Niko Bellic is Eastern European, between 28 and 32 years of age and has come to Liberty City to pursue the "American Dream". Niko was persuaded to move to Liberty City by his cousin Roman, who claimed in multiple e-mails to Niko that he was living a fabulous life, with a mansion, women, hot tubs and sports cars. Roman's claims turn out to be lies to hide his own failures, however, and in reality he only owns a small taxi business, which he wants Niko to work for.
Roman is the only person Niko knows in Liberty City to begin with, and is one of his major connections in the first part of the game. Niko is a tough character, whereas Roman is friendly. Roman is heavily in debt and a lot of people are after him. He desperately needs Niko's support, hence the reason he deceived Niko into travelling to Liberty City. They are constantly bickering. It is later revealed that one of the reasons Niko, as an ex-soldier, goes to Liberty City, is to track down the man who betrayed his old army unit.
The story features several different possible endings, all of which feature different mission strands depending on which choice the player makes at a certain points in the game.Liberty CityGrand Theft Auto IV
takes place in a redesigned Liberty City consisting of four boroughs, based on four of the boroughs of New York City. Broker
is the equivalent of Brooklyn, Queens is Dukes
, the Bronx is Bohan
, and Manhattan is Algonquin
. Adjacent to the city is the independent state of Alderney
based on New Jersey and named after the Channel Island of the same name. A Staten Island-esque area is not featured in the game as Rockstar Games believes that game play in such an area would not be amusing. Dan Houser states that there are no "dead spots" or "irrelevant space" within Liberty City, such as the wide open deserts in San Andreas.
Rockstar Games has stated that it is the biggest single city in a Grand Theft Auto
game yet, and although smaller than "San Andreas", it is comparable to it in terms of scope when "the level of verticality of the city, the number of buildings you can go into, and the level of detail in those buildings" are taken into account. Initially the city's bridges are locked down due to a terrorist threat, but eventually the armed police blockades are lifted and the player is able to lead Niko to cross the Broker, Algonquin, and Northwood Heights bridges and explore the rest of the city.
Several real-life districts and landmark exist within Liberty City including "Hove Beach", based on Brighton Beach and named from Brighton and Hove, the English city from which the area gets its name; "Firefly Island" based on Coney Island, featuring the "Screamer" rollercoaster modeled from the Coney Island Cyclone; Central Park is known as "Middle Park". The "Statue of Happiness" is the in-game equivalent of the Statue of Liberty; "Star Junction" is Times Square; "BOABO" (Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass) is DUMBO; the "Thornton Building" is the Flatiron Building; and "Twitchins" is Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Factory; the "GetaLife" building is the MetLife Building; the "Booth Tunnel" is the Lincoln Tunnel (named after Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth) and the "Rotterdam Tower" is the game's replica of the Empire State Building. A replica of the Chrysler Building is also featured within the game.Environment
- Niko's outfit can be changed throughout the game. However, it will not be possible to customise his physique or hairstyle as in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, as Dan Houser explained: "We want this instalment to focus more on interacting with other in-game people other than yourself."
- When Niko goes to the hospital, he has to pay $100 and he will keep his weapons. When Niko gets arrested, he has to pay more than $100 and he will lose his weapons.
- In a police vehicle, Niko can use an in-car computer to access the criminal database and discover information about various criminals in Liberty City, possibly including himself.
- The player can hail a cab in order to travel to any address in the city. When riding, the player has the option of viewing the journey from the inside, or skipping it to arrive at the destination immediately. The player will be able to ask the driver to change the radio station by pressing D-pad left or right.
- Niko will make use of the Internet as a means of communication. Although the exact details of the role of the Internet in the game are being kept secret, it has been revealed that Niko can access the internet from various cyber cafés, one of which is called "TW@" (a play on the word tw*t) in order to upload a resume for prospective employers. There are over 100 accessible, fictitious websites within the game. Although TW@ was seen early in Grand Theft Auto III
, it did not give the player the option to "surf the internet".
-Every street in the game will have a name; some missions will require the player to go to a specific address.
- A day in Liberty City is forty-eight minutes long (one game hour lasts two minutes in real time), instead of twenty-four minutes as in previous Grand Theft Auto
- According to Dan Houser, "virtually none of the characters from the previous games are returning, as a lot of them are dead anyway."
- Police and wanted levels will now operate differently. When the police are in search of Niko, the player will now have to avoid a certain radius marked on the map in which the police will be looking for him. The size of this radius will increase with the player's wanted level (the more stars, the bigger the radius) and re-centres itself on Niko's location if he is spotted by the police. Instead of utilizing the "Pay 'N' Spray" as in previous games, Niko has to realistically disguise himself by clandestinely changing vehicles in empty areas such as parking garages, a feature seen in the video game Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
. When on foot, police will not shoot at Niko unless he has committed a serious offence. If they catch up to Niko, he will put his hands up and the player will have the option to attempt to escape before the handcuffs are slapped on. Additionally, pedestrians with cellphones can now report crimes.
- Interpersonal relationships are now dynamic; ignoring cell phone calls or refusing help will change the attitude of specific characters towards Niko.
- Pedestrians are much more intelligent, realistic, and diverse, using mobile phones, cash machines, eating snacks, drinking soda, reading newspapers, scratching their noses, coughing, smoking, and interacting with each other through laughter and remarks. Homeless people will be seen in alleys rubbing their hands over a flaming barrel, sitting against walls, asking for spare change, and other expected actions. The flow of pedestrians and traffic will be different depending on the time of day. Pedestrians and motorists will often act as good Samaritans and aid characters that Niko is attacking or carjacking.MultiplayerGTA IV
will be the first game in the GTA series to include online multiplayer on a console with goals of supporting up to 16 players and has been confirmed that multiplayer will be open-ended gameplay that allows players to explore the whole city. Later revealed in an issue of PSM
, GTA IV
will have 15 modes of play and support up to 16 players, with the player using a customisable character to play as, with a choice of gender, race and clothing. The modes of play include several varieties of deathmatch and racing, with a cooperative single player mission and free mode. Other multiplayer modes include Mafia, in which players try to complete an objective before their opponents, and Cops 'N' Crooks, in which one team of police officers must stop the other team of criminals from escaping. The map used in multiplayer will be the same as the single player map and the host of the games can control many variables like traffic, police reaction and laps in races. Rockstar has left one game type unknown and not explained some.
During a hands on preview with major review sites several new details were revealed. Gameplay in multiplayer is identical to the single player; players will be free to roam the map during multiplayer games, although weapons and spawn points will only appear within a pre-defined area. The host of the game has a great degree of control over the game and can specify where, when, and what weapons may be used, police presence and more. Voice chat is supported and the player may chat with individual players by calling them on the mobile phone.
The online games are split into two types, ranked and unranked. The reward for the ranked gameplay will be cash. The amount of cash a player has will determine their rank. The game does not feature any split-screen or LAN multiplayer modes.Additional FeaturesDLC:
During Microsoft's 2006 E3 press conference on 9 May 2006, it was announced that Rockstar Games
will offer exclusive episodic content via Xbox Live for the Xbox 360 version of the game. Peter Moore, the then head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business
division announced that Rockstar Games is working on two GTA IV
downloadable packs exclusively for the Xbox 360, which will be released after the full game.
Moore described downloadable content as "epic episode packs", and not just extra cars or characters. A press release during the conference said that the packs would add "hours of entirely new gameplay" to the game. The official Xbox website states that these episodes will last a minimum of 10 hours. The Episodes are compared to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
in scope, CVG reports "the downloadable content (DLC) coming for the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV
has repositioned those games in just this way. DLC so far has meant the odd new car, jumper or bit of horse armour, but GTA IV is set to completely redefine the idea with expansions that are to GTA IV
what Vice City
or San Andreas
were GTA III
. Yes, Rockstar is clearly hinting at new downloadable cities".
Jeronimo Barrera, Vice President of Product Development for Rockstar Games
, has said that the episodes are an experiment because they are not sure that there are enough users with access to online content on the Xbox 360. Details on the pricing of these downloads have not yet been revealed, though it would almost certainly not be released for free, as Take-Two Interactive
's former CEO, Paul Eibeler, has said numerous times that these downloads would provide "additional revenue streams" to the company, but Microsoft
has said that it will be up to Rockstar on whether or not they will charge for it. Take-Two Interactive
's Chief Financial Officer, Lainie Goldstein revealed that Microsoft was paying a total of US $50 million for the two episodes. On 20 February 2008, it was announced that the extra content will be introduced starting August 2008.Click here to discuss this on the PlayStation 3 forum.