Finished GTA IV's storyline for the first time last night. I chose revenge on the last mission, and am happy with it. I had to retry that mission several times, but I finally did it. What really helped was to take note of where the med packs and armor were located.
I don't have enough free time in my life to be a game completionist... I'd like to be, cuz I enjoy doing it, but too many other things must come first these days. So, I'll probably just play around with cheat codes a little bit in the aftergame, then move on to Liberty City Stories (I have the 2 disc edition of GTA IV). Nice to have another GTA under my belt.
IMO, This one's not as fun, or as... interesting as Vice City and San Andreas. It honestly feels like a step back from those two. Next gen graphics aside, it feels like it should have been released after GTA III, but before Vice City. However, at the time of GTA IV's development, the current systems were still kinda new. So perhaps they were playing it safe for the new technology....
Anyway, IMO Niko is honestly a forgettable protagonist. His back story is interesting and drives the main storyline, but as a character interacting in his game world, there is not much too him. I do like his "take no bullshit" attitude, though. The look he gives J Pegorino when Pegorino threatens him is awesome.
One major gripe many players have had with GTA IV is the car mechanics. I have to agree. It's like driving a bunch of boats around the city streets. Seems like all of the vehicles (except the high-end sports cars) have extremely mushy brakes and hugely enormous turning circles. Even motor bikes are stricken this way. I think they were trying so hard to be realistic with the driving aspect, it became unrealistic. As I mentioned before though, driving in first person view really helped me to handle the vehicles better. All in all, I'm glad they have addressed this issue with the upcoming GTA.
I did not enjoy the cell phone and dating mechanics. Could have done without those. Trying to cycle through menus and make phone calls for backup/assistance while under heavy fire, or driving/running for your life, is not very fun. The dating thing is just ridiculous, IMO. It's a time eater. The benefits you get from some people as a result are nice, but still not worth the tedium of driving different assholes around to places they enjoy. On that note, it almost feels like a chauffeuring mechanic, instead of dating. I'm also glad they did away with it that whole mess in GTA V.
Overall, I did enjoy the game. I know I griped about it more than I praised it, but it's honestly still good ol' GTA fun at it's core.... Just when comparing it to the previous 2 main entries in the series, it feels lacking. I'm seriously excited about GTA V. It looks like it's removed the bad/useless mechanics, and is returning to the zany good times and expansive and varied environments of San Andreas. Couldn't be happier about that!