(http://www.rockstargames.com/episodesfromlibertycityFor Mature Audience 17 and over.  When Grand Theft Auto IV was officially announced for its release back in April of last year many of us long time GTA fans both Xbox 360 and PS3 players were extremely excited to hear that finally the next chapter in the GTA series was on its way.  But for those who owned an Xbox 360, Rockstar promised to deliver a little something more, two exclusive downloadable add-on episodes.  Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City exclusively for Xbox 360 was their fulfillment of this promise with the add-on episodes of The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.  Although The Lost and the Damned is not a new title and was originally released back in February, for $40 dollars getting you both episodes, you’re getting a fantastic deal!  Since The Ballad of Gay Tony is the newer add-on episode amongst the two, we will focus on this title for the sake of this review.

http://www.rockstargames.com/episodesfromlibertycityFor Mature Audience 17 and over.  When Grand Theft Auto IV was officially announced for its release back in April of last year many of us long time GTA fans both Xbox 360 and PS3 players were extremely excited to hear that finally the next chapter in the GTA series was on its way.  But for those who owned an Xbox 360, Rockstar promised to deliver a little something more, two exclusive downloadable add-on episodes.  Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City exclusively for Xbox 360 was their fulfillment of this promise with the add-on episodes of The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.  Although The Lost and the Damned is not a new title and was originally released back in February, for $40 dollars getting you both episodes, you’re getting a fantastic deal!  Since The Ballad of Gay Tony is the newer add-on episode amongst the two, we will focus on this title for the sake of this review.

 

In The Ballad of Gay Tony (TBOGT), you assume the role of Luis Lopez the personal bodyguard of business partner of Liberty City’s night life impresario, Tony Prince the owner of the city’s hottest lounge, Masionette 9 and the city’s most famous Gay Club, Hercules.  You will accompany Tony in his journey as he finds himself getting tangled in some bad drama with some of the worst characters within Liberty City.

       

Presentation:

When we were promised two exclusive downloadable add-on episodes for GTA IV many of us really thought that it would be something you’d download.  With the release of The Lost and the Damned back in February the title was made available in stores to buy a code which you would still have to go back to Xbox Live to enter which you’d only be able to play only if you owned a copy of GTA IV.  What is nice about Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, unlike most add-ons, provided out of the box, neither one of these episodes require the original GTA IV disc to play!

Gameplay:

Living and hanging around the upper class society of Liberty City is bound to have different activities to do on your down time as opposed to being a foreign immigrant coming to Liberty City to live out the American Dream.  Rockstar validates this theory with a few added activities for Luis to partake in on his downtime from being the hired muscle.  As Tony Prince’s business partner you will be able to play a mini game while at one of Tony’s Clubs to run and manage it.  Play manager by kicking out perverts and trouble makers in the club and attending to high profile clientele ensuring that they have a great time.  When you are not managing, try the new dancing or drinking mini games to interact with those in your club.  If that’s still not enough compete in some underground fighting as a L.C. Cage Fighter or even do some base jumping from the highest buildings within Liberty City for the ultimate adrenaline rush.  These are just a few of the newly added features within TBOGT to keep you occupied for hours of added game play with this new GTA add-on installment.

Graphics:

Although the game utilizes the same graphics engine as GTA IV since this is an expansion pack type of title, new graphical details were added into the mix this time around.  Things such as interaction with various strangers throughout Liberty City are a lot more lifelike and fluid and no longer seem generic.  Furthermore with the nature of Luis’s character you are presented with many new glamorous places to visit and often run into people that you know on the street all which are nice touches especially for an add on pack.

Sound:

As always Rockstar has always delivered solid soundtracks for many of their previous titles, this is no exception.   Packed with new jams and in-car radio stations to fit the genre of the title for both episodes, the mood is set by the music whether you’d be hanging out in a members only biker bar or working security at the hottest club in Liberty City the music definitely sets the stage driving the game forward and the player on the edge of their seat as if they were watching a movie.  Being add-on episodes that all intertwine with one another it is nice to see that all the original cast and voices are still present in these two new stories.

Longevity:

Another interesting newly added feature this time around for TBOGT, are the mission rankings.  Each time you complete a mission you will be given a percentile rating on how you completed the mission.  Aside from completing the main objective of the mission you will have a few secondary objectives and a time constraint.  Do well under these circumstances and you’ll for sure get a 100% finish on your mission.   If you didn’t complete the mission with the percentile or outcome that you had hoped for, no problem you can now replay missions at ease of an option form within your phone within the game.  If you still didn’t have enough immerse in Multiplayer mode with your closest friends with a newly renovated Deathmatch with added weapons, locations, awards, and vehicles for a new overhauled experience.

Conclusion:

From playing the story of Niko Bellic the story of an immigrant coming to Liberty City to live the American Dream, to Johnny’s story of being part of Liberty City’s most feared Biker Gang, it only made sense to complete it off with a focus on the glam and high lifestyle of Liberty City with Luis Lopez.  I am truly impressed with how Rockstar intertwined the three story’s together making the three characters at some point crossing paths with one another (as seen in the intro sequence) and finally answering any last unanswered questions that the dire GTA fans are dying to know about this Liberty City story.  Rockstar has done it again coming out with another unbelievable great playable title that will keep you occupied for many hours to come.  I’d recommend this title to anyone who has played any of the previous GTA titles or is just looking for a great action adventure game revolving around the rich and the famous.  This title is an extremely fun title to pick up with the vivid story line that plays very much like a Hollywood Blockbuster movie.  The ability to pick and choose what you’d like to do in this open world adventure and the access to the various mini games makes this a must have title for any gamer this holiday season.

 

**WARNING** The following Video May Contain Content Inappropriate for Children**

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here