well. Non the less it will get on your nerves from time to time. Because you are used to the whole arcade movement style. Abrupt changes in the path you want to walk down will lead to frustration and sometimes glitches. It is a major down point that you face in this new GTA ! Overall it's good but they wanted to make this title to much realistic in behavior, and GTA is not suited for this job. An other thing is the eating and entertaining places in the game. You would say If you drive along a place of interest it will be putted on your map. Well no, you need to walk in to that facility and even then it won't be showed on the map just yet. You need to order or see a show to get it on the map. And with that, if you take MAFIA in comparing to GTA on this, the title from 2K Games will clearly take the lead. The physics engine isn't that much in the way during driving tough and that is a + point it has. Let's go straight on to the controls of the game...

CONTROLS + INTERFACE: Sometimes I would hear people shouting to there consoles when they needed to bowl or throw darts or fly the helicopter. None of this irritating factor is inside GTA IV for the PC ! Okay sometimes and most of it during the start of the game you will get a bit pissed. But lateron when you are getting used to the controls it's all peacefully and quite. And that's a good thing. How much don't I see a quick port towards the PC with controller buttons on screen, not with this... And if you like the 360 controller more so'll be it. No problem at all and now changing that needs to be done in the menu. The menu itself is the best I've seen till now in GTA, it's not to overloaded and you can find everything in a bit. The interface in the game itself is just as good. Although you may want to keep in mind that you have a different interface in this game then the previous parts of GTA. You want be seeing your money, life, armor and gun bar on the screen. The only negative thing about this is that you sometimes forget to eat a burger or such. And that can be painfull if you land onto a fench after flying trough a window from your car !

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Major problem in this part of the series is the changement in graphical engine ! The engine it self is fine. But they tweaked it a bit more for the PC, and that is were it went wrong I guess. Because till now you would had a loading screen when you were going to the next island and that is gone. Instead you will only have a loading screen during missions and if you enter certain buildings. They should need to flip that around. Because what you will face now is a drawing distance that may be good but that interfears to much when you are only just in the beginning or halfway in the game. Most of this is also because you can't tweak much of the settings on your own as well. You can only tweak the density and the detail and that's it. The resolution of the game and the distance will take to much away from your Video memory and with that the technical floor of the game will fall away.

Overall the game is good, missions aren't as repetetive as they were before. And the caracter building is good. The video option is good and the MP is well worked out. Non the less the game won't deserve higher then a 8+ or 9. I've seen 9.5 or even 10's. But all of thoes were not explained. Now you have got the explanation do with it what you want !

Out now: PC, Already on: PS3.X360 | Rockstar Games, Rockstar North