GTA IV: Gaming supremacy

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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Being a criminal shouldn’t be this fun.

Nor should it cost you $60, take up all of your time or fail you out of school.

But if those things don’t bother you, go right ahead and pick up Grand Theft Auto IV – much to the chagrin of your overbearing parents and of every single activist group in the country that complains about what goes on in these games. PETA is the only group that hasn’t yet; but just wait, it’s sure to come soon enough.

Here’s someone who won’t complain, though: myself, and every other person who ever plays or simply lays eyes on this game. Because, quite simply, it’s the best game ever made.

It makes the first three games in the series look like garbage, which is a bold statement considering how good they each were. It could be argued that not only is GTA IV the greatest single-player game ever made but one of the better multiplayer games as well.

GTA IV has it all: great graphics, a gripping storyline, incredibly-addictive gameplay and amazing online game modes. The single-player game will take approximately 40 hours to complete – and that’s if you don’t screw around (literally and figuratively) and stick solely to the missions. That, combined with the fantastic multi-player (there are over 10 different online games you can play) make this game original and playable for years on end.

Everyone who has played GTA knows how fun it is. But one of the things that makes this game so special is the storyline. You play as Niko Bellic, a foreigner who comes to America searching for an end to his crooked ways, a new start and the American Dream.

Niko’s cousin, Roman, promises him money, expensive cars, girls and the perfect mansion with the white picket fence. Well, not so much. Immediately, Niko finds out that it was all a lie, and he gets involved with organized crime again – robbing banks, performing hits and committing just about every crime imaginable for the mafia for himself and for other shady characters.

We later learn that Niko is really looking for someone in Liberty City (which is based on New York and looks and feels just like it), but I won’t spoil who that person is. Find out for yourself. Trust me, it’s worth it.

As an objective reporter, I’m looking for something negative to say about this game. I have nothing. The only downfall I can see is that Niko is an awful driver, making it difficult to navigate the city when the cops and SWAT Teams are chasing after you. But he’s supposed to be a bad driver, and it just makes the game – which is extremely tough, as it is – even more challenging.

Speaking of getting away from the police, GTA IV provides a new-and-improved method for evading them and ducking out of trouble. The six-star system remains; but once in trouble, all you must do is drive out of their jurisdiction.

The new shooting system – and you will be shooting a lot – is vastly improved. The gun locks onto the targets seamlessly, and the new “duck and shoot” animation allows you to take cover when in the midst of a classic shootout with police or other gangsters.

I guess what makes this game so great are the little things: the reactions from people when you steal their cars, Niko’s accent and bad-ass attitude, leaving the bars drunk after a date, stumbling around and the new cell phone feature that really adds to the gameplay.

There are some great titles out there in video game history: Zelda, Mario Kart, Golden Eye, Halo II, Call of Duty 4, Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid and many others. This game takes an AK47 and pretty much destroys all of them.

The disclaimer on the game says the following: Intense Violence, Blood, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Partial Nudity, Use of Drugs and Alcohol.

Now, that’s the American Dream.

Eli Rosenswaike can be reached at [email protected]