GTA 4 was the first GTA title to enter the HD universe, and Oh Boy! it did it perfectly. With the Ragdoll physics, improved AI, and reactive combat. It was one of Rockstar’s masterpieces and most innovative games which received 98/100 from Metacritic.
The sad take on being a poor person trapped in the bleak tunnels of The American Dream as the rich get stupider, crueler, and richer spoke to me in GTA IV. You’ve undoubtedly read a hundred articles about Grand Theft Auto IV and The American Dream. I remember playing it for hours on my friend’s PC and immersing myself in Liberty City.
The game’s environment was dark and kinda depressing in a way unlike previous entries like San Andreas and Vice City which were much colorful and resplendent. GTA 4 was more like a mature game if that makes sense.
Grand Theft Auto IV excels at creating something uncommon in open-world games: a thematically coherent experience that tells a tale. The attention to detail in the game was also next level even, recent titles like Cyberpunk 2077 can’t match them. There was an actual phone in the game which the main character used to take missions and make/receive calls. This concept was further taken in GTA 5.
The difference between San Andreas and GTA 4 is mind-boggling. Between the two games, the resolution, graphical fidelity, environment intricacy, and physics make inconceivable leaps. Grand Theft Auto 5 is technically superior in all of these aspects, yet it is a refinement of the fourth game’s foundation. Grand Theft Auto 4 earns special recognition for breaking new territory and setting the bar for all open-world games to follow.
The narrative of GTA 5 feels more like a standard Grand Theft Auto story, whereas the fourth game benefits from its status as an exception. Even though the dark tone goes against the joyful nature of open-world games, it manages to enhance the experience.
Yes, Grand Theft Auto V is a massive technical and aesthetic achievement that dwarfs GTA IV in terms of contents and enjoyable activities to partake in. Vice City and III, in particular, were fantastic games that revolutionized the medium.
However, to me, Grand Theft Auto IV is the most important Grand Theft Auto because it’s a high-budget game made by one of the most successful developers that go all-in on creating an experience about wandering, sympathetic souls doing terrible things and making difficult choices to survive in a rough world. It launched GTA to the world of HD.
GTA 4 was way ahead of its time. It’s sad to see it is not remembered as much as San Andreas and Vice City. The game certainly had its flaws. I didn’t like the driving mechanisms of the game and the missions were not varied as they were in San Andreas this flaw was improved in GTA 5. But this can’t deny the fact that GTA 4 was a masterpiece. I remember how I was blown away when I played this game for the first animations, the details Ooof!
It’s a game for all time. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the game “I Don’t Even Have A License!”