This is the GTA IV Facts page. As the name suggests, this is a compilation of everything we know about GTA IV. Whether it's from screenshots, videos or magazine previews, it's all here!
Main Character and Storyline
You are playing as Niko Bellic, an Eastern European immigrant. Whereas it is unclear where exactly does he come from, his name suggests an ex-Yugoslavian origin.
Niko comes to Liberty because of letters that his brother, Roman, has been sending him. Roman wrote that he was living the American Dream – girlfriends, sports cars, all that. Niko, drawn by the prospect of wonderful worriless life, comes to Liberty City…only to find out that Roman had been lying to him all this time. He is neither rich, nor popular; in fact, he’s indebted and in trouble with a lot of local criminals. At first your job is to protect him and solve problems of basic survival, but then we may learn something about Niko’s past and why he moved to America in the first place…
The newest game in the series makes an unexpected return to its source, to the place that started it all: yes, the game is set in Liberty City.
However, it is not the Liberty City you've seen in the first Grand Theft Auto, nor the one from GTA III. It is a completely new experience. Besides taking place in 2007, the game offers you a chance to explore Liberty almost completely modeled after New York City, with all the familiar landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty (called Statue of Happiness), the Times Square, the Empire State Building dominating the LC skyline, even the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) called “BOABO” (Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass).
Liberty City is comprised of 5 areas, each a replica (or parody?) of a real-life NYC borough: Algonquin (real-life Manhattan), Dukes (Queens), Broker (Brooklyn), Bohan (Bronx) and Alderney (New Jersey). In terms of size, it is confirmed as being a little smaller than San Andreas, although you’ll find that there is basically no unused or unoccupied space: after all, the idea behind this setting was to recreate the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis. A big part of Rockstar’s work went into making the city look and feel alive, by adding diversity in pedestrians, so that they don’t just walk the streets, but are busy doing something: someone might be having a drink, while another ped talks on his mobile phone and yet another reads a newspaper. At night, too, everything continues to live, but in another way – in some areas you’ll see distinctly different types of people appearing at night, and some areas are downright dangerous after the sun goes down. The detailing of the city is mind-blowing. There is a lot more "vertical space" than in San Andreas.
There is another side to the story. Liberty is a modern city, and the police presence is much more heavy. According to the Game Informer interview, Rockstar want to capture how hard it is for a criminal to survive in this huge city. Your protagonist is just a fish in the pond with lots of other fish, and you don’t suddenly turn up and become the king, because that is simply impossible. Previewers named the look of the city "hi-def squalor".
It is unknown at the moment whether any of the old characters are coming back, but it has been mentioned that almost none are returning.
There isn’t much we know about them yet, however, some interesting facts have already surfaced.
First of all, the Game Informer article confirmed that there will be no airplanes.
There are helicopters in the game though (confirmed in the GI Q&A).
Boats have not been entirely confirmed, but since Rockstar said that the only type of vehicle out of the game is the airplane, we can safely assume they're in.
Then we have bits and pieces of info about carjacking. In the article mentioned above, a scene of carjacking (of a parked car in this case) is described. Niko smashes the side window with his elbow (with pieces of glass breaking up realistically and flying on the street and inside the car), opens the door for himself, hotwires the car and speeds away. Whether this means any hotwiring “minigames”, or just a detailed description of the animation, is currently unknown.
We do know though that the animation system will be implemented in more that just window smahing or realistic walk: Niko will apparently be able to climb telepone poles; other context-sensitive animations are also available (like Niko shoving people away in the crowd or the pedestrain dropping her groceries if she sees/hears someone shooting).
What is interesting, though, is the new smartphone feature. With this universal communicator, you will be able to call contacts (including apparently inviting women on dates – just don’t forget to have Niko shave beforehand), call Cab service, contact some people who give you jobs and keep track of those jobs as you progress through the game. You can also use public transportation (trains, namely) to get around the city.
You can customise Niko's outfits - there are definitely clothes in the game!
Another listed feature, closely connected with the smartphone, is the new level of freedom in choosing what missions to do and (even maybe) how to do them, with critical choices that you sometimes have to make. You can choose whom to call for a job, whom to hang out with. The story, the narrative is told in many different ways, and choosing them is up to you.
And, of course, the trademark radio stations are returning. Rockstar have tried to make them believable in the sense of fitting perfectly into a 2007 Liberty City.
You’d think that with this serious approach Rockstar have put away their trademark humour? Well, the answer is NO. In fact, we’ll see the old stuff like Sprunk, the movie series Heavy Weapons, ME TV and the fast-food chains Burger Shot and Cluckin’ Bell return! Plus, we can expect a lot more humoristic references in the game (like the already known “GetaLife” building, parody of the real NYC landmark “MetLife”, or the show “America’s Next Top Hooker”). There will be contemporary satire ("no sacred cow", says Dan Houser).
- Times Square will be named Star Junction in GTAIV.
- A character named Little Jacob has been confirmed. He's an arms dealer which you will be able to contact through your mobile phone.
- In a certain mission, you will have to assassinate a lawyer named Goldberg (too bad he's not named Thompson) of the firm Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster.
- There will be an internet cafe in the game which is named Tw@ Cafe. GTA3 veterans will remember this name.
- Internet can be accessed by any computer in the game although it is unknown how big this internet will be.
- Any crime you commit will give you a wanted level, if there are witnesses of course.
- The cops will know search for you in a certain area depending on your wanted level. If you can get out of this area, the wanted level will go away but if you get spotted you will be the center of the area again.
- Every street has his own name like in real life, cops will use this to locate you.
- There will be a (menswear) store named Perseus.
- Your mobile phone can be used as a calendar, you can send text messages, set an alarm and it has a camera.
- Another character in the game has been confirmed: McReary, who is a corrupt cop. Whether he will play a big part like Tenpenny in San Andreas is unknown.
- No more arrows to indicate targets like in previous GTA's.
- The wanted level has again a 6 star maximum.
- Shopping for clothes will be more realistic. You'll have to choose them from the shelves.
- Realistic body damage. Shoot someone in the leg and he will be forced to come down.
- Cops can crouch to improve their accuracy.
- There will be eating and sleeping to improve your health. No more health pick-ups.
- Niko is able to rob houses and stores. Unknown whether robbing house will require more stealth and thought than in San Andreas.
- Online co-op is confirmed. Multiplayer screen can be accessed through your cellphone.
- There will be Ammu-Nations to supply you of guns along with your black market connection.
- Body armor is visible.
- Coversystem like kill.switch or more popular Gears of War.
- Rumor is that Niko Bellic is inspired by a favorite driver in Rockstar's driving service.
- If cars take on too much damage, the engine may stall, requiring you to escape on foot and find a new one.
- Tapping up on the D-Pad brings up the phone where you can access text messages, an organizer, multiplayer modes, a camera, and contacts list, which becomes updated automatically as you meet people. Tapping up a second time will bring up the keypad to make calls.
- The more advanced model of the phone, including the MP3 player (radio on the go), is not added until later in the game.
- Lazlow is confirmed to return on the radio.
- Emergency vehicles respond in real time from their stations around the city. Calling the police can be a handy trick when you need to obtain a police car for a mission - pick one up at the station when no one is around.
- Again, developing relationships with people will be a crucial part of the game. The better the relationship with someone, the more you'll benefit. If you ignore someone for too long, they will start contacting you with angry messages.
- Mission dialogue varies after any failed attempts.
- Portions of the city are closed off at the beginning of the game due to a terror alert. Though Niko can visit the unlocked islands, but that will cost as a heavy increase in the heat level.
- Niko is said to be a man with no country, in the same was as Claude had been known as a man with no name.
- Niko spent time in third world prisons.
- All the ladies love Niko Bellic. Girlfriends will again play a big role in the game as a subsidiary of building relationships - although this time it will be more incorporated into the story.
- No more invisible ramps. AKA, the new skeletal-animation system will have Niko's body and specifically his feet fall naturally onto different services. (On a set of stairs, Niko will take each step, not walk up an invisible ramp). It's a subtle feature that's explosively illustrated when Niko or any NPC is run down by a car or dragged by a bumper.
- After telling Houser how much they enjoyed cooking grenades and tossing them out windows of a car, he offered a hint about the online multiplayer "I just like running up to a bunch of players with the grenade cooking in my hands and taking them all out with me."
- You can resist arrest when getting busted by tapping A/X. This however will reward you an additional wanted star.
- If you enjoyed the San Andreas multiplayer modes, then you should be a happy with GTA IV online.
- The motion sensing in the PS3 version will work in "a way that makes sense" is all Sam Houser would reveal.
- At first, the map of Liberty City was to be enormous - roughly the size of the state of New York. It seemed logical to go bigger at first, but Rockstar decided the focus should be about making the whole GTA experience larger.
From French gaming site Jeuxactu
- It took 5 years and 300 people to develop GTA IV.
- The smallest details have been taken into account, from non-working bulbs to newspapers flying in the wind.
- Peds live their lives like any other human. Law Enforcement Agencies will be checking papers, a businessman is walking faster than other peds, a woman is making a phone call in a phone booth, and so on.
- They talk about Liberty City being as big as San Andreas.
- Bodybuilding will no longer be in the game and you won't be able to make money by buying businesses anymore.
- If you commit a very serious crime, the army will be against you. You'll see heavily armed soldiers.
- By keeping good relationships, Niko may have some clues for future missions.
- According to the website, it'll take 60 to 70 hours to complete the game.
- Italians, Puerto Ricans, Russians, Jamaicans, Chinese Triad and Mafia are some of GTAIV's gangs.
- It might take more than one try to start a car or a motorbike.
From Swedish magazine, Level
- You can precision throw grenades.
- You can break dumpsters, fire hydrants, bushes and park-benches with your car.
- With the new wanted system, it's practically impossible to escape from two police cars and helicopters.
- No boats will stop to help you if you swim in the 10°C water.
- While sailing with a sailing boat, Niko gets outrun by people jogging on the shore.
- Being chased by police cars and at the same time having a female voice giving directions is priceless.
- A lot of things resemble to American gangster movies such as "The Usual Suspects" and "Heat".
- When night, ten thousands of lit up windows can be seen in Liberty City.
- It seems that you can hold your breathe while sniping for more accuracy.
- The game looks nothing like it did back in March 2007, after trailer 1, the game was looking far from finished, with very unstable FPS count. Now the FPS is amazing all the time, no matter how much is going on on the streets.
- When inputting info in the police databases in cop cars, Niko drives with one hand and operates the computer with the other one.
- Some spotted street names were: North Holland, Ruby street and Silicon street.
- When driving by, you can occasionally spot peds having problems with their cars, standing and shouting and waving with their arms.
- At one moment Niko said: "What the hell is wrong with these people?" while driving by in the car.
- Characters' breath can, besides on the street, also be seen when traveling to higher altitudes, like skyscrapers.
- You can hang onto passing boats and climb on board (similar to VCS I guess).
- There is a helicopter-tour place where you can take a tour around LC with a guide, or hire your own helicopters. Or just shoot the guide and steal the heli...
From Official Xbox Magazine
- In a dense neighborhood, there will be yellow lines at the curb adjacent to your safehouse that will save your car's placement. This works in place of safehouse garages.
- The traffic is realistically dense.
- Check your money supply at ATMs.
- Girlfriends will work similarly to in how you dated them in San Andreas, but it will be taken to a deeper level.
- You can eat a hot dog from a vendor to heal yourself, but if you bump his cart he will become angry and refuse you service.
- There is an ice-cream truck called Cherry Popper. (the name of the ice cream business in Vice City)
- Refusing to pay a toll at a bridge could get the police involved.
- There will be some character platforming elements such as shimmying along a roof's edge to climb to the top.
- You can call up Little Jacob at any time and he will arrive with a trunk full of weapons.
- Niko will not wear the full-face helmet when riding a chopper bike.
From Edge magazine
- In GTA IV there are strip joints and, more unexpectedly, comedy clubs, which have been incorporated in a manner that is "enough to make your head spin." Edge aren't allowed to say anything else about it at this time.
- Jets and planes fly through the airport, and have visible pilots inside them. The tester drove alongside a jet, only to have a 4-star wanted level appear!
- One encounter face-to-face with a cop got the response: "I'm a cop... and you're a dickhead!"
- On the subject of multiplayer... Houser wasn't able to go into much detail, but he did mention being able to get together online in the game with no other goal other than to use it as a meeting place: "I'll meet you in a car and we'll hang and just drive and listen to music, chilling in the car, with your 3D model sat next to me," he says.
- The car paint jobs are noticable from newer cars being gleaming and spotless, to old cars being rusted and dull.
- Bulletholes and dirt are permanent on cars.
- Interior walls can be greatly damaged, "ripping chunks out of the plaster with gunfire."
- Corpse Ride, obviously a ghost train-esque ride, quite a large building next to the liberty eye.
- The rollercoaster seen in trailer 1 is not visible, which perhaps means the park is larger than what is seen in the screen.
- The rides themselves definitely look accessible, perhaps can ride them for dating etc.
- An in-game text message was replied to by the editor.
- Totilo (previewer) said that he thought the Statue of Happiness looked a lot like Hillary Clinton.
- "Extra guns and health packs don't float a few inches above the ground, waiting to be walked through. They lie on flat surfaces, waiting to be picked up. A Rockstar rep told MTV News that the developers didn't even want those found items to glow, as they do now, because that's not realistic. But a concession was made so players could more easily identify what they could and should try to grab in this world."
- "GTA IV felt less like a video game because there is no "Mission Complete" graphical flourish as there had been in old games, just a brief instrumental riff to indicate a job's successful finish. Icons in the upper-right corner of the screen still display the player's equipped weapon and money, but they are reduced in size, subdued to blacks, grays and whites, doing as little as possible to distract the player's eyes."
- "We took a helicopter for a joyride, in this case, in the PS3 build, traversing the city with haste, thrusting with the R2 button, rudder-turning with L1 and R1. The scenery was viewable from an optional in-cockpit, first-person view, the densely detailed Liberty City rolling by so quickly underneath that it's little wonder that the private jets parked at the game's airport are not usable. They'd be too fast for this game's amount of real estate. Mostly we used the helicopter to land on skyscrapers and in busy intersections, the rotor blades magically hurting no one — not the least of whom Niko, despite what would probably be classified as hard landings."
From Dutch OPM (april edition)
- There will be collectibles, in a hands on preview the previewer shot a pigeon and received the message "1 out of 200 flying rats killed".
- While driving, they received a call from Brucie (they also got interference on their car radio because of the cellphoen) who told Niko about a new site he found. He also asks if you would like to have dinner with him.
- Unique stuns will be returning, whether they will be required to get 100% is not known.
- After a wild chase, the car would not start again even though it looked fine on the outside. The engine was blown up.
- Release date: 29th April world-wide
- The game will be released on next-generation consoles: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Please note that the PC version is not confirmed, however, it is very likely to appear with as usual several months of delay. Between those two, only Xbox 360 will feature exclusive downloadable content (to be released in 2008).
- The game is powered by Rockstar’s own RAGE (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine), developed by their studio in San Diego. The engine already made an appearance in their Table Tennis game, but it will show its full potential in GTA IV. For example, there are no loading times between exterior and interiors. Also the game will feature an advanced animation system: for example, the main character’s movement adapts to what surface he is walking on, etc. Physics will be produced by Euphoria
- Multiplayer is confirmed, although what form it will take is currently unknown. Several multiplayer modes have been confirmed though.
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