Since Rockstar announced plans to develop its next title in the Grand Theft Auto series on next generation games consoles, the fourth game in the series has been every gamers radar.
The anticipation for this title is as much that it is tipped to shift six million copies in the first week smashing sales records. The opening week sales figure is currently set at £201m by Halo 3.
The game that focuses around the character Niko, takes a trip to Liberty City in the latest title (the same setting as the third title for those who don’t follow the series) to take on the criminal underworld once again.
The character Niko is a former soldier from a Western European country spurred on to come to America by his cousin’s tales of money and women. As he arrives he realised however that all does not match up to the tales of his cousin and sets about making the most of his situation, settling some old scores and enjoying a bit of high living during his stay in the city at the same time.
The game is about 40 hours in length and is composed of animation, story scenes and voice overs. Amongst the improvements in scalability, meaning there are ever more places to run and hide and new ways to climb and explore buildings, there are significant improvements in the gunplay making it as good as a committed third person shooter title.
The driving experience is also enhanced thanks to a new game engine which allows for more variations in vehicles and unique driving styles. The vehicles also react a lot better to outside influence making escaping from police a much harder prospect.
The major advantage of this title however and something The Shelf looks forward to testing is the online offerings. Allowing up to 16 players at once players can race, fight or destroy, as well as much more with unique game play options.
Available on both the Xbox and the PS3, both consoles provide a more than adequate home for the title, but with community play dubbed to be the highlight; The Shelf will be backing the PS3’s online playing capabilities.