This is a game that'll take one twenty five hours to finish the main story, that is if you attempt to rush directly through it and don't do side missions or if you don't go on a wild rampage, which is the entire reason some people get this game. I am completely satisfied with the length of this game and felt like it didn't get stretched out or prolonged yet wasn't abrupt in any of its' missions or storylines. As far as the story goes, I believe it is a memorable campaign that you will have a hard time trying to get over. This is the type of game that will make you stop playing all of your other games. This is because the missions are never really boring and one should feel compelled to jump right in to the next mission right after they finish one. The characters are fun and full of personality including your main character, Niko Bellic, a man who had just moved to America from Russia via boat named The Platypus, is the one that the story revolves around. This is just one of the many stupid humor kinds of jokes that occur in this masterpiece of a game.
The graphics were very good for its time. They are what you would expect for a game that came out in early 2008. Nothing too extraordinary, but not something that will affect the way the game plays in any bad way. Even though this still gets heavy rotation in 2013 I still do not feel as though the graphics are too outdated to play. I believe the graphics are good enough to be enjoyed in 2013, 5 years later.
The sound was good overall. The game had great voice acting overall and met all of my standards. Talking in this game is not its selling point but it is definitively not a reason to avoid playing the game altogether. Overall it is mediocre as far as gun fire or explosions, It is above average by all means but is not what leads the game to the A rating. Overall, I feel the sound of this game is above average as a whole.
The game play is really where Grand Theft Auto 4 shines. The aiming mechanics may get in the way of making it truly flawless but this is not too much of an issue. The thing with the aiming is that it auto aims. This may get annoying because players will sometimes end up aiming at the incorrect man. This will most likely not happen too often but can sometimes be the difference between success in a mission or failure, and this happens enough that it's definitely noticeable. That is the biggest problem with game play and still is not a deal breaker. A perfect example of the flawless rest of the game play is the driving. The mechanics of driving are well done and I feel as though the people at Rockstar really worked on this part of the game. It is good that they worked so hard on the driving so hard because you will be driving a large majority of this campaign, hence the name of the game. This is especially true during campaign. The flying in helicopters is great too. This is good but also bad because you won't be using the helicopter in campaign much at all. This is a tad depressing because helicopter fire fights sounds like a fun idea that wasn't fully explored when it should have been. This is not too bad though considering the fact that it is an open world that lets you fly a helicopter wherever you want.
The controls are really not too hard to learn but are different from other games so it will be hard to switch back and forth from this game to another, and vice versa. This is true except when it comes to driving controls which I feel could not get any easier. Although the non vehicle controls may be a little odd they are incredibly easy to get used to after about 5 - 10 minutes, so the learning curve isn't too great.
As I said earlier the glitches in this game will be addressed. Since my opinion this game is more for laughing with your friends then just hardcore gaming I believe all that the graphics do to this game is add even more laughs. The only glitches I have seen is someone going through walls or something just as non-impactful as that. These are the type of glitches that literally don't do anything to the game play whatsoever. Please do not be taken back by any of the small and unnoticeable glitches as you will miss the true beauty of the game.
Rockstar didn't think that this game by itself was enough so they added two amazing and compelling add-ons to the game. Let me go ahead and note that Grand Theft Auto The Lost and the Damned was not the better of the two, most likely because of the fact that its cell shadings is not what was expected of it and the map ends up feeling not as lively. This brings me into the discussion of its atmosphere. Grand Theft Auto 4, by my account, makes you feel like you are in a true city similar to New York. Not only this, but you truly feel as though the city itself has its own character. That being said I truly believe the only instance were I don't feel this way is during the Lost and Damned. As for the other add-on (The Ballad of Gay Tony), it is almost as great as the main story itself. Characters are vibrant, the city gets life put back in it and the missions, while not much different in nature than the main game, are all fun.
The multi-player is one more thing I would like to discuss. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is not like any other multi-player third person game because of one element it has: it is a open world multi-player. This means that you can go all across the city you know and love killing others real time or even work together to wreak havoc on all the land! There are many categories of game modes so you won't get bored.
All together I truly believe that I will be getting fun out of this game for years to come, and I think others will too. I hope everyone will be able to have as much fun with this game and enjoy it as I have.