Grand Theft Auto IV: Exceeds Every Expectation

You want this one, or is it my turn?


Once you ease into the new controls for shooting and driving -- they tend to feel a little wobbly at first if you're a series old-timer -- Niko walks, jogs, sprints, springs, swims, shimmies along ledges and scrambles over walls like a well-oiled and appropriately rag-doll-slack killing machine. Working out the timing and sequencing of his punches and kicks comes quickly, as does manipulating his considerable arsenal of knives, bats, Glocks, sniper rifles, Uzis, shotguns, rocket-launchers, Molotov cocktails and much more. Improvising off the stick-to-cover-and-shoot scheme found in games such as Gears of War, GTA IV lets Niko press against and slide laterally around objects, peeking out to free-aim fire, lock on to body segments (legs, torso, head), or, in heavily suppressed situations, fire blind. All told, the gunplay is dramatically more organic and tactically satisfying than it ever was in prior instalments of the series.

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