Grand Theft Auto IV – Halfway to a Conscience?

Every fucking blog post you’re going to read for the next week is about it: Grand Theft Auto IV.

But not this one!

This one’s about the economy, the pressure facing an increasingly global market, the importance of maintaining low food prices, and only very, very barely about murdering hookers with a flaming Corvette.

I’m just fucking with you; it’s entirely about murdering hookers with a flaming Corvette! If this post was any more about murdering hookers with a flaming Corvette it’d have passes to the GOP convention.

The Details:

gtaiv2

It’s an odd feeling playing this game. The controls, physics, setting and atmosphere are all completely different. The cars drive much more realistically, swaying on their suspensions as you take hard turns. The city is no longer vaguely suggestive of a cartoon New York City, it’s a grimy, exhaust choked obituary for New York City. And the characters react authentically; no more pedestrians stepping gingerly over the massive pile of corpses at the intersection, never stopping to wonder why the heads of everybody that stands at this particular corner inexplicably explode as though by sniper fire (but that would be ridiculous, of course.)

For example, if you let go of the control stick and let Nico go idle right before a rainstorm, he will feel the first few faint rain drops. He’ll check his head, hold his palm out to see if it catches the drops, check the skies and swear under his breath. The citizens caught in the ensuing downpour will cover themselves with newspapers, briefcases, or just pull their jackets over their heads as they jog to sheltering alcoves.

Bizarre Morality:

gtaiv3

It’s all a level of realism that was carefully non-existent in the other Grand Theft Autos, supposedly leaving you free to indulge your homicidal rampages without guilt, but it’s here now. And you will, at first, respond accordingly. You’ll maneuver the cars more carefully. You’ll avoid driving through crowded sidewalks just to see bodies spray up and outwards, like kicking a pile of sand. You’ll only kill one, maybe two hobos for kicks before getting a hold of yourself. You’re a modicum of restraint, in short. And it makes the few visceral killing sprees you do go on all the more effective.

The game simply does not play like a carnage machine anymore, but it manages to make this transition somewhat naturally. It’s not that the wanted system is more strict (it is much better, though) and it’s not that the citizens are no longer mere chum for the feeding frenzy of your hungry fists (though if you push the wrong guy on the sidewalk, he really may know karate and whip your damn ass like it’s nothing,) it’s that when the game feels more authentic, you unconsciously react more authentically.

Being Suckered by a Game:

gtaiv 1

I saw a businessman running past me, desperate to catch a bus. He was calling for the passengers to stop it as he jogged by, and so I impulsively kicked him in the leg, just once. He tripped over my foot, careened off of a newspaper stand and stumbled into traffic where a speeding firetruck came inches from sideswiping him. He turned around and raised his hands into the air, his body language showing distinct shock, and yelled “what the HELL, man?!” My knee jerk reaction was to mutter, “shit, sorry dude.”

It actually prompted a real life, reasonable response from me!

I was so amazed by this interaction that I almost didn’t beat him to half to death with a baseball bat, then wait around to run down the Paramedics that tried to revive him with their own ambulance.

As far as I’m concerned, this is an entirely new video game experience. It’s not virtual reality, or even close. But for the first few seconds of an unexpected encounter, you may physically respond to characters in a video game like they’re actual people. That’s new, and it’s pretty amazing.

Now, because nothing prompts crazy anecdotes like GTA, here’s my favorites so far:

gtaiv4

I was in the multiplayer, engaged in a rather intricate fistfight with a gentlemen named something like ButtKRACKER420. We had both run out of ammunition while firing at each from behind the doors of our crashed vehicles, and were duking it out in the street alongside a fire station. We were at the bottom of a long hill, and just as I’d ducked a roundhouse from him I heard a roaring sound growing quickly closer. Sir ButtKRACKER backs off suddenly, and so I turn to see what this snapping, crackling din racing towards me is, when my world explodes into flames. Another player had taken a severely damaged, flaming car and raced it down the hill at top speed. He bailed on the hill and sent this flaming slag heap hurling into me at 80 miles an hour, ironically crushing me with burning wreckage against the wall of the fire station.

I had stolen a motorcycle and jumped it off of a stair car over the fence of the airport. As I was drag racing beneath the landing planes looking for a helicopter in order to crash it into a group of obnoxious mallrats, I was thinking “man, if I drove onto the runway in real life the cops would be on me in seconds. The fucking swat team would shoot me in the face and call me a terrorist.” That’s when the swat team careened around the corner, shot me in the face and called me a terrorist.

I was about to take the subway for the first time when I saw a hobo sitting on the stairs. I stopped, turned around, and hiked halfway back down the stairs to just behind the hobo. I lightly kicked him, knocking him off balance. He tumbled from his seated position, rolled down the staircase, hit the wall of the landing and his momentum carried him flailing over it. A second later I hear a scream – abruptly cut off. I look over the edge and see him two stories below. He had landed on a man out for a walk with his girlfriend. She looked so stricken by this sudden turn that I suddenly spun around and ran for the train before they could figure out it was me.

Does anybody else have the game yet? What crazy shit has happened to you?

EDIT: For everybody that hasn’t read this yet, definitely browse through the comments here. Some of the stories there are better than the post.

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65 Responses to Grand Theft Auto IV – Halfway to a Conscience?

  1. Muledriver says:

    So, based on the console version: do you think this is going to play on a laptop when they port it to the PC?

    If not, I might have to invest in a console.

  2. Robert says:

    Shit dude, unless your laptop is Optimus Prime, I don’t think it’ll handle it…

  3. Funny Comics says:

    The little touches make this game so magical.

    My current favorite is while riding a bike. On occasion Niko will put on a helmet before he cruises (which is awfully responsible for a cold-blooded killer). Anywho, when he finishes cruising we run into a problem – where does the helmet go? Niko continues to wear it for a while. And and about ten seconds in he rips it off and casually tosses it on the ground as if it were trash.

  4. Recoil says:

    The best part of the above is that it’s even more detailed than you think — Niko will only put a helmet on if the bike you stole was a parked one, not if it was hijacked — because then of course, the helmet was being worn by the driver. And then, he’ll only put on the helmet if you give him enough time.

    There’s all kinds of little touches like that — I was just playing ten minutes ago, and flipped over a police car when the siren was on — it crushed the lightbar a little, and my siren started… malfunctioning. Instead of a piercing professional WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!, it sounded like a siren would, if it had a few dents and frayed wires in it.

    I mean, it even goes as small as the NPCs around the game — driving around the city, you’ll see people holding hands, waiting for the bus/subway, on the phone, jogging in the park, watering the flowers, sweeping the floors… even, my most surprised find — a broken down car, the owner crouched over the open smoking hood, shaking his head, trying to figure out what was going on. The detail is simply staggering.

  5. pbizzle says:

    My favorite thing to do is to drive full speed and then go straight into a wall or something solid and fly out of the windshield.

    Another time, I was getting used to the controls and while I was driving, I accidentally hit Y and I jumped out of the car and when I did that, an Ice Cream truck immediately hit me. It looked awesome like I meant to do it…but I surely did not.

  6. Bob Holness says:

    If it takes another year or two before it comes out on PC, then the crop of laptops at the time will probably handle it fine.

  7. TDude says:

    The great thing about GTA4 is that I actually *want* to play along with the story. In previous GTA games, I always got bored with the missions after 15 minutes and went on a killing spree. This is not the case with GTA4.

  8. thorYorak says:

    If I have to wait a year for this to come out on the PC, I might have to break down and buy a PS3 and HDTV. I can’t wait that long.

  9. Gigwave says:

    Had the car I was in rammed by a half dozen police cars and it rolled onto it’s side completely surrounded. I climbed out, took out my trusty rocket launcher (acquired through cheat codes) and aimed straight down. The explosion of the rocket and over a half dozen cars shot my body straight up and got an amazing view of the carnage before turning black & white & hazy as it does when you die. Good times. Good times.

  10. evilkayak says:

    GTA 4 on 360 > PS3 due – i think its 720p on 360 and 660p on ps3. anyhow, 360 > ps3. i dont know if its a good idea for RockStar to come out with a PC version due to high number of pirates out there.

  11. nef says:

    360 one has some framerate issues. I guess not serious if your a console gamer, but if your a highend pc gamer like me, the framerate issues are very noticeable and unacceptable if i was playing on the PC.

    Go with the PS3, i hear it has better framerates. you can still play multiplayer, PS3 has better console games. (FPS belong on pc, and FPS is all the 360 has to offer over the other consoles). Then you have blueray, oh and you can plug in any harddrive you want into a ps3, unlike the xbox.

    Then you have the issues of no load times on games for ps3, just one time installations, unlike the xbox which has frequent load times, lower frame rates. The only thing the xbox offers over ps3 is the xbox live service, and even that honestly isn’t that great.

    PC is def the best gaming platform, but i wish i woulda bought a ps3 and not an xbox. Oh yea, xbox breaks often :/

  12. Robert says:

    So….that is a crazy amount of traffic. I guess I’m on the front page of Reddit with this?

    Sorry guys, I try to respond to every comment, but that’s because I usually get about six comments….

    Anyway, god do I love the GTA stories. Even before I bought the game, the anecdotes that came out of it are just endlessly entertaining. I haven’t seen the car break down yet, but I did notice that if you hit the front end too hard, you can fuck up the starter. You’ll sit there trying and failing to turn it over while cops swarm you, but the great part is it’s not a guarantee. It may or may not turn over, depending on the situation. Adds a lot of tension.

    Also, (especially in multiplayer,) steal a fire truck. You can fire the hose and aim it 360 degrees with the camera stick. It has a wide spray, and knocks people off of their feet. Just turn it sideways and drive by firefights, everybody will get hurled to the ground.

    Oh, and I actually have it for the 360, and it looks amazing. I’ve only seen the PS3 version in demos at the store, but they look pretty much the same to me. Not to start some kind of console war, but can’t we all just admit that if we had the money, we’d probably have both the platforms?

  13. JD says:

    I do have both consoles (and the wii) and it really doesn’t come down to graphics this and framerate that. It comes down to which one of my friends has which console and the game that they are playing. Both are amazing in their own way, and me and the wife play rockband or anything on the wii. Just throwing it out there.

    Awesome article, you are hilarious man.

  14. mofino says:

    Please realize for those confused about the video output for GTA; PS3 goes all the way up to 1080p, while the 360 can only do 720p. I hope this will clear any confusion.

  15. asurroca says:

    I agree that getting you into a sort of morality in this game makes the missions much more gripping. When you’re not so inclined to mow down pedestrians for fun anymore, it makes offing a bad guy a LOT more dramatic than it was in previous GTA games.

    One of my favorite details is, when you’re in the nicer, trendy areas, you see a lot of NY emo/hipster dudes, and if you so much as aim your targeting reticule at them (with fists, not even with a gun!), they’ll usually run away screaming. Naturally, if you try that on some of the thuggier guys in the seedy areas, they’re more inclined to fight.

    It’s going to take a while before all the gems have been discovered in this game.

  16. rickd says:

    After a nice drinking session at the local bar, my buddy and i stumble out to the car. The game, in all its ironic goodness, suggests i’m pretty hammered and should hail a cab…. so i stumble to my car and slam on the gas. Fishtailing right into a police car. The cop chases. I speed up, swerving like only a drunk can. The car is taking damage. People are flying left and right. Finally the engine gives out. Flames from the hood. I try to run and succeed only in stumbling a short distance. My buddy is still passed out in the front seat! The gas tank explodes and the fireball engulfs nearby civilians. The next morning i get a call from my buddy: “hey, i’m at the hospital, come pick me up”

    I love this game.

  17. deadlytoque says:

    I haven’t been able to devote a lot of hours to the game yet, but my best experience so far was when I found my first sports car (the Banshee), took it out on the bridge, blew through the toll station, attracting just enough police attention to get them to chase me back towards the first safehouse. I got that little blue monster roaring, went to make the classic bootleg turns that were so easy in San Andreas, only to find that more “realistic” car physics resulted in my careening off the edge of the cliff flipping my car on its lengthwise axis 4 times, and then landing hard on its wheels.

    Amazed that I was still alive, I burned down the road, only to go headlong into another police car, which was all my beleaguered Banshee could stand. I clambered out of the flaming wreck and started running. The cops chased me on foot for block after block, over fences, up hills (still just at one star… there were a lot of cops out that day) and I kept catching bullets as I struggled in vain to find another car. Finally, I found one, a boatlike beater, which I grabbed like a starving man at a loaf of bread. I pulled myself into the driver’s seat… just in time to take a round to the face, as the police shot out the front window, ending the chase with finality.

    As to the graphics issues, my 360 copy runs at 1080p without any trouble, so I don’t know what all this “the 360 only goes to 720p” stuff is about. Based on the reviews I’ve been reading, however, the PS3 has a -slight- advantage in avoiding texture popup, and because of the install, a -slight- advantage in load times. The 360 is said to have a richer colour palette.

  18. FiL.dUbz says:

    My favorite moment in GTA 4 was when I was being chased down by the pigs… for jacking a car, beating down the driver, and running over a pedestrian all in front of 2 cop cruiser. Instant chase ensues, and my car, which was the Benz look alike was keeping a good lead on the cops. I was turning like a pro, slowing down at the corners so I wouldn’t fish tail. Except for one corner, where I clip a car waiting for the light to go green. That makes me go out of control and onto the sidewalk where I take out a hot dog stand and the poor guy attending it. His blood splattered all over the front of my car, and his body was thrown into traffic, further mutilating it…lol, anyways, the hot dog stand was thrown in front of my, both still on the sidewalk. In an attempt to steer away from the stand, I accidentally clipped it with the left side of my car. The left back tire exploded, leavin me on 3 wheels, and spinning in a circle. The cars damage was extreme, and soon as I regained control, a cop crashed into another vehicle, sending said vehicle into mine. That totaled my car, and the starter was fucked. Tried to get it going, but nothing. Cops where rushing me in my attempt to start the car, and fired on me, shooting me through the back windows… my blood all over the glass.

    Got out the car with almost no life, hauled ass to a parked car, broke out its windows, hot wired it, and sped off. Like a crazed maniac… I hit a tree at full speed, sending me flying in slow mo through the windshield and landing right in the middle of a yoga-in-the-park class… I took out 2 of the yoga students, but they were all right, saying “what the hell was that?”…

    lol, classic.

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  20. SweetJebus says:

    Holy hell people. You guys are morons talking about 1080p vs 720p vs 660p vs whatever else your addled minds have invented. It makes no damn difference if your console can output 1080p if your TV can’t handle that, and likewise, if the console can do 1080p and the game doesn’t support it, then it STILL DOESN’T MATTER cause it’s not gonna be 1080p. Sweet Jebus! In this case it looks like the game should look virtually identical on either platform, with the biggest deciding factor being the quality of your HDTV. If you have a 360, then you buy the 360 version. If you have a PS3 then you buy that version. If you have both, then I hate you and hope you die in a horrible accident like those described above. Oh, and if you want the DLC, you should get the 360 version.

  21. Pooky B says:

    my roommate bought a projector and now he plays this fuckin game all night on the wall of the house. Oh yeah, and its right outside my room. Mother fucker.

    That being said, Robert is the man, and my favorite part of the game is those reverse 180s.

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  23. GTA foo! says:

    I stole a motorcycle and was flying down the street. A car about 100 yards in front of me want involved in an accident where it got pushed to the right, up on the curb, and into a light post which it knocked over.

    I saw an opening to continue to ride through so I did. As I’m passing the wreck the light post continues to fall and lands on me knocking me off the bike and severely injuring me. A pedestrian happened to see this happen and yelled, “HOLY SHIIIIT!!!!!”

    LOL! I love this game.

  24. Robert says:

    These are all such brilliant stories.

    So, my question is this: Why the hell is there not a theater function for GTA IV, like in Halo 3?

    I realize maybe space is a limitation here, but good god if anything was begging for even a bare bones movie editor/exporter it’s this game. Even if it was only for the multiplayer, the movies you’d get would be awesome. Rather than retelling these stories like war vets at the Elk’s Lodge on a Saturday night, a movie function would get endless use.

    I’m no programmer, so I wonder how feasible something like this would be as DLC? I’d definitely drop a few bucks for a little theater option over some new cars or weapons…

  25. Jonathan says:

    I was doing some mission, the usual, “kill this guy cause i said so” ordeal. You have to find him at the train station. When i get to the train station, he starts sprinting across the train tracks. I just wait till the train passes by and then go for him. As im jumping down the stairs, i see him heading for a nice orange and blue banshee. im right next to him when he is getting in, so i walk to the back of the car, shoot him through the back window, and his head smashes and stays on the horn. a bunch of pedestrians look at the car for a bit, then keep walking. As i drag his body out of the car, niko says “you wont be needing this anymore”. yes, this game is amazing.

  26. Nick says:

    The craziest thing that has happened to me so far was while driving the helicopter- which is crazy enough as it is- I decided to see how low to the water I could get before I went under. However, when I approached the surface of the water, a speedboat suddenly sped underneath me, flew up under the air pressure, flew into the rotors of the helicopter, killing the boat driver and shredding the blades, killing me in the process.

  27. Robert says:

    I had my first experience with the helicopter in multiplayer last night. I was chasing a guy in an ambulance across the bridge, when an attack chopper starts strafing us from the side. The guy stops the ambulance, so I hop out too. I start firing at him, but he just climbs on top of the ambulance, turns to face the helicopter and jumps. He grabs onto the struts, hanging by his hands, but manages to pull himself up. The chopper starts swaying dramatically, and then a second later I see the body of the pilot go plummeting down to the river. The guy takes his newfound chopper and flies off into the sunset. I’m left on the bridge just going “god bless you, Bruce Willis.”

  28. Muledriver says:

    I know there was a bit of discussion on PS3 vs. Xbox 360 for this game. If anyone cares, here is a side-by-side comparison video of the two systems running GTA IV.

    http://www.gametrailers.com/player/33470.html

    FYI – Since I can’t afford either system right now I’m just playing GTA IV on my Omnibox 4000. The OB 4000 is what I call “the greatest console gaming system ever made” and you would call “a piece of cardboard with what may be cars and a guy with either a crooked hand or a gun drawn on in Sharpie”.

    Yeah? Well so what, homos. In MY version there are laser pistols.

    Pyoo! Pyoo!

  29. Ghost says:

    Here is a hint for anyone flying a chopper. Land that bad boy on top of (or jump out and land on) the top of the statue of liberty. Scale down to the access way to the stairs and head down. This is frickin amazing.

  30. Levi says:

    I was playing free mode multiplayer for the first time and after getting the hang of controls, and the mannerisms of both players and NPC’s, I gather that human players are capable of flying through the streets with reckless abandon while NPC’s are more careful behind the wheel.

    Not true.

    As I am in a point-blank pistol dual with another player, he suddenly breaks away and hauls ass. I turn in time to see a cab SCREAMING down a hill and slingshot me down the block, over a guardrail and onto the freeway where I was subsequently run over by a speeding cop car.

  31. Derek Hale says:

    I love this game!

    Now for the story.

    I was playing a game of Cops and Crooks for my second or third time the day of the release. The day is important because little snot nosed tikes didn’t have mommy get their game till the next day for the most part so we had some good thinking, pop culture loving, deep voiced guys (not boys) on our team. I start the game as the boss and have figured out from the past two games that the cops have a quick response time and I am fucked so I did the one thing any reasonable mob boss facing his mortality would do… go for a swim in the ocean. I made a dash to the beach to go for a swim and found an ugly utilitarian boat. I called all my men to the boat and we went boating. We then, almost in a drunken men’s night on the town way, went to each structure resembling a marina searching for nicer boats until we heard sirens which caused us the shout obscenities while getting the hell out of there. We then split up into three groups which proceeded to:
    1. Steal a yacht and start saying anything classy they could think of
    2. Steal the getaway helicopter
    3. (the one with me) Steal 3 speedboats
    I forget if the helicopter was at happiness island or if we just decided to go there but my group ended up in a Miami Vice formation headed towards happiness island. The great part of this game was that it ended with a group of speedboats headed to a secluded island with a mob boss where he will be picked up with a helicopter. I found it amazing.

    P.S. You may be asking yourself where the other team was the entire time. They weren’t just playing with their dicks, they were busy trying to run cars into the yacht and then attempting to climb on which they couldn’t due to bullets in their faces.

    P.P.S. We also sang Phil Collins music while driving the speedboats to hapiness island while the sun was going down.

    Beauty

  32. Pingback: Why GTA IV is Amazing « super happy exploding robot!

  33. Nate says:

    I took a hit walking across the street with Mr. Playboy. So I bounce off the car and eat pavement, well, a moment later Playboy pulled out an uzi and shot that guy up before i had a chance pick myself up off the ground. So that dude got out of the car and took off a running…we took his car and ran him over…The thing is I was shocked to see an AI connect with me getting plowed by a vehicle, it was a cool moment.

    Oh another time I took a shot at a sleeping bum and hit him in the leg. He screams “you planted a tracking device in my leg” and runs away. That just cracks me up.

    This game is so bomb.

  34. Soncilatlor says:

    best thing I’ve seen in GTA at the moment is the randomness of the actions of the citizens…

    I remember being miles from the safe house, meant to be returning Roman to his damn workplace (for a cab driver he doesn’t do a lot of driving?!)… resigning myself to a long walk or an irritating escape from the police I started looking for a fairly nice looking car, only to hear a smash and horn from behind me…

    I span the camera round and a pickup had smashed a smaller sports car, and killed/knocked unconscious (I can’t tell the difference) the driver… this kind of stuff is brand new to GTA, I loved it… and I didn’t even get a wanted star for shifting the guy out of his car and driving off…

  35. seraphrevan says:

    It’s things like this that make me think that I will consider GTA4 a real game. I hate the entire series. Except, potentially, this one.

  36. Matt says:

    I Love This Game

    I found myself speeding away from the police on a bridge. I tried to race through the toll booth only to notice that the security guard had stepped out from his post and fired 3 shots to my head and killed me on my way through…The guard got toasted as my car whacked him a solid 100m down the bridge whilst i lay motionless in the driver seat. I received another few shots from other toll booth guards through the back window as i rolled to a stop near the dead ‘hero’ guard. Bastards still shooting at me… This game has a a perfect sense of realism added to what i thought when ‘San Andreas’ came out was perfect…obviously not

  37. Josh Roberts says:

    FUCK I WANT THIS GAME. I’M TOO POOR TO BUY IT THOUGH…. 😡

  38. snowbird says:

    Excuse me but I’m looking for someone with at least a “normal” IQ…..WHATS THIS?

  39. Isa says:

    Jesus Christ, I am so fucking sick of hearing about this game. Hell, I’m sick of the game itself.

  40. Robert says:

    Odd that you would read and then comment on a post about it then, isn’t it?

    This is my page, not some anonymous cock-waving festival. You wanna be a dick here, homey, you’re gonna get called on it, you attention whoring, daddy-dissatisfied, quasi-elitist fuckhole.

  41. Robert says:

    Hi Snowbird,

    If you’d like to start some intelligent discourse about a subject, perhaps the best way to do this is not to leave comments with no actual intelligence or discourse in them. You implied that everybody here was stupid, however, you left no reasoning for thinking this.

    Also, you put the word ‘normal’ into quote marks. Judging by the context of your post, you probably should’ve left the word unquoted, as the implication you were attempting to make was that you actually, literally wanted to speak with people of average I.Q.s (thereby cleverly suggesting that you found none of that here.) In common conversational use, quote marks around words that are not actually being quoted signify the use of irony. By quoting the word ‘normal,’ you were attempting to say that you found no normal I.Q.s here, but your poor mastery of the language actually caused you to suggest that you were hoping for lower I.Q.s, but found none, thereby implying that you found intelligence when you wanted stupidity. So thanks for the backhanded compliment!

    You are also a basket of assholes, but we’ll just let that one slide, mmkay?

  42. Abo says:

    great post.
    i love the introduction to it.

    anyway i dont have the game just yet. (i have exams to study for at the moment)
    but the second i leave that exam hall i will be on my way to a game store.
    then ill update with something funny/crazy that happened.
    but i have heard that when you hit a pedestrian carrying shopping that cans
    and such will roll out of the bag. thats damn realistic

  43. Liam says:

    My friend has this game. I was playing around and discovered that he was not allowed on two of the other islands. Needless to say, my goal was to cruise around on the other islands while police cars and swat vans come barreling after me. I have many fond memories of driving through the city with 6 stars blasting that jazz station, imagining I was in a scene from the blues brothers.

    Getting over the barriers was enjoyable too. My best attempt was with an ambulance (they haul ass). I got up to speed, rammed the barrier, flew out the windshield, flew over the barrier, unbeknown to the many police officers guarding the bridge. I summoned a car, and promptly earned 6 stars, dying along the other side of the bridge. Awesome game.

    Also, my friend stole a swat van and got chased by a firetruck. It was very odd.

  44. eric says:

    360 and PS3 have some minor differences… I dont quite remember, but one has fewer popup problems (think the 360 has more popups, which is when a building, car, etc. just randomly pops on the screen from loading) but the 360 is a smidge better, graphically. But, either way, Im positive you will get the same enjoyment out of either release. These two things matter only a very small fraction.

    Also, for people wanting to play on PC, it wouldnt take much hardware at all to play it… Im 100% certain that a PC version will be available sometime within the year, and they will easily be able to handle it… Mainly because a PC version, unlike consoles, will have customizable settings. Fear not. But, it may or may not be a vista-only release… Which is what I have a problem with.

  45. Speedball says:

    Well, congratulations, dude. You convinced me to buy a game that I don’t have a working console for. (The 360 is in for repairs for an unspecified amount of time.) This post and the replies showed some amazing details I hadn’t even realized were possible. I thought, at best, it would be as good as San Andreas (which itself was pretty good.) I didn’t realize they were pushing the bar even further. Wow.

  46. Robert says:

    I was just thinking that: I wonder how many copies of GTA IV this post and the comments actually sold. Probably quite a few.

    One more detail: I was getting chased by the cops when one swung out ahead, sideswiping a delivery truck in front of me. The impact caused the doors to jar loose, and as the driver swerved to get it under control, barrels, boxes, and other cargo started jostling loose and tumbling down the highway. All the traffic started weaving to dodge it and it caused an epic pile up – just like a chase scene in an old movie.

  47. Scott says:

    I am most interested in the little details…actually having to hot-wire cars, the breaking the car window out before you shoot out of it, the internet access, the people you meet actually having feelings for you, including anger, empathy, and opinions based on your clothing and attitudes. I also enjoy the cab rides when Roman opens them up to you, listening to the cabby bitch about his life and the situation is just funny. The fact the Niko will say which radio station you turn it to as his preference in the cabs is just another awesome attention to detail. The mini-games are fun as well, and if i had seen Qub3d online as a flash game or something it would have been my favorite.

    My favorite story so far involves the new way tat cars react to damage. I was driving a beat up Ruiner sports car, just running the hell right out of it. The back tires started flaming, meaning only one thing: the engine is about to do the same thing. I had just escaped from an awesome duel, and as such had very little health. i was messing around with cinematic camera angle and hopped out of the car…only to be hit by a taxi. I was run over and caused the cab to fish-tail cause another car to swerve to miss it and hit my car… and it blew up sending me flying, as well as blowing 5 other cars in the process.

  48. Dr. Worm says:

    (This all happened when I was still really early in the game)

    So there I was, traveling through Broker in a stolen old beater, blowing through traffic, and screaming around corners. It had just rained and the road was still wet. As I cranked the wheel left, I felt the tires spin, the car lose traction, and then I couldn’t see anything. The world became a mix of colors, and when I could finally see straight again, I was looking directly at the Broker bridge.

    Three cop cars were perched behind the blockades, the drivers standing behind the cars. I brake torqued the car, taking off in cloud of smoke, headed directly for the barricade. I braked hard, cranked the wheel, and fired several shots at the cops from my old beater. They immediately gave chase, calling me a terrorist, and other such nonsense.

    It was time to see what this old piece of crud could do. I pushed it as hard as it could go, hearing the scream of sirens behind me, the whirring of rotors above me, and the loud clinks and thuds of bullets ricocheting off of my car. I saw military convoys in my mirrors, and knew I was in trouble this time.

    I slid around a corner, only to be met broadside by my pursuers. My car leaned sickeningly onto it’s right side before finally rolling. I saw ground, then clouds, then earth, then sky, and I was right again. Spinning tires touched dirt and I was off again. I sped through the grass, knowing that I could never stop, and that nothing would ever be the same again. I felt my car pulling hard to the left and realized the bastards had shot my back tire out, then I heard a loud pop as another tire blew. I fought with physics for what felt like an eternity as more bullets beat against my cage.

    Then, silence. My engine went dead. I looked up and saw two helicopters above me. In the road on the opposite side of the wall I saw the army. To my right I knew a posse of police were closing in.

    “GET OUT OF THE CAR!” Was the popular consensus. “GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW!” Never one to disappoint, I opened the door. I stepped onto cool wet grass, and felt the heat from the fire burning under the hood of the beater. I ran as fast as I my feet would carry me. I heard bullets hit the car, the ground, the trees around me. Then one connected with my shoulder. I stumbled forward but kept my balance. Then another in my hip, my leg dragged for a second before I continued. In front of me was open grass, I was going to make it. That was when I felt it. The horrible pain in my back. The world went gray, and I fell face first into the damp grass. I managed to look behind me one last time. The last thing I saw or heard was the explosion of the beater, avenging my demise.

  49. dannnnv says:

    I already love so much, but one “hobby” of mine is shooting out a back tire of NPC vehicles, then following them while they swerve all over the place in a panic. So I shot out the back tire of a big truck with the full transport section, and as it’s swerving and I’m following, the back opens up and a whole bunch of barrels come pouring out the back, right into my car and all over the highway. I’m constantly running into awesome surprises!

  50. Bretzy says:

    My two favorite things that happened so far are as follows:

    I started pissing cops off to see how difficult it is to not only raise your wanted level, but to escape as well. so I go to five star pretty quick and figured I would make a daring escape. I hoped into a super fast sports car from the dealership in Algonquin and take off. While I tore through the streets, through Time Square (forget what its called in game) 3 cops came at me, all parallel to each other. I decided to take a hard turn at which point I see a bus coming full speed at me, apparently this was a one way road. I dodge the bus, but it totally destroyed the cops chasing. That was hilarious.

    Playing a Team Deathmatch game, my team was severely out gunned. 6 guys on the other team to my teams 3. Well the game starts and my 2 teammates and I run for weapons at a local project building. I grabbed the rocket launcher and looked on my radar to see 3 dots moving at very high speed toward our position. I took aim and fired a rocket at the lead car, he swerved but the 2 cars behind him didn’t. The rocket hit the ground about 2 feet from the cars, right in between them. I fired my next rocket as the lead driver floored it towards me. The rocket hit the bumper of the car about 30 feet out and sent the car end over end, flipping right over me. That was the most incredible battle I had ever lived through and it lasted all of 35 seconds.

  51. thebobulator says:

    ok i was doing some mission or other and i was chasing this guy in a van, i was in a fast but beat up car so i didn t want to drive to fast i just wanted to shoot his tires out or somthing so as we were approching this turn my car decided now would be a nice time to light on fire so i realized there was little chance that i was going to be able to catch this guy if i had to find a new car so i just decided to go for broke and ram him, just befor i hit him(in the side remember there was a turn) i jumped out of the car then i heard an explosion and the game said “your target is geting away on foot” i turn around in time to see him running away on fire…. i think hes dead now

  52. BluHarvest says:

    So i was playing the game at a party with about ten of my friends watching (for the first time), and i had just gotten this sports car, a pretty big deal since i had only seen crappy cars and vans. So naturally, i was speeding down this straightaway when i see this curbside that would launch me, so i did. And just as i was about to land, this cement thing hit my front bumper and it launched my car through the air and barely missed this women walking. The crowd of friends behid me then erupted in applause.

  53. Vs2k9 says:

    My fav. in GTA4 was when I stole my first car. Everything was going well, you know getting used to the controls and all. Finally, after a few turns and sudden braking moments, I decided to drive a little faster…a lot faster actually. When all of a sudden I crashed into a pole and my body was hurled right through the windshield of the car and onto the cold pavement. The pain, confusion and disgust Niko displayed was classic to me. Also, I was so shocked at what had happened, I couldn’t stop laughing for about a good 5 minutes.

  54. Hit a small pole with a motorcycle, flew into the front of a bus, did a ragdoll kind of flip over the side and onto the front of a car. The bus stopped, the car stopped, both got out and ran over to where I lay on the ground. The driver of the bus LAUGHED and called me stupid or something. The guy in the car said something to the effect of ‘Oh my god, that was insane! I’ve never seen anything like that!’ It was really refreshing to see videogame characters react to the absurdity of their world/the events that happen in it.

  55. NexoxEnigma says:

    So I just watched my friend pull in front of a nice car, so that he could steal it. He got out and stood right in front of the car he wanted, with his back up against the car he was driving beforehe shot the other driver in the face. The other guy did that standard face on horn thing, but also managed to stomp on the gas, which crushed Niko to death from nearly full health. Needless to say, we laughed for a while. Also,I hate typing on this blasted iPhone.

  56. Dank says:

    I had a funny moment in multiplayer mode. Another online player is sitting in a 4 door car idle. I sneak up from behind and try to jack the car from him, but instead I open the back door and get in the rear seat! (LMAO). We go taking off down the street with me in the back and the other player driving. We both smash out our windows in an attempt to shoot each other. After getting frustrated, the other player got out of the car…so I blew them away from the back seat. Then I got out, took their car and ran over their body. I love this game.

  57. PersonalRapture says:

    I was on a mission where I had to chase down my target, but I was in a car that performed very poorly. After flooring it just to keep up with the guy, he takes a sharp left. I attempt to do the same, but instead of hitting the breaks, I accidentally press Triangle. Not only did Niko jump out of the moving, speeding car, but he hit the ground at such an angle that it sent him cartwheeling through the air. By “cartwheeling,” I mean arms and legs both extended, spinning sideways head over foot. I hit the side of a building at high speed, right after the car. Needless to say, I had to retry the mission. God bless the Euphoria physics engine.

  58. jaytoothetee says:

    Great article :)… well the craziest thing that has happened to me so far was:
    I was going across the toll bridge from Dukes/Broker to Algonquin, and I kind of threw the back end out as I took the right turn on the bridge.I hit a car side on, flew out of the driver’s side window and flew into an overpass on Charge Island, face first. I proceeded to slide down the wall and fall eighty or so feet to my doom. Best. Death. Ever. I love this game.

  59. BRUCIE says:

    Great game, but I had a bad experience with the multiplayer. So i join a game and go to the pregame lobby. The host starts the game. The loading screen appears. I wait a couple minutes thinking that it would take time to load up the graphics and such. 5 minutes go by and the game never starts. i have to turn off my xbox. So i try it again, except this time i’m stuck in the pregame lobby for seriously over 5 minutes as the countdown keeps being reset as people keep toggling whether they are ready or not, or from the host being a dick. I eventually leave and join another game. I join a deathmatch game that starts up and loads ok. It was a free for all where everyone had only bats and knives. I must say, it was not fun at all as I kept rushing into groups of people swinging away only to be killed by someone who didn’t even look like he was hitting me. I end up leaving the game after a couple minutes not being able to take another minute of it. So the load screen appears to get me back to the multiplayer menu except it never loads back. I wait several minutes and decide to turn my xbox off. Then I try again and finally am able to join a decent game of free for all where I took the sniper rifle on an overpass and sniped a couple guys. The only problem was that I wasn’t able to pick up the cash dropped by the enemy players when they died, so it was like I never killed anyone in the first place. I try out the car racing and was not a fan. I ended up getting 8th place after flipping my car over on its backside when I hit a small pole. I was like WTF, that is absolutely arbitrary. So after its over it goes into the load screen and with my luck, it never loads back to multiplayer menu again, so I have to trun my xbox off for the 3rd time and leave it off as I ended my crappy experience on GTA 4 multiplayer. Has anyone else had these problems because I’m sure the multiplayer is superb, I just had a string of bad luck. I haven’t played it again yet due to lack of time.

    But I will share a spectacular street race with you that I had through the streets of Liberty City. VERY EPIC.
    I call up my pal Brucie (very funny dude) and tell him I want to join a street race. He sets me up with one and tells me the location. I steal a nice and fast looking convertible and head over to the location. So I race with a bunch of other cars along this very long route thorugh Liberty City. I eventually get to the 3rd lap with my car badly beaten up from my terrible turning skills. I’m in first place and nearing the finish line with other cars gaining on me. I ram into a wall and badly injure my car. I still maintain first but my car is smokin like crazy (couldn’t think of a good metaphor). My car goes on fire. I’m nearing the finish line. I decide to try my luck and see if I can make it before the car explodes. After what seems like an eternity, I bail out of the car right as it crosses the finish line going crazy fast. My car careens down the street for only about 20 feet before blowing up right in front of me. I take the gold and live to tell the tale.
    As hollywood as it might sound, I did not make that up. It happened and it was friggin awesome!

  60. Pingback: ifightrobots.com » Grand Theft Auto IV: The best, and worst game ever made?

  61. Fox says:

    I don’t have GTA 4 yet, but one of my favourate things to do in San Andreas was to steal one of those goofy car transport trucks that look like ramps and park it on a highway. The AI maxes out their vehicle speed on the highway so you just stand back and watch them ramp over the truck, landing and exploding on impact. The best thing is that you get no stars for it.

    Another San Andreas favourate was to ram someone’s car at the lights so it nudges a cop car. The cop gets out and starts beating the shit out of the driver.

    Also in San Andreas you have to love the things that people say. Like the cops when they say “Put your hands up and spread ’em!”, while trying to shoot you in the face.

    The pussifeid 9mm is hilarious in the way that CJ says ‘ouch!’ when he gets shot, much like you would say after stubbing your toe on a curb.

  62. Allen says:

    My fave thing to do is cruise around till I see one of the aforementioned broken down cars (or just people loading shopping into their boot) and then I ram the guy leaning under the hood. The effect is wonderful. They fold up, the bonnet (boot lid) closes on them and they end up half hanging out of the car. Genius!

  63. EM says:

    hi, does anyone know how to catch the bus, without hijacking it. in the previous games it let you be a taxi driver or a pizza delivery guy, i just wanted to know if i can do this in this game. please help :)lol

  64. LinZi says:

    Keep up the fantastic work! Look forward to reading more from you in the future. I think it will be also nice if you add “send to email” tool so people can forward the articles to their friends easily.

  65. AmmoBait says:

    Got two stories that I can remember from GTA IV. I was playing in the lobby, best way I can describe it, in multiplayer with a friend. I jacked a helicopter and landed it on a building. When I got back inside the helicopter the tail broke off, undeterred I lifted off. The only thing I could really do was spin in circles and try to luck my way into flying in the direction I wanted. I kept at it until I was over some water then bailed out, thinking the water would save my from death. Well, the chopper decided to dip just a little when I bailed. The next thing I know, one of the blades is cutting into my guts killing me instantly.

    When I first started playing the game I would head straight over to the hospital, nearest the first safehouse. I turned the entrance into a killing field for any cops that would come in. After an hour or so, I was feeling pretty good about myself, deciding to step out and get some fresh air. At this time I notice a marshal hiding behind some cars. As I’m about to riddle his body with bullets, I see a puff of smoke come from him, puzzled I stare at the guy and try to figure out what it is he just did. My mental conversation being, “Did he shoot a rocket at me? I don’t see the rocket. Was that a rocket? Do they have grenade launchers? What did he do?” I got my answer in the form of an explosion. I never saw the rocket, nor have I ever run into a rocket carrying officer again. The icing on the cake was the fact that instead of killing me, it shoved me under the ground where I proceded to slowly drown in the void. My recorded distance for the “fall” was over 300 miles. My thought after that was, “Why didn’t I get an achievement for that!?”

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