Grand Theft Auto IV answers the question of "Why would I ever want to become a criminal?" Because it pays a lot better than being a taxicab driver. Because I can virtually steal and drive a Lamborghini, a car that I can't even afford to test drive let alone own. Because I can open her up in Liberty City and drive like a maniac, blowing through red lights, cutting off traffic and generally enraging other drivers, and the police won't care unless I accidentally hit a police car. Because I can shoot "bad bad guys" who are giving us "good bad guys" a bad name. And best of all, because I can go online with Xbox 360 LIVE and shoot all of my co-workers in multi-player mode.
Grand Theft Auto IV is NOT for kids. The rating is M for Mature, 17 years old or older, but truthfully, if I had young children in the house, I would not allow this game in my house at all. In Grand Theft Auto IV, you play an anti-hero rather than a traditional hero, and the storyline is so well-crafted that even a perfect angel can understand how and why a fall from grace could occur just by the limited circumstances and choices that you find yourself facing. There is a lot of swearing, stealing, violence, and drug dealing that makes this game completely inappropriate for anyone under 17, and even inappropriate for many who are over 17, but who never did develop a sturdy sense of social responsibility to be able to separate the virtual world clearly apart from the real world when the game is over.
The graphics and sound quality are excellent, and there are several mini-games that can be played to relax from the high-intensity action missions such as darts, pool, and bowling. The different subplot characters in Liberty City are realistic and engaging, although there's not many dialogue choices. I spent a lot more time listening than actively participating in the conversation dialogues. The missions are frequently so challenging that I found myself repeating the same mission 5 times or more before I had mastered both the skill and the luck to be able to move on to the next mission area. And that's when I started wishing that I had cheat codes so I could move on already and do something fun. Instead, I just put the game down to do something else that was fun, and if you're not a major Grand Theft Auto fan in general, then I would recommend that you do something else that's fun, too.