Check this—I get out of my room, grab my HellFury bike and head out for a spin. Thought I’d like to really test the power of this machine so I head out to the airport runways for a test drive. Just then the men in blue make an appearance to spoil the fun. My outing pisses them off so much that they come down on me guns blazing, with their armored vehicles, motorboats and even a helicopter. I give them quite the run for a while. However, I get overwhelmed by the firepower of this city’s finest and the only way out looks like the blue skies. So I ditch my bike, grab the nearest helicopter and take off. But the persistence of the lawmen force me to ditch the chopper on the subway tracks, jump the fence, carjack an SUV and make a final attempt at freedom. Alas, this spirit is strong but the body finally gives way to the constant fire and I fall dead—to wake up at the nearest hospital in perfect health and only a few bucks short in my pocket!
If this is your idea of fun, then head to your nearest peddler of good times, grab a copy of GTA IV and join me in Liberty City. The mother of all action-based sandbox style game, Grand Theft Auto is back again with a story to tell of a yet another guy and his ‘ascent’ into the criminal under belly of the city. This time around, the protagonist is an eastern-European war veteran who’s been lured to the city of dreams by his cousin, only to inevitably find out that it’s not going to as easy as it seemed.
Rockstar North has once again stuck to what they do best and as they’ve done with this series in the past, they’ve simply added a few layers complexities over what essentially remains a typical GTA game. You start off a shady apartment in less-than-affluent neighbourhood as you realise that your cousin Roman hasn’t exactly been accurate with his story. All is not lost though, as the world of near limitless possibilities lies outside your broken window. As you soon find out, there are a myriad ways of fattening your wallet in Liberty City—from carjacking and drug dealing to carrying out a hit on a rival gang member. If you are looking for something less violent (sigh!) you can earn cash by driving the denizens of the city to their destination. Liberty City also offers its fair share of distractions—just call-up one of your buddies and head to the nearest bar, strip club or watch a Russian cabaret show or take your girlfriend out on a date to a neighborhood diner for a warm and cosy meal. Who knows, if you play your cards right, she might even invite you in for the proverbial ‘coffee’.
The beloved radio stations retain their charm and humor and play critic to the decadence of modern society with issues like global warming, ‘war on terror’, propaganda through media and the old chest nut called obesity. Significant changes have been made to the combat system with an improved aiming system and the ability to duck and take cover. What hasn’t changed, however, is the save system, much to the dismay of gamers like me. If you fail the mission for one reason of the other, the game forces you to start all over gain, which can be pretty annoying in the long missions. In an apparent attempt to make the game play more solid, the developers have reduced some of the options available in the previous GTA titles, like rigging a car with a bomb, prior to undertaking a mission. All in all though, the game feels much tighter and more fulfilling than the previous iterations. To those of who are uninitiated to the world of GTA, this game comes highly recommended. I mean where else will you find a bunch of police car chasing after another police car?