Games that feature vehicular mayhem in conjunction with shooter elements are nothing new. But Grand Theft Auto IV seems to be the first game to allow players to jack vehicles on land, sea, and air...as well as blast each other across the scape of an tri-island city. There's something liberating about taking out an enemy from the open hatch of a banking helicopter. Or colliding in speedboats during a match of Cops n' Crooks. Or sending a Rocket Propelled Grenade through the back window of an SUV for the fiery kill. All of these scenarios and more are possible in the team-based multiplayer modes of GTA IV.
For myself, I can't say that I've spent a whole lot of time with the game - which is a crime (no pun intended). I've let one copy go, and replaced it months later when my brother finally got online and cited GTA as his favorite series to that point. Since then, we've endeavored to get some online kills together, and the results have been exciting, to say the least. Why I don't do it often probably has more to do with the beyond-realistic high difficulty than anything else.
'Heat 2', without the hockey masks
Our first online experience was a two-versus-two affair, and we were up against a pair of skilled players. Despite my affinity for guns I opted to drive, and quickly found a teal open-top muscle car. My brother - a real-life gearhead - was somehow still alive after an intersection shootout, and was coaxing a motorcycle with two flat tires along. He made the right decision in abandoning the poor wreck when I skidded up in the muscle car.