GTA IV Features
A Whole New World

GTA IV will set the bar higher than ever imagined with its new gameplay features. The revolutionary jump from GTA 2 to GTA 3 is comparable to the jump from San Andreas to GTA IV. Be prepared to play and connect with a character living in a realistic city with more freedom than ever before. Check below for the list of confirmed features.
The media has reported that GTA IV has an advanced sound engine that allows you to hear realistic city, traffic, water, and bird sounds. On the street you will hear and feel the bass of vehicles driving by, as well as "the frequent deafening rattle of trains through the subway" and the "varying volume and intesity of car horns and the constant hum of traffic".
Online multiplayer is confirmed, but it will not be a WOW or Everquest style MMO. There will be co-op multiplayer available except in single player mode.
On/Off Mission Freedom
Rockstar wants to blur the line between on and off a mission. The storyline will not be so fixed mission based, so playing missions outside the set story missions will help progress the game.
Cell Phone
Building on the mission freedom is the new cell phone ability. Niko will carry around a cell phone with options like Phonebook, Messages, Organizer, and a camera on its LCD screen. In the demo, he opened his phone and visible options in Phonebook were "City Contact, Docks Friend, Cab Contact". You can use this feature to call someone and set up a mission anywhere you like, if they are available to meet you.
Grand Theft Auto
This time around you will be required to perform a realistic Grand Theft Auto. If you want to steal a parked car, Niko will approach it from any angle and break the glass. The animation will be random and completely dependent on how the car was approached. As the glass falls, he will reach in, unlock the car and get in. Once inside he will have to physically hotwire the car before he can drive off with it. Additionally, the trunks of cars can be opened to store things inside.
Physics Engine
GTA IV will use a physics engine instead of pre-written animations. You will no longer see the same stiff animations, and instead see natural looking movements that are different every time. This means that every footstep, the way a character leans or shifts their body weight, the terrain that the car drives over, or the ground that one walks over will all look completely natural and realistic.
No Loading
GTA IV features no loading in the game. It is said you can play from start to finish without a single load time, and this includes walking in and out of interiors. The offset of this is a long, initial load time when the game starts. It is undetermined how long this initial load will be.
In each game the interiors get better and better. Now, they will be true, fully detailed interiors with no load times. From the outside looking in, Niko can see people inside of a restaurant and they will walk outside and go about their lives. Niko can enter buildings and through these go into backdoors, up stairs, climb fire escapes and escape to the rooftop. He can also phsyically interact with anything inside, like being able to smash windows or doors down.
Street Names
To add to the city's incredible amount of detail, every street will have a name. This will come into play during missions where you are required to go to a specific address.
So far it has been announced that planes will not be in the game, even though there will be an airport. However, there will be cars, bikes, boats, and helicopters (which can be used to land on any rooftop). The reason for this is that they want the game to feel truly immersive, and flying a plane over the city in a couple minutes takes away from that. There will be public buses and trains with scheduled times that Niko will have to catch if he wants to travel around the city.
Targeting will place a camera behind the shoulder and a view-finder appears at the center of the screen. Niko can then lock a target and move laterally to avoid incoming shots. The revamped melee combat will feel "much more natural" than before.
Niko can literally go anywhere. This means he can climb telephone poles, fire escapes, and anything else that helps him explore.
The option to change your clothing will return, but the option to eat, work out, and change your physique will not return.
Bullet Damage
There will be real time bullet damage to the vehicles (both to the sides and windshield).
Camera Views
New camera views include an in-car dashboard view, several other car views, and real time mirrors in the car.
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