Released by Rockstar nearly 14 years ago, Grand Theft Auto IV aimed to be a game-changing revolution to the Grand Theft Auto franchise with its new engine, RAGE (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine). The RAGE engine is one of the best open-world game engines with its unique and realistic take on world physics.
With an entirely new take on story-telling and a realistic physics engine, let’s dive deeper into what Grand Theft Auto IV offers. We’ll start our GTA IV Overview by looking at the plot.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Plot
The game takes place in Liberty City, a fictional city representative of modern-day New York. As the player, you’ll be filling in the shoes of Niko Bellic, a former soldier in the Bosnian War, betrayed by one of his fellow soldiers. He boards a cargo ship towards Liberty City to avoid the man who sold out their entire unit during the war.
The Pretentious Cousin
Having landed in Liberty City, Roman Bellic, Niko’s cousin, accompanies him throughout the city. Roman sends Niko letters boasting about living an authentic life of an American with luxurious cars, mansions and women. However, upon meeting Roman, Niko soon discovers that all of Roman’s letters were nothing but lies. Roman owns nothing apart from a cheap and disgusting apartment and a small taxi company.
To compensate for the lack of a job, Niko begins working for Roman’s company. He meets Mallorie, Roman’s girlfriend and eventually leads Niko to meet Michelle. Michelle and Niko started dating afterwards. Niko also met one of his employers Vladimir Glebov, a Russian loan shark who bosses Niko around to collect loans. Little Jacob Hughes and Brucie Kibbutz also hire Niko for a few jobs, mostly involving weed.
Killing the Boss and Entanglement with the Mafia
After a series of odd jobs, including killing off one of Vlad’s associates, Ivan Bytchkov, Niko learns that Vlad slept with Mallorie and decides to take things into his own hands. Niko kills off Vladimir and eventually reveals his quest to find the man that betrayed his unit during the war. Afterwards, Mikhail Faustin and Dimitri Rascalov kidnap Niko and Roman.
Mikhail and Dimitri reveal themselves to be Vlad’s supervisors. Mikhail is a hothead who orders Niko around to do jobs for him in place of Vlad. Niko’s jobs for Mikhail revolve around attacking Kenny Petrovic, the most powerful mobster in Liberty City. After Kenny warned them that he would retaliate, Dimitri met Niko in private, ordering Niko to assassinate Mikhail as a form of making amends with Kenny.
Having no options left, Niko assassinated Mikhail after Dimitri promised him a hefty sum for carrying out the deed. Upon meeting with Dimitri in an abandoned warehouse to collect the money, Dimitri betrays Niko and sells him out to Ray Bulgarin, a Russin Crime Lord. Ray Bulgarin also happens to be a former employee of Niko (human trafficking), and he thinks that Niko betrayed him.
WIth Ray trying to kill Niko and Roman, luckily, Little Jacob comes in to help them escape. Ray destroyed their apartment and company by leaving them in flames to make sure Niko and Roman had nowhere to go. Mallorie’s cousins were kind enough to let Niko and Roman live in Bohan.
To avoid further spoilers, most of the events that happen after the betrayal will be based on player choices; killing certain GTA IV characters can result in the death of another in a latter scene.
Grand Theft Auto IV: Gameplay
Similar to other Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto IV relives the glory of a fully explorable and detailed open-world experience in Liberty City. As the player, you have to progress through the story by going to mission markers—the gameplay centres around a third-person style of gameplay, which features melee and ranged combat.
There are various missions in Liberty City to keep you on your toes. Grand Theft Auto IV first introduced the GPS for the minimap, mobile phones and internet cafes in the series. All of these features were not present in older games in the series.
Want to know more about GTA IV missions? Check out our comprehensive guide here.
Grand Theft Auto IV: Weapons
Grand Theft Auto IV has 16 weapons. You can get weapons from NPCs by either disarming them during melee combat or shooting their hands.
Here are the weapons included in the main game:
|Pump Action Shotgun
Here are the additional weapons in the DLC The Lost and Damned:
Lastly, here are the additional weapons for the DLC The Ballad of Gay Tony:
|Advanced Machine Gun
Grand Theft Auto IV has a total of 123 vehicles, ranging from land vehicles to maritime and aeronautical vehicles.
|Sports Cars and Supercars
|Two-Doors and Hatchbacks
|Four-Door Sedans, Saloons, Station Wagons
|SUV, Crossovers, Pick-ups, Vans
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Missions
Grand Theft Auto IV has a plethora of missions with a total of 88 missions plus ten side missions. Since there are a lot of missions, we’ll be splitting them up into “Chapters.”
|The Cousins Bellic
|Niko arrives in Liberty City and finds that life isn’t simple upon meeting Roman.
|It’s Your Call
|Niko helps out Roman with his problems against Albanian Loan Sharks
|Three’s a Crowd
|Roman asks Niko to pick up Mallorie for Roman’s taxi company.
|Niko takes Michelle for a date at a bowling alley in Liberty City.
|Niko once again sweeps into the rescue for Roman against the Albanian Loan Sharks.
|Roman asks Niko to pick up one of his regular customers; however, the police intervene.
|Little Jacob hires Niko as a lookout for his “meeting.”
|Bull in a China Shop
|Vlad hires Niko to recover money from the owner of a Chinese shop.
|Hung Out to Dry
|Vlad once again hires Niko to recover more protection money.
|Vlad hires Niko to steal a car from Jimmy, who hasn’t been able to pay his debts.
|Ivan the Not So Terrible
|Vlad asks Niko to kill Ivan Bytchkov
|Little Jacob hires Niko to deal with some drug dealers
|After finding out that Mallorie is having an affair with Vlad, Niko decides to kill him.
|Crime and Punishment
|Since Niko killed Vlad, he now works for Mikhail Faustin
|Do you Have Protection?
|Niko and Dimitri team up to collect some protection money from a particular producer
|Roman asks Niko to pick up Mallorie for Roman’s taxi company.
|Mikhail orders Niko to kill Lenny Petrovic, the son of Kenny Petrovic
|No Love Lost
|Mikhail orders Niko to kill Anna Faustin’s boyfriend.
|Roman recommends Niko log onto the internet cafe
|Rigged to Blow
|Mikhail asks Niko to bomb one of Kenny Petrovic’s garages
|Search and Delete
|Brucie hires Niko for an assassination job.
|Easy as Can Be
|Brucie asks Niko to steal Lyle Rivas’ car
|The Master and The Molotov
|Dimitri hires Niko to kill Mikhail
|Niko gets his “reward” from Dimitri for killing Mikhail
|Roman and Niko move out due to a few unforeseen instances.
|Out of Closet
|Niko finally goes out on a date again.
|Niko and Brucie team up to race in the streets.
|Escuela of the Streets
|Niko gets some extra work from Manny Escuela.
|Manny asks Niko to help him clean the Bohan’s streets
|Luck of the Irish
|Elizabeta hires Niko to be a lookout for one of her deals with Patrick McReary.
|Blow Your Cover
|NOOSE and LCPD sniff out the drug deal between Niko, Playboy X and Johnny Klebitz.
|The Puerto Rican Connection
|Manny asks Niko to kill some haters of Manny’s new show.
|The Snow Storm
|Niko goes to recover some of the coke that Elizabeta lost.
|Have a Heart
|Elizabeta snaps and kills Manny and his cameraman. She hires Niko to dispose of the bodies.
|Call and Collect
|Niko and Francis McReary meet. Francis asks Niko to kill his blackmailer.
|Harboring a Grudge
|Niko helps Packie in stealing smuggled illegal medicines.
|Waste not Want Knots
|Niko, along with Packie and his associates, raids a warehouse.
|Three Leaf Clover
|Niko, with company pulls off a heist to rob the Bank of Liberty City.
|Niko finally gets a job interview
|Francis forces Niko to do one more job for him.
|Francis has more problems and convinces Niko to help him.
|Deconstruction for Beginners
|Playboy X asks Niko to raid a construction site located in Castle Gardens.
|Playboy X gives Niko a photo of a man, ordering Niko to silence the man.
|Dwayne asks Niko to get the money he sent to his girlfriend, who had an affair.
|Undress to Kill
|Niko tries to retake and conquer The Triangle Club for Dwayne.
|Wrong is Right
|United Liberty Paper Contact
|In exchange for protection, ULP forces Niko to do work for them.
|Portrait of a Killer
|ULP asks Niko to kill a financer to terrorist activity, Adam Dimayev.
|Mallorie assumes that Roman is missing and asks Niko to investigate.
|The Holland Play
|Niko makes a difficult decision.
|United Liberty Paper Contact
|ULP tasked Niko to follow and steal a helicopter.
|Niko and Little Jacob attempt to kill Eduard Borodin.
|Actions Speak Louder Than Words
|Gerald tasks Niko to assassinate a high-ranking capo Ancelotti member, Tony Black.
|I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, Your Motorcycle
|Niko stirs up even more trouble between Albanians and Ancelotti
|Derrick hires Niko to kill one of his fellow war mates, Bucky Sligo.
|A Long Way to Fall
|Niko works for Ray Boccino and asks him to take out Teddy Benavidez.
|Niko smuggles counterfeit money for Kim Young-Guk
|Tunnel of Death
|Niko finally silences Aiden O’Malley.
|Niko faces another problematic decision involving the McRearys.
|Niko attends the funeral of one of Packie’s brothers (it depends on your decision.)
|Taking in the Trash
|Niko and several people pick up diamonds hidden in trash bags.
|Niko confronts Luca’s Crew, who betrayed Ray Boccino.
|I’ll Take Her
|Gerald orders Niko to kidnap Grace Ancelotti.
|Niko tries to sell the diamond to Isaac Roth, but Luis Lopez interrupts while Keblitz steals the money.
|No Way on the Subway
|Niko deals with bikers from the gang Lost MC as an act of revenge.
|Ray Boccino asks Niko to kill Isaac Roth for him.
|Weekend at Florian’s
|Niko locates a long lost friend.
|Niko tries to take a photo of Grace to prove that she is kidnapped.
|She’s a Keeper
|The Ancelotti knows where Grace is, and Niko has to move her to a different location.
|Hating the Haters
|Bernie Crane asks Niko to take out a homophobe.
|Niko silences some of Crane’s blackmailers.
|Niko gets a fun “day off” courtesy of Crane.
|Phil Bell orders Niko to steal truck-filled heroin.
|Niko once again becomes a lookout over a deal.
|Pegorino orders Niko to ambush and kill all the Pavanos.
|Phil Bell hires Niko to assassinate Charles Matteo, an underboss of the Ancelotti
|To Live and Die in Alderney
|Phil, Niko and Frankie try to unload the stolen truck full of heroin; however, the FIB foils their plan.
|Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
|Ray Bulgarin interrupts a deal with the Ancelottis, leading to the loss of the diamonds.
|Jon Gravelli meets with Niko and asks him to escort Bobby Jefferson to the City Hall.
|Tasked by Gravelli, Niko takes out Kim Young-Guk, who sells counterfeit money.
|Liquidize the Assets
|ULP and Gravelli ask Niko to disrupt a deal going down with the Russians and Ancelottis
|Niko kills off Anthony Corrado, who conspired with the FIB against Pegorino.
|Niko finally meets the traitor who sold out his unit during the war and chooses his fate.
|That Special Someone
|Pegorino orders Niko to land a deal with Rascalov in which Niko can choose whatever he wants.
|If the Price is Right
|Niko once again wants to have a deal with Dimitri, which ultimately leads to betrayal.
|Mr and Mrs Bellic (Deal)
|Niko has to deal with the tragedy at Roman’s wedding.
|A Revenger’s Tragedy
|Niko has had enough of Dimitri and decides to end his antics.
|A Dish Served Cold
|Niko decides to act on Dimitri’s betrayals.
|Mr and Mrs Bellic (Revenge)
|Niko has to deal with the tragedy at Roman’s wedding.
|Out of Commission
|Niko takes revenge on Pegorino for death at Roman’s wedding.
|Side Mission Name
|Brucie’s Car Races
|Niko has to win street races for Brucie. This mission becomes available after completing the main mission called No. 1.
|Niko works as a drug courier for Little Jacob. This mission becomes available after completing the main mission called Shadow.
|Niko has to find exotic vehicles stolen from the owners and deliver them to a lockup in East Hook. This mission becomes available after completing the main mission called Logging On.
|LCPD Vehicle Computer
|Niko hunts down the most wanted men in Liberty City. Niko can access the missions when he is stationary in a Police Vehicle and using the LCPD Computer.
|Roman’s Taxi Driver
|Niko drives around in a taxi, completing passenger fairs for Roman’s taxi service. This mission becomes available after completing the main mission called Jamaican Heat.
|Stevie’s Car Thefts
|Niko steals 30 different cars. This mission is available after completing Smackdown, No. 1, and A Long Way to Fall.
|The Fixer’s Assassinations
|Niko carries out various assassination missions. This mission is available after completing Truck Hustle.
|Unique Stunt Jumps
|Niko attempts to do unique stunt jumps scattered throughout Liberty City.
|LCPD Vehicle Computer
|Niko intercepts crimes in progress.
|Approaching characters with a green icon on the map allows for a cutscene to play and a side mission to go along with it.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The DLCs
There are two single-player expansion packs for Grand Theft Auto IV. These are The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Steam packages these DLCs and the main game in a single purchase called Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition.
The Lost and Damned
Rockstar released this DLC on XBOX Live on February 17, 2009, as part of the exclusivity deal with XBOX. After almost a year of exclusivity, Rockstart released this DLC on the PC and the Playstation 3 on March 30, 2010.
The story of the Last and Damned centres around a dark and grim storyline that primarily revolves around the life of members of The Lost Motorcycle Club; you play as Johnny Klebitz as he battles rivals across Liberty City. Johnny associates himself with wealthy political members of Congress, lower-class bikers as well as drug pushers which set a distinction between the upper and lower class people in Liberty City.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second episode that Rockstar Released on October 29, 2009, for the XBOX. Much like The Lost and Damned, this episodic DLC had an exclusivity deal with XBOX. Rockstar then released this DLC later on PC and Playstation 3 on April 13, 2010.
You play as Luis Fernando Lopez, a part-time hoodlum and full-time assistant to a nightclub organizer, Tony Prince. The DLC does overlap with the original game and the first episode on the mission called Museum Piece, which involves Niko, Johnny and Luiz. The Ballad of Gay Tony also introduced the first scoring system for missions, ranking how well you did in missions based on the objectives you’ve completed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why did Grand Theft Auto IV Fail?
Answer: Personally, I didn’t think Grand Theft Auto IV failed. It’s more of a backlash against the usage of GFWL (Game For Windows Live) plus the poor performance in high-end PCs. Even until this day, my PC still struggles to play this 14-year-old game properly. Also, the idea of a dark and grim story coupled with the similar tone of the visual design didn’t sit well with most fans.
Regardless of these issues, I still recommend people to try out this underrated GTA game.
Question: What is Better, Grand Theft Auto IV or V?
Answer: This decision all comes down to personal preference, and you may or may not agree with me. I pick Grand Theft Auto IV to be the better GTA game than Grand Theft Auto V because of three factors.
• A better and more personal story
• A better physics engine and a more humble retelling of Liberty City in a somber tone
• The characters are much more relatable than in GTA V.
• These are three of the many reasons I prefer Grand Theft Auto IV to V; if you have any other input or comments, write them down below!
Question: Should You Play GTA IV before GTA V?
Answer: Not at all; Grand Theft Auto games have an exclusive story. If you’ll be playing an older game before the latter entries, you do not merit any “lore knowledge”. Although a particular character from Grand Theft Auto IV did make a brief appearance or cameo in GTA V, that’s as far as you’ll get. It’s more of a nod than a connection between the two games.
Grand Theft Auto IV revolutionized the open-world experience in terms of realism. There are some debates that the realism of Grand Theft Auto IV exceeds that of Grand Theft Auto V. It also introduced a lot of the innovations in the series that Rockstar reused and improved upon in GTA V.
Grand Theft Auto IV stepped away from the typical GTA story-telling style by telling the tale of an immigrant’s grim and dark life in Liberty City. It certainly appealed to me a lot more than other storylines in GTA games. This game truly is an underrated masterpiece.