On top of that, his gambling addiction has caused him to take out loans from Albanian Gangsters and The Mafiya, placing him in nigh-inescapable debt.
Determined to help out his cousin, and hoping to investigate a lead regarding the traitor, Niko is forced to delve back into his past life of violence to survive.
The game certainly takes advantage of the new hardware to the fullest - character models are much more realistically detailed and animated, as is just about everything else.
Set in the late 2000s, the story follows Niko Bellic, a veteran of the Yugoslav Wars who turned to crime in an attempt to track down the traitor who got his squad killed.
There's even an open sandbox mode so you can run around Liberty City doing whatever you want, be it with your friends or complete strangers.
Before the game's release, Rockstar signed a million deal with Microsoft to produce two downloadable expansion packs exclusively for the Xbox 360 in 2009.
PS3 and PC owners could rejoice as these previously exclusive expansions came out for their formats in April 2010.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, there are five possible girlfriends for Niko Bellic.
One of the biggest changes from previous installments was 's ability to take advantage of the Internet connectivity that virtually all consoles of the time had built in.
A number of multiplayer game modes are offered, from classic deathmatch and team deathmatch to team-based co-op missions.
Two of them, Michelle and Kate, are introduced through the storyline.
The other three, Carmen Ortiz, Kiki Jenkins, and Alexandra Chilton, are met via online dating services.