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Finding the version of the game that is right for you should come down to personal preference, but there are a few other aspects to keep in mind. The Xbox 360 version highlights obviously come in the form of achievements. The ability to snag up some GTAIV gamer points are addictive and spread across the single player game, doing odd things within the sandbox and multiplayer game. The Xbox 360 also has the promise of exclusive downloadable content that Microsoft paid top dollar for. These add-on “episodes” are rumoured to be up to, or exceeding 10hrs a piece. This is a considerable amount of extra gaming you can pimp out of GTA which would be a strong push towards the Xbox 360 version. On Sony’s side you will get the more slightly more solid game experience from having a good chunk of data loaded onto the systems hard drive. After the install the PS3 has less lighting glitches and less object pop-ups. The PS3 seems to perform a little better than the Xbox 360 which can be an important to rightfully picky. Going head-to-head its looks like achievements vs. a slight performance boost is in competition one more game for the two gaming giants.
It's the Future - GTA Is Online!
Now, I know I’ve kept you here long enough, and if you don’t want to run out and buy GTA IV this might change new feature to the series might change your mind because it’s a big one. Grand Theft Auto IV has now entered the next-generation with online gaming. For the first time GTA features online multiplayer! Albeit it’s not perfect, it’s fun for what it offers. In normal multiplayer action you can play in ranked or unranked matches with 15 modes of player supporting 16 players. The best part is the whole city is open for business with a long list of customizable options for the host to fret over. The team modes are the most fun featuring g Mafiya missions, Cops n’ Crooks, Car Jacking and Turf War (Thanks San Andreas). There are also racing options in GTA Race and three co-op missions to keep you cracking around the city for a while. If you’re a lone wolf, go ahead and be destructive in a simple Deathmatch. On foot, by plane, sea, or car GTA IV is a blast to simple engage in an all out war for bragging rights and online cash that can be spent on your customizable character. Online isn’t as smooth as it could be as it has a lot of glitches, however its way more than I expected and its 100% pure fun. Hardcore online gamers might not be satisfied, but most will be more than overjoyed to finally be able to lock and load with some friends online.
All The RAGE
The graphics in Grand Theft Auto IV are best showcased as a weather changing, night and day cycles in the realistic cityscape. The character models and vehicles have been stepped up, but can’t compare to other games that have a smaller focus in their design. When having an open sandbox world you have to give up some aspects and even though GTAIV is graphically good, it can also be very mediocre. Grand Theft Auto IV always seems to be teetering on the awesome and the average. At times the character models and animations are amazing life-like and then other times the cardboard hand and movements don’t come off so fluid. I admire the new direction Rockstar has taken with the a more diverse pallet of characters and body sizes, however there is still some work that can be refined behind the doors of Liberty City. If you had to compare GTAIV graphics, you could easily pick one version of its former editions. GTA IV has never been in the forefront of graphical production, but what it does right; it does like no one else.
Oscars for the Ears
The audio side of Grand Theft Auto IV lives up the expectations that left gamers spellbound ever since the first run in Liberty City. The soundtrack which is a highlight of GTA games might not have the collected popular mix like Vice City, but it accurately gives enough alternative music and commercial tracks. Expect everything from smooth sliding jazz, complex fusion, popular alternative rock and the classic pumping in your stereo. Besides the soundtrack the ambient city noise, included NPC dialog is second to non which really puts a lot of fuel into the fire that is Liberty City. From cell phones, to sirens in the distance there is always something catching your ear as you progress normally through the game. Passive or aggressive gamers will still find a few treasures hidden within the game, usually the pop when you are least expecting it. The cast of characters who deliver the lines also deserve a shout out. This includes the Lazlow Jones returning to the radio channel, Michael Hollick as Niko and Jason Zumwalt as Roman. Timothy Adams (Brucie), Seeborn (Real Badman) and Coolie Ranx (Little Jacob) also need a prop as they help support Niko is his adventures in the zany world of Liberty City.
Besides the voice-overs quality and expertise authenticity of the city sounds, Rockstar has done a great job coding the conversations in the game. The A.I. is spectacular and innovative in how your date can comment if you’re wearing the same clothes on a second date, if she likes your new wardrobe, or even you wheels better than your last car. The dialog can even change when doing the same event over. Conversations flow like water in Grand Theft Auto IV which makes the world of Liberty City and its inhabitants feel more than scripted pawns in a game. Grand Theft Auto IV could just be the most realistic sandbox world created to date. It’s the little things like this aspect that really count and that had to have been painstakingly muddled over to get right. If you want to knock GTA IV for not having the best graphics, take a look at the quality that has been put into the RAGE engine including the audio and A.I. and other coding aspects. Impressive is a subtle word.
Grand Theft Auto IV is simply the must have game for all mature gamers with a gaming console. Either on the Xbox 360 or PS3 you will be blown away with the vast impressive world Rockstar games has concocted in the unique-cool style that only Rockstar games can provide. The return to Liberty City has been well worth the wait and exploring the interworking of the streets as the hard-hitting Niko is everything that we have come to expect out of the Grand Theft Auto series. The next-generation seems to fit Rockstar’s creative needs quite well, and hopefully they can squeeze another Grand Theft Auto adventure out before we move on the next “big thing” Believe the hype, Grand Theft Auto IV is that damn good. If you enjoy narrative driven action games, this is the big dog in the yard and a clear candidate for Game of The Year.
Gameplay: 10, Graphics:9.5, Sound:10, Innovation:9.5, Mojo:10 Final: 9.8 / 10