Grand Theft Auto IV Review: Terrorising Liberty City

This won’t be a very detailed review because we only played the game for 15 minutes because the Goonfather forgot to charge his controller.

But 15 minutes and I am already in love with Grand Theft Auto IV! Notwithstanding the fact that it’s all CG, you’ll feel like you’re watching a Hollywood action movie when the game starts.

First, there’s a background story explaining your maiden trip to Liberty City, USA. You’re met by your slimeball cousin who hands you the keys to his car because he’s roaring drunk and wants you to take him home. Once you get behind the wheel, the gameplay starts.

[You get to drive because your cousin's drunk]

While you’re learning how to handle a car with your controller, your loud, brash cousin talks your ears off with a drunken monologue in his heavily Italian-accented English.

That’s really cool, I think. The cutscenes and the gameplay blend with each other so smoothly that, sometimes, you feel like you’re still watching a cutscene even as you’re controlling Niko Bellic.

I love the game’s AI, but I guess that’s the charm of the GTA series. Residents in Liberty City react to everything you do as people would in real life, no matter what you do. When the Goonfather started ramming an ambulance’s rear repeatedly, the driver freaked and jumped out of his vehicle, leaving it to crash into a wall.

[We hope they bought insurance]

The graphics is amazing, a far cry from earlier GTA titles. Everything is so detailed, even down to the blood spurts when you run over someone.

[He checked the license plate number to buy 4D]

I’m fine with killing, normally. (In games lah!) I must have killed over ten million mobs (including human ones) over the course of my gaming career. But the graphics and AI in GTA4 are so realistic that I paled visibly when the Goonfather decided that running over people with his car multiple times was fun.

I was so traumatised on behalf of the Goonfather’s victims.

But the game is still cool and the culture of killing video game characters is something one can quickly adapt to, so it’s not like that’s gonna stop me from playing.

GTA4 is one of those games you could be satisfied with just watching and not playing because it’s like watching a movie. Or maybe that’s just me. Or maybe that’s just the Goonfather. Watching him play any game is like watching a comedy.

The Goonfather is such a fanboy that he pre-ordered the GTA4 Collector’s Edition for the PS3, even though I told him that I’d be getting a review copy for the Xbox 360.

[All your GTA4 are belong to the Goonfather]

He told me both versions are different. The PS3 version has been said to have marginally better graphics and framerate, while the Xbox 360 version has over 20 hours of downloadable content which the PS3 does not have.

It’s very clear cut to me which the winner is, but you can never talk sense into fanboys.

But all that is moot because I don’t have time to play the damn game!!!

I’ll bet by the time I actually get to play it, GTA5 will be out already.