Grand Theft Auto IV
WARNING: this page contains spoilers.
Grand Theft Auto IV (also known as GTA IV or GTA 4) is an open world third-person shooter developed by Rockstar North and published and released by Rockstar Games. The game is the eleventh title in the series and is notable for being the first HD Universe game, that is, the game where GTA started to become more realistic.
GTA IV saw two episodic expansion packs, the first one being called The Lost and Damned, which came out on 17 February, 2009, and the second being The Ballad of Gay Tony, which came out on 29 October, 2009, and both were bundled in a standalone game titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. Originally, the two episodes were exclusive to the Xbox 360 until they were released on PC and PlayStation 3 in April of 2010.
Niko Bellic was born in a Serbian town. When he was young, he, along with his brother and mother, were frequently beaten up by his alcoholic father. He became a soldier in an attempt to avoid his father's wrath. However, when he was fighting in the Bosnian War, around 1996, his fifteen-man squad was ambushed and only three men survived: Niko himself, the traitor who sold the squad out and another man. Although he couldn't find the traitor, he found out that the latter went to America.
After the war, Niko couldn't find a job, so he began doing human trafficking for a Russian man named Ray Bulgarin. In one of the jobs, a boat was attacked and sunk, thus forcing Niko to escape. Bulgarin did not accept this failure and began hunting Niko down, causing him to flee to Liberty City where he can hide out until Bulgarin gives up.
Niko's cousin, Roman, lives there, and supposedly is living the American dream: he has a mansion, sports cars, women and money. When he arrives in Liberty City, Niko discovers that Roman was lying, and he actually lives in a low-end apartment and has debts with his boss, Vlad, at the taxi company where he works.
Later, Niko meet many other employers in the city, becoming more known as the game progresses.
Why It Rocks
- Radically changed the series, becoming more realistic and discarding unrealistic details.
- Fantastic Hollywoodian plot. Unlike previous games in the series were they were either inspired by movies or real life events, this game has a completely original story.
- Awesome gameplay.
- Niko Bellic is an awesome and profound protagonist.
- Memorable characters, like Niko Bellic, Roman Bellic and Bernie Crane.
- Amazing graphic engine (RAGE), which would be later re-used for Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. It also outstands the graphics of GTA V.
- Creates an entirely different Liberty City: differently from the one seen in III and Liberty City Stories, this city is a closer approximation of New York City. Despite being smaller than the map in San Andreas, each street has a name and the map is still huge!
- The hilarious swingset glitch in the Firefly Project Park and Plumber's Sky Industrial Park that was never patched where it flings you and your car really far! The results are random every time you back your car into the swingset. Either nothing will happen, or the car will fly really far, sometimes into the ocean.
- Introduces random characters, which are people (some of which are seen in the storyline) you will find in the streets asking for a favor, the favor being a small mission.
- Tons of replay value.
- Also introduces cellphones, which you can use to enter cheats, call people, receive messages and enter multiplayer, and computers, which you can use to browse the internet and see your emails.
- Additionally, the player can actually watch TV, with 40 minutes of programs.
- Completely reworked combat mechanics, you now have a cover system in which you take cover from enemy fire without having to stand in the open getting riddled by enemy bullets and to give advantage to your shots.
- Along with girlfriends, you can also hang out with friends, who will give you a special ability once you earn enough respect from them, like buying weapons for a smaller price.
- Great theme and soundtrack, which plays whenever you pause the game.
- The difference between cars is much bigger, both in appearance as in gameplay. They also have manufacturers as well like Declasse(Chevrolet) and Vapid(Ford).
- The physics in GTA are finally corrected, possessing ragdoll physics.
- Awesome and realistic character movements.
- Many missions have you making choices, which are either to kill an enemy or not or choose one of two characters to kill. Some missions can also have multiple solutions to the problems you are presented with which is in contrast to the other games in the series, which are criticized for having "Point A to point B" design.
- Has two endings, both with their own consequences.
- Great police AI.
- The Journey radio is a nostalgic radio station that has Classical ambient songs.
- Beautiful sunlight effect apart from the ugly yellow filter (this is typical from a game from that era).
- Now, you won't lose your weapons anymore when being Wasted.
- You can heal yourself by eating at restaurants. Just like GTA SA.
- Some OST songs are emotional. Such as the piano cover of the theme song that plays if you choose the Deal ending and Roman is killed.
- An interesting commentary on things like immigration and the American dream.
- The Beating Heart of Liberty City is an interesting Easter egg. It's a working heart inside of the Statue of Happiness.
- Rockstar finally removed GFWL, and added Steam achievements.
- If you contact ZIT, Lazlow will text you the song name and the artist. If you do this on the Ice Cream Truck, you activate a health cheat (only on Soviet Connection jingle).
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned
- Because it takes place during IV's events, some missions cross over at some points.
- There are more vehicles to ride (mostly motorcycles)
- New activities, like Hi-Lo cards, Arm Wrestling, Gang Wars, paying tributes to your lost ones, Melee Races, and Air Hockey.
- Introduces new weapons, such as the Grenade Launcher, which has been mentioned in previous games' Ammu-Nation commercials.
- The Lost MC Clubhouse has a very diverse interior.
- Johnny is a badass and likable character.
- Seagulls make a return, and there are only 50 this time around.
- The entire map of Liberty City is unlocked right from the start.
- New music tracks are added to a few of the radio stations from IV, like Liberty Rock Radio, LCHC, Radio Broker and the Beat 102.7.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Because it takes place during IV's events, some missions cross over at some points. In fact, the opening for the DLC takes place during the heist mission of IV, "Three Leaf Clover".
- There are more cars to ride, like the returning Buffalo and Bullet from San Andreas, the latter being under the name "Bullet GT", along with the police version of Stinger (multiplayer only), in addition to two helicopters, one of which is the Buzzard, an attack chopper that comes with missiles and miniguns, as a homage to the Hunter from previous GTA games. The game also features the APC, a NOOSE tank reminiscent of the Rhino.
- New activities, like a new version of Triathlon, a new version of Golf, Underground Cage Fighting, Club Management, Champagne Chugging, and Drug Wars.
- Some elements from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas make a return, like the parachute and dancing in nightclubs.
- Funky and catchy theme song called "I Keep on Walking." It even plays in the pause menu, with deconstructions of the instruments and synthesizers.
- The game goes back to the roots of the PS2 games with a lighter, but still serious story.
- The nightclubs are interesting and diverse.
- A more pleasant blue filter compared to the yellow filter of IV and The Lost and Damned. This also comes with a more colorful palette.
- Once again, there are only 50 seagulls to find around Liberty City.
- For the first time ever in the series, the player is ranked at the end of every story mission with either bronze, silver or gold medals, depending on the player's performance (Something that Grand Theft Auto V would do later on too). After completing the story, there's an option to replay any of the previous missions to try and earn a gold medal.
- New music tracks are added to a few of the radio stations from IV, like Electro-Choc, K109 The Studio, Vladivostok FM and San Juan Sounds.
- Princess Robot Bubblegum.
- Removed many staple features in the series, although this was only done so the game could be realistic.
- As it is the beginning of a new universe in GTA, all characters from previous games (with the exception of some characters like Lazlow or Fernando Martinez) have been discarded and will never be seen again. But some of them are mentioned on billboards and remembrance graffiti.
- The PC version is very unstable and has insanely high system requirements, and even with a powerful graphics card, the game still has performance issues, which forced many people to play the game to play it at a MUCH lower resolution. Several years later, Rockstar Games finally released the eighth patch that improves most of the performance and compatibility on modern PCs, though the performance issues still occur. But, there are many Performance mods that ACTUALLY increase the FPS in game changing specific code, but making the Graphics more terrible.
- Sometimes, friends can call too often to arrange hangouts, particularly Roman; "Niko, it's Roman. Let's go bowling." became a meme because of this. However, the player can silence the phone if they don't wish to go into friend activities.
- Saving is still mostly limited to safe houses, although an auto-save feature was introduced.
- In April 2018, some songs were cut in some radio stations due to license expiring, with Vladivostok FM being hit the hardest and The Journey being hit the smallest (though, the physical copies of the console versions are unaffected).
- Terrible handling model, as the handling model tries way too hard to be realistic, as a result, the cars handle like a boat and bikes are suffers from fishtailing. Not only that, the speed of the cars was significantly lowered then other cars in Previous GTA Games. (Thankfully, this can be fixed with Killatomate85's Realistic Driving and Flying Mod.)
- You can't customize cars in this game.(Thankfully this feature can be added in with the Liberty City Customs mod)
- The only thing you get for completing the game 100% is the limit of weapon ammo removed. In fact, the ammo limit resets every time you load your game, making it the most worthless and pointless 100% reward of all time in the entire franchise.
- The weapons has low ammo caps compared to previous games, it's so low that you need to buy ammo everytime.
- Due to the removal of GFWL, the multiplayer mode no longer works on the PC version (RGL and Steam versions only).
- Character customization is rather limited compared to San Andreas.
- In the PC version, when playing the game with keyboard and mouse, there's no gun recoil and bullet spread, meaning the accuracy is 100% accurate, even when blind firing. (Thankfully, this can be fixed with FusionFix mod.)
- Just like every GTA game, it is home to extremely hard missions such as Pegorino's Pride", "The Snow Storm" and the infamous "Three Leaf Clover".
- The Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic is considered one of the hardest achievements/trophies in the game, even worse, it is required to get the platinum trophy.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned
- The main story can be completed in a day or less, though this is likely due to the game being an expansion pack for IV.
- Some missions are very difficult for beginners (example: Bad Cop Drop).
- There are only two safehouses available, both on the west side of the map.
- After the final mission "Get Lost", you lose the Lost MC Clubhouse (but you can get back in by using a glitch).
- Bowling is partially programmed here, you can hear Johnny's unused lines for getting a strike, spare, or gutter, but bowling itself is broken. Everything is invisible, and the scoreboard doesn't work. This was fixed in the next DLC.
- Regina and Tampa don't appear in the streets, as they only appear in some of the missions. (Thankfully, you can make them spawn by editing the cargrp.dat file (PC Version).) The Regina, however, can be obtained in the mission Heavy Toll. To obtain it look into this video.
- The expansion pack introduces various contiunity holes and inconsistencies, some examples include (but not limited to):
- Some of the characters got new appereance, making characters' appereances rather inconsistent between games.
- There's no explanation what happened to Ray's money after Johnny gave it to Jim.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Like The Lost and Damned, the main story can be completed in a day or less.
- Compared to the other two GTA IV protagonists, Luis Lopez is somewhat forgettable.
- Some missions can be difficult to get the gold medal in, like "Party's Over" and "Going Deep".
- Luis only has one safe house for the entire game, though you can still use the safehouses' parking lots from GTA IV, just like The Lost and Damned.
- Like The Lost and Damned, it introduces inconsistencies to GTA IV's storyline. For example, Jerry Kapowitz (the homeless man seen in the final cutscene) found the lost diamonds in one of the rubbishes in Meadows Park, while in GTA IV, he found the diamonds in Liberty City Dump.
- Another example is that in GTA IV, Packie's Vincent is dark green, while in TBOGT, it is black.
- Like The Lost and Damned, many of the characters got new appereances, making them very inconsistent between IV and TLAD.
- While most of the weapons introduced in this expansion pack is good, a few of them are not that good. For example, the silencer from Assault SMG is completely useless and Advanced MG has a very pathetic damage, it's so pathetic that even SMG can surpass its damage rate.
Grand Theft Auto IV sold over 6 million units in its first week. In this week, GTA IV also became the most played game on Xbox Live. More than 2.3 millions of people played the game in that week, and had unlocked more than 12 million achievements worth 100 million gamerscore.
A majority of the reviews, including IGN and Gamespot, gave the game a 10/10 rating. The game is also acknowledged as one of the best by Wikipedia and currently holds a score of 3.93 for PC, 4.13 for PS3 and 4.23 for Xbox 360.
However, GTA IV is the second most polarizing game in the entire franchise due to at launch, many people liked it and some of them calling as "the best Grand Theft Auto game of all time, while others are hated it and some of them calling as the worst game in the entire franchise.
- This game features the only instance in the entire GTA series where the N word is used in a racist manner, as opposed to being used in the same way as "dude" or "guy". The line in question is said by Gerald McReary, in the mission Actions Speak Louder than Words: "All we've ever been is bitches. Working for guineas, working for niggers, any asshole with a buck. The whole lot spent in the proper manner, oh yeah, wine and women, as quick as possible, and remain a slave forever."
- The game was temporarily removed from Steam until February 12, 2020, due to Games for Windows Live unable to work anymore.
- Niko Bellic's quote "YELLOW CAR!!", and his screams became a meme along with afromentioned Roman's "Let's go bowling" quote.
- It's one of the most modded GTA games, along with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V.
The Lost and Damned
- It the only GTA release that features full-frontal male nudity - In the mission, "Politics", Thomas Stubbs shows his penis during a cutscene.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Vladivostok FM playing house music rather than Eastern European music is a reference to a radio station named WNYZ-LP, which transitioned from Russian Top 40 music to a dance radio station named "Pulse 87".
- A car named the "Brickade" is shown in the BradyGames guide, but not seen in game. Likewise, a second generation Schafter exists but remains unused. Both are fully coded and can be spawned with external devices.