Grand Theft Auto IV

Rockstar North, Rockstar Games
Dec 2, 2008 - PC

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9.2 / 10
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Critic Reviews for Grand Theft Auto IV

If you've so far neglected to enter Grand Theft Auto IV's stunning modern metropolis of Liberty City, by all means get this game. The overall GTA formula has been refined and retooled in this version to be more convenient, more realistic, and ultimately more mature, though it still gets stuck on brambles held over from games past. As far as living a virtual life goes, managing the social network, night life, travel habits and explosive forays of virtual dynamo Niko Bellic is one that'll stick in your thoughts for years to come. The PC version comes with a few added features, such as online filters for finding matches, the ability to save clips and edit them together, added graphics and control options, as well as a larger player capacity in some of the multiplayer modes. Though you'll need a high-powered system to truly experience the PC version's enhanced visuals, Liberty City is still a wonder to behold.

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Almost everything you do in Liberty City would be good enough to drive its own game, and the best parts would be good enough to outrun the competition, but the reason it works so well is that Rockstar has made a game that requires no patience to play. This, as much as its usual coherency and the best script in the series, is what makes GTA IV the best openworld game yet, and why it will take something miraculous to rob it of game of the year status.

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To say there's a lot to uncover in Grand Theft Auto IV is a gross understatement. There's an absolutely phenomenal amount of stuff in here, and even after you finish the story mode (which involves 90-plus missions and took us close to 40 hours, in a week spent doing almost nothing except playing the game), there's enough here to keep you occupied for months. Hell, even Niko's cell-phone is completely customizable with new themes and ringtones, and there's a ton of weird, silly things hidden on the in-game internet that many players will probably never even read. Frankly, the thing is a ridiculous value for the price; it's easily the most ambitious game ever attempted, and that it came through with only a few notable flaws is outstanding.

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A superb single-player story mode and online support for up to 16 players make this the best Grand Theft Auto game yet.

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GTAIV shows the pretenders how it should be done, with an incredibly rich world, strong characters, great technology and a truly compelling story. Provided you can handle its skewed morality, it’s the year’s most essential video game.

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