Works GTA 4 without graphics
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) IV
Niko Bellic had hoped for a lot from America. Lured by the promises made by his cousin Roman, he had come from Eastern Europe to live the American dream. After he had to leave his old home because he had messed with the wrong people, this should now be a nice new beginning. But as soon as he arrived, Niko quickly notices that Roman lied to him from head to toe: Instead of promised fast cars and beautiful women, he only owns a shabby, spartan apartment and a small taxi company. And when it turns out that Roman is in debt to the seedy Vlad, an unscrupulous little doorman, Niko realizes that there is no legal way to get any further here. But he learned a few things in Europe that keep him and his cousin in America alive and maybe also bring them a little money ...
The player controls the figure of Niko Bellic in this action adventure from a third-person perspective. Niko has the opportunity to get around his new home on foot as well as by various means of transport. The player can follow the story or move freely around the city and let his urge to explore run free.
A main part of the story are confrontations with other criminals, which, as usual in the GTA series, are fought with different weapons. These weapons can be found in the city, bought in the gun shop or taken from defeated opponents.
"Grand Theft Auto 4" sold 3.6 million times on the first day, setting new standards in the entertainment media sector. But what makes this game so special?
After just a few minutes of playing, "Grand Theft Auto 4" gives the impression that directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have teamed up to write the script for this game: it lies somewhere between tough gangster ballad and madness turned into graphics.
In his endeavor to bail his cousin out of a jam and at the same time to achieve a slightly better life for himself, Niko gradually takes on jobs of various shady characters. These jobs are rarely legal; mostly it is about extortion of protection money, theft, robbery or even murder. But they're well paid, and Niko Bellic isn't particularly squeamish. In one movie scene, he even says himself that he lost his conscience in the war a long time ago. Speaking of movie scenes: "Grand Theft Auto 4" is full of them. Before each new mission, there is a one- to two-minute introduction that pushes the story forward and introduces new people. In these moments, the game actually resembles a movie, and the complexity of the plot stands up to this comparison. The characters are further developed in the intermediate scenes and are given a contour. If you simply click away, you take away a lot of the atmosphere that the GTA 4 background story gives.
In the game itself, the player is largely free to decide what to do when and how; "Grand Theft Auto 4" is set in a major American city called "Liberty City", which is obviously modeled after New York (there is even a Statue of Liberty) and completely free to explore. So you can go out of the house, get into a car and go on a sightseeing tour first. Or you can take the subway. Or a taxi. Or you can go on foot. The possibilities are almost unlimited. But where do you get a set of wheels if you don't have any money? Right: you just take one. Either one parked carelessly on the sidewalk that only needs to be short-circuited, or you drag an unsuspecting driver at a traffic light out of your car and speed away with him. Here a basic principle of the GTA series becomes clear: It plays with the ethical and moral ideas of the players. Niko Bellic is not a politically correct hero in the story, but the player is completely free to decide how he plays Niko outside of the story and whether he adheres to the laws of Liberty City.
You can also explore Liberty City in a targeted manner. All points of interest in the city are shown on a map that can always be displayed; So if you want to go to cabaret or bowling, all you have to do is look at the map and the GPS will show you the way. But when you arrive at your destination, it's not the end of the story: in cabaret you actually get to see a performance, and in bowling you have to do it yourself to clear the pins. There are numerous such mini-games on the program if you don't feel like the rigid mission structure of the game.
In order to take on a mission, you drive to one of the contact persons you have already met. Once there, there is a movie scene that describes the goal of the mission. Then you drive to the destination of the mission, which can now be seen on the map. Once there, the job is carried out, which is often accompanied by wild shot changes. For this, Niko can use a variety of weapons, from pistols to assault rifles and rocket launchers. At the push of a button, he takes cover behind walls, cars or barrels in order to open fire on his opponents from there. These shootings are extremely bloody, enemies hit go to the ground screaming, sometimes still squirming in pain and pleading for their lives if they are not killed immediately.
But apart from the violent missions, "Grand Theft Auto 4" is an extremely brutal game that has no place in the hands of children and young people. During the frenzy in stolen vehicles on the streets of Liberty City, you run over one or two pedestrians, and crimes also happen around you - computer-controlled people steal cars, ambush passers-by or instigate brawls and shootings. "Grand Theft Auto 4" simulates a lively big city monster in which the player can move freely, and he then has all the possibilities that this freedom offers him. So it is quite possible to go to a gun shop, stock up on the necessary weapons and go on a rampage in the streets of the city. Just as well he can race into a group of people with a stolen car or indiscriminately beat up the visitors to a fast food shop. The game sanctions this behavior as the wanted level increases. The more serious the crimes the character commits, the more the police are on the player's heels. This starts with simple patrol cars, continues with the use of helicopters and extends to the use of the military in particularly serious crimes.
And the "legal" activities are sometimes tough: For example, it is possible to recruit prostitutes or visit a strip club where you actually get to see a lot of bare skin; a private lap dance not excluded. On the other hand, it is of course also possible to behave in a very civil manner and, for example, take a sightseeing tour that leads to the "Statue of Happiness" (the game variant of the Statue of Liberty) or similar allusions to real New York. The possibilities are endless; it is up to the player how to deal with it. And this is exactly where the problem lies: mature players will know how to deal with this issue; However, children and young people do not yet have this differential thinking and should therefore be kept away from this game.
In this context it should be mentioned that the game is very ironic with all its content. It satirizes the "American Way of Life" every minute of the game. This is particularly evident in the radio broadcasts that you can always hear on the radio when you are sitting in a car. There are, for example, commercials for election candidates who defame the respective opponent in the worst possible way and accuse him of sex scandals, for example. Terror warnings and general scaremongering on the part of politicians are the order of the day, but always in a completely exaggerated manner. In general, all content is mercilessly exaggerated; the representation always goes to the limit - another stylistic device of irony. But even this is seldom recognizable for younger players.
Finally, the language used in the game should be mentioned. This is more than just rough; in almost every sentence there is a "fuck" or "shit", and those are the more harmless expressions that are used in the dialogues. This language is perfectly suitable for the underworld theme of the game; for children and adolescents, however, by far too violent
If you don't feel like playing the single player mode anymore, you will surely be happy with the multiplayer part of the game. In a dozen different game modes it is possible to compete with other "Grand Theft Auto 4" players or to cooperate with them and make Liberty City unsafe.
A few more words about the control and presentation of the game. As mentioned above, "Grand Theft Auto 4" is controlled from a third-person view; the camera is above and behind the character. This can lead to problems on some journeys by car, as the entire road cannot always be seen, but it usually works very well. The graphics are convincing; the numerous explosions look fantastic and the facial expressions of the numerous characters come across very well. The music of the game deserves a special note. Whenever you have a radio available (i.e. in almost any mobile unit), you can choose from 19 different stations in which almost every imaginable music genre, from hip hop to electro to classic rock, can be heard. With over 100 licensed music tracks, which are also still accompanied by a DJ, you won't get bored easily here.
With these different set pieces, "Grand Theft Auto 4" offers a mix of pop culture elements that have never existed before. High-quality film sequences, music of the most varied of styles, different fashion styles, TV channels, the Internet, a multifunctional mobile phone and much more are combined in this game in such a skilful way that the player has more aha experiences than in any other computer game before. Of course, violence plays a big role in the universe of the GTA series, but if you reduce the game to this point, you ignore many other factors that contribute to the fascination and success of "Grand Theft Auto 4" as well.
Finally, it should be mentioned that there was no synchronization into German. However, the player can follow the story very well thanks to the German subtitles. Unfortunately, players who do not speak English are missing out on a lot of details, such as the radio hosts or conversations on the street. It is precisely the details that make the game world seem alive and contain many an ironic swipe at the American system. These non-violent provocations are unfortunately all too often overlooked when discussing the GTA series. Liberty City resembles the real world in some things more than one or the other would like. The dominant color in this game is not black or white, but gray in all its facets in between - just like reality.
"Grand Theft Auto 4" is a game that knows how to inspire with its almost unlimited freedom. Whatever you want to do in Liberty City, almost everything is possible: bowling, billiards or darts, a visit to a cabaret or comedy club, a visit to the bar and and and. Even a trip to the nearest internet cafe is possible. There you can surf hundreds of fictional websites, check emails or post personals. So if you are looking for a game with a high degree of freedom and a grandiose simulated city world, you will be well served here, but if you are simply looking for an exciting action adventure, you will find it at GTA 4. It is only important that the player is responsible and capable of differentiation, because "Grand Theft Auto 4" is also a brutal, extremely tough game, whose ironic undertones are sometimes not that easy to discover. So: Adult players can expect a fantastic, open game world that always has surprises in store and comes up with an extremely exciting story.
However, at the end it must be clearly pointed out once again: GTA 4 definitely does not belong in the hands of children and adolescents, this game is pure adult entertainment.
The XBox 360 version was tested.
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