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May 23, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV - PS3 Review Page 3
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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Standing around with some heavies.
To the graphics, and there is no way that this game will disappoint. Well, ok, there are some issues but before we get to those let's look at the positives. Grand Theft Auto IV provides, without a shadow of a doubt, the most realistic representation of a city ever seen in a video game. Texturing is impressive, character models are superb and the animation (thanks to the Euphoria engine) is impressive as well. No matter if you're crawling around in the subways, running around on the streets or in a chopper 2000 feet in the air Liberty City looks wonderful. The highlight though are the brilliant cut-scenes which tell the story perfectly, show emotion from the characters, and are superbly animated.

So what about issues with the graphics in this game? Well it isn't perfect. There are some clipping issues with parts of Niko's body passing into walls and other objects. It's minor, doesn't affect the gameplay at all, but is present in quite a few locations. Pop-up is also evident in quite a few places which is disappointing. Perhaps a little more unsettling was the rather abrupt way in which the time of day changes. Rather then a gradual change in the colour tones (eg orange at sunset into black of night) it flicks rather suddenly, and noticeably. Finally when you're traveling at speed through the city there is, very occasionally, and very briefly, pauses as the game loads (we guess!). These only last a fraction of a second, so aren't a big issue, but are evident.

Much has been made of the PS3's resolution with Grand Theft Auto IV apparently running at 640p compared to 720p on the XBox 360 version. Side-by-side comparisons though show virtually no difference between the two and if anything, the PS3 game actually looked the better of the two with less jaggies and more visual effects here and there. Either game though is sure to impress overall.

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Lighting in GTAIV is very impressive.
Audio is certainly another area where Grand Theft Auto IV impresses. Rockstar have recorded thousands of lines of dialogue, but it's not only the quantity but also the quality that shines. The dialogue is well written, and quite witty, and the actual voice actors - despite being people you won't actually know about - is second to none. The radio stations have made a return to the game in a big way with different themed stations (Rock, Russian, Talkback and so on) but also hours of dialogue and radio adverts. What really amazed is that the news bulletins on the radio stations often make reference to people you have recently killed, or events you have taken part in. One of the coolest features of this game is the ability, should you hear a song on the radio you like (there are 214 songs in total!), to send a SMS to a number, and it will SMS back the name of the song to you. Super cool.

Having said that there was the odd occasion where audio went missing for a few seconds. On some instances when Niko was running there was no audio and we also felt that the dialogue was a little hard to understand, particularly the mobile phone conversations while driving around in a car with the radio station on at the same time. Also some characters - such as Jamaican drug dealer Little John - are quite hard to understand.

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Nice neon light there!
Grand Theft Auto IV is such a monumental, and impressive, title on so many levels. Primarily this game provides a storyline that has more depth, wit, and thought then almost every game in the past. The gameplay is tight, the combat refined to near perfection, and the size of Liberty City awe inspiring.

Despite some initial issues with the game not loading missions (we think due to overloading Gamespy's servers) these have been overcome. Other glitches and issues pale into insignificance when you look at this as a whole package. This is a gaming experience on an entirely new level. The scale of the city can't fail to impress when you realise how large, and how lively the city is. Graphics, even with a few tiny glitches, and audio are simply superb and the multi-player could keep you playing for months. An essential purchase for every PS3 owner.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSThe size and scale of the city is impressive, some small glitches.
SOUNDGreat radio stations, great speech, great audio overall...
GAMEPLAYOne of the most enjoyable games to play through in a long, long time.
VALUE30+ hours for the main game, double that if you take your time, and then there's multi-player too!
OVERALLAn essential purchase if ever there was one. Grand Theft Auto IV is brilliant in almost every regard with only a few minor issues that can be overlooked. Buy it now!

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