The game is set in a redesigned rendition of Liberty City, a fictional city based heavily on modern day New York City. It follows Niko Bellic, a war veteran from an unspecified country in Eastern Europe. He comes to the United States in search of the American Dream, but quickly becomes entangled in a world of gangs, crime, and corruption. Like other games in the series, GTA IV is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives players more control over their playing experience. It is the first console game in the series to feature an online multiplayer mode.
As the first game of the critically acclaimed series to appear on seventh generation consoles, Grand Theft Auto IV was widely anticipated. A major commercial and critical success, it broke industry records with sales of around 3.7 million units on its first day of release and grossing more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, selling an estimated 6 million units worldwide. As of 11 March 2009, the game has sold over 13 million copies. Grand Theft Auto IV also received overwhelmingly positive reviews, becoming one of the highest-rated games of all time on aggregated review websites such as Metacritic and GameRankings.