The best parts: Mind-boggling attention to detail; groundbreaking realism; fantastic mission design; authentic characters; eclectic soundtrack; infinite replay value.
The WORST part: SOCIALIZING
Don't get us wrong - we love Roman. He's like digital family. Little Jacob, Dwayne, Packie? They're awesome. And we adore Brucie. The activities you meet these friends for can be pretty fun, too. Darts and pool are surprisingly realistic for minigames, the effects of drinking are hilarious ("Hey! Yellow car!") and causing mayhem at the strip club never grows old.
At some point, however, we just want to play the damn game. We want to finish the missions. We want to watch the story unfold. We want to make some infinitesimal sliver of progress after losing hours of our lives to bowling, juggling, cabaret singing and eating buckets of Cluckin Bell fried chicken. We want to effing shoot something!
But these jerks won't let us, calling and demanding our precious time between every single mission. Say "no" and you're penalized. Say "yes" and you may very well spend more time with these whiny bitches than you do with your real friends and family. The social system in GTA IV is more than distracting. It's exhausting.
Dishonorable mention: The radio stations in GTA IV are amazing, as always. The television stations? Not so much. The series' humor has never been subtle, of course, but that became painfully obvious with the addition of visuals. Plus, turning on your TV to watch a fictional character watch his TV is kinda depressing.
Another lonely Saturday night.