Grand Theft Auto IV
|Grand Theft Auto IV|
Rockstar Toronto (PC)
Cyberfront (Japan PC)
29 April 2008
29 April 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV (also referred to as GTA IV or GTA4) is the eleventh Grand Theft Auto game in the series. The game was developed by Rockstar North, and will published and released by Rockstar Games.
The original release dates announced by Take-Two for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were October 16th 2007 in North America, and October 19th 2007 in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. However on August 2nd 2007, a press release was issued stating that the game had been pushed back to the second quarter of fiscal year 2008, which indicates a release of February, March, or April 2008. In November 2007, Take Two said they would only release GTA IV when it was complete, and were still not willing to set a firm release date. Although it was originally going to still be set in 2007, it was changed to be set in 2008
On January 24 2008, Rockstar announced the release date as 29th April 2008. "Developed by Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto IV will be simultaneously available for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and Playstation 3 computer entertainment system and will be in stores worldwide on April 29, 2008."
The game was relased to widespread hype and mysticality on 29th April 2008, scoring a unanimous set of perfect reviews. No PC version of the game has been announced, although one is expected a few months after the first release.
Grand Theft Auto IV is set in 2008 in a redesigned Liberty City based on New York. Niko Bellic is an Eastern European that has come to America to find a better life, following the the advice of his brother Roman. However, when he arrives, he finds that Roman has been lying - he isn't rich, he isn't popular and he's actually in a load of trouble. Niko has been duped to solve Roman's problems, and soon ends up in trouble himself.
GTA IV is powered by Euphoria, Endorphin physics engine. This new physics engine will give characters a "central nervous system" allowing more natural, unscripted movements. It will also add weight to each characters footsteps and cause them to transition when walking up, or down hills. The immense new graphics and effects will dwarf all previous GTA games. Although the size of the map is no bigger than San Andreas, the detail of the city has been enriched to a unique depth. There is no "wasted" open space, and every inch of the city tells a story.
There are no planes in GTA IV, since there is only one city and nowhere to travel to, but helicopters will be in the game.
Trailer 1: "Things Will Be Different"
The first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV was released on March 29, 2007 at 22:00 UTC. At the time the trailer was released, Rockstar's servers for the trailer's official website became almost immediately overloaded.
The trailer is 1:03 in length and features the main protagonist Niko Bellic, who has a brief monologue: "Life is complicated; I killed people, smuggled people, sold people. Perhaps here, things will be different." The trailer ends with the "IV" and fades out to the Rockstar logo.
The trailer features several New York City landmarks, including locations and structures resembling the Coney Island Cyclone, Times Square (Star Junction), the Statue of Liberty (Statue of Happiness), the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Building (branded as "GetaLife"). The trailer uses a similar cinematic style to Godfrey Reggio's 1982 documentary film Koyaanisqatsi and used Philip Glass's original music from the film (the opening and closing stanzas of the track "Pruitt-Igoe") as well as emulated time-lapsed filming from "The Grid".
Rockstar has stated that all the trailer's footage is in High-Definition 720p, generated real-time by the game's RAGE engine, running on an actual game console.
Trailer 2: "Looking For That Special Someone"
On 28 June 2007 at 12:00 EST, the second trailer was released, entitled Looking for that Special Someone. The Trailer is 1:06 in length and begins with many aerial shots of Liberty City before showing Niko in conversation who replies "We're all looking for that special someone". It also reveals Niko can hold on to the backs of vehicles and skids of helicopters, however it is unknown if these are user-controlled actions or are in cutscenes only. It also displays improved particle effects, particularly on weapons, and demonstrates the increased force of the police. Roman is also partly revealed in the second trailer, and unlike Niko he does not speak with an Eastern European accent. El Burro and 8-Ball make cameos as their game art is depicted as graffiti on a building opposite the Bank of Liberty, GTA Vice City motorcycle artwork is also apparent on the wall. Other recurring elements from the GTA series appear in the trailer as well; Binco, Sprunk, Burger Shot and Cluckin' Bell to name a few.
The song played in the second trailer is "Arm In Arm (Shy Child Remix)" by a New York-based band, The Boggs.
Trailer 3: "Move Up, Ladies"
The third trailer, entitled Move Up, Ladies, was released on 6th December 2007. This video contains a variety of dialogue and action sequences. The trailer was announced along with the unveiling of the official box art on 28th November 2007.
- Algonquin Bridge 2.jpg
An early screenshot of the game's protagonist, Niko Bellic from trailer 1
A screenshot showing off massively improved particle effects in trailer 2
"Life is complicated. I killed people. Smuggled people. Sold people. Perhaps here, things will be different." These words, tellingly and optimistically spoken by Grand Theft Auto IV's protagonist, Niko Bellic, don't just speak of a tarnished soul that sees opportunity in a new city. They point directly to the future of the series.
Like Bellic, Grand Theft Auto is travelling to a place where many people have gone to find the so-called 'American Dream'. Some people call it the Capital of the World. Others have learned that it is the City That Never Sleeps. No matter what you call it, New York City is a place where anything can happen. It is the biggest stage in the world, and the perfect place to usher in the next step for the series.
Liberty City recreates four of the five boroughs that make up NYC plus New Jersey in a smaller space than San Andreas, but with no wasted "dead spots" or "irrelevant space" such as expanses of desert or countryside. Brooklyn has become Broker, Manhattan is Algonquin, Queens is Dukes, Bronx is Bohan and New Jersey is Alderney. Staten Island, the only area of New York not recreated in Liberty City was left out due to Rockstar deciding it would not be a fun location to play in.
New York City is not designed for video games, and Liberty City is not designed for real life. GTA IV is meant to feel like the world but still play like a video game. "We are trying to make this something that is more fun, more believable, more alive than it's ever been". Dan Houser stated that no one has attempted to recreate a location of this size, and with so much detail, ever before.
GameInformer explains that this rendition of Liberty City is more like the real one than ever before, setting aside the wild rumours that it could be set in Europe, across the entire world, or even in space. Liberty City has the Statue of Happiness (Statue of Liberty), The Getalife building (Metlife) and BOABO - Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass (DUMBO - Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).
There will be a much wider range of pedestrians, with massively varied behaviour in context with their environment. Some peds smoke, some are on the phone, some are sitting down reading - much more realistic than peds just walking down the street and bumping into each other. The characters will also be a lot more multicultural than previously, exemplifying the metropolitan culture of NYC.
The visual effects of the game will be massively enhanced - the rising and setting sun will reflect off glass and light up details on buildings; the streets will have potholes and rubble. Variations in terrain are reflected in the way people walk over it. Rockstar have expanded massively on detail rather than size.
There will be no flyable planes in GTA IV because it is just one city, which you would traverse too quickly in a plane. Also, disk space is a factor in their omission. This may be also be to prevent the game being seen as a terrorism simulator. However, players will be able to pilot helicopters in the game.
- The character Niko will not be customizable besides a wide range of clothing - Rockstar said they got Niko's physics just right and found it was difficult to implement character customisation with regards to this.
- Rockstar haven't yet decided how to make use of Sony's SIXAXIS controller for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
- Aside from the initial startup, there is no loading in the game. Transitions between outdoors and indoors are seamless.
- Texture Popping (where buildings and foliage load suddenly) will no longer occur, due to the completely overhauled graphics engine.
- There will be 4 views, including one in a vehicle where the player can look around in first-person mode.
- Weather effects are no longer merely for show - they will affect gameplay, such as how cars drive
- Nikos mobile phone is a strong tool throughout the game, allowing him to call the police, send/receive texts (SMS) and even listen to radio
- Vehicles have in-built GPS systems to help you plan routes
- You can access the police database to find photos and addresses of targets, which is also searchable by uploading a photo from your phone
The basic plot is Niko Bellic coming to America because he believes his Cousin Roman is living the American Dream. But when Niko arrives in Liberty City, he finds that Roman has been lying - he isn't rich, he isn't popular and he's actually in a load of trouble. Players follow Niko from the moment he steps into Liberty City. Niko has been duped to solve Roman's problems, and he ends up in trouble himself.
However, the biggest change from the GTA III Era is the completely free storyline. In previous games, a lot of things could be done at any time (or after being unlocked) but there was still a linear structure to the game - as in you had to follow the exact series of missions complete the game. In GTA IV, this will be much more free in the sense that the player can choose to perform any of a wide range of missions at any time. Many missions will even have multiple possible outcomes. The use of Niko's mobile phone is said to be the way you set up "meetings" and contacts give you a mission.
The mob will be featured in the game, though they won't be lead characters. Additionally, 'hardly any' of the characters from previous games will return. Dan Houser stated in the PlayStation Official Magazine UK that "most of the characters we liked were dead," meaning that a lot of the exciting characters and bosses died within the events of the GTA III Era, so bringing back a cast of only the surviving characters would not be as exciting as creating new ones. Although not confirmed, it is probable that only a small number of unimportant characters will return, and that we will not be seeing Carl Johnson or Tommy Vercetti in GTA IV.
- Characters in GTA IV
- Vehicles in GTA IV
- Weapons in GTA IV
- Radio Stations in GTA IV
- Liberty City in GTA IV
- GTA4 Wishlist
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