“Grand Theft Auto 4” introduces protagonist Niko Bellic, an emotionally deep character with a troubled history. During the game you are given a choice on how to confront a man from Niko’s past and settle Niko’s inner demons. In order to make the choice, you must understand what has led Niko to this point and what it means to him.
During his youth, Niko Bellic fought in the Yukoslav Wars with a squad of 15 other teens and young adults. Out on a mission, Niko and his squad are ambushed and cut down, apparently betrayed by one of his squad members. Twelve members of the squad are killed during the ambush, leaving only Niko and two others alive, both of whom disappear afterward. Niko determines that one of the other survivors was the one who betrayed them. Enraged and unable to let go of the past, Niko is determined to exact revenge.
When Niko arrives in America, he catches wind that one of the two surviving members of his squad is located in the city. After gaining enough contacts through the criminal underground, Niko finds the location of Florian Cravic, Niko’s primary suspect, now going under the name of Bernie Crane. When first encountered, Bernie immediately accuses Niko of being the trator. This convinces Niko that the actual traitor is Darko Brevic. Niko has no knowledge of Darko’s current whereabouts. Later, as Niko’s network of contacts grows, he is able to gain the assistance of powerful organizations who promise to help Niko in his quest for revenge.
Near the end of the game Niko is contacted and directed to a location at the Liberty City International Airport. Once there, a van pulls up and throws a tied and bound Darko out the back doors before speeding off. Confronting Darko, Niko learns that Darko betrayed his squad mates for a thousand dollars to fuel his drug addiction. Tormented by guilt, Darko is a burned-out individual racked with severe drug addiction. You are given control of Niko’s choice -- either extract revenge for his dead mates or let go of the past and walk away.
There is no change to the overall outcome of the main storyline, nor any reward or benefit gained, with either choice. You must decide for yourself how Niko should handle the situation based on how you want Niko’s struggle to play out. If you decide to end Darko’s life, Niko coldly shoots Darko 12 times, one bullet for each of his betrayed friends. With his dying breath, Darko thanks Niko for ending his torture. After the murder, Niko feels empty about the act and finds that killing Darko didn’t make him feel better. If Niko lets Darko go, he runs away crying, not to be seen again. Niko reflects that killing Darko wouldn’t have changed anything and letting him live with guilt is a worse punishment. Niko’s friends congratulate him on letting go of his past.
- "Grand Theft Auto IV Signature Series Guide"; Tim Bogenn; Brady Games; 2008
- GTA Wiki: Darko Brevic