The Grand Theft Auto series has always been about allowing players to do whatever they please inside of an open world, along with the option to go through the game's missions to move the story forward and allow the player to exercise the many different facets and weapons of the game, such as robbing banks, assassinating NPCs, blowing up cars, escorting criminals and dealing drugs. Grand Theft Auto IV offers all of that and more in a revamped style, that looks more lifelike than previous titles.
As mentioned earlier, GTA IV has all that the previous games had in regards to gameplay, but GTA IV’s greatest appeal is in the depth and emotional impact left by the story. The game follows Niko Bellic's arrival to the United States, following the (laughably false) claims of wealth and luxury promised in letters from his cousin, Roman. As he begins to deal with the culture shock of living in a very capitalist Liberty City, Niko also attempts to make good on his secret vendetta—to find a “ special someone” who betrayed him (and others) during the war. As he continues his hunt, Niko encounters, works with, and occasionally befriends a wide variety of unsavory characters from all walks of life, offering his services to them as a gun for hire.
The game was built on RAGE, an engine that Rockstar developed, first used in Rockstar's Table Tennis, circa 2006. There was a special edition of GTA IV, containing a duffel bag, soundtrack sampler, art book, and a copy of the game, all packaged in a locked metal case made to look like a safety-deposit box. There were many conflicts in the game that surfaced and many unanswered questions, such as what will Niko encounter later in life?
Niko Bellic is a former Yugoslavian immigrant (though never specified, in The Cousins Bellic, Roman remarks that Niko's English is better than his [Roman's] Serbian, implying that the cousins are, in fact, from Serbia.) trying to make his way through his difficult life. A war veteran having fought in the Bosnian conflict of the early 1990s, he admits to tragic events occurring such as, through conversations with friends, the death of his brother and Roman’s mother. After the war, Niko couldn’t find any work in what was now a war-torn country, and began a life of crime, eventually landing him in the pocket of Rodislav Bulgarin; a Russian mobster in charge of the Mediterranean immigrant smuggling business.
After working some time for Bulgarin, a ship that Niko was aboard sank a few miles off the Italian coastline. Barely surviving the swim, Bulgarin believed that Niko intentionally sunk it in order to escape with the money. Niko realized this to be what Bulgarin thought, and had no choice but to avert the Russian Mafia. He spent seven months upon the merchant navy ship, The Platypus, contemplating joining his cousin, Roman, in his lavish and luxurious American life.
When The Platypus pulls into the City, Niko disembarks and is soon after picked up by his cousin to drive back to Roman’s place. When they get back, however, Niko is quick to observe that all Roman had told him was a great exaggeration, and in reality Roman had nothing but a poor apartment and small cab company. Roman’s gambling addiction landed him in debt to loan shark Vlad. Roman has a girlfriend called Mallorie, who introduces Niko to Michelle and who Roman suspects to be sleeping with Vlad. When Niko finds out that Roman had been correct, he contemplates for a moment with Roman, and then decides to exact revenge, to Roman’s great surprise. Niko and Roman get into a car and chase Vlad to the Pier. Vlad tries to justify his existence, and tells Niko that if he shoots, people will find him. Niko kills Vlad and dumps his body into the water. A few hours later, Roman calls him, and, in a hushed tone, tells him where to rendezvous. Niko finds Roman hiding in a dumpster, where Roman speaks of gangsters chasing him. Niko is in disbelief before he’s knocked out with the butt of a rifle.
Waking up in the basement of Mikhail Faustin's house, Niko is questioned by the captor as well as Faustin’s partner in crime, Dimitri Rascalov, until Faustin himself comes down to tell them to keep their voices low, when he discovers his goon to be incorrectly interrogating Niko, and consequently shoots him. Roman begins to lose his cool and Faustin decides to shoot him too, but only in the stomach. Dimitri calms down Faustin, who tells Niko to complete a task; with Dimitri promising to heal Roman’s wound. Niko works under Faustin and Dimitri for a while, as they gradually drift apart, and Dimitri finally asks Niko to kill Faustin. Niko chases Faustin through his club until a final confrontation on the roof. Faustin claims that has made Dimitri greedy and that he will betray Niko as well. Niko pays no heed and kills him. Afterwards Dimitri requests Niko meet him at a warehouse to receive his payment.
Little Jacob, a drug dealer Niko had worked with earlier in the game, calls immediately after Niko’s conversation with Dimitri, telling him he has a bad feeling about the whole shindig and will be at his side during the meet. Once Niko makes his way into the warehouse, he finds Dimitri’s new partner to be Rodislav Bulgarin. Niko realizes that the meet was a trap, and duels with Dimitri’s henchmen in the warehouse with the assistance of Little Jacob. Niko frees Roman from the back of a car some time later and drives them both to Roman’s cab company, only to find it burning violently, along with his apartment. Roman is devastated, and after crying to Niko (the “mission” is called Roman’s Sorrow) he rings up Mallorie and asks her to find them a place in Bohan. Roman then concludes the mission by revealing to Niko that the “special item” he had referred to when Niko rescued him was an engagement ring. It had burned, lying in his apartment.
The two of them take shelter in Bohan, where Niko finds he can be of some service to the locals, at first only Manny Escuela and Elizabeta Torres, Elizabeta introduces Niko to Playboy X and Patrick McReary. Working under Playboy X, Niko discovers that Playboy’s mentor, Dwayne Forge, has been recently released from prison. Playboy asks Niko to meet with Dwayne, who Niko greatly sympathizes with. Niko starts accepting missions from Dwayne as well, without pay, until Dwayne asks him to kill the managers at a strip club. Niko does as instructed, but soon after finds out that Playboy owned that strip club. Playboy, furious, asks Niko to take out Dwayne. Niko contemplates, and, depending on the player’s decision, kills one of them. Meanwhile, Roman rebuilds the cab company, with the assistance of his insurance company, who think that the original company burned down because of an electrical fire. He rediscovers his passion for gambling, which lands him, once again, in the pocket of Russian loan sharks. In Algonquin, Niko befriends Patrick McReary, who he’d worked with earlier, upon Elizabeta’s command. Patrick and Niko become friends and soon Niko gets to know the McReary family and circle of trust, which includes Derrick McReary, Francis McReary, Gerry McReary and last but not least, Kate McReary. After the introductions and a few missions, Niko gets a call from a terrified Elizabeta. He goes to her house, where she tells him that the cops are onto her. She inadvertently kills Manny Escuela, and then sends to Niko to do a drug deal with Little Jacob, only to find out that the person who intercepts Niko’s deal is none other than Michelle, his girl friend. Niko doesn’t mince words with her, but soon after surrenders and discovers that she works for a secret government organization called United Liberty Paper. Her role in the game is concluded when she hands Niko over to the unnamed man leading U. L. Paper, who bribes Niko with the information he has on his criminal activities. Niko agrees to do dirty work for the government, as long as they help him find a “special someone”.
Patrick McReary’s family leads him to the Italian mobsters Ray Boccino and Phil Bell, who soon after introduce him to Jimmy Pegorino. Working under their wing and helping the McReary’s, Niko finally gets a lead from Ray: Ray tells him the whereabouts of Florian Cravic. Niko, with Roman, busts through Florian’s apartment, gun in hand, only to find a much calmer man, now named Bernie, who moved to safely pursue his homosexuality. He dispels Niko’s idea that Florian, or Bernie, was the one who sold out their unit, and tells him that all this time he had thought Niko to be the one. Frustrated and disappointed, Niko leaves with no resolve. He ceases working for Ray and finds closure with the all but one of the McReary’s, Kate, with whom he has an ongoing relationship. U. L. Paper had Niko working with Jon Gravelli, an old mobster about to hit the bucket, who eventually gives Niko the one person he is sure sold out their platoon: Darko Brevich. Niko informs Roman that he’s found Darko, and Roman decides to meet the old friend as well, Niko and Roman head off to the Airport, As they enter the Airport a truckfull of government soldiers circle around the backlot and drops off a miserable looking man who is bound by ropes. Niko confronts him, and when Darko asks who Niko is, he replies only with, “I’m the one who survived.” Darko then proceeds to justify his actions, telling Niko that their unit had killed some of his friends, some of his family. Still furious, Niko asks him how much they payed him. Darko laughs and replies, “A thousand. How much do they pay you to kill someone?” Niko is suddenly thrown into contemplation when Darko contrasts the two of them, but then Darko pleas for him to end his life, telling Niko that he’d be doing him a favor. The player gets to decide whether or not Niko kills Darko. If he does, right before Darko bleeds out, he thanks Niko for ending his life. Niko eventually regrets this decision. If Niko decides to let Darko live, both Bernie and Roman congratulate him for finally burying his past.
Niko, still suffering from the shock of his confrontation with Brevich, tries to cool off at a bar. There, he finds Jimmy P, whose empire is falling apart and needs Niko to do him one last solid: Work with Dimitri Rascalov. Niko is at first morally resistant to the idea, but Pegorino persists, and the player is given the ultimate ethical decision: either you sell your soul to the devil, or you become him. The outcome is detailed in the next section.
After Niko’s conversation with Pegorino, you have to drive around for a while before Niko is called by Kate McReary and Roman. Niko isn’t very specific with Kate, he only tells her that a decision came up, and that he can either earn money or make good on something he promised to do. Kate, given this extremely abstract version of the actual situation, adheres to her moral code and tells Niko to do so, as well. Roman, however, believes that Niko should go through with the deal, not only because Roman prefers money to violence, but because he’d like the money for his honeymoon with soon-to-be bride Mallorie, as well as help him earn the money he needs to live the life he always wanted to with his cousin.
If you choose to extract revenge, you will find Dimitri on The Platypus, the very same ship you were on when you arrived in Liberty City. After fighting through Dimitri’s men, you must pull a lever and get to the bottom of the ship, where you confront Dimitri alongside his henchmen. Shortly after Niko kills Dimitri, he attends Roman’s wedding, where he is ambushed by Pegorino and his goons as they drive by. Everyone successfully evades the attempted murder except for Kate, who is shot dead. Niko is deeply disturbed by her death, when Roman and Jacob tell him to get going and take a nap.
When Niko wakes up, he gets a call from Little Jacob, who, alongside Roman, has decided to take down Pegorino and whatever’s left of his empire. All three of them chase a car full of his goons to Pegorino’s hideout. Niko slides out of the car and tells Roman and Jacob that the most useful thing they can do is ensure that they don’t die, and maybe figure out an exit strategy. There is a great struggle and Niko finally makes it inside and to the top of the building, where he encounters Pegorino, who slides down a ladder and escapes via boat. Niko chases him down and gets into Jacob’s chopper and continues his pursuit. Both Pegorino and Niko crash, wherein Niko chases Pegorino alone and eventually kills him, but not before delivering a grand monologue.
If you choose to make the deal, you are sent in alongside Phil Bell to rendezvous with Dimitri's men. Dimitri betrays Niko, who has to fight his way out of the compound with Phil and $250,000. When Niko heads back, he tells Kate that he decided to do the job for the money, for which she is furious at him and refuses to go to his cousin’s wedding. He goes without her, and after the usual proceedings, one of Dimitri’s men opens fire on the crowd. Roman is shot down and killed, for which Niko is very angry. He hits the goon’s dead body a few times before going home at the will of Jacob. When he wakes up, he decides to kill Dimitri. You again follow Pegorino’s goons to the building where Pegorino and Dimitri set up shop. Niko tells Jacob that he’ll handle it alone, and after a great conflict, he finally makes it inside, where he sees Dimitri betray Pegorino and then attempt to escape, this time via helicopter. The rest is essentially the same, in that you follow Dimitri via helicopter until both of your vehicles crash. You track down Dimitri and kill him, the game ending with a shot of the Statue of Happiness.
The GTA series had always had a variety of weapons to use. From Ak47's to an RPG, you are a one man army. This installment is no exception.
Unarmed combat is probably the most complicated type of combat in GTA IV because of its extreme number of features. The player is able to disarm, counterattack, kick and punch opponents on the ground, use either their left or right fist, and utilize uppercuts and jabs. Moves can be strung together to create a combo.
Knives are very efficient alternatives to firearms. Even a well-armored adversary can be taken down with 3 to 6 slashes. They are also quiet, meaning that it's easier to take someone down without attracting the police's attention. The knife in-game comes as one of the starting weapons in online gameplay alongside a pistol, or user defined weapon in Player Matches. The knife is faster to work with than the Baseball Bat: in actuality it is possible to use the knife in a manner where a victim cannot counter the repeated stabbings at high speed.
A staple in the Grand Theft Auto series. The bat can be swung left or right. Merely two hits is required to kill an unprotected person with this mighty bat, one to knock them down on the ground, the second to kill them. The Baseball Bat retails in the back-alley gun shops for a mere $5, making it the most effective way to spend $5.
The Molotov Cocktail, named after the 1920s Soviet politician Vyascheslav Molotov, is a crude but effective weapon that creates a large burst of flame on the targeted location. They are primarily an anti-personnel weapon, instantly killing unprotected targets. Although long exposure to flames can destroy a vehicle, they generally only suffer mild damage. The Molotov Cocktail model in-game can visibly be seen as a vodka bottle, hinting at the Russian origins of the name.
The grenade is excellent at clearing rooms full of enemies and taking out vehicles. Grenades can be tossed underhanded, thrown overhanded, or dropped from behind while running. While driving a vehicle, the player can also equip them and use them to blow up chasing targets. The player can shorten the time after throwing before it explodes by cooking it. It is possible to convert a car into a rolling bomb by simply cooking a grenade for too long and letting it detonate as the car speeds toward a target. This tactic can often catch even experienced players off guard as there is no alert that the vehicle is going to spontaneously detonate.
Developed in the '80s by Austrian engineer, Gaston Glock, the eponymous pistol has become the world's most popular civilian and law enforcement sidearm. Thanks to its polymer frame and simple, internal striker-fired mechanism, the Glock is both lightweight and extremely durable. The Glock pistol in-game is the lower powered of the two pistols, and is the standard weapon of cops on the beat. It is also the general starting weapon in online play and for many people will be the first weapon they acquire in the story. There are 17 bullets per magazine.
In 1979, Magnum Research Inc. set out to create the first gas-operated, magnum-caliber pistol. While the end product is generally considered too heavy and expensive to serve as a practical combat pistol, it hasn't stopped the Desert Eagle from becoming the weapon of choice for Hollywood (and video game) bad guys. The Combat Pistol is more powerful than the standard Glock, and has a smaller magazine capacity. It is generally seen as the superior, albeit rarer, of the two despite its smaller magazine.
The Pump Shotgun is based on the Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" shotgun. It is used by various gang members and by some LCPD and FIB officers. It can hold 8 shells. The weapon is $1200 in the back-alley weapon shops of Liberty City, making it the cheaper of the two shotguns made available to players. This shotgun is rarely employed by gamers online but it is one of the staple weapons players will find themselves returning to during the standard story due to the low price and extremely high power.
The Combat Shotgun is based on the Remington 11-87 semi-automatic shotgun. It can hold 10 shells and is more effective at long range than the standard Pump Shotgun. The Combat Shotgun is found in LCPD Cruisers, though it is unusually never seen in use with the police. When angered they will use the pump action shotguns as opposed to the Combat Shotgun. The Combat Shotgun is weaker than the Stakeout, though it is semi-automatic and can be used to pepper a car or potential enemy with ten rounds, without any real hesitation.
The smallest member of the Uzi family was introduced by Israel Military Industries in 1986 as a security weapon to fill the gap between pistols and full-size submachine guns. It lacks a bit in the accuracy department due to its short barrel, but the extreme rate of fire and capacity make up the difference.
The Special Weapons MP-10 (also known as the PXP-10) is essentially an MP5 clone with a custom polymer upper. Not much is really known about it, as it's apparently made in very small numbers by an equally small and mysterious company.
Even after sixty years, Mikhail Kalashnikov's legendary AK-47 rifle is still a hard act to follow; both in reliability and popularity. Created with mass production in mind, the simple design and loose clearances resulted in a rifle that's practically indestructible, and that will remain functional with little maintenance or cleaning.
Despite some teething problems with the earlier M16 variant during the Vietnam War, Eugene Stoner's 1958 AR-15 design went on to become one of the most popular and versatile rifles in the world. Given its light weight and compact size, the M4 carbine comes in handy for urban combat and police work.
The M40A1 started its life as a Remington 700, and was then customized by the US Marine Corps to fit their sniping needs. Strangely enough, the one in the game appears to have been further customized to use an external 10 round magazine, yet it only holds 5.
The PSG-1 is one of the most accurate, yet heaviest and most expensive semi-automatic sniper rifles created. An overpriced piece of stamped steel German engineering; it does the job. You'll have too much money to ever spend by the end of the game anyway.
This classic anti-tank, rocket propelled grenade launcher was first used by the Soviets back in 1961. The RPG-7 remained popular ever since because of its durability and low cost.
Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of GTA IV have online multiplayer. Rather than offer a traditional multiplayer menu, the multiplayer is accessed from the cell phone that the player uses in single-player.
Players may create a multiplayer character using different accessories and clothing. As the player's rank increases, additional clothing and parts are unlocked. Once in the multiplayer mode, there are 14 game types to choose from. The maximum number of players is 16, though the co-operative modes are limited to a lower number.
|Deathmatch||The traditional free-for-all mode, allowing up to sixteen players fight against each other on the streets of Liberty City, starting with the standard Glock pistols and being able to pick up more powerful weaponry littering the streets.|
|Team Deathmatch||Team Deathmatch is exactly the same concept as regular deathmatch, with sixteen players and up to eight teams supported. Work with your team to earn the most kills and dominate your opposition, by collecting more powerful weaponry littering the streets of the city.|
|Race||A traditional checkpoint race. Players are able to select between a variety of different courses around the city to race, as well as a number of laps and vehicles, as well as vehicle classes and weather conditions experienced. Prove your dominance behind the wheel.|
|GTA Race||GTA Race is a standard race, customized. Instead of starting off in a car, players must find a vehicle to drive, and are able to shoot one another to increase their chances of winning. Playing dirty has never been so justified.|
|Mafiya Work||You're working for mobster Kenny Petrovic. When Kenny asks you to do something, you do it. Complete the contracts he demands of you to win, and try to beat Petrovic's other contractors in doing so, in order to earn the most money and win.|
|Team Mafiya Work||Complete Petrovic's assignments alongside your team and prevent the other team from completing them before you in order to earn Kenny's favor. Take out your opponents and do whatever it takes in order to emerge from the fight victorious.|
|Car Jack City||Cars will spawn around the city. Steal them and take them to the drop-off point before someone can do the same, or kill you and help themselves to the car you're attempting to deliver. And we wouldn't want that, would we?|
|Team Car Jack City||Work with your team to grab the cars and deliver them to the point. Your team comes against the other team - and you're trying to win, so you need to do whatever it takes. Earn the most money and your team wins.|
|Cops n' Crooks||It's cops and robbers, just like during your childhood. Except you never murdered the cops. And the robbers weren't forced off the road in stolen sports cars. Crooks aim to get their boss to a safe point, while the cops try to ensure their boss winds up dead before he ever gets there.|
|Turf War||Turf War is effectively a conquest mode. Fight for the points and capture them within a given amount of time. The team holding the most points when time runs out are victorious.|
|Hangman's N.O.O.S.E||The SWAT team are aware of Kenny Petrovic's arrival at Francis International Airport. It is up to you and your team to ensure that the 'boss' isn't arrested before he reaches his safehouse. And if that means killing a few police officers, so be it.|
|Bomb da Base II||Bomb da Base II is an updated version of a Grand Theft Auto III mission sharing the name. A team of players must work together to destroy a point.|
|Free Mode||The online mode most heavily marketed for Grand Theft Auto IV, the mode acts as a lobby of sorts for players who are waiting to join another match or merely want to cause chaos across the entire city with friends. There is no goal in Free Mode, except to mess around and play with the options set by other players.|
The Beat 102.7
The Classics 104.1
IF99 - International Funk
JNR - Jazz Nation Radio 108.5
K109 The Studio
LCHC - Liberty City Hardcore
Liberty Rock Radio 97.8
Massive B Soundsystem 96.9
San Juan Sounds
Tuff Gong Radio
The Vibe 98.8
Prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar announced that there would be two packages of downloadable content exclusive to the Xbox 360 version of the game, promising one of them would be out before the end of 2008. Microsoft was rumored to have paid 50 million dollars to keep the DLC exclusive to the Xbox 360 version of the game, although this sum was never confirmed. Despite Rockstar's promise, as 2008 dragged on, the DLC was delayed to an unspecified date in 2009. On November 19th, 2008, USA Today revealed the details on the first downloadable content package, The Lost and Damned. This episode was also released for PS3 on April 13th, 2010.
The first piece of downloadable package for Grand Theft Auto 4 is titled "The Lost and Damned" and was released on February 17th for the Xbox 360 exclusively; it cost 1,600 Microsoft Points and was 1.78gb in size.
The package contains new missions, side missions, music and weapons; giving players between 10 and 20 hours of new gameplay. Although Niko Bellic appears in the DLC he is not the playable character; the player instead assumes the role of a very minor character from the main storyline, a biker named Johnny Klebitz. He's a member of the Liberty City biker gang " The Lost" (the same gang Niko meets in the main game). Dan Houser, Vice President of Creative Development for Rockstar Games, has stated that the episode shows a different side of Liberty City, and will answer many mysteries from the main story. Even though players encounter "The Lost" biker gang several times throughout the main game as Niko, the story for "The Lost and Damned" will not be directly impacted by decisions you made in the main game.
The story is mainly set in areas which were rarely visited whilst playing as Niko. Billy Grey, the Lost leader, has been released from jail and starts to wreak havoc on the ' Angels of Death', a rival gang, which breaks the truce between the two gangs. The player takes the role of Johnny Klebitz, the vice-president of the Lost, who temporarily took over role as Leader of the gang whilst Billy Grey was in jail. Johnny tries to stay calm as Billy breaks the truces set up by Johnny, but how long will he last knowing the gang could be falling apart?
The Lost and Damned has new weapons, such as the grenade launcher, pipe bomb, and sawn-off and automatic shotguns. The lighting has been reworked to appear more dramatic, and character models have been slightly improved. There are also new vehicles, such as Johnny's bike, which has been made easier to control than other motorbikes, as the player spends a lot of time riding it in the DLC. There is a safe house where Johnny can interact with his other brothers in the Lost, and try new minigames such as arm wrestling and card games, joining old favorites like pool. There are plenty of missions where Johnny rides out as part of a pack of the Lost in an organized formation with the leader in front, and his 'brothers' help him out in the tougher firefights. The player is encouraged to keep his brothers alive, and surviving members of the gang will receive a stats boost to their health, accuracy, and damage dealing after each mission. If a Lost member does die, he'll be replaced with a new brother with set-to-zero stats. Simply put, the longer they stay breathing, the more help they'll be. And the attempts to make the player feel like a member of a real biker gang don't stop there. When riding with the gang, a Lost logo will appear on the road to indicate where to ride in order to stay in formation. If the logo is properly followed, the player will be rewarded with dialogue with his brothers, as well as a small personal health boost and a vehicle health boost.
The Lost and Damned also includes new multiplayer modes. Some can simply be considered rehashes with motorbikes of older modes, while others are more noticeably different, like Chopper vs. Chopper, where one player runs through checkpoints in the city on a motorcycle while the other chases in a gun-toting helicopter. There is also a new revamped race mode where competing bikers are armed with clubs and take each other out in brutal fashion.
The pipe bomb is a crude homemade device that creates a large explosion. A pipe bomb behaves exactly like a grenade, as it can be cooked to shorten its detonation time.
The CZ 75 is a pistol with low damage, but can fire as fast as a machine gun. However, CZ 75 devours ammo due to its high rate of fire. It can outperform the Combat Pistol for power due to the rate of fire at which it dispenses ammunition.
This sawn-off shotgun is similar to the shotguns not included in TLAD, but with two big exceptions. It can only carry two rounds at a time, so for those of you who loved to go trigger happy with the combat shotgun, this might not be for you. On the plus side this gun can be used while on a bike, allowing some quick kills if you are close enough.
This Armsel Striker looks somewhat like a traditional grenade launcher, but instead fires shotgun shells. This gun, like the automatic pistol, takes a lot of ammo, but can quickly take out enemies and is somewhat effective on vehicles. The gun also fires more quickly than a normal shotgun, as it doesn't need to be pumped.