Everything we know about GTA IV to date

• Rockstar began work on the game in November 2004.

• The game introduces a new 'wanted' mechanic. If Niko does something to warrant a wanted level, a search radius appears on the mini-map. The higher the wanted level, the wider the radius. Niko must avoid the LCPD completely to stop the search radius being reset to the last location where he was spotted.

• Niko’s mobile phone - called the Whiz - acts as the 'hub' of the game, receiving information and threads for missions. This useful device has four main functions: Phonebook, Messages, Organizer and Camera. Most importantly, Niko can use it to call contacts, allowing him to instigate missions and arrange meetings.

• If Niko fails a mission, he receives a text message on his cell phone asking if he wants to restart the mission. Niko is then plonked back to the point directly after any mission intro cut-scene and is ready to start again without any annoying backtracking.

• All cars will feature standard GPS, while luxury models will be fitted with voice-navigation GPS.