The Grand Theft Auto series is the very definition of the phrase Cash Cow. GTA I amp; II were moderately popular games, their revolutionary gameplay garnering them critical acclaim. But it wasn’t until GTA III that the series really started to rake in the dough. With the arrival of the Playstation 2 and Xbox, consoles finally had the horsepower to propel the vast open ended environments of the Grand Theft Auto series into 3D. This brought the violent gameplay to life, and the series that had previously enjoyed a cult following suddenly went mainstream. Millions of copies of Grand Theft Auto III and its spin-offs flew off the shelves. The negative media and the disapproval of parents over the R-rated content of the game simply added fuel to the fire. Everyone wanted to try these games, and see what all the buzz was about.
The open-ended gameplay, the fantastically scripted plot, the excellent voice acting by some of Hollywood’s heavyweights, all of these things combined to make the GTA III series of games some of the best and most critically acclaimed videogames ever created. However, with the bar set at such lofty heights, the pressure to outdo themselves became greater and greater for Rockstar games as each spin-off was released. Somehow they managed to deliver as fans continued to gobble up the games.
The hype meter reached new a level with the arrival of the next generation of consoles. The Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 have so much horsepower under their hoods that fans were salivating in anticipation at the thought of what Rockstar could do with the Grand Theft Auto Series with so much computing power at their fingertips. No one was surprised when Grand Theft Auto IV was announced, and internet message boards have been abuzz about the game ever since.
After what has seemed like an eternity waiting for GTA IV, with fans forced to settle for seeing the occasional magazine picture, teaser trailer, or reading the latest developer interview, the game is due to arrive on store shelves tomorrow. However, several of the biggest videogame sites on the internet have already had this game in their hands for a while now, and have put it through its paces. What is the verdict? Grand Theft Auto IV is videogame nirvana.
IGN, the biggest videogame review site on the internet gave the game a perfect 10 out of 10. Known for their objective reviews, this is the first perfect 10 they’ve given a console game in nine years! Though they admit to small flaws in the game, they say every single aspect of the game is so incredibly polished and well executed that it completely overrules any tiny glitches. Grand Theft Auto IV gets a Masterful rating from them. High praise indeed.
Looking around the internet at other videogame sites the trend is the same. In fact, the press average for Grand Theft Auto IV at the time of this writing was an incredible 9.9 out of 10! This rating may start to dip slightly as some of the fringe review sites get their hands on a copy and subsequently put out their reviews. Because of the questionable content of the series no doubt there will be those who give it low ratings. This will negatively impact the score somewhat, but the legions of diehard fans will pay that no heed. Prepare to battle the crowds tomorrow to secure your copy of GTA IV. It is the most anticipated game of this console generation to date, and from reading the reviews it sounds like there is good reason for the hype.