A great steal

“Life is complicated. I’ve killed people; smuggled people; sold people. Perhaps here, things will be different.”

These were the first words spoken by Niko Bellic, the focus of Rockstar Games’ upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV. Originally slated for last October, the game was pushed to April. So while 2007 was the Year of Huge Games, 2008 is essentially the Year of GTA IV.

Bellic is an Eastern European immigrant enticed into America by his cousin Roman, who boasts of a lavish lifestyle. The women, money and hot tubs end up being lies, and you (as Bellic) will work for Roman’s cab service. Not much else is known about the game’s story.

GTA IV revisits a massively overhauled Liberty City. Through various trailers and other media for the game, you will be playing in a near exact replication of New York City.

Unlike previous games, you will not be so focused on missions. You can stroll through the game with as much freedom as it can give you, your cell phone being your key to missions throughout the game.

Realism has been stepped up greatly. The citizens move with personalities, which in turn can turn into guilt trip if you decide to embark on a rage-based path and kill as many as possible.

You also must perform realistic actions in order to steal and get by. For example, you cannot just walk up to a car and take it. You’ll have to hotwire it before you can take off.

Somewhat new to the series is a multiplayer mode. We say somewhat new because San Andreas included a small multiplayer mode if you could find it.

IV has a small variety of team, races, cooperative, and competitive games. With the size of the city, these are bound to be interesting.

The series has always been a great source of music, and this game shouldn’t be short of anything less than before.

Interestingly enough, you’ll be able to purchase the music through the in-game cell phone to be downloaded on Amazon.

So as you read this, there will be less than two weeks until the game’s release on April 29. If you have not already, we suggest pre-ordering this highly anticipated title.