Fans of Grand Theft Auto 4 might be shocked to find out that the game has just celebrated its 15th birthday. Originally released on April 29, 2008, the Rockstar North-developed game was a true game-changer.
It was the fifth time gamers got to visit Liberty City, but this time, they followed the adventures of Niko Bellic, an Eastern European immigrant. GTA 4 had everything an open-world game needs to be successful: a captivating story, a huge and detailed open world to explore, and innovative gameplay mechanics.
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The open world in GTA IV set the bar high for any games in the genre that followed. The level of detail was a new standard for realism in video games. Players were thrust into a bustling, dynamic city where there was always something going on. The story was rich and engaging, the characters were unique and exciting, and best of all, the game was filled with the violence that GTA players know and love. So much violence, in fact, that the game sparked worldwide discussions about violence and crime in video games.
Grand Theft Auto 4 was one of the first in the series to offer players choices throughout the story, choices that would change character development and their relationship with Niko. It was also the first to bring multiplayer lobbies to the game, allowing players to explore Liberty City together.
The influence that GTA 4 had on open-world games that followed is too great to ignore. The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey all built on the innovation that Rockstar brought to GTA IV. Arguably, even a lot of GTA V’s success can be put down to the foundations set by its predecessor, allowing it to become one of the most successful video games in history.
So let’s take a moment to remember the fun times we’ve had in GTA IV over the past 15 years, and the lasting impression it made on gamers around the world.