Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV (often abbreviated as "GTA 4") is a third-person open-world game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games., released on April 29th, 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and on December 2nd, 2008 for PC. The game is set on a ficticious place called Liberty City, which is a parody of four out of five boroughs in Template:W, as well as parts of New Jersey.
In Grand Theft Auto 4 you take on the role of Niko Bellic, an immigrant from Eastern Europe with an ominous past. Persuaded by his cousin's promises of a fresh start and a better life, Niko relocates to Liberty City, also known as "The worst place in America". After making the move to Liberty, however, Niko realizes that his hopes of living the "American Dream" may never come true, and that things may not be so different from his past.
Impact in the series
Grand Theft Auto IV is still considered to be one of the most successfull games in the series, with Metacritic reviews scoring 98, which is considered an "universal acclaim".
While GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas were considered to be part of the GTA III trilogy (same graphics engine, similar characters, similar mission style, etc.), Grand Theft Auto IV is considered a fresh start for the GTA series, focusing more heavily on realism and storytelling than in previous titles. For this reason, Grand Theft Auto was the first game on the "HD Universe", as opposed to the aforementioned games being on the "3D Universe".
GTA IV follows the release of the hugely successful GTA: San Andreas (which was released for PlayStation 2 in 2004, and then later for PC and Xbox during 2005) and also marks the 10th anniversary of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. With Grand Theft Auto 4 being the milestone that it is, Rockstar Games has been working overtime on perfecting the game. According to Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey -- a financial consultant for Take2 Interactive -- approximately 150 developers worked on GTA 4.