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Grand Theft Auto IV is a sandbox-style action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North,[16] and released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles in Europe, North America and Oceania, on 29 April 2008,[17] and in Japan on 30 October 2008.[18] A Windows version of the game was released in North America on 2 December 2008 and in Europe on 3 December.[7][8][6] It was made available on Steam on 4 January 2009.[19] It is the sixth 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto series.

Two episodic packs have since been released for the Xbox 360, the first entitled The Lost and Damned, released on 17 February 2009. The second is entitled The Ballad of Gay Tony, released on 29 October 2009.[20][21] Both episodes were released for PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows on 13 April 2010[22] in North America and on 16 April[22] 2010 in Europe.[23]

The game is set in a redesigned rendition of Liberty City, a fictional city based heavily on modern day New York City. It follows Niko Bellic, a war veteran from an unspecified country in Eastern Europe.[24] He comes to the United States in search of the American Dream,[25] but quickly becomes entangled in a world of gangs, crime, and corruption. Like other games in the series, GTA IV is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives players more control over their playing experience. It is the first console game in the series to feature an online multiplayer mode.

As the first game of the critically acclaimed series to appear on seventh generation consoles, Grand Theft Auto IV was widely anticipated. A major commercial and critical success, it broke industry records with sales of around 3.7 million units on its first day of release and grossing more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, selling an estimated 6 million units worldwide.[26][27] As of 9 June 2010, the game had sold over 17 million copies.[28]

Grand Theft Auto IV is one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from critics, with many giving the game a perfect score. It is the all-time highest-rated game among Xbox 360 games and PlayStation 3 games on aggregated review website Metacritic[29] and the highest-rated game on MobyGames and TopTenReviews.