I didn't get this game until 2011, and despite it being released in 2008, I couldn't help but be disappointed with the graphics. I don't think they are that much better than San Andreas was. The worst thing though is the driving camera. You shouldn't have to move the mouse while you drive, it is ridiculous. it's worth noting also that the driving feels more realistic than the arcadey feel of previous GTA titles.
As far as the positives go, if you like GTA games you won't be displeased with the gameplay. It is what we've had in the past. Driving missions, shooting missions, driving and shooting missions and so on. Again though, whether they have pushed the envelope enough with new features, or whether they have just put you in a new different environment to do the same things gamers have done before is debatable. I feel as it is more towards the former.