The Broke Gamer: Grand Theft Auto IV

College broke? Recession got you down?  Fret not,  Great Gaming Crusade is here to make sure you get your gaming fix and still have money left to feed the cat. With a plethora of triple A games for under $25, there’s no reason to dig into your rent money to play quality titles.

This edition, we bring you one of the best games in dollar-per-hour value; Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA 4). For those of you who don’t know (all five of you), GTA 4 is the latest entry in the series that popularized open world games. Now I have never been a fan of GTA games. Bugs permeated the experience while the characters were all unlikable. GTA games lacked a proper targeting system which is terrible for a game that revolves around so much shooting. Sure, San Andreas finally introduced a serviceable targeting system, but all other issues remained.  Grand Theft Auto IV has reinstated my faith in the series.

GTA 4 follows Nico Bellic, an emotional damaged soldier from Eastern Europe,  who is lured to the welcoming shores of Liberty City by his cousin Roman. After finding out that the letters Roman sent back home about having a mansion, fast cars and loose women 24/7 is “the best line in bullshit”, Nico must work his way around the seedy underground of Liberty City while maintaining his personal agenda. The story in GTA 4 is by far the best in the series. Nico and his supporting cast of colorful characters are humanized and generally likable which is just the opposite in past GTA games.  The GTA IVgameplay is no slouch either. Sporting a cover system, GTA 4’s gunplay is much more refined and user-friendly.  The missions make good use of the improvements to many high action shootouts. Like any good sandbox game should, GTA 4 is chock-full of activities and side missions if you ever get tired of plowing through the story. All in all, the single player portion can take a good 60 hours for hardcore completion junkies, and 30 hours for those of you that strictly stay to the main story missions. As I said, that’s only the single player portion of the game. The multiplayer in GTA 4 is a medley of the mission variants in the single player (races, cops and robbers, etc.) with a twist; the entirety of Liberty City is available at all times. Free roaming with your friends by itself provides some of the best multiplayer action around. Even the series’ staple of going postal is fun when you have your buddies backing you up.

Both Amazon and Gamestop are listing copies for less than $25. If you haven’t played GTA 4 yet, there’s no reason to not jump into it now. To the sworn haters of the series, I was right there with you all until GTA 4 came around. So if you’re standing on the fence, visit your nearest GameStop for a pre-owned copy; you can return those in 7 days if you don’t like the game. Either way, you have nothing to lose by giving GTA 4 a shot.

About Abel Girmay

Just living, loving, and learning. What else is there to do?

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