- Hand-to-hand combat has been re-worked for GTA IV. It feels far more natural than before.
- Each button on the controller is used in hand-to-hand combat in GTA IV. B (X360)/Circle (PS3) are used to throw 'standard' punches. Y/Triangle throws an alternate punch. X/Square unleashes a kicking attack, and A/X is used to dodge enemy attacks, which can be followed up with a powerful counter by pressing one of the other face buttons immediately after a successful dodge.
- Niko is a master at Krav Maga, a fighting style the Israeli Special Forces use.
- When aiming (activated by holding down the Left Trigger (X360) or L2 (PS3)), the camera moves to a view over Niko's shoulder.
- When locked onto a target, a small circular reticule appears. This reticule is surrounded by either a red (enemy), green (non-enemy) or grey (police) circle made up of eight segments, which represents the character's health.
- To fire out of cars, Niko first smashes the driver-side window. Aiming while inside a car or on a motorbike is controlled by the right analog stick.
- Drive-bys can be performed with pistols, SMGs and grenades.
- The new cover system (activated by the Right Bumper (X360) or R1 (PS3)) allows Niko to stick to walls and peep around corners to help prevent him being hit by enemy gunfire. While in cover, you can either aim and jump out of cover to shoot accurately, or you can 'blind fire', which is far less accurate but also reduces the risk of being hit.
- Unable to simply just walk into Ammunation and buy a weapon, Niko has to search around in alleyways, back streets, basements, etc to obtain them.
- You can also buy ammunition separately.
- You have a friend named Little Jacob. When your friendship status with him is strong enough, you may phone him and buy weapons from the trunk of his car at a discounted price. You can also buy cheap armor in this way.
Physics of the Weapon System
- Weapons are realistically less accurate in GTA IV than in previous GTA games - holding down the trigger on an assault rifle will make it considerably less accurate than if you use burst firing techniques.
- Shooting an enemy in the leg might cause them to fall while shooting them in the shoulder might disarm them.
- The direction you attack an enemy from might also determine the result of your actions - creep up behind them and you should get an easy head shot, but take them on face to face and they could well flinch or duck out of the way.
- Shooting different parts of the body has different impacts (e.g shoot a security guard in the foot at the top of the stairs, and he'll come tumbling down).
- They have improved the target system with different hitzones on the body.