It's amazing how the journey of
Theft Auto (GTA) has unravelled in the world of gaming and what
began as top view game is now a fully fledged 3D world that is a
true sandbox experience for the 21st century gamer.
Of course GTA IV
changed the face of gaming as players embarked on a journey with Niko Bellic and although the game was quite visually
the story for some was a little too serious and not everyone could
relate to this thug from Eastern Europe.
Of course with such as a great gaming
engine, this moved onto the next chapter which included Billy Grey, a member of biker gang who
after being released from prison found his beloved city of
Liberty City in turmoil. And moving on from Billy, the next and
latest instalment focuses on Luis Lopez and his business partner
Tony Prince in Grand Theft Auto: the Ballad of Gay Tony.
Available as a DLC
release for American readers via XBox Live or available in the Grand
Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City release in Australia, this is
definitely the pinnacle of the series for Impulse Gamer.
As mentioned, gamers play Luis Lopez, another shady yet likeable
underworld character and unlike Niko Bellic, Lopez is considerably
more likeable and more entertaining to watch and play. Although
Lopez has spent time in prison, his main problem is his loyalty to
friends which generally get him involved in all sorts of mischief
and like previous GTA instalments, the main issues are to assist
others in the game and if political correctness is your middle name, you
might want to get your gaming kicks from elsewhere.
Add in a
variety of colourful characters and some really fun and at times
frustrating missions and The Ballad of Gay Tony is righteous romp
through the criminal underworld. As the game is relatively short, we
managed to finish the game in just under 10 hours, however there are a
plethora of more side missions that we did not complete which would
easily add another 5 or so hours on top of this.
of the missions in the game are key segments of the plot but
needless to say, if you enjoyed previous GTA instalments, this game
will bring a big fat smile to your face, especially base jumping!
Some of the stunts in the game are quite outrageous which involves
parachutes, motorbikes and the like. Apart from the main missions,
there are drug war challenges to engage that also help give the
gamer a break from the main theme of the title as you assist these
shady underworld criminals in their illegal trafficking.
Of course, if you are
connected to XBox Live, your mission scores are also uploaded to this
server but best of all, you can replay missions in order to boost up
those scores which definitely increases the replay value, especially
considering that the missions are do damn fun, it's almost a given.
multiplayer fun, the title does allow gamers to take The Ballad of
Gay Tony online with Free Play, Deathmatch and even Races with
glorious nitro. As with GTA IV, The Ballad of Gay Tony contains
some fun mini-games such as dancing or even a drinking competition
which adds to the almost realistic environment of the game.
other words, you're not locked (unless your on a mission) and this
free time is definitely fun as you explore the world that you are
playing and even find a few secrets. As you work the clubs, you
also need to ensure that peace is kept within your premises such as
"bouncing" out patrons or like GTA IV, helping patrons escape the
The developers have added some interesting new weaponry into
the game such as sticky bombs which are too addictively fun to use or the
automatic shotgun that makes gun battles a little bit more exciting.
Of course the old weaponry in the game still remain but with the
inclusion of new firepower, it definitely moves the game away from
just a stock standard addon and you can really tell the love that
Rockstar have put into this game. I must admit that using the new
weapons online is a blast and of course, there are already those
gamers who have mastered these guns.
Graphically, the series still holds up well with some great gaming
environments that look quite realistic that is matched with great
looking weather effects and nice lighting. The characters are well
animated and the physics of the game works well that goes hand in
hand with the gameplay and sound. The voice acting in the game is
brilliant and all the actors really get into their characters but
the winner is definitely "Gay" Tony who truly has some of
lines in the game. Add in the great soundtrack of the GTA series and
those wonderful radio stations and this is
definitely one decent sounding game.
At the end of the day, this is easily the most fun we've had since
GTA III and although Niko Bellic was a little lackluster as the
central character, Lopez provides that carefree attitude who will be
more relatable to the broader audience. This release has made the
series fun again and best of all, Rockstar know not to take itself
too seriously and this my friends is Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad
of Gay Tony!