I didn't liked the fact that despite meeting the IAA guy long before even reaching half way through the game, Niko Bellic Still continues to offer himself as a gun for hire for various people around town, and always introduce himself by asking that they should help him find the special someone he was looking for.
But it was obvious from the start that the government agents were the best solution to Niko's search, it sure as hell wasn't the petty thugs around town who were ever going to do it right for Niko.
To make it worst, almost none of Niko's employer ever talk to him again about that 'favor' they were asked to do, as if the conversation and Niko's plea a couple missions earlier just vanished out of thin air as soon as the cutscene had ended.
Of course the fact that Niko has the Claude-syndrome (the tendency of killing previous employer because the 'new' boss says so) didn't help either.
Niko Bellic's journey basically sends him on all corners of Liberty City for no good reason other than just dragging the experience out.
It was a damn fine experience, sure, but the plot was nonexistent for more than half of the game, it's just a series of episodic events with the various gangsters in the city.
Maybe had they made better use of the in-game money system it would have made the experience reach on a more engaging level; Niko also likes to discuss his fee with his employer, but to us as a player it didn't made much of an impact, why should I care how much money Niko gets paid? I can't do anything with the money once I've bought the clothes I want; Roman Bellic somehow never gets access to my pocket money, and halfway through the game I already earned a quarter of a million from the bank heist, a quarter of a million!! what the hell am I suppose to do with that? and why is Niko still negotiating his petty fees later on?
Completing the storyline also gives you Another quarter of a million, regardless of whether you had the Revenge or Deal ending, again making the decision to choose between the two rather moot.
Drako Brevic does shoot off the "how much money do you ask to kill people" mentality back at Niko near the end, and it felt damn satisfying that someone else had spotted Niko's hypocrisy to a degree.
So yes, maybe had the game somehow gave more pressure as to always have money in hand, either to feed Roman or to bribe authorities, then yes I would have understood the need to work for the various crooks around town, but alas such 'need' wasn't present.
It's not like Niko was like Carl Johnson who dreamed of always being 'big' and having various connections and income all over the state of San Andreas, Niko never really made the pursuit of the almighty dollar such an issue to him.
So why does he continuously live the life of a gun for hire?
Just to feel the need to be like in the old country/ older games?
However IV's plot is still miles, Miles better than Ballad of Gay Tony; now that was a true episodic story with no relevant relations from one subplot to the other.