March 1st, 2008

EGM previews GTA IV and bag exclusive interview with Sam Houser

Published at 5:23 PM PST

EGM received some special treatment this month, not only did they receive an preview of Grand Theft Auto IV at Rockstar North's studio, something no other magazine has yet had, but they also bagged an exclusive interview with the man himself, Sam Houser. EGM seem to be proud of their grab also, they certainly put in a lot of work to insure it was quality and not just quantity, however it is huge! There is also an interview with PatrickW, the infamous creator of the San Andreas "Hot Coffee" modification. They discussed the modification with him, how it affected his life and how he feels about Rockstar & GTA now. You can see that on page 10, and the preview itself is 13 page long.

Points of interest:

  • The idea for Niko Bellic is inspired by a favorite driver in Rockstar's driving service.
  • We mentioned this briefly in an article a few months back, cars that received too much damage will have their engine stall, rendering them useless to you.
  • Tapping the D-Pad brings a phone menu where you can access text messages, an organizer, multiplayer modes, a camera and a contacts list which updates as you meet new people. Tapping twice will allow you to make calls.
  • There are two models of phones, one which you begin with (the one mentioned in the last point) and the second ,which comes later on in the game, includes the aforementioned MP3 player.
  • Our favorite comedian Lazlow is confirmed to be returning on the radio.
  • There are 16 radio stations, not 18 as mentioned by other previewers.
  • Emergency vehicles such as Fire fighters, police and ambulances will respond in real time, including the travel from their stations around the city. You can also call an emergency service from your phone, which is handy if you require a police vehicle for a mission here-say.
  • Developing relationships with people through-out the metropolitan area is crucial. The better the relationship, the more you'll benefit. Ignoring someone for a long period of time will result in angry messages.
  • If you fail a mission, the next time you attempt the missions dialogue will be different.
  • The reasoning behind part of the city being closed off this time around is due to a terror alert. You can still visit locked islands, like you could in San Andreas, but we would recommend against throwing yourself into the attack line of the city's police force straight away. Your wanted level will go up, and you'll be left to fend them of for yourself.
  • Niko is said to be a man with no country, in the same was as Claude had been known as a man with no name.
  • Niko spent time in third world prisons. Noticing how GTA4 is feeding off the modern day world? Realism is the games strongest point.
  • Girlfriends have returned, however this time they will be more incorporated into the story.
  • Sam Houser on multiplayer: "I just like running up to a bunch of players with the grenade cooking in my hands and taking them all out with me."
  • You can resist arrest when getting busted by hitting A/X, a larger wanted level will be the result though.
  • They say; If you enjoyed the San Andreas multiplayer modes, then you should be a happy with GTA IV online.
  • The motion sensing in the PS3 version will work in "a way that makes sense" said Sam Houser.
  • Most interesting point is that when the development of Grand Theft Auto IV started the map of Liberty City was to be enormous. Practically the size of the state of New York. Rockstar thought it was logical to go bigger after San Andreas, however soon decided to focus on the entire Grand Theft Auto experience rather then the playing arena.


Scans of all 13 pages:

Screenshots (3 new, low-quality):


thanks to Asif at and CosmosTheMouse