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GTA 4: The Superior Crime Sim

I have spent countless hours playing GTA 5 and its multiplayer mode, GTA Online. However, in my opinion, GTA 4 surpasses both in terms of entertainment value and legacy. The game stands out among Rockstar's impressive catalog, which includes titles like L.A. Noire, Manhunt, Bully, Red Dead Redemption, and its sequel.

GTA 4, set in Liberty City, offers a compelling storyline centered around protagonist Niko Bellic, an immigrant seeking the American dream but getting caught up in a life of crime. The game's portrayal of modern-day America feels grounded in reality compared to its predecessors, adding to its appeal.

With the recent announcement of Red Dead Redemption coming to the Nintendo Switch and PS4, powered by the same RAGE engine as GTA 4, it's natural to wonder if a similar treatment could be given to Niko Bellic's adventure. While Red Dead Redemption's port has received mixed reactions, it raises the possibility of GTA 4 getting the same treatment.

GTA 4 marked a significant shift for the franchise when it was released in 2008, ushering in the “HD Universe.” The game's graphics and gameplay evolved to a more realistic and gritty style compared to the previous games' cartoon-like aesthetic.

While a fully-realized remake of GTA 4 seems unlikely, especially with GTA 6 on the horizon, the game already holds a “Playable” status on the Steam deck. However, it lacks seamless integration with the hardware's interface and settings, making an official port a desirable option.

The troubled launch of The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: Definitive Edition in 2021, with game-breaking bugs and crashes, raises concerns about the upscaling of other older titles. Nevertheless, if Double Eleven Studio can successfully port Red Dead Redemption to the Switch, I hope they consider turning their attention to GTA 4.

In conclusion, GTA 4 stands as the pinnacle of the Grand Theft Auto series for me. Its immersive story, realistic setting, and enduring legacy make it deserving of a port to modern consoles. While waiting for GTA 6, fans of the franchise can indulge in other crime sim games like those mentioned in a separate article.