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Spoiler Warning: Plot details, ending details, or both are in the text which follows.
Spoiler Warning: Plot details, ending details, or both are in the text which follows.

Grand Theft Auto IV Main Theme (Michael Hunter - "Soviet Connection")

What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, the 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 and a living nightmare for those who don't.
— Official description.[1]

Grand Theft Auto IV (also known as GTA IV or GTA 4) is the eleventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series and the first game in the HD Universe of the series.

The game was developed by Rockstar North and was published and released by Rockstar Games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Originally intended for a fourth-quarter 2007 release, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions were released worldwide to widespread hype on April 29, 2008. GTA IV has subsequently been awarded the Gaming World Record of the Most Successful Entertainment Launch of All Time, and has received numerous other awards and accolades. The PC version was released on December 3, 2008. GTA IV and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City were released for Xbox One via backwards compatibility on February 9, 2017.

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Notes: Needs rewording in some areas.

Main article: Plot in GTA IV

The very first dialogue by Niko in the very first trailer for the game sets up the first notable immigrant protagonist, Niko Bellic, to enter the United States of America and make more critical analysis of American culture than previous main characters have done. Grand Theft Auto IV's deeper meaning circulates around Niko's own philosophy, and his clear, blunt critiques of American culture and life in general make the deeper ideas much easier to see and understand. Niko is normally shown to be in the right, but is also proven to be overly cynical, leaving interpretation open to the viewer. The game and its very complex plot deals with several themes:

As read on the packaging of the game, Rockstar Games asks "what does the American dream mean today?". Niko is cynical about America, saying "capitalism is a dirty business" and only people who are extremely greedy and/or born into wealth have any opportunity. Mikhail Faustin also laments before he dies that "America made him (Dimitri Rascalov) greedy! ...This American greed takes everyone! It is like a disease!". Niko mocks American stereotypes like "strip malls and clinical obesity" (as do the makers of the game by parodying concepts like post-9/11 hysteria and celebrity obsession). On the plus side, Roman Bellic, as well as other characters (Brucie Kibbutz, Bernie Crane, Ivan Bytchkov, and Hossan Ramzy among others) are optimistic about America and life in general, tend to do very well for themselves financially, and try in vain to encourage Niko to be more optimistic.

Grand Theft Auto series chronology of events
1961London 1961
1969London 1969
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas
1999Grand Theft Auto 2 (possibly)
2008Grand Theft Auto IV
2013Grand Theft Auto 2 (possibly)

The American Dream is also shown not to be promised to anyone, not even when they already live in America. Social circles all the way from Playboy X and Elizabeta Torres to Patrick McReary all have trouble making and responsibly saving money, not restricting it to any one nationality. Early on, The Beat 102.7 explains that their listeners "don't know how to manage their money yet!". Gerry McReary describes his family's spending habits as "Never any fucking focus! Never! ...Oh yeah, wine and women as quick as possible, and remain a slave forever". Packie eventually says after a mission "Well, Niko, that was a whole lot of effort for no fucking reward. Story of my life." to which Niko replies "It is the story of a lot of lives, Packie. I'm getting used to hearing it".

Grand Theft Auto IV has an extremely complex plot with a very long list of characters. It is also the first game in the HD Universe that allows the player to change the plot by making choices, which all have consequences. This creates an atmosphere where Niko is haunted and shadowed by his past actions wherever he goes. He tells Roman: "There is no such thing as a new beginning, Roman. With every day we live, we pick up new baggage, baggage we must carry with us for the rest of our lives. There's no dropping it and pretending we are fresh and clean, just because we get off a boat in a new place." Prime examples include his numerous encounters with Ray Bulgarin, most of the random characters, and working alongside Johnny Klebitz or Patrick McReary while he had, either by not having met them yet or circumstances beyond his control, killed someone close to them. In the finale, Niko feels the coffin of Kate or Roman, depending on the player's choice, on his conscience because of his criminal lifestyle, saying they "never should have gotten close to me". He is deeply depressed about being trapped in the criminal lifestyle (by a need of income), telling Kate McReary and others that he wishes he could leave it behind, but often adds that he knows he can't.

Main Characters:

  • Niko Bellic: The playable protagonist, through whose eyes the player sees the world of the game. He is morally upstanding and logical, despite his criminal life, but is often shown to have authority issues. He is also more cynical and pessimistic than is good for him. He seems to sort people into three categories:
  • Roman Bellic, Mallorie Bardas, Little Jacob, Brucie Kibbutz, Kate McReary, and Bernie Crane: The optimists, people Niko likes because of their positivity, and they all try in vain to encourage Niko to be more optimistic. Many are foolish and could be mistaken for comic relief, but they do offer pearls of wisdom about life and success, a realization that Niko must make at the same time. Other interesting cases are Ivan Bytchkov, and Hossan Ramzy, both recent immigrants like Niko but with much more confidence in the American way of life.
  • Patrick McReary, Gerald McReary, Derrick McReary, Dwayne Forge, Phil Bell and Jon Gravelli: The pessimists, people Niko likes because they have angst that he instinctively responds to. Packie and Dwayne especially become friends of Niko because of their shared struggle; Niko confides in Dwayne remarkably early in their relationship and tells him "you remind me of me". It's also notable that he relates well to Jon Gravelli and his bleak sense of humor, despite an enormous age gap, other lifestyle differences and Niko's traditional dislike of his bosses.
  • Michelle, Kate McReary, Carmen Ortiz, Kiki Jenkins and Alexandra Chilton; girlfriends Niko can date. Michelle and Kate are unlocked in the story mode; the other 3 must be met by the internet. Each girlfriend has their own opinions on what car they would like Niko to drive, what type of clothes he should wear and what type of places they should go to together. The 3 online girlfriends can give Niko a special ability once he pleases them enough in quality and quantity of date.

Voice Cast

Influences

Grand Theft Auto IV is heavily influenced by Russian gangster movies, such as Brother, and its sequel, Brother 2, and Niko Bellic's physical appearance is based on the character of Sasha, a Bulgarian sniper who works as a mercenary for the Bosnian-Serb Srpska paramilitary organization, from the movie Behind Enemy Lines.

Episodes

Two episodes have been released for Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360, and then released for PlayStation 3 and PC in April 2010. The Lost and Damned was released on February 17, 2009, and features biker Johnny Klebitz as the player character. The Ballad of Gay Tony was been released on October 29, 2009, with Luis Fernando Lopez as the protagonist. It was simultaneously released with the disc version of Episodes from Liberty City, which features both games. These episodes are set in the same city and time as GTA IV, and have many overlapping storylines, characters, and missions. They add new missions, characters, vehicles, weapons, and other gameplay features.

Complete Edition

Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition is the latest release of GTA IV on PC platforms that replaced the original game and its episodes on Steam, released on March 19, 2020 for Steam and Rockstar Games Launcher. The title was revealed by Rockstar Games on February 19th, after a month from GTA IV being removed from Steam on January 18th. Players who owned the previous version of GTA IV or its episodes automatically received GTA IV: Complete Edition with both games.

Rockstar Games reasoning behind pulling the game from Steam was due to Games For Windows Live, which was what was used on the Steam release of GTA IV for DRM and online multiplayer. The Games For Windows Live platform was no longer being supported by Microsoft and therefore wouldn't generate new game keys.

When the Complete Edition was announced, these were the changed stated:

Other announced details:

Timeframe

Although nothing in the game specifically reveals the exact month the events of the game take place, most evidence suggests that it may take place between April and September.

  • A number of trees have yellow-brown leaves (though some retain their green colour), hinting at the beginning of the autumn season (September in the Northern Hemisphere).
  • Although not a significant indication of the timeline of events, there are a few instances in the game when Niko is idle and the player can see his breath (especially when the weather is overcast or when it's raining). This could either suggest an autumnal setting, or it could be due to the game reflecting the climate of New York City during the very early spring.
  • Two calendars in Jimmy Pegorino's house and Luis Lopez's apartment are open on the month of April.

Development

Main article: Credits in GTA IV

Grand Theft Auto IV was developed by Rockstar North in conjunction with several other Rockstar studios.

Preliminary work on the game began in November 2004, a month after the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.[2] Rockstar president Sam Houser felt that following up San Andreas was "a nightmare".[3] Rockstar North, the core 220-person team behind the game, co-opted studios owned by parent company Rockstar Games to facilitate development between a full team of over 1,000,[4] including 50 employees at Rockstar NYC, 40 at Rockstar Lincoln, 10 at Rockstar San Diego, and around 600–700 working part-time internally and externally.[5] Some key members of the development team worked 12-hour days during production, often without holidays.[4] The team decided to continue the numbering scheme absent from the previous two main games to represent the same leap in production as Grand Theft Auto 2 to Grand Theft Auto III.[2] Development of Grand Theft Auto IV ceased by 21 April 2008 when the game was submitted for manufacturing.[6] Producer Leslie Benzies estimated that the budget of the development efforts exceeded US$100 million, making Grand Theft Auto IV one of the most expensive video games ever made.[4]

Research and Open World Design

The game's setting, Liberty City, is based on New York City. The team did not look at the previous renditions of Liberty City as inspiration, wanting it to retain the "general feel" but nothing else.[7] The map is roughly three times the size of 3D Universe rendition. The developers originally considered using the entire state of New York, before restricting it to Manhattan, and then expanding it out again. They considered including more suburbs with woods, and would regularly vote on which areas to include.[8] Art director Aaron Garbut said that the team chose the setting because of the detail and variety it provided, describing New York as "an amazing, diverse, vibrant, cinematic city".[9] Writer Dan Houser added that the team "wanted to be somewhere where we had a foothold" due to the amount of research required for the world; Rockstar Games's main headquarters are located in New York.[10] The team consciously avoided a precise recreation of New York City to allow for more enjoyable game design, selecting the areas that they felt "characterised it the best".[9] Garbut wanted to capture a caricature of the city as he felt that most people were familiar with "the highlights" from film or literature but did not need to know the areas precisely.[9] The city was not built with specific missions in mind; the area was created first, and missions implemented later.[11]

To achieve a realistic environment, 60–70 employees from Rockstar North travelled to New York for research: first at the beginning of the project in March or April 2005 for a week and a half,[8] and a smaller trip in 2007.[7] Police officers who previously worked the beat drove the team around Washington Heights.[8] A full-time research team based in New York handled further requests for information, such as the ethnic minority of a neighbourhood or videos of traffic patterns. Videos shot in New York were played on televisions at the Rockstar North offices "so while they worked they could look up and there was New York".[8] Benzies claimed that the team took over 100,000 photographs on location in New York,[4] though Garbut estimates that they took around 250,000.[7] They also studied architectural plans for apartments, used satellite images to determine city block layout, researched sales figures for models of cars, and read books that detailed the city's infrastructure, including its subways, sewers, and garbage disposal.[12]

Dan Houser described Liberty City as "the biggest character" of the game.[9] The Grand Theft Auto IV rendition of Liberty City is more detailed and larger in size than most earlier entries in the series; although smaller than San Andreas, the setting of the previous main game, the developers considered it comparable in scope due to city's verticality, number of buildings, and level of detail.[13] The team wanted less dead spots and irrelevant spaces, such as the wide open deserts in San Andreas. They wanted the game to be "a more focused experience" than San Andreas, and Dan Houser felt that the limited activities of New York allowed this.[2] The team felt that the addition of Niko's mobile phone added to the immersion of the world and represented society's shifted focus on phones.[2] The in-game brands and products are designed over several years; the billboards were implemented in the game around six months prior to release.[7]

Story and Character Development

The game's script, written by Dan Houser and Rupert Humphries, is about 1,000 pages.[4] Approximately 660 actors provided voices for the game over 80,000 lines of dialogue.[8] After conceiving the character and setting, Dan Houser spoke with his brother Sam Houser and Leslie Benzies to bounce story ideas before writing a rough synopsis, a six-paged, detailed document. Once the synopsis was reworked, the designers broke it into missions, represented by a large flow document demonstrating each section. The writers then work on the introductions to the missions; the gameplay dialogue comes much later. Unlike previous Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto IV does not have cinematic influences. "We were consciously trying to go, well, if video games are going to develop into the next stage, then the thing isn't to try and do a loving tribute or reference other stuff," said Dan Houser. He said that the writers wanted something "fresh and new and not something that was obviously derived from [a] movie".[10] Dan Houser felt that the quality of the writing had to improve alongside the advancements in graphics and technology. He noted that the improvements in facial animation allowed for slower-paced cutscenes. The unique dialogue that plays when a mission is retried was to ensure that the gameplay felt "less canned and less like Groundhog Day".[9]

Dan Houser described Niko Bellic as "a more rounded character" than those in previous games. He felt that his dual personality—often saving innocent people, while also being a "cold-hearted killer"—made him more relatable. He also felt that Niko's unfamiliarity with Liberty City allowed for the player to relate to him more, only driven by his vague past and relationship with Roman. When deciding on Niko's background, the writers felt that being an immigrant could lead to more dangerous situations, and therefore more enjoyable missions; after discussions with criminal experts, Dan Houser found that "the real scary characters are not born in America anymore". He felt that Niko's outsider view of American culture was "fun".[9] The team wanted Niko to be "more of an anti hero than a hero, capable of making positive actions within his criminal world". They wanted his demeanour to reflect the weight of his past and choices.[14]

Niko's design underwent a few changes, but was finalized early in development.[15] His outfit underwent several changes based on Eastern Europeans, particularly photographs of men fighting in winter wars in Yugoslavia and Chechnya. The primary motivation for the design was a face to convey the appropriate emotions and a body that could move nicely with the new animations.[9] The in-game purchasable outfits were also designed to fit with the character.[2] The team ensured that the gameplay choices presented to the player were not too extensive, as they still had to make sense to the character, who is driven by the people around him. Dan Houser felt that the missions in San Andreas had become too linear, and wanted to present choices to the player in Grand Theft Auto IV.[9]

The writers found that Niko needed a motivation to come to America, so they created his cousin, Roman Bellic. Dan Houser felt that the two could not be brothers as there would be a deeper level of familiarity than necessary. He described the two as a double act, with Roman's fantasist charm playing off Niko's tough cynicism. The team gave other non-playable characters (NPCs) more definable behaviours and dialogue to make them feel more alive. The writers initially considered having a smaller group of characters, but found that the story became boring and that players were less likely to explore the world. The stranger characters found in the game world were based on the "crazy people" that populate New York, according to Dan Houser, which in previous games were only able to be captured through radio stations or mild pedestrian behaviours.[7] The team based the ethnicities, clothing, and behaviours of the NPCs on the photographs and videos that they captured around New York, divided into different areas;[9] they created mood boards for each location.[7] The NPCs also converse in different languages.[8]

Art Design

Grand Theft Auto IV sees a shift in the series to a more realistic and detailed style and tone, partly a result of the transition to consoles which offered high-definition graphics and the new and improved capabilities of such consoles. The development team worked to represent the upgrade in quality across all design aspects while maintaining the coherence of the previous games. The team took the game's development as an opportunity to "strip things back and start again", refining the art style without losing the style of the series;[9] they distanced the game from the "cartoon-like style" of its predecessors while creating a new style that was consistent across all aspects of the game. Garbut found the increased demand of detail brought on by the advanced technology daunting. A technique used to make the visuals look real was to avoid harsh edges, instead blending surfaces together to make the world look dirty and lived-in. The props department created multiple variations of different objects to make the world more interesting and unique.[9] Grand Theft Auto IV was the first contemporary game in the series since 2001's Grand Theft Auto III; the team felt that enough time had passed to avoid feeling repetitive.[2] The types of in-game vehicles were decided upon early in development, after which the vehicles department begin creating the designs. The vehicles are not based on specific real-life counterparts, but take elements from several, with some original ideas by the developers.[11]

Technical and Gameplay Design

The proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) was used for the game.[16] Garbut found Grand Theft Auto IV's technical design similar to Grand Theft Auto III's, with both games being the first in the series to be released on their respective platforms. He claimed that an operable game engine was not finalised until late in development, at which point "there's still plenty of guesswork" until optimisation near release.[11] The character's physical performances were recorded using motion capture. Up to eight actors could perform on the motion capture stage at one time, each dressed in a full suit. The camera used to capture the performance included a teleprompter for the actors to read their scripts.[17] Over a hundred moves would be captured in each day of production. The final product was taken from different performances by different actors to make them appear seamless and appropriate. The voice work by one actor could be composited over a different actor's physical performance for a specific outcome. The in-game animations were crafted similarly, using a combination of different motion capture performances.

For the gameplay and animations, the team redid a lot of the work from previous games, wanting Grand Theft Auto IV to "feel next-generation".[9] The role-playing elements from San Andreas were removed fairly early in development, partly due to the animation work it would have required, and because consistently needing to visit the gym felt antithetical to Niko's motivations. The game's targeting system was one of the first focuses of development due to the advanced technology; the team wanted it to feel realistic without being too technical. The cover system was a "natural addition" to the targeting.[2] Benzies described the multiplayer as the hardest part of the game's development.[5] The team wanted the multiplayer to feel like an extension of the cinematic single-player experience. Dan Houser described it as "a section of a film rather than the whole narrative". The developers considered adding co-operative multiplayer to the main story campaign, but decided it worked better as a single-player experience.[2]

When Sam Houser first showed interest in using the Euphoria software in the game, he was told that it would be impossible or only limited to cutscenes, but some members of the team were able to make it work. Engineers from NaturalMotion worked on-site at Rockstar North for several months at a time to incorporate Euphoria software into the game. Rockstar also worked with Image Metrics for the game's facial animations. The facial rigs had around 100 joints, with a total of 300 minutes of facial animation. The scale of the project caused some issues for the animators, forcing them to have rigs completed before animation began. They also faced difficulty in the direction of the actor's head—either straight on when looking at the teleprompter, or down when looking at a script. Image Metrics head of production David Barton noted that "having realistic eyes is 90 percent of the battle", as it allows the player to believe the character. A head camera was used when recording to capture facial movements.[17] SpeedTree was used for in-game environment rendering.[18]

Music Production

When selecting music for the in-game radio stations, music supervisor Ivan Pavlovich said "[we had] to pick the songs that make New York today what it is, but make sure they won't feel dated by the time the game comes out."[19] The developers contacted over 2,000 people in order to obtain recording and publishing rights;[20] they hired a private investigator to locate the relatives of late Skatt Bros. member Sean Delaney to license the band's song, "Walk the Night".[21] Billboard reported that Rockstar paid as much as $5,000 per composition and another $5,000 per master recording per track.[22] Developers originally considered letting players purchase music in an in-game record shop and for Niko to have an MP3 player, but both ideas were cut.[20] DJ Green Lantern produced tracks exclusively for the game's hip-hop radio station The Beat 102.7.[22] Record label owner and record producer Bobby Konders, who hosts the in-game radio station Massive B Soundsystem 96.9, flew to Jamaica to get dancehall artists to re-record tracks to make references to the boroughs of Liberty City.[22] The Housers's father, jazz musician Walter Houser, provided several classical music tracks for the game.

Reception

Upon release, Grand Theft Auto IV was met with overwhelmingly critical acclaim and commercial success.

Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 versions

IGN awarded the game with a perfect 10/10, with Hilary Goldstein of IGN feeling that the game "sets a new benchmark for open-world games".

GameSpot also awarded the game with a perfect 10/10; former GameSpot employee Jeff Gerstmann praised the narrative and the characters (more particularly, Niko himself) stating that he's "the only thing that mattered to him" as he progressed through the story, with the character becoming one of his favorite parts about GTA IV.

GamesRader+ awarded the game with a perfect 5 stars out of 5, ending their long review with the statement: "Not only does it go a long way to fixing the problems of previous games but it maintains a level of 'class' and true innovation that other game designers in this genre strive for but never quite reach."

GameInformer awarded the game with a perfect 10/10. Andrew Reiner said is his review that "Grand Theft Auto IV doesn’t just raise the bar for the storied franchise; it completely changes the landscape of gaming. Once you play it, you won’t look at video games the same way again."

Eurogamer and Edge awarded the game with a perfect 10/10.

Computer and Video Games awarded the game with a near-perfect 9.5/10.

1UP+.com awarded the game with a A+ ranking.

Metacritic awarded the game with 98/100 and it is to this day the highest rated Grand Theft Auto game in the series, and it is widely regarded by many as one of the greatest video games of all time.

In 2014, WatchMojo placed Grand Theft Auto IV at the #4 spot in their "Top 10 Grand Theft Auto Games" list countdown, and at the #1 spot in their "Every Grand Theft Auto Game Ranked" video over on their sister channel MojoPlays in 2021.

PC version

The PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV was met with the same critical acclaim as the consoles versions, albeit lower.

Metacritic awarded the game with 90/100, with reviewers praising the enhanced visuals and the new features while criticizing the port inferiority.

The addition of the Video Editor was met with positive reactions; GameSpot's Calvert called it "a great way to get creative", while Kieron Gillen of Eurogamer criticized the unpredictability in its timing.

Critics also praised the addition of the customizable radio station, which allows players to listen to their own choice of music; Tom Chick of 1UP.com named it the best feature of the port, and Steven Hopper of GameZone called it a "great touch".

The port's enhanced visuals were commended by many reviewers. GameZone's Hopper considered the visuals an improvement over the original versions. Andy Robinson of Computer and Video Games called the visuals "impressive", while Tom Orry of VideoGamer.com called them "superb". Conversely, the port's system requirements, considered difficult to run with advanced settings, received criticism. Eurogamer's Gillen said that, though the Windows version is "the most attractive version", it's "annoyingly fiddly to get there". GameSpy's Tuttle was able to overlook the demanding system requirements in exchange for the game's other features.


Sales

Grand Theft Auto IV has sold over 25 millions copies, and despite selling slightly worse then Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, it was still considered as a commercial blockbuster.

Accolades

Date Award Category Recipient(s) and Nominee(s) Result
25 July 2008 IGN's Best of 2008 Best Action Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 July 2008 IGN's Best of 2008 Best Graphics Technology Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 July 2008 IGN's Best of 2008 Best Use of Sound Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 July 2008 IGN's Best of 2008 Best Voice Acting Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 July 2008 IGN's Best of 2008 Best Story Grand Theft Auto IV Won
7 August 2008 G4 G-Phoria2008 Best New Character Niko Bellic Won
7 August 2008 G4 G-Phoria 2008 Best Action Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
7 August 2008 G4 G-Phoria 2008 Longest Lasting Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 October 2008 26th Annual Golden Joystick Awards BBC Radio 1Xtra Soundtrack of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 October 2008 26th Annual Golden Joystick Awards ARVATO Xbox Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
3 November 2008 Time The Top 10 Everything of 2008: Top 10 Video Games Number 1 Video Game of 2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Won
2 December 2008 The New York Times Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
7 December 2008 IGN AU's 10 Best Games of 2008 Best Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
16 December 2008 Spike TV Video Game Awards 2008 Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
16 December 2008 Spike TV Video Game Awards 2008 Best Action Adventure Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
16 December 2008 Spike TV Video Game Awards 2008 Best Performance by a Human Male Michael Hollick as Niko Bellic Won
17 December 2008 GameSpy Game of the Year 2008 Best Story Grand Theft Auto IV Won
17 December 2008 GameSpy Game of the Year 2008 Character of the Year Brucie Kibbutz Won
24 December 2008 TeamXbox Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best Action/Adventure Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
24 December 2008 TeamXbox Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best Story Grand Theft Auto IV Won
24 December 2008 TeamXbox Game of the Year Awards 2008 Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 December 2008 Giant Bomb Golden Anniversary Year-End Awards Extravaganza Spectacular 2008 Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
25 December 2008 Giant Bomb Golden Anniversary Year-End Awards Extravaganza Spectacular 2008 Best Multiplatform Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
26 December 2008 GameSpot Best of 2008 Best UK-Developed Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
26 December 2008 GameSpot Best of 2008 Best New Character Brucie Kibbutz Won
26 December 2008 GameSpot Best of 2008 Best Xbox 360 Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 December 2008 GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008 Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 December 2008 GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best PlayStation 3 Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 December 2008 GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best Xbox 360 Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 December 2008 GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best Action Adventure Game Grand Theft Auto IV Won
31 December 2008 GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards 2008 Best Story Grand Theft Auto IV Won
5 January 2009 Kotaku's 2008 Games of the Year Awards Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
5 January 2009 Kotaku's 2008 Games of the Year Awards Best Writing Grand Theft Auto IV Won
July 2009 Entertainment Merchants Association Home Entertainment Awards – Video Games Action/Adventure Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won
July 2009 Entertainment Merchants Association Home Entertainment Awards – Video Games Video Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Won

Controversy

There was much controversy over Grand Theft Auto IV, continuing the tradition of controversy the series has always been associated with. Figures such as George Galloway, Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton harshly criticised the game; Clinton's likeness would parodied in the Statue of Happiness. New York City officials were also perturbed by the game's New York-inspired setting, though said officials have been accused of hypocrisy as countless crime dramas and action films have taken place in the city years before GTA IV was released.

The initial Australian and New Zealand releases of GTA IV was pre-censored with blood and sex scenes toned down; a patch was later released which uncensored the Australian console versions.

A number of real-world crime incidents were also blamed on GTA IV, namely a crime spree perpetrated by a band of teenagers in New Hyde Park, New York in 2008, and on the same year, an attempted carjacking in Thailand where an 18-year-old student murdered a taxi driver which police captain Veerarit Pipatanasak stated that the student "wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game", and when a 90-year old woman in Slaughter, Louisiana was shot and killed by her eight-year old grandson after playing the game.

Little Lacy Surprise was criticized by some outlets for promoting paedophilia. Although similar mentions of sexual deviancy were alluded to in the series lore, in no way does the game encourage or put players in the role of a sex offender. Visiting the site would merely lead to an instant five-star wanted level, as a possible parody of law enforcement response and raids against suspected paedophiles.

The drunk driving elements also courted controversy, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) calling for the game to be rated Adults Only, which would have de facto banned the game (as console manufacturers do not allow AO-rated media from being published). Rockstar refuted MADD's accusations, stating "We have a great deal of respect for MADD's mission, but we believe the mature audience for Grand Theft Auto IV is more than sophisticated enough to understand the game's content."

Updates

Main article: /Title Update Notes

Both the console and PC versions have had numerous updates and patches over the years.

End of Games For Windows Live support

In January 2020, Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City were temporarily removed from Steam due to end of support of Microsoft's Games for Windows Live platform. As a result, it became no longer possible to generate the additional keys needed to continue selling the PC version of the game.[23]

An updated single player-only release of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition was released on March 16, 2020 on Steam and the Rockstar Games Launcher. Besides omitting multiplayer functionality, certain songs were also removed from the game due to expiring licenses.

Existing versions could be optionally patched to update the base GTA IV or standalone Episodes From Liberty City to the all-inclusive GTA IV: The Complete Edition.

Game Information


Game Content



Game Features



Main Articles


Trivia

  • Grand Theft Auto IV is the first game in the GTA series to feature ragdoll physics.
  • The PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV has a glitch that doesn't allow the game to recognize video cards of 2GB or more, simply restricting the amount of video card memory usage to just under 1GB.
  • GTA IV appears to be the last game so far that restricts the player from the full map at the beginning of the game and require one to progress through the game to unlock new areas.
  • In the 2018 video game, Marvel's Spider-Man, there is a mission that involves Spider-Man tracking down an Eastern European named Niko who is planning to carry out a heist on a casino. The character mentions having a brother named Roman, a nod to Roman Bellic. Moreover, the mission giver is a Latina woman named Carmen, a possible nod to Carmen Ortiz. It's worth noting this game was released ten years after Grand Theft Auto IV and takes place in New York City, which Liberty City is based on.

Further Reading

Gallery

Screenshots

Main article: /Screenshots

Videos

Main article: /Videos

External Links


References

Navigation

[ ve ]Grand Theft Auto IV
LocationsLiberty City (Algonquin | Bohan | Broker | Dukes) | Alderney
CharactersCharacters | Niko Bellic | Roman Bellic | Vlad Glebov | Mikhail Faustin | Dimitri Rascalov | Brucie Kibbutz | Elizabeta Torres | Patrick McReary | Playboy X | Dwayne Forge | United Liberty Paper contact | Ray Boccino | Jimmy Pegorino
ContentMissions | Random characters | Friends | Girlfriends | Vehicles | Weapons | Clothing | Internet | Radio Stations | Safehouses | TV Shows
Information100% Completion | Achievements and Trophies | Cheats | Features | Trailers | Multiplayer
Episodes from Liberty CityThe Lost and Damned | The Ballad of Gay Tony
CrossoversDiamonds | Heroin | Impossible Trinity (Museum Piece, Collector's Item, and Not So Fast)
[ ve ]Grand Theft Auto series
Grand Theft AutoProtagonists | Liberty City (and New Guernsey) | San Andreas | Vice City | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: London
London 1969Protagonists | London | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
London 1961Protagonists | London | Manchester | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto 2Claude Speed/GBC Protagonists | Anywhere City (Downtown | Residential | Industrial) | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto IIIClaude | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityTommy Vercetti | Vice City | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasCarl Johnson | State of San Andreas (Los SantosSan FierroLas VenturasRed CountyFlint CountyWhetstoneBone CountyTierra Robada) | Characters | Missions | Gangs | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto AdvanceMike | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Soundtrack | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City StoriesToni Cipriani | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City StoriesVictor Vance | Vice City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto IVNiko Bellic | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Episodes from Liberty City
The Lost and DamnedJohnny Klebitz | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
The Ballad of Gay TonyLuis Fernando Lopez | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsHuang Lee | Liberty City | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto VMichael De Santa | Trevor Philips | Franklin Clinton | Southern San Andreas (Los Santos (County) | Blaine County) | State of North Yankton (Ludendorff) | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Weapons | Vehicles | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Grand Theft Auto OnlineGTA Online Protagonist (Crews | Organizations | Motorcycle Clubs) | Southern San Andreas (Los Santos (County) | Blaine County) | The Caribbean (Cayo Perico) | Missions | Jobs | Gangs | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Reputation (Arena Points | LS Car Meet) | Content Updates | Events | Achievements/Trophies | Awards
Grand Theft Auto VILucia | Unnamed male accomplice | State of Leonida (Vice-Dale County | Kelly County | Leonard County) | Characters | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
Collectibles | Multiplayer | Modifications | Controversy
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