Since some time now I have bought GTA 4 for my XBox 360 and its is far better then I expected, but before I begin my review lets look back on the previous GTA-games and what I personally think about them.
I really enjoyed GTA 1 and 2, and even though many people have mostly forgotten about those 2D-classics, in my opinion they were still the best incarnation of GTA. GTA 3 wasn't a bad game in my opinion, but it was really over-hyped at the time. Even though it was the first true 3D-installment it never really appealed to me. The graphics were too cartoonish, you couldn't even shoot through the front window of a car, and it was just getting boring too quickly I think. Vice City I have to admit I never really played thoroughly so I can't say too much about that. When San Andreas came out it really annoyed me since it was yet another stand-alone modification of GTA 3 in disguise. The graphics were still practically the same, the characters still looked like cartoon-characters and the overall story and gameplay wasn't good enough to keep me playing.
Since San Andreas I never really thought about GTA anymore, until GTA 4 came out. It was kinda funny as well since at the time of San Andreas I read in a interview with developer Rockstar that San Andreas was going to be their last GTA-game. I guess popular demand forced them to make another GTA-game, and I have to say I'm glad they did. This game has worked out a lot of mistakes from the previous GTA-games. For the first time if a car is locked, your character will automatically smash the window in to enter the car. Weapons feel a lot more realistic this time, and the overall atmosphere is more realistic as well which was a great plus for me. Speaking of realism; the game also features ragdoll-physics for the very first time which is very cool.
The story is in my opinion the best in GTA, along with the various places you can visit to hang out with NPC's to play some darts, pool, or bowling. Even though the voice-acting gets a bit corny here and there, it still manages to impress. Overall cruising around the city is more fun as well, and where the people on the streets in previous GTA-games had only a few animations and lines, the people in GTA all react different. Sometimes somebody walks on the street with a ice-cream, or a box and if you happen to bump into him/her he/she drops it on the floor. These small details add to the overall realistic feel. The details on the cars are insane. For example if you smash your car against a road-sign, you will see a significant hole in your car. You also again have a wide selection of radio-channels available.
It goes without saying that every GTA-fan will most probably love this game. To me, the game is even better since the last GTA-games just didn't impress me that much and overall weren't really my cup of tea. Its not just the graphics that are worked out better in part 4, but the overall atmosphere and gameplay are a lot better as well. Highly recommended!
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