Hello Niko Bellic (GTAIV)

Finally, after well over a year of waiting I picked up my special edtiion of Grand Theft Auto IV on Tuesday.  The special edition, which runs an extra $30, is pretty frickin sweet, if not just for the packaging itself. This sucker comes in its own GTAIV metal lockbox, akin to the saftey deposit boxes you see in movies (who really uses these things besides dudes in the Ocean's films?). While there is nothing extra in the game itself, im impressed by the quality in the extras. Anyway, enough about the packaging, right?

After about a 10 min. install I was off and running.  While at first the graphics aren't stunning, the sheer detail is amazing. Signs, trash, hot coffee mugs, ads, newspapers, magazines, not to mention all the textures, all contribute to the game's immense detail.  Like all the other GTA games, you play a hired gun/muscle/baseball bat; this time a Eastern Europe dude named Niko Bellic, who moved to the US to escape certian problems back home, as well as build that "American Dream".  The game mechanics are the same as passed GTAs, albiet with a bit more finesse, and smoother animation.  So far the most welcome additions for me are the cellphone, as opposed to finding a frickin payphone, and the GPS routing for navigating Liberty City. Apparently you can even buy new ringtones.

I only played the Multiplayer for a single round, as I've mostly been trying to play through the story.  My first impression of the Multiplayer was fun, but it didn't grab me.  In the game version I played, there were 6 of us, 1 car to find and deliver, and a lot of guns. Every man for himself. When you deliver a car, you get cash. When you kill a player, they drop some cash.  Apparently you can use the cash to "level up" but at this point I haven't explored that yet. This weekend perhaps.

Overall, I am really enjoying Grand Theft Auto IV, and absolutely gets my full support as one of the best games available.  I also highly reccommend the special edition if you can find one! Rockstar kicks ass.