Universal acclaim - based on 86 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2596 Ratings

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  • Summary: [Metacritic's 2008 Xbox 360 Game of the Year; Also known as "GTA IV"] What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Belic, fresh off the boat from Europe. It's the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them an a living nightmare for those who don't. [Rockstar Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 86
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 86
  3. Negative: 0 out of 86
  1. Yes, there's still the freedom to cause havoc, and inevitably you do; the difference is that you’re no longer impelled to toy with GTA IV's world in quite the same sadistic way - you live in it. [June 2008, p.82]
  2. 100
    It's amazing that a sequel that keeps the core gameplay concepts of its prior incarnations can do so much to change itself into something new. Cabs are awesome, as is the cellphones capabilities. But perhaps the biggest innovation is the notion that you can create a game that's as valid a piece of art as any book or movie. Is this our "Citizen Kane" moment?
  3. This is an event game, the kind of thing you simply need to own ... even if you don't consider yourself a Grand Theft Auto fan.
  4. 100
    GTA IV is the best action game ever. The game has beautiful details, nice situations, extrodinary gameplay, sharp humor and great graphics. There are certainly a few minor negatives about the game, but the positive points are just too much. We have one piece of advice: Buy!
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV is the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of video games. It's a little less brave and intimidating this time around, but it’s also the most refined and polished game in the franchise’s history. This kind of sheen is generally reserved for titles with a much smaller scope.
  6. It's not a perfect game, as there are a number of minor graphical and gameplay glitches, missing features from "San Andreas," more restrictive exploration, and some rather lackluster mission design. However, those minor flaws are overshadowed by the improved gunplay, amazing multiplayer and shockingly addictive social interactions that really turn GTA IV into something special.
  7. As a game, it is flawed in many aspects, but as an immersing experience, GTA IV is simply unparalleled.

See all 86 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 99 out of 858
  1. KaleB.
    May 5, 2008
    Better than Bioshock (my previous favorite game), in my opinion. I'm half way through playing it for the second time and it's still fun as all hell. Expand
  2. JamesS
    Dec 19, 2009
    This was my first ever grand theft auto experience, so I did not know what to expect , and after finishing the game, I regret not picking up any of the eariler editions. This is the best experience I have ever had with a video game, period. Every mission feels fresh and new (thats saying a lot, considering there is about 100 of them), the interactions between the original and wacky characters are timeless (even if they are vulgar), I found myself sad when one of the characters died, not because I was sympathetic to them, but because I would never see any of their hiliarious with niko ever again, the story is very well told, with a slow build-up, (but gets very rewarding when the pace picks up, which is only about a couple hours into the game), that ends with a satisfying conclusion, and plenty of unexpected plot twists in-between, the world of liberty city is a great satire of new york city, that feels very much alive, but at the same time, just put a smile on your face with the light mood rockstar had built around the city (for example, the statute of happiness is always a joy to visit), the combat is fun, which is helped by the variaty of the levels, the explosivness of the later levels, and the unrellenting but stupitdity of the cops. The vehicle mechanics are awsome because they are so arcady when the rest of the world seems to be in a driving simulator, it is a strange combo that works very well, as it is fun to run over people and use your car to smash into other cars, espcially during the fast and furious car chases, and I never lauged so hard when my brother got onto a bike and started crashing all over the places running from the cops. The graphics are gorgious, espcially seeing liberty city during the night when all the lights light up. There is also so much to do, while shooting all those pigons may only be for the seriously dedicated (although there is a site ingame that will tell you where those are), all the other things you can do in liberty city are just increadable, from going to see a show by the real life ricky gervais and katt williams, to going to strip clubs, to just shooting down cops, there is plenty to do other than the main quest, which is an astonishing 30-40 hours, which is nothing to sneeze at at all. Best of all, it comes together in such a complete package (with no bugs or glitches, unless the glitches make the game more fun, like the vehicle-swingset glitch, I might add), that it almost feels overwhelming. Without a doubt the most memorable and complete gaming experience I have ever had. I almost wanted to cry when it was over, and then I realised that the game had a rediculusly wacky and insane multiplayer :). Good job Rockstar! Keep up the good work, you deserved that 98, if not higher. I know what I want for christmas (the episodic pack, which I cannot wait to see what you have in store for me with the two expansions) Expand
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    Wow. I really loved this game. It in every way blew me away. A captivating, epic, and deep storyline keeps you into it the entire way through. Me trying to find at least one thing to complain about. Nothing. This game really deserves GOTY. And I really have to say Niko Bellic is the only character in the GTA series that you can truly connect with. Understanding his difficult life and mis-adventures you can really feel his emotions. And for a free-roaming game they really knocked me out. The free roaming really is amazing. Its awesome how they can have such a nice, luminous city and still have amazing and almost flawless graphics. As for the multi-player, I didn't really play it that much but i love the fact that you can roam around Liberty City causing as much mayhem as you want. The ranked matches are good too, with death-match (etc...) it was pretty cool to see that in a GTA game. Surely I can truly say that you have not experienced free-roam/sandbox games until you have played GTA IV. Expand
  4. ChrisS
    Aug 6, 2009
    A typical complaint about GTA4 is the lack of features that were present in San Andreas: haircuts, greater variety of clothes, more safehouses, car customization, and so on. But come on people, GTA was never supposed to be The Sims...this is an action game! Instead of a hollow (but funny) character like CJ who the player could "pimp out" through various means, Rockstar has filled its beautiful gameworld with likable, believable characters. Sure there's no busting into Area 69 or blowing up a government cargo plane and then skydiving out...but there is still plenty of freedom and fun to be had in Liberty City's sandbox world. GTA has grown up. This was inevitably going to disappoint some gamers, but in my opinion it is a welcome change. The depth of the characters and world finds me going on fewer killing sprees and often running from police rather than slaying them, and to be honest, there's something awesomely revolutionary and superior about a GTA world full of characters I want to keep around. (Its still fun to push them in the water though). Expand
  5. JonasL.
    Jun 19, 2008
    A great game in many ways and worth buying, but the critics are over the line giving it 98%. There are a lot of bugs with the AI, and the story is a bit thin. Graphics are impressive considering the size of the city, and the amount of content Rockstar has managed to put into this game is amazing. Expand
  6. SteveK.
    May 4, 2008
    this whole review debacle is a classic case of game magazines and reviewers getting doped up on the hype and extreme expectations that surrounds some games in the run-up to the release. gta4 certainly is a good game, but very far from perfection, even far from being excellent. it's very enjoyable sometimes and sometimes outright dull. why countless reviewers have overlooked the glaring flaws is beyond me. a review score shouldn't rate effort and ambition. gameplay is king and in regard to that gta4 is certainly above average, but falls short of greatness. a healthy 7 points, I say. Expand
  7. JimM.
    Apr 29, 2008
    It's an alright game but putting it over OoT is an outrage.

See all 858 User Reviews

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