Grand Theft Auto IV – The PS3 Attitude Retro Review
It has also been one of the top controversial franchises of the last decade, from the infamous Hot Coffee mod in San Andreas, to the general portrayal of sex, drugs and violence.
It arrived onto the PS3 and Xbox 360 as one of the most anticipated games of all time.
Instantly GTA IV was a massive success with 10/10 scores across the board, and was the highest rated game of 2008 with an exceptional Metacritic score of 98/100.
Sales wise it was also a massive hit with over 6.2 million copies on the PS3 sold since launch in April 2008.
But that was nearly two years ago and with two additional episodes coming for the PS3 version of the game next month, is it still worth your attention?
We are happy to say that Grand Theft Auto IV is arguably one of the best games this generation. It offers an exciting adventure with protagonist Niko Belic as he rises through the criminal underworld of Liberty City.
The place is absolutely massive and it feels like it is actually living and breathing. The map may not match the size of San Andreas, but it’s filled to the brim with buildings, parks and roads from North to South.
For today’s standards, the graphics do look a bit outdated now but they are still impressive considering the leap this title made from the PS2.
With around 100 missions in total, the game provides hours of enjoyment with additional side missions added for good measure.
Sadly though, once you complete the whole story the game can, after a while, become a bit stale compared to previous GTA outings. For example there are no planes to fly, you can’t tune your car, and you can’t go to the gym or put on weight by eating hot dogs and burgers.
However, Rockstar have implemented a new system that allows you to ring your in-game friends (well, those that are still alive) to perform certain activities together such as drinking and playing darts, although these can get boring relatively quickly.
But the big new feature is multiplayer. Modes such as Turf War, Car Jack City and Deal Breaker are just a few of the options available.
Sadly though, this whole feature can be temperamental and Rockstar really need to fix the connectivity issues as many games break before they even start.
Any hope of this getting fixed is probably long gone though as they haven’t updated the game for some time. We tend to find that Free Mode and Deathmatch are the best bets for seamless multiplayer gameplay right now.
Putting those problems aside, Grand Theft Auto is still a game that you have to play and most fans of the franchise shouldn’t be disappointed. And with the additional episodes that are finally releasing on the PlayStation 3 on the 30th of March, the great GTA experience is set to expand further.
With these episodes you will this time be playing as Johnny in ‘The Lost and the Damned’, or Luis in ‘The Ballad of Gay Tony’. There are also brand new guns, vehicles, radio stations and more.
You actually won’t need GTA IV to play the two extra episodes if you’re happy buying the Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City disc. The new Blu-ray will even include an exclusive Vice City FM radio station featuring 80s dance music.
Grand Theft Auto IV is a game that has transformed well onto the two HD consoles. It’s good enough to be considered classic that, like the other GTA games, isn’t afraid of being controversial. It certainly isn’t perfect though and we think some of the press were very generous to give the game a ten. The lack of replay features seen in the franchise previously, such as flying planes for example, are noticeable absent.
But for the price you can buy GTA IV these days, it is certainly worth picking up. We feel the new episodes will complete the title by tying up all the loose ends, while also adding new fun gameplay experiences. They will be priced at $20/€20/£15 each which is good value for money considering what they will offer.