WeView: Grand Theft Auto IV

While the focus may have shifted to GTA V, it would be nice to see what all of you think about its predecessor, before we all forget about it. Personally, I don’t see why everyone liked Grand Theft Auto IV so much. You might think that I’m saying that because of GTA V clouding my judgement, but even just weeks after releases – after the hype died down – I realised that there were a lot of flaws to be found with the game.

The city felt empty, the tone was too serious and it lost a lot of the fun that made previous GTA games great. Rockstar have certainly learned from their mistakes with V, but at the time the critical reception was extremely positive, so maybe I’m completely wrong.

It wasn’t all bad though – it was certainly nice seeing GTA on newer hardware, and there was plenty to enjoy, with a great story, some brilliant mechanics and the great game world of Liberty City.

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We reviewed the game about five years ago – before I had even signed up to TSA – scoring it 10/10 and giving it the highest acclaim. It’s true that while now it might not seem that great, at the time it was certainly important.

It’s a landmark game, unmatched and unrivalled and absolutely unmissable. We’ve not talked about the belly achingly funny radio shows, great licensed music, fantastic voice acting, the cabaret shows, the strip clubs, the restaurants, the zeitgeist-tapping plot or even the guest appearances and cameos.

We also recently revisited the world of GTA IV in our Playback feature, which might be more in-line with your comments. Dan praised the amount to do and the online portion of the game, while criticising Roman’s phone calls and the more serious tone that the game adopted.

The online portion of the game was really great, however – the free play in particular was extremely fun with friends and never got boring, which makes me really excited for GTA IV.

Anyway, most of this is just my opinion mixed in with some previously posted things from TSA – we really want to here what you thought of the game, more than anything. So, just drop a paragraph or two in the comments section below with your thoughts on the game.

We’ll likely include you in the Verdict round-up next week if you get your comment in before Sunday afternoon. Just don’t forget to put a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end so we can get a final judgement of the verdict.

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32 Comments

  1. In my opinion, Bargain bin it. I found it boring, monotonous and very bland. Gave up after about 5 hours.

    GTA V though is the complete opposite, I’m having the funniest time ever. Great game and is in such contrast to the last one.

  2. If you have a decent (read top spec) PC then await a steam sale and grab it on the cheap, I enjoyed it far more on PC than on console (PS3 that is).

    • With no disrespect intended, how does the PC version differ from the console version in terms of gameplay? I can’t see it would be any different on that front.

      Are there a lot of mods available or something?

      • Yeah it’s modtastic tbh, plus you have the iCEnhancer mod which over hauls the look of the game and not to mention that both original and DLC packs look absolutely gorgeous on PC over their console counterparts.

    • Got it off Steam during a sale for 5€ and still regretted the purchase.
      Bad voice acting, horrible animations, boring gameplay, forgettable story…
      If you aren’t a GTA fan, this game will not chance your opinion.
      I’d say avoid it.

  3. It’s a funny one. When it came out, I loved it. I played it to completion and enjoyed many of the side missions.
    The compulsory phone call ‘hang out’ missions are infamous of course and the reason I found them annoying is that they popped up even when you were doing something else or were miles from that person. Failing to complete them reduced the stat of that ‘friend’ which is fine but even refusing negatively impacted your progress which sometimes felt unfair if you had the foresight to know you simply couldn’t get there in time.
    I also found the car handling very strange and, though I got used to it, it was never as much fun as driving should be in a GTA game.

    When trophies were enabled for GTA IV I went back to replay it but soon stopped. Sadly, on replaying the game, the negatives stood out all the more, the repetition of mission types became a bit of a grind and the lack of light hearted silliness made the game feel a little depressing.

    All that said, it IS a good game and offers a lot of great storytelling, interesting characters and enjoyable gameplay. It’s hard to recommend it with GTA V being out as IV is really just an inferior version. I suppose I’d say BARGAIN BIN as it’s a good game in its own right and just suffers in comparison to it’s younger brother.

    • Just to let you (& anyone else) know, the friend phonecalls don’t have to lose you respect with the friend & you don’t have to do them.

      Just agree when they invite you out & then ring them back & decline the offer – This causes no drop in their status. Why it works this way baffles me, as i would personally rather be told that someone cannot do something ahead of time rather than being told they can & then cancelling, by hey ho!

      Not that this really matters now of course, but still…

  4. Like I said in the GTA IV playback a couple of days ago, I found I was slogging through boring missions and wanted to skip cutscenes. I didn’t really find Nico a likeable character either.
    However, I do think its worth the Bargain Bin if you’ve got plenty of time on your hands.

  5. well i haven’t even played V yet, so my opinion is based solely on IV.

    it was a decent game, pretty polished, great voice talent, great writing, and pretty damn good graphics.
    and for the most part the gameplay worked pretty well.

    but unfortunately, as well put together as the game was, it just wasn’t all that much fun.

    there was little of the outrageous fun of previous games.
    maybe if you’re looking for a darker, gritty version of GTA you might like it, but i preferred the series when it was fun.

    the fact that i played Saints Row 2 all the way through several times and GTA IV only once, should tell you something.

    it’s worth playing, at least once, so i say bargain bin it, it should be pretty cheap by now too.

  6. The recent release just highlights everything that didn’t feel right about about GTA IV. Unlikeable characters, a world lacking variety, tedious side-missions and just a generally depressing undertone underpinning the whole experience. Despite saying those things in comparison to the new game, in comparison to other games it is still a benchmark of interactive entertainment in many ways and it’s great for a long weekend rental.

  7. There are few good missions; most of them are really boring, and drag on for a long time. Plus, the checkpoint system is completely broken. The game is noticeably gray; the city is so boring, it’s got a lack of colour and is lifeless. However, there are some decent missions and likeable characters. GTA4 gets a BARGAIN BIN IT from me.

  8. I’ve not played V mainly because I played IV. It was probably the most I’ve spent on a PS3 game and certainly not deserving of it.

    I found it boring for the most part and a bit of a slog. The missions didn’t offer enough variety. Yes the city is big as the best view is from a distance, in fact keep most things at a distance because it can look really poor if you get close.

    I couldn’t engage with the characters and the plot wasn’t much either. Some of the lines were truly terrible. The worst had to be when you slept with one of the woman in game and it would pan to outside the flat and you’d hear her shouting “say nice things to me”. It was so bad it was almost funny.

    The most fun I had was sticking a few cheats in, blowing things up, taking a helicopter for a ride and seeing how long I could survive with as many stars as possible. But that really isn’t the point of the game.

    It’s not an awful game but it’s not great either. I never made it to the end of the game so maybe there is something amazing towards the end but I can’t believe it’s worth playing the rest of it. The game is too big to be a rental but I can’t push for anyone spending much on it. Bargain Bin it.

    • You should give V a go. It is everything IV should have been. From what you’ve said here, I think you’d enjoy it.

  9. I remember being amazed by it when I first started playing it, then I actually started playing it and it just frustrated me. The annoying side missions were one thing but the biggest pain were the checkpoints (or complete lack of them). Drive half way across the city then get killed within 2 minutes of arriving at your destination meant you had to drive half way across the city again… Grrr…
    Needless to say it remains unfinished to this day gathering dust. I did go back to it about a month ago to get warmed up for GTA V and wish I hadn’t wasted an evening of my time. So at best I would say Bargain Bin It and that’s being generous.

  10. I loved it, the gritty enclosed city felt alive enough at the time and was just the right size not to feel tiny from behind the stick of the helicopter. Graphically it was beautiful, sporting the best looking day-night cycle of 2008 and some amazing scenery! I really liked the plot and characters, on reflection the game was probably too serious but at the time it seemed very immersive. Downside, pigeons, ridiculous. If you haven’t played it then buy GTA V, at this point in the PS3’s life I’d say there’s other highlights to catch up on so GTA IV gets an Avoid It from me.

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