Drinking is an activity in GTA IV that can be done with the player's friends or girlfriends. Drinking cannot be done when the player is by himself.
The cost of drinking in a bar is between $50-$100, depending on the "class" of the bar. When visiting a bar with friends and girlfriends, a cutscene will show them going in the bar. Afterwards, both of them will appear outside the bar, drunk. When drunk, there is some conversation between the charactes, who will sometimes reveal other aspects of their personality. Frequently, the conversation may become an argument and Niko will tell the other person to be quiet. While drunk, Niko will stumble and sometimes fall to the ground, the same as the person who is with him. He will also be unable to walk in a straight line, run, jump, draw a weapon or fight. Vision will also become blurry and the camera will move irregularly. The intoxication wears off after a while, and if another activity is done after drinking or after dropping off the other person at their house, Niko will become sober again after about 10 seconds.
If the player gets into a vehicle while drunk, Niko will remark that doing so is not a good idea (only Niko Bellic will say this, because when Johnny Klebitz gets on his bike, a short cutscene will follow, showing his friends saying they had a good time and driving off, and then Johnny's intoxication will wear off soon).
If Niko is driving while intoxicated and the police see him he will get a one star wanted level. Driving while drunk also becomes difficult because Niko will not be able to see clearly and control the vehicle properly.
The Ballad Of Gay Tony
Uniquely, in the Ballad of Gay Tony, Luis has the option to drink for free at either Hercules or Maisonette 9 at the bar. As he drinks successive shots, Luis will become increasingly drunk until, finally, he collapses in a heap and blacks out.
This leads to Luis randomly waking up somewhere around Liberty City, often in places that are either hard to get to or simply odd. Some locations include:
- Inside the Statue of Happiness.
- In mid-air, falling with a parachute from a great height.
- On top of the skip in the middle of Star Junction.
- In Middle Park
- In a dumpster
Drinking can be done at any of these bars accessible by the protagonist and their friends:
- Comrades Bar, Broker
- Steinway Beer Garden, Dukes
- Jerkov's Bar, Algonquin
- Lucky Winkles, Algonquin
- Club Liberty, Algonquin
- Rockstar Games didn't include an animation for the player getting into a vehicle while drunk - if Niko is entering a vehicle, instead of stumbling around, he will instantly become "sober" for a few seconds while the normal car entering sequence goes. The camera, however, still moves irregularly.