It was a great game and subject to unanimous critical praise, yet among fans of the Grand Theft Auto series GTA IV remains so very misunderstood, often dismissed as a letdown compared with sun-soaked previous entry San Andreas. But with it Rockstar shook up their cash cow of a franchise in a range of ways that went way beyond the usual superficial, incremental tweaks gamers are used to - and apparently remain satisfied by. Instead of merely upgrading the graphics and adding a few more cars or guns, the studio tightened up the formula, improving the gameplay mechanics and becoming far more accomplished storytellers - in the process paving the way for Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire to follow. But what did we do? We moaned ungratefully and cried and spat the good work right back in their collective game developer face. Yes, GTA IV has been the object of much online belly-aching from the fan community. This is why GTA V will suck. And make no mistake, dear reader, it's all our fault. Here are a few of the ways the franchise will inevitably have regressed when the game is eventually released, thanks to constant internet boo-hooing and ludicrous suggestions that "Saints Row is more fun".
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A regular film and video games contributor for What Culture, Robert also writes reviews and features for The Daily Telegraph, GamesIndustry.biz and The Big Picture Magazine as well as his own Beames on Film blog. He also has essays and reviews in a number of upcoming books by Intellect.