Finally, the grip of Microsoft has eased and PS3 owners can now
experience GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City that is a
standalone disc which contains the two extremely popular
downloadable campaigns from the Grand Theft Auto universe. The disc
boasts The Lost and the Damned and the The Ballad of
Gay Tony, two fantastic stories that contain a healthy dose
of new additions to the gameplay of this franchise from radio
stations, characters and weapons.
Without being too biased, The Lost and the Damned is the
slightly weaker game of the two and my suggestion is to play this
first in order to get ready for the thoroughly enjoyable and
hilarious The Ballad of Gay Tony. In terms of completion
times, each game will last around 10 hours but of course, this
depends on how you play the game and the more you explore, the more
you will be rewarded.
With continuity, The Lost and Damned takes place around
the same time as GTA IV, however as opposed to Niko, gamers play
Johnny who has taken over a biker gang while they wait until their
leader Billy finishes his time in jail. Johnny has led the gang into
a so called golden age of prosperity, however when Billy is
released, he wants to bring the gang back to its roots, drugs.
This is where the two butt heads and lets just say, the end results
are going to messy in classic GTA fashion. Thereís some great
characterisation in the story as per usual, however I could not
connect that well to Johnny as his whole personality comes across as
an arrogant ass. Then again, his personality fits the storyline
perfectly as do his wild biker friends.
When it comes to friends, Johnnyís biker cohorts are needed throughout the
game and there is an element of RPG levelling up in the game because
the more battles they are involved in, the stronger they become.
Just try not to get any of them killed because youíll get a NOOB
biker ally. Apart from the usual missions that you embark on, there
is a truckload of new content from mini-games which are quite
outrageous at times and really helps break up the main gameplayÖ
feel like killing seagulls? I donít think I need to say any more!
With new vehicles, I was a little apprehensive with the The Lost
and Damned due to the fact that motorbikes would be the main
mode of transport but rather than just tossing together another
add-on, Rock Star have tweaked the handling of the bikes and thank
god for that. Although not as good as the cars, itís a huge
improvement over GTA IV. Thankfully once you have finished the
single-player campaign, it does not end just there.
Rockstar have upped the ante for multiplayer fun and although
deathmatch and free mode are included in this current campaign,
there are some great tweaks and additions. My favourite is Chopper
vs. Chopper which is a two-player game that has one player flying a
helicopter in order to destroy the player on the bike. Needless to
say, itís a thoroughly enjoyable experience that had the adrenaline
pumping. But then again, it had me cursing on many occasions.
more? Youíve got itÖ The Ballad of Gay Tony!
The Ballad of Gay Tony is probably my favourite game out of
the GTA IV series which has Rockstar putting in more comedic
elements. Gamers star as Luis Lopez, a bouncer, wingman and right
hand man of Liberty Cityís most colourful character, Tony Prince.
Tony is known by a variety of names (most I canít mention here) but
he is one of Liberty Cityís most powerful men, thanks to his string
of nightclubs. Unlike Niko or Johnny, Luis is more interested in
living the good life and more specifically making money and because
he works for one of Liberty Cityís richest men and also enjoys what he
Because I enjoyed this game so much and I want you to as well, I
donít want to spoil some of the overtop stories but lets just say,
itís all worth it. You do have the standard stories of transport
person A to B and there are some stories revolving around Luis
himself, like the relationship with his mother and a money
collection but it all adds to the story of this entertaining game.
Besides justTony as Luis' main protagonist, we have some other great
supporting cast such as Bulgarin who has his own Russian Mafia setup
in Liberty City and Yusuf Amir, a crazy Arab and their missions are
as equally enjoyable as your friend Tony. Outrageous stunts and wild
missions is what The Ballad of Gay Tony is all about.
With new weapons, vehicles and my favourite, a tank, The Ballad
of Gay Tony offers so much to the gamer in terms of content,
whether itís the main storyline, the witty characters or the base
jumping challenges. You can even try your luck at dancing, this game works
on all levels. Rockstar add multiplayer to this campaign and
even include the parachuteÖ very cool indeed. Parachute? You gotta
to play to see this!
you need your GTA IV fix, than GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City is
the game for you and even if you have never played a GTA game
before, you can still easily pick up this game and start playing on
your PS3. Though the gaming engine is several years old, it still
holds up well on the PS3 and the world of Liberty City looks just as
good it when it was originally released in GTA IV. What made these
games so enjoyable for me was the story and professional voice
acting that had me in stiches and wanting to play more to see what
happens to these characters. This is the perfect sandbox game
because when you want a break, you can just jump in a car, cruise
and listen to some entertaining radio stations while you do whatever
you need to do, whether picking girls or just making a twit of
yourself, it doesnít get any better than this.