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May 23, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV - PS3 Review Page 1
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
29/4/2008RockstarRockstarRockstar North12-16
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Riding a motorbike through the streets.
To know how big Grand Theft Auto IV is for Rockstar let's consider some of the stats associated with the game. Production saw a total of around 1,000 people working on various parts of the game and estimates put the budget in the vicinity of $US100 million, making it the most expensive game ever developed, far surpassing Sega's Shenmue which previously held the record. To become a success, and potentially save Rockstar from being bought out by Electronic Arts Grand Theft Auto IV needs to shift big numbers, and it certainly will. Consider this...

Since the Playstation 3 launched around the globe over a year ago the top selling titles have been Motorstorm (3.19 million), Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (3.02 million), and Resistance: Fall of Man (2.74 million). Grand Theft Auto IV is expected to top sales of those games within the first week of release - and that's only on the PS3! First day sales in America on both platforms (the game has also been released on XBox 360) surpassed 2.5 million units. It is clear that this is a hot property and with sales expected to top 10 million units in the first 8 months, the high development cost looks set to be rewarded handsomely. Anyway, enough talk, let's get onto the review details...

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That's Niko Bellic on the right.
What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity.

As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them and a living nightmare for those who don't.

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I'd be backing up here too!
If you have played any game in the Grand Theft Auto series since GTA III then you should know what to expect from this title. The game is a third person action title that places the gamer in a fully open, free roaming city - Liberty City. Thanks to the power of the PS3, and the all-new RAGE engine this game pushes the series to new heights and provides a 'real' city like no other we have ever seen in a video game. While the main game and missions can be completed in around 30-35 hours, you will be doing yourself a disservice to rush through this game, there is so much more which you can occupy yourself with while living in Liberty City.

Comprised of well over 50 main missions (and plenty of side-missions too) the general format of the game is that you will go and see an associate or friend, a cut-scene will play out where they tell you about a problem they're having or a job they need a hand with, you complete the mission and then move onto the next one.

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It's your choice.. Save or Kill him?
As with previous games cars and motorbikes are your main vehicles of choice (you can also hop into trucks, helicopters, trains and boats!), and should you not have one, the easiest way to get around is to carjack someone driving by. Should the cops be around you will probably end up in a chase, and have to get away pretty quick or run the risk of getting busted. The wanted levels operate in a similar fashion to previous titles, the more violent you are, the more cops will come chasing after you.

One of the coolest aspects of this game - and due to it being set in 2008 - is the ability to use your trusty mobile phone as a point of contact. This is accessed by pressing up on the D-Pad, and allow you to easily receive calls and SMS messages, or call friends. You can also enter multi-player games (more on them later), or set ringtones and options through the menu.

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