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Grand Theft Auto IV - General News | @ 01:55 PM MDT | By cyrix
Here are the updated details to the May Game Informer preview:
* The protagonist's name is Niko Bellic. (Likely to be Crotian in origin)
* Niko was persuaded to move to Liberty City by his cousin Roman, who claimed to be living a wonderful life there with two beautiful women, fifteen sports cars, and lots of money etc, but he was infact telling a lie in order to hide his own failures. Roman is the only person you know in Liberty City at the beginning of the game, and he becomes one of your major connections at the start. Niko is a tough character whereas Roman is friendly. Roman is heavily in debt and a lot of people are after him - he needs Niko's support. They are constantly bickering.
* Variations in the terrain cause realistic changes in the walking animation of Niko. The physics have also improved and character movements are more realistic.
* Multiplayer will exist, but it will be something that coincides with single-player and will not be an MMO.
* The MetLife building now bears the name Getalife, the Statue of Liberty is now the Statue of Happiness, and DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is called BOABO (Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass).
* In Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar have recreated 4 of the 5 boroughs in New York, as well as part of New Jersey. Broker is the GTA IV equivalent of Brooklyn, Manhattan is now called Algonquin, Queens is now Dukes, the Bronx is Bohan, and New Jersey is Alderney.
* There is only one city. There may be motorcycles, but there will be no planes, rollerblades or unicycles, and I wouldn't expect jetpacks or Harriers. Rockstar wants the city to feel realistic and fit the style of the character.
* The city is almost as large as San Andreas, but will not have any useless space like countryside or desert. Every space will be cram-packed with detail.
* The city will be highly contrasted between daytime and nighttime.
* Freedom is emphasized. You continue to take orders from mission givers, but you are not forced to spend your time being a slave to them. You can go see who you want to, practically when you want to. You just call someone up and see if they are available.
* The story unfolds in a number of different ways. R* is giving people more freedom, more choice and more sense of control over their destiny - the structure of the storyline is quite different to previous games.
* Contacts will be called from your cell phone. Its LCD screen has options for Phonebook, Messages, Organizer and Camera. Niko's Phonebook has options such as: City Contact, Docks Friend, and Cab Contact. The cell phone will allow the player to call contacts instead of meeting them in person, which should make the player feel more independent.
* Game Informer playtested the Xbox 360 version. It is to be identical to the PS3 version except for episodic content.
* The voice talent for GTA IV will be less big names and more suited to the characters. The soundtrack will also be geared more towards the feel of the city and less focused on big names.
* The game will load once and then never again, and not even during interior transitions.
* It is implied that there will be greater emphasis on pedestrian AI, and they will come with all sorts of temperaments. They will also be seen doing realistic things like smoking a cigarette, reading a book, sitting on a bench, etc.
* You will also see a lot more of pedestrian criminals being arrested by the police.
* Rockstar have now spent over 3 years developing the game, and Dan Houser compares the leap from GTA III to GTA IV, to the leap from GTA to GTA III.
Special thanks: Demologik, GTA Network
The article has some gorgeous city pan shots and more closeups of Niko. Rockstar insists that the screenshots will only look better nearing release. Remember to pick up the May issue of GI for the entire article, and as always feel free to discuss this and all things GTA related in the GTAGaming forums.
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