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Grand Theft Auto 4 – Official Strategy Guide Review

If you have an overall obsession for completeness and thanks to the recent release of GTA IV you’ve currently had your life consumed within the virtual metropolis of Liberty City, then the Grand Theft Auto IV Signature Series Guide from BradyGames will certainly come up trumps in your book (excuse the pun).

This guide is a well built and crafted piece of literature, that will not only help you out with the many storyline missions, but it will also give you a nudge in the right direction in finding the most hidden gems around Liberty City, whether it’s some armour, a hot ride, a high power rifle or a $5 hooker. OK I made the last one up, but it’s all here for your eyes to feast upon.

Packed full of 286 pages, this the gaming equivalent to a travellers Rough Guide to Liberty City, its challenges, storyline missions, all the way through to side story location points. This guide is the perfect partner in order to obtain the full 100% in the game, helping you obtain that key to the city. OK, by the time you are reading this you may be a little late for that party, but you can certainly make good use of this guide, even if it is to discover every pigeon, health pack or baseball bat on each island.

Throughout the guide you are constantly alerted to what areas you need to do to obtain 100% mission completeness, as well as the missions or challenges that can be avoided. This is handy if you are on a direct path to just completing the game, but of course, there is more to it than that in the wonderful expansive world of GTA IV.

Rather than separating story and side missions apart, BradyGames have chosen to walk you through its guide in a more chronological way, where each page describes the single player’s experience. Each side mission that you encounter has carefully been slotted in-between the storyline pages just at the point where they are unlocked in the storyline. From meeting up with your cousin Roman at the docks to introducing the additional characters Vlad and Little Jacob, you are given a seriously detailed walkthrough of each storyline and side mission.

Each section of the guide is very well laid out, with specific areas of the pages devoted to describing what your main objectives are to completing every mission, prerequisites, failure conditions you should be aware of as well as what new elements are available to you once the mission is complete. Alongside this crucial information there are cropped sections of the map showing you localized gun stores, heath and armour locations, garages and key waypoints specific to that particular mission. This is a small yet great addition to the guide, as it saves you time in flicking to the back of the guide to pull out the five page map, while losing your position in the guide in the process.

Part of the GTA IV experience is managing your “female time”. The guide helps you out with this too, listing what is good to wear, drive, eat, along with all the entertainment locations. How you boost your relationship is also described by listing which venue in Liberty City gives you the best opinion level on the misses (if only us lads had one of these guides in real-life!).

Like Dating, Procedural Missions take a prime spot within this guide. In Most Wanted missions, you take the role of the LCPD to take down the 30 most wanted criminals around Liberty City. Doing this takes you closer to your 100%, so as you can gather that this part of the guide is just as detailed. Each hoodlum’s location on each island is listed with key points on how to defeat them. Race Procedural Missions are also catered for in the guide; the 9 races in Liberty City contain detailed circuit maps, start locations and racing tips to consider. Car Theft missions walkthroughs contain back story on each targeted vehicle, its location pin pointed out on a localised map of the area and its value. Finally there is Assassin missions, once again with localised maps of each target and tips on how best to complete each assassination.

Rounding up the final 30 or so pages are rich detailed maps of each island. Like a London A-Z guide, each gun shop, restaurant, garage and strip club on the island is featured on the map. Further in you will get two additional duplicate maps that locate each weapon, health, armour, stunt jumps and flying rat on them. This is ideal if you wish to track down some crucial armour or health in the game or if you wish to pick up a free piece of weaponry before a mission.

In conclusion, BradyGames have excelled themselves in what appears to be fantastic guide for GTA IV. This guide accompanies the game in every aspect; including Xbox 360 Achievement guides through to general tips on Multiplayer maps and features. You may lose the element of surprise and excitement in the game if you wish to use this guide to its fullest, but for a game as expansive as this, it will take you weeks, if not months to fully locate every gem that this game contains. This guide is crucial to obtaining that 100% within the game, but as with all GTA games, it is beyond that, and it’s with this guide you may discover new parts of the game you think never existed, even if it’s your second or third play through of the game. If you are a diehard fan of the game and wish to squeeze every last drop out of the game, for such a small price I cannot recommend the Grand Theft Auto IV Guide from BradyGames enough.

Monster Score: 95%

You can purchase this guide and help support what we do here at Console Monster by clicking through to buy this guide from Play.com which currently retails today at the steal of £8.99 inc FREE delivery.

Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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