Why oh why did I visit Metacritc again? As if my desire to play this game wasn't already at a fever pitch, the little bastard comes strolling into the press with an aggregate score of 99 as of right now. Some quotes...
100 - IGN
I could go on and on about why Grand Theft Auto IV is one of the best games we've ever seen and why even folks who are easily offended should play it, but that would be pointless. The only thing you need to know is that you have to play this game. Period.
100 - IGN UK
Expectations were so high for Grand Theft Auto IV that one of the biggest surprises is that it's managed to meet them. That it's also gone on to confound these is truly a marvel, and the game's Liberty City is nothing less than one of the greatest videogame worlds yet conceived.
100 - 1UP
None of these little flaws take away from Liberty City's breathtaking vistas, incredibly varied scenery, and lived-in look (the PS3 version has the slightest visual edge, plus motion-control support -- but then it's missing Achievements and the eventual downloadable episodes exclusive to the 360 game). The city just feels alive.
100 - EuroGamer
Almost everything you do in Liberty City would be good enough to drive its own game, and the best parts would be good enough to outrun the competition, but the reason it works so well is that Rockstar has made a game that requires no patience to play. This, as much as its usual coherency and the best script in the series, is what makes GTA IV the best openworld game yet, and why it will take something miraculous to rob it of game of the year status.
100 - GameSpy
The very nature of the American Dream is the central theme in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV, a gaming masterpiece that is a picture-perfect snapshot of the underworld of today's big cities. This is not only the finest title of the generation thus far, it is one of the best games of all-time.
100 - Official Xbox Magazine UK
It's got a world you believe in, a cast you care about and a script stuffed with brilliant moments... Utterly stunning in every resepct. [May 2008, p.79]
It's amazing that a sequel that keeps the core gameplay concepts of its prior incarnations can do so much to change itself into something new. Cabs are awesome, as is the cellphones capabilities. But perhaps the biggest innovation is the notion that you can create a game that's as valid a piece of art as any book or movie. Is this our "Citizen Kane" moment?
100 - Game Informer
I now know how film critics felt after screening "The Godfather." It's been days since Grand Theft Auto IV's credits rolled, yet I can't seem to construct a coherent thought without my mind wandering off into a daydream about the game. I just want to drop everything in my life so I can play it again. Experience it again. Live it again...Grand Theft Auto IV doesn't just raise the bar for the storied franchise; it completely changes the landscape of gaming.
100 - GameDaily
Grand Theft Auto IV lives up to its grand expectations by weaving a Hollywood-ready "American Dream" plotline with a finely-tuned game experience -- taking the tried-and-true GTA formula and plugging it into a living, breathing version of Liberty City.
100 - GamePro
Considering the fact that it's been a target of political and media pundits who keep harping on the infamous "Hot Coffee" incident, it's understandable to think that Rockstar might tone down the adult themes in GTA IV. But thankfully, that didn't happen. This is a mature game, and a devilishly good one at that.
100 - VideoGamer
We all knew GTA 4 would be a great game and sell millions of copies, but I didn't expect it to shame pretty much every other game I've played this generation.
100 - Gamer.nl
GTA IV is the best action game ever. The game has beautiful details, nice situations, extrodinary gameplay, sharp humor and great graphics. There are certainly a few minor negatives about the game, but the positive points are just too much. We have one piece of advice: Buy!
100 - Thunderbolt
Smashing down the barriers between videogames and movies, GTA4 is what happens when flawless game design and ridiculously high production values collide.
98 - IGN AU
Without a doubt, rest assured this is the best game yet for this generation. The only reason we've resisted giving it full marks is that in the same way GTA III?s template was blown out so much further in "Vice City" and "San Andreas," we're confident the next GTA on this generation will up the ante considerably.
98 - Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
Rockstar have surpassed themselves, delivering unquestionably the definitive GTA and perhaps the greatest videogame of all time. [June 2008]
98 - GameTrailers
Grand Theft Auto IV is the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of video games. It's a little less brave and intimidating this time around, but it?s also the most refined and polished game in the franchise?s history. This kind of sheen is generally reserved for titles with a much smaller scope.
95 - Computer and Video Games
Coming back to our original conundrum, GTA IV has its flaws as a game, like the sometimes problematic auto-aim shooting or the massive difficulty jump when you get to the final ten missions. But as an all-round experience it's truly, hype aside, a standout experience of gaming in 2008.
Only a few more hours before I can find out if it's all true...