Grand Theft Auto 4 is a great game, though it does start slow and boring. (Do you really have to shoot pool and go bowling? Seriously?) This latest GTA offers another 60-hour offline adventure packed with extravagant cinema scenes and murderous missions. It's also the first GTA with online shooting, which is nice, but body movements are sluggish. And you start each level with the worst handgun imaginable instead of a good machine gun.
It took about 1,000 people to make GTA 4, and you can see the depth. There is a big plot and awesome dialogue. You play as a Serbian immigrant in New York City who gets coaxed into the crime world. You collect protection money and shoot rival cons with rifles, shotguns and machine guns. As usual, you drive old muscle cars, ambulances, helicopters, cop cars, stretch limos and tons of horrible beater-cars that barely turn corners.
Radio stations in your hijacked vehicles play scores of classic and pop songs, but DJs also act as evil parodies of the real thing. DJs are racist, sexist and conservative, bemoaning even the loss of separate drinking fountains. This is not face-value cruelty, but rather a stinging, liberal satire of the right.