*As seen via other posts, I have "reviewed" GTA 4 despite only playing about six hours on it at the time. This post is an update for the review using the opinion I have gathered through rigorous playing*
I've played about 60% of story now and I have to say that it's top-notch stuff. The plots come thick and fast not depending on which person you choose to help/get employment from. And it's an interesting, grabbing story that makes you want to plow through it and see out Niko's adventure in Liberty City. A highlight was robbing a bank with the McRearys with the action, emotion and adrenaline of being chased by the cops, and other things besides, it makes you see through Niko's eyes... I even got to the point, after a six hour gaming session on this game, that I started thinking in Niko Bellic's voice. I'm not knocking it, the Russian accent is up there as one of the best, but it's alarming to think how attached you get to a fictional character.
An update of the game play includes that the buttons become second nature and do not feel unresponsive after playing it for such a long time. I am better at driving despite not being in complete control of the vehicle at all times... Yet the variety of cars is something that should definitely be commended (pick up trucks, family saloons, fire engines, police cars, ambulances, lorries, rubbish truck, convertibles, muscle cars and, obviously my favourites, sports cars) with the option to steal pretty much any vehicle... with a bit of an aversion due to the police liking to chase you for a few minutes if they see you committing the crime, leading to bumps, scrapes and (in extreme circumstances) the vehicle blowing up and killing anyone in a ten metre radius.
The array of weapons at my disposal soon increased after my last "review" and I had fun with automatic and semi-automatic machine guns, grenades, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and, of course, my trusty pistol. Due to it's accuracy, the pistol has always been my favourite since I first compared it to other guns. It's also easy to find ammunition with most of the police officers using the same make of pistol (luckily enough). I still listen to Liberty Rock Radio with their classics but I may use other stations if I forget to change it to LRR when I commit grand theft auto.
The criticisms that I wrote in the last "review" were somewhat harsh to GTA IV; "the camera
angles when driving are always too far or too near... A middle ground would be
nice. You can die really easily which sucks at the start when you have to pay
to get healed up. It's a bit unrealistic when you date girls and they say it's
been an OK date despite the fact that you've totalled her car... Also, when I
try to cross a bridge there's always a police barricade there and they always
kill me as I go past... Is that normal for the start of the game?"
There are retorts to each one with driving getting easier due to the amount of time spent cruising around in vehicles plus the use of pressing B giving a cinematic look to driving. You can indeed die easily at the start of the game, but as it progresses you learn to buy/obtain body armour... Not to mention that the cover system allows you to not get shot as much *face palm*. The date/totalling car part is still true... But hey, it makes it a bit easier to "hook up", as someone like me wouldn't say. And the police barricades are usually only there so that you unlock islands as the story progresses yet there are make-shift police barricades that are used in an attempt to stop you/slow you down during police chases, however these are not permanent.
And now for a final conclusion; 10/10 definitely. I couldn't rate it highly enough and even if I could, it probably wouldn't be enough. On a par with Skyrim too. And that's the highest honour I can bestow upon GTA IV.