I Love Liberty City: A Grand Theft Auto 4 Retrospective

I was browsing Metacritic.com today, and noticed that Grand Theft Auto IV is still the highest rated Xbox 360 game out on the market. It got me thinking, "How come GTAIV is the best rated game of the Xbox 360? What makes it so popular?" So I sat down and thought about the first time I played the game, and it made me realize that is why it is the highest rated game. It is an incredible game. Sure, some people think it is a crappy game, and I’ll admit it is far from perfect, but the game is still one of the best ever.


In just a few days, Grand Theft Auto IV will hit its two year anniversary. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time, but in the gaming world, two years means a lot. New games come out, better technology and graphics, new features for Xbox Live. But as it still stands right now, GTA4 is still way better than most games out there now. I’ve come up with a few reasons for this.


#1: Location, location, location!

The city of Liberty City in GTA4 is the best part of GTA4. Rockstar created such a believable city. It is awesome watching people interact in the world. Also, all of the detail in the world is just incredible. When it rains at night, light reflects off of the street and makes it harder to drive. The attention to detail on the buildings make it seem like you are in the real New York. Cars look amazing, especially when you wreck them to oblivion. Every little detail in the world is what draws you in, and there hasn’t been a game since that has pulled me into the world since GTA4. I have a feeling that the next game to do it is Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar are masters at making believable worlds.


#2: Story Time!

I once got yelled at for saying that Grand Theft Auto IV has a movie quality storyline. Like a good movie, not a crappy B movie from the 70′s. I’m talking about a great, rise to riches movie. I got yelled at for saying Grand Theft Auto IV has a movie-like storyline. But I believe it does. Every aspect of the story is very tight; there aren’t any places to get lost in the story. The dialogue is also extremely well written. And some of the action sequences that the story takes you through are extremely spectacular.


#3: "Can you hear me now?"

Ahh, the phone. Some people loved it, many people hated it. I hate to say it, but I loved the phone. I thought it was an excellent addition to the gameplay. I will admit that it does get a little annoying when someone is calling you every five minutes to go bowling or play pool, but it is also easy to hit the ignore button. Call me crazy, but sometimes I enjoyed the little mini-games you could do with the other characters in the game. It was a nice break from all the murdering and car-jacking…


#4: Gather your friends

GTA4 was the first game to include online multiplayer in a Grand Theft Auto game, and it was awesome. The action online was just like the single player, except instead of one guy running around with M16s and rocket launchers, 16 other players were running around as well. This made for some crazy moments online, especially in the Free Mode gametype. Free Mode might just be the greatest idea for multiplayer ever. It took all the fun you had while running around the city in single player, and added the option of doing that with your friends. No mission or goals, just you and your buddies causing havoc on Liberty City. It is just amazingly fun.


I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. All of this talking about the game makes me want to go play GTA4 again. What do you guys think of GTA4?