15 Small Things GTA IV Does Better Than GTA V

15 Small Things GTA IV Does Better Than GTA V

Grand Theft Auto games are all about attention to detail. A million little things come together to form the massive simulations we’ve come to know and love — and it’s fascinating to look at what, specifically, goes into defining a GTA space. CrowbCat has a comparison video that pits GTA V against GTA IV, and in doing so, finds that the more modern game actually falls short in a lot of different, easy-to-miss ways:

A few things showcased in this video:

  1. The police in GTA IV aren’t automatically hostile to your mere existence.
  2. In GTA IV, you can get into more involved fistfights with NPCs. NPCs also have more tolerance, period.
  3. In GTA IV, NPCs react dynamically to where, specifically, they are shot. (If you want a more detailed look at the tech behind that, watch this.)
  4. The car physics are more realistic in GTA IV in terms of handling, and also in terms of how the cars crash.
  5. NPCs aren’t giant arseholes to you for no reason in GTA IV.
  6. You can shoot guns out of people’s hands in GTA IV — and, in general, knock things out of people’s hands.
  7. You can carjack by pointing a gun at someone in GTA IV more easily.
  8. You can pick up random junk in GTA IV and actually use it in some way — it’s not just decoration.
  9. People in GTA IV react to cars trying to run them over in more ways.
  10. You can climb things in GTA IV.
  11. The environment in GTA IV is more reactive to explosions, scratches and so on.
  12. The water physics are more detailed in GTA IV.
  13. Your character reacts to the weather in GTA IV.
  14. Cops stop crimes without actually murdering anyone in GTA IV.
  15. There are way more interiors in GTA IV.

Of course, it’s worth noting that GTA V probably has a number of its own innovations that trump GTA IV’s simulation, too — instead of focusing on the specific things shown in this video, GTA V fleshed other things out, instead. Still, it’s fascinating to look at all these smaller details and how they play out in their respective games anyway. If nobody had pointed some of this stuff out to me, I probably wouldn’t have noticed! Some of these changes were intentional, too — the driving/car handling in GTA IV in particular.


  • The Car handling in GTA IV was diabolical. I dont care if its realistic, i dont want to drive a brick around.

    • I was gonna say this. The first time I loaded up GTA IV I drove the car from the boat and plowed into however many walls. I played the hell out of San Andreas so was expecting a more arcadey driving system, but no, crap car=crap handling. I wouldn’t put it as one of the things IV does better than V at all

      • Ditto. I’m shocked that this is on the list, given that it’s the primary reason I stopped playing IV.

  • Nothing like ramming an unsuspecting grocery-unloader standing over their boot 😀

    I like the realistic driving, except during high speed chases, haha

    On the topic of IV/V and realism, though-

    Go drive properly in IV and stop for a red light. You are now the bane of existence for the driver behind you. The NPCs will stop at red lights and not complain about each other as long as all the cars are NPC driven, but the moment you, the palyer does, you will be honked, cars will overtake you and run red lights etc, plow down pedestrians etc. It’s very immersion breaking in an otherwise well-built world that really sucks you in.

    That was fixed in V though, thankfully.

  • The video would work better with captions describing which game you’re looking at, and why you’re looking at it – like in the descriptions given in the article. As is, it just looks like a random compilation of things.

  • All I cared for in GTA4 was LCHC. Decidedly absent from GTA5, even with all the presence by the Lost and the Damned. Disappointed.

  • Alot of these are just personal opinions and some of them are plain false. I still remember the first time you get to drive in GTA4 and it felt like you were a brick on ice. Took some getting used too.

  • I think this points out a issue with modern game development, for the first time in a long time the next generation of games isn’t necessarily an improvement over the last generation. Not saying GTA V is a bad game, it isn’t but it is clear things weren’t as polished as GTA IV or rather they was a lack of willingness to devote resources to implementing the same features into GTA V most likely due to cost cutting which considering how well GTA V sold, isn’t a defensible stance in my opinion.

  • Started the list wondering if it was just the author trying to troll got to
    The water physics are more detailed in GTA IV.
    And decided it was so.

    • i saw this and was expecting the next few lines to be

      13. gta iv never gonna give you up
      14. gta iv never gonna let you down
      15. gta iv never gonna run around and desert you

      or something to do with the spaghetti in patricia’s pockets.

  • Look in GTA IV they threw a lot of weight behind the Naturalmotion Physics System – and ultimately the rag doll effects were one of the highlights of that game.

    Don’t ask me why because I don’t know but it was much more fun in IV to run into the hospital after respawning, shoot up the waiting room then wait for the cop to arrive and leave a trail of chaos all over Broker

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