The game will be set in a re-imagined GTA universe, with little-to-no continuity with previous games. The setting is a redesigned Liberty City, based heavily on New York City, as well as New Jersey. The game will follow Niko Bellic, an Eastern European who comes to the United States in search of the "American Dream," only to find his cousin has lied to him about the wealth that would be waiting for him.
The story of Grand Theft Auto IV was written by Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser. The game will be the first in the series to use the new RAGE game engine, which also powered Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis.
GTA IV is structured similarly to previous games in the series. The core gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, affording the player a large, open environment in which to move around. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, running, swimming, climbing and jumping, as well as utilizing weapons and basic hand to hand combat. Players can steal and drive a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, boats, helicopters, and motorcycles.
The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain parts of the map and content, they are not required, as players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can free-roam. However, creating havoc can attract unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the authorities. The more chaos caused, the stronger the response: police will handle "minor" infractions (attacking people, pointing guns at people, stealing cars, killing a few people, etc.), whereas SWAT teams, the FBI, and the military respond to higher wanted levels. The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions.
Niko Bellic is Eastern European, between 28 and 32 years of age and has come to Liberty City to pursue the "American Dream". Niko was persuaded to move to Liberty City by his cousin Roman, who claimed in multiple e-mails to Niko that he was living a fabulous life, with a mansion, women, hot tubs and sports cars. Roman's claims turn out to be lies to hide his own failures, however, and in reality he only owns a small taxi business, which he wants Niko to work for.
Roman is the only person Niko knows in Liberty City to begin with, and is one of his major connections in the first part of the game. Niko is a tough character, whereas Roman is friendly. Roman is heavily in debt and a lot of people are after him. He desperately needs Niko's support, hence the reason he deceived Niko into travelling to Liberty City. They are constantly bickering. It is later revealed that one of the reasons Niko, as an ex-soldier, goes to Liberty City, is to track down the man who betrayed his old army unit.
New Unique Features:
- After the initial load sequence, there are no loading sequences during gameplay. A Rockstar spokesperson claimed, "you can basically play the game from beginning to end without a single load screen."
- Niko will be able to perform a variety of new actions such as climbing telephone poles and fire escapes, pushing people who bump into him, calling women for dates, playing darts and bowling. Niko may become intoxicated, causing him to stumble and the camera to blur and bounce about.
- Stealing a parked car can no longer be done simply by opening the door and driving off. Now, it involves Niko approaching the car, breaking the glass, and hotwiring it; only then can he use it. The way Niko enters the car would look different each time depending on where and how he is in relation to the car. There will be several animation variations to sneaking up to a car and breaking its window. Because of the Euphoria engine, the way the character will approach the car will be completely random
- Players will be able to choose from five different camera views while in a car, including a dashboard view, two outside views near and far from the car, a road view, and a cinematic view. The new chase cam will follow the player but focus the camera direction on a target vehicle
- When driving in a car the player will be able to smash the window with his elbow, free-aim, and fire out of the broken window with any weapon in Niko's arsenal
- Niko will be able to visit comedy clubs and cabarets in the game
- Pedestrians are much more intelligent, realistic, and diverse, using mobile phones, cash machines, eating snacks, drinking soda, reading newspapers, scratching their noses, coughing, smoking, and interacting with each other through laughter and remarks. Homeless people will be seen in alleys rubbing their hands over a flaming barrel, sitting against walls, asking for spare change, and other expected actions. The flow of pedestrians and traffic will be different depending on the time of day. Pedestrians and motorists will often act as good Samaritans and aid characters that Niko is attacking or carjacking
- Some meetings in the game will take place high in the buildings of skyscrapers, which will subsequently allow Niko to throw people off the buildings. However, Niko will not be able to access all the buildings in the game.
Price - PS3 - $58.99 - Xbox - $58.99
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