Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars review

  • 40 hours of diverse gameplay
  • PSP-exclusive missions, music, features
  • Finally, a proper portable GTA
  • This was made for the DS
  • Too many police cars on patrol
  • Controls are clumsy at times

If there’s one thing we want to make absolutely clear, it’s the amount of content packed into this seemingly scaled-back sequel. The drug side quests alone account for hours of searching for the best buyers and sellers, and they’re almost entirely optional. If you stick with ‘em, your pockets will be bursting with cash, financing all your weapons, ammo and numerous safehouses scattered across the game’s three islands (sorry, no Alderney this time). It’s remarkably easy to get lost in the drug trade and forget there’s a whole other game to play.

Above: A DS shot of an impending drug deal. It looks better on PSP 

Speaking of the islands (and of the size of the game), it bears repeating how well Liberty City has been reconstructed. If you played GTA IV, you’ll no doubt recognize several landmarks that we pointed out here using the DS version.

We realize this is a hard sell. The screens look rinky dink and piddling compared to not just GTA IV, but also earlier PSP efforts. In all honesty it looks like a game from 1997, which is actually true given that its guts come from the very first GTA titles. But don’t let any of this deter you from jumping in, even if you’ve never given the series a second glance.

There are just enough new ideas to lure those in who’ve never cared, and just enough left alone to keep the fans happy. Pity all of the DS-minded bits drag the finished product down a notch.

Oct 20, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 17 2009 - DS
Oct 20 2009 - PSP (US)
Mar 20 2009 - DS
Oct 20 2009 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: DS, PSP
Genre: Action
Published by: Rockstar Games
Developed by: Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North
Franchise: Grand Theft Auto
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
PEGI Rating:


  • scott-pearson - December 16, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Very pissed off, I turned the game off then when i went to go back on the game it said the save file was corrupt so have to start all over again now am not happy
  • Wink95 - January 1, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    It's going to be hard to choose from GTA: CW or LBP portable...:/
  • alexhofer3rd - October 27, 2009 9:17 a.m.

    I'm asking for a cheat of this game? Pls. post...^-^
  • Spybreak8 - October 22, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    Hope PSP owners buy this game and give it what it deserves, my fav DS game in my collection.
  • Cyberninja - October 21, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    @gamesradarbrettelson i think i will get the ds version because its also $10 cheaper where i live. i am mad that i couldnt get it when it was on sale for $20
  • America_FTW - October 21, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    how come they mention the fire truck misson twice..?
  • AMayer - October 21, 2009 12:59 a.m.

    Let me have the fuck out of this game, please!!!!!!!!!
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - October 21, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    Replaying missions is a first on PSP and all Sony platforms, so it's worth saying in that way. But yes, that was a feature on DS as well. Cyberninja: Yep, I think it's better on DS, having spent tons of time with both I feel I can say that easily. However, if you didn't play the DS one, this is absolutely worth trying.
  • WaffleLeech - October 20, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    Definently getting it.
  • EnviromentalDog - October 20, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    For quite some time now, I haven't really touched my PSP (a lot of that has come down to being to busy). With this, I think i'm going to have to dust it off, and play the fuck out of it. The review has only strengthened the fact that I need to really play it. Thanks GR.
  • Cyberninja - October 20, 2009 10:05 p.m.

    so your saying it was better on ds it had a 10
  • Pyroco101 - October 20, 2009 9:17 p.m.

    funny how they mention the replaying of missions are only on this version, because it was on the ds' too
  • MST2009 - October 20, 2009 7:25 p.m.

    This game looks amazing, I'm buying it for sure...

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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