Sunday, August 18, 2013

Grand Theft Auto IV (2013) Playstation 3 English Review

Time flies so fast, as I've just realized that it's been five years since Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV astonished the gaming industry. And now it's less than 30 days until the release of Rockstar Games' next phenomenon, Grand Theft Auto V. To honor this upcoming Festival of Gaming extravaganza, KFG took this circumstance to Review one of the best games of our generation.

(This is KFG's first English Review)

I'm sure every gamer and non-gamers alike must've played or at least heard about the Grand Theft Auto Series.
When you hear "GTA" the first thing that comes to mind must be Free-roaming, driving, shooting, hookers, bang! Bang! Bang! Blowing stuff up! The very concept of Freedom is what the Grand Theft Auto series manifests.

From groundbreaking pioneer Grand Theft Auto III, to the outstanding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar Games (specifically Rockstar North) does not dissatisfy gamers.

Grand Theft Auto IV tells the tale of Niko Bellic, a former criminal and also an Illegal immigrant from an unknown eastern european country that have recently arrived in sprawling Liberty City to live with his cousin Roman Bellic living the American Dream. Roman persuaded Niko to come to Liberty City by sending him emails about himself being all successful and rich, living in a penthouse with luxury supercars and lots of women especially "Barbara with 'Big Titties' & Stephanie who 'Sucks Like A Vacuum'" when in reality all of that was a lie all along. Roman is broke and is constantly haunted by loansharks and debt collectors, therefore forcing Niko to earn Money to help his Cousin by returning to the life of crime.
All i can say is that this game evolves from a mere tale of zero to stardom, into an Oscar-worthy chronicle of profound sorrow.

Grand Theft Auto has gone legit. You'll still blow up cars, destroying lowlifes, bang hookers, and other sort of mayhem. But there is an incomprehensible sense of sophistication about it's world and characters. GTA IV will immerse you onto it's universe, giving a level of depth that will make you care about it's characters, making you feel dishearted when comes the arrival of their untimely demise. But don't worry, GTA trademark humoristic screenplay still makes a comeback and it's kinda funnier than before. Whether when it's mission cutscene or when hanging out with friends, the In-game dialogues provides us an in-depth characterization rarely seen in video games. (Props to Rockstar North for creating such an delightful script)

Story aside, GTA has always been renowned for it's entertaining and pleasureable gameplay. Rockstar Games created it's very own game engine especially for this game; R.A.G.E (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine). We've seen the marvels of RAGE in games like Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, etc, but it's GTA IV where RAGE truly showcases it's debut for the world and boy, the world is stunned.

And considering GTA IV is my very first playstation 3 game, it truly demonstrates the true power of PS3 with it's insane graphics and gameplay. Driving is smooth, every bump and scratch is visible. Shooting seems legit, dead bodies fell like a ragdoll but exremely believable. NPC's are lively, NPC's no longer just walking around town without any purpose, they actually have something to do like jogging, fishing, playing baseball, pissing in public, sightseeing etc. NPC's are divided into their respective areas, so you can see hoodlums & prostitutes in the urban decaying projects, and you can see politicians and stockbrokers in the financial district. Watch the people and you'll witness some amazing things. At one point, I saw a woman stopped at a light, looking in the rearview mirror right before she was rear-ended by a man ogling a girl on the street. The man got out of his car and went to the woman, checking to see if she was okay. This had nothing to do with Niko or a single action I took. These were the citizens of Liberty City going about their day. And it was just one moment in a day full of incidents.

Missions are quite varied in GTA IV. Sure, there is some lame escort missions, there's a thrilling action packed heist like 'Three Leaf Clover', and some unique one like where Niko must pretend to be a Gay guy to kill another gay guy while they're dating.
What truly impresses me is the interactivity in these missions, like at one time when i was stealthily stalking a drug dealer into his hideout, my phoe rang! It's Roman; "Niko! It's your cousin! let's go bowling!" The dealer heard the occurence and decided to run for it! Changing what was meant to be a stealth mission into a high speed shootout! And another time when i must kill a target using a sniper rifle, the sight target was obstructed, so i decided to call the target's apartement phone to make him answer it, clear from any obstructions, i capped his ass. Usually in some missions there's a moral system where you can decide wether to let your target live or die (if you let him/her live you might see them again in future gameplay as a Random Encounter).

But in my opinion, what truly impresses me about Grand Theft Auto IV is the small details. In-game radio shows and tv shows, in-game radio commercials and tv commercials, all looks like a Seth MacFarlane-esque parody. The In-game internet, websites such as Bleeter, Craplist, Blogsnobs. Every single content in GTA is a parody of a real life Counterpart. Small details like when you blow a gas station, Weazel News (a clear parody of Fox News) writes an article about the event in question on their website. Or after you successfully completed a mission you could call someone and they could give their input about it. For instance, after i successfully rob a bank, i decided to call Roman.
(I remember exactly the conversation;
"Have you seen this bank heist on the news NB? Wished you could've pulled a stunt like that!"
"Who says i didn't?"
Small things like that matters, like when i dated this girl Alex through a dating site, meet up, took her on a date, stand-up comedy, fancy restaurant, had sex in her apartement. The next day i checked her blog and she posted about the date yesterday, i vaguely remember one of her post after we dated; "My Niko is so romantic and unspeakably brutal in bed. Especially that part when he spanked my butt with a frying pan."

aside from a minor logical glitch, the game works perfectly fine

These small details made the game feels alive and Rockstar needs to be applauded for their effort in finely polishing this work of art.



  1. Ive been playing playstation since i was a kid until now. Grand Theft Auto IV is the best that ive played and so as real racing.

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  2. Grand Theft Auto series is one of the most popular gaming series of all time, winner of multiple awards !
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  3. Reading GTA updates have been my favorite past time when I subscribed to an Australian broadband service provider since it is my favorite game. :)