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What does the American Dream mean today?

For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them and a living nightmare for those who don’t.

Beginning with the 1997 release of the originalGrand Theft Auto, theGTAseries has been one of the most prolific, controversial and down right entertaining franchises in video games history. This pedigree of success guarantees that the highly anticipated eleventh game in the series,Grand Theft Auto IV, will garner at least as much attention if not more.

'Grand Theft Auto IV' game logo
 

Return to Liberty City. Niko's Dream as it should have been
The dream as Niko expected it.
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Niko and Roman
There's always a catch.
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Niko with gun

But some skills are international.
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The Plot
Grand Theft Auto IVis a brand new adventure in theGTAuniverse following the experiences of Nikolai "Niko" Bellic, a new immigrant from an undisclosed eastern European country whose troubled pa st and the persuasion of his cousin Roman have brought him to the fictional Liberty City. Unfortunately, Niko’s search for the American Dream and a much needed fresh start, hits an immediate snag when the rags to riches story Roman spun to pique Niko's interest is exposed as not only a complete fabrication, but a ploy to enlist Niko’s well-known skills as a tough guy against the ample list of enemies clamoring for Roman’s debt-ridden blood.

Because Roman is the only person Niko knows in Liberty City he begrudgingly accepts his role as Roman’s protector despite the deception. But as time goes on Niko comes into his own, and his experience on the wrong side of the tracks proves more valuable than he could have ever imagined as he fights for survival and later supremacy on the crime ridden streets of Liberty City.

Game Environments
Based on several of the boroughs of New York City and parts of New Jersey, Liberty City, familiar to players of previous games in the series, has been entirely redesigned forGTA IV. Players can expect visible detail down to the weeds growing in the cracks in the sidewalk, cars and buildings of visibly different ages and a much greater level if verticality in the buildings and bridges that they are able to explore as Niko moves through the city streets. In addition, pedestrians inGTA IVare much more realistic. No longer simply moving cardboard cutouts, these NPCs are intelligent, modern, human representations that laugh, cry, eat, drink, use cell phones and ATMs, and talking amongst themselves regardless of Niko’s interaction with them.

Gameplay
HistoricallyGTAgames have focused heavily on mission-based play, requiring successful completion of fixed tasks in order for players to progress through the game, but this has changed to a great extent inGTA IV. Players will experience an entirely new and exciting emphasis centered on the blending of on-mission and off-mission play, resulting not only in an increased sense of realism, but more interesting and unrestricted gameplay.

Features
Aside from the car jacking and a detailed city environment here are the new features forGTA IV:

  • Improved combat system - Now you can use cover and also a target lock system, which allows you to take out targets with greater ease and accuracy. Plus, you can engage in some hand-to-hand combat if you can't get your hands on a piece quick enough.
  • Cell phone - Not just for basic phone calls anymore. Use your in-game cell phone to receive missions via SMS, snap photos, and ZiT (tag) songs that can be downloaded exclusively on Amazon.com/mp3.
  • Free time - In between missions you can take advantage of "me" time. There are gentleman's clubs, comedy clubs, bowling alleys, and bars, which all house unique activities.
  • Take a break from the storyline - A variety of side missions allow you to help run a car service, "borrow" cop cars, assassinate targets, help solve problems for those on the street, or take to the air with stunt jumps that are scattered all over the city.
  • Control your own fate - Throughout the game choice moments will arrive causing you to make a decision that will affect relationships and money.

Multiplayer
Give Niko a rest and create your own multiplayer "hero."GTAhas added multiplayer modes allowing you to take your creation out to play online in competitive, co-op, and free form modes. Competitive mode has you fighting against the cops, jacking cars, or racing to finish odd jobs. Co-op challenges you and your friends with various tasks including Hangman's NOOSE where you are responsible for escorting a wanted kingpin to a safe extraction point. Freeform lets you and 15 others lose on Liberty City. Use this mode to hit up the bar and play virtual darts versus each other or head out to the streets and set up your own drag races. If you can dream it, you can do it in Freeform mode.

ZiT: We'll Spot The Song For You
When playing Grand Theft Auto IV, if you hear a song that you are interested in buying as an MP3, all you have to do is dial ZiT-555-0100 on your in-game mobile phone and a text message will be sent to you with the name of the artist and the title of the track. The next time you log in at theRockstar Games Social Club, you will find 30-second previews of all the songs you have ZiT'ed while playing the game. You can add them to your basket there and click to purchase at Amazon MP3, or you can find them all atwww.amazon.com/gtamusic.

 

 

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Details

ESRB:  Mature
Number of Players:  Single-player
Publisher:  Rockstar Games
Developer:  Rockstar North
Console:  PS3
Genre:  Action Adventure
Release Date:  April 29, 2008
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More Grand Theft Auto IV reviews
review by . March 11, 2011
Grand Theft Auto IV Review
GTA4 ends the same way it plays, with a choice. Unfortunately, just like in Kane and Lynch: Dead Men, no good deed goes unpunished. With alternate endings depending on your final choice the game displays a depth and insight not often seen in a video game. The game is brilliantly designed and a success on so many levels. I commend Rockstar for breaking away from the molds of Vice City and San Andreas and doing a game that is unique in the franchise. One thing people will not say is that this is either …
review by . June 17, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Live the American dream of fast cars, busty women, fast food and AK-47s
I'm new to the Grand Theft Auto games having always heard of the violent and questionable content.  Grabbing this one I can see what all the hype was about, it's a very absorbing game, very profane, violent and dark at times taking your character around town doing shady things and keeping in touch with your contacts along with humor and a varied array of missions.      Grand Theft Auto is the story of Niko Bellic, a former army soldier and an immigrant from the Eastern …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
Plenty to do around town in this urban gang game. Some missions will drive you up the wall but it's still great.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Sandbox style game with criminal goings on in town. You have a lot of choices and a lot of gameplay.
review by . January 01, 2009
posted in The Gaming Hub
Before I start ranting, I just want to say that GTA4, as a game of its own, is actually quite good, but as a GTA game, it has shortcomings. So Let's kick this review off right.     Graphics: GTA4 has rather well defined graphics. It is definitely much better from it's predecessors. Among many of the improvements graphically; people in the car actually move as they speak, blood stains actually appear on your car if you hit people, hitting newspaper stands actually cause newspapers …
review by . December 08, 2008
This game is great. It's like the entire city is really alive. There is so many missions and mini games to play that it will keep you interested for a really long time. Besides the normal missions you can also compete do things like play pool, darts, bowling you can meet girls and take them on dates, get drunk at a bar, go to shows, earn money doing odd jobs like stealing and delivering cars, operating as a delivery driver etc... There are a lot of different weapons to use and a huge selection of …
review by . April 30, 2008
posted in The Gaming Hub
My review isn't about the game, but about what you get with the special edition:    Duffel Bag: Medium-Sized, black bag with a white Rockstar logo outside and a yellow-pattern lining on the inside...surprisingly very eye-catching design. This will make a great gym bag.    License Plate: Not as hard as the real license plate, but still sturdy enough to put on your wall or hit somebody with it.    Safe Deposit Box(with 2 keys): I'm very impressed …
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