Grand Theft Auto was never the most violent game going.In the sci-fi shooter Gears of War, you can chain saw enemy aliens until fountains of blood seem to splatter onto the inside of your monitor.But then there's invariably some mission that's so involved and difficult, or requires me to crisscross the town so many times to get back to the starting point, that I give up and go for lower-impact entertainments, like turning on the cheat codes so I'm invulnerable and have a tank and a rocket launcher with unlimited ammo.Then I try to rack up a body count that would make Attila the Hun jealous.I'm guessing that fewer players will reach that breaking point with GTA IV.I'm not even close to finishing, but based on my play experience so far, and in talking with reviewers who have finished the game, I get the sense that freewheeling killing sprees will no longer be the main draw. Or if you do get your just deserts, you can simply restart from your last save point and try again.) Our anti-hero is Niko Bellic, an immigrant from Eastern Europe who has done terrible things that he'd like to forget.More often, players will resort to this sort of boundary-testing when they become bored or frustrated with the game's more concrete goals.I'm the type of GTA player who polishes off around half of the missions, an accomplishment that unlocks large swaths of the game world and scores you access to nicer crash pads and more powerful weapons.
Bellic works in crime because it's what he knows how to do, not because he has to satisfy his blood lust.There's no right or wrong decision here—well, actually, there are two wrong decisions—and players will struggle to make the choice. As you go through the game, your terrible deeds will stick with you.And not just in your memory—you'll hear them reflected back at you through television and radio newscasts.Sure, there was always some snappy dialogue and a few interesting twists, but the GTA story arc never amounted to much more than a pastiche of classic crime and gangster thrillers—the fun was spotting plot points lifted from the likes of .After about 10 or so hours of play, though, I would always start to lose interest in the core story.But while the plotlines have been relatively predictable (if unrepentantly violent and profane), the games' worlds are so large, and the range of activities you can engage in so limitless, that Grand Theft Auto is known less for its game play than for free-form mayhem.