Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

In addition to blasting your way through the story missions, there are a ton of side activities to chase down. These include 15 BASE-jumping opportunities, which enable you to climb to the top of very tall buildings (or be flown very high in a chopper), leap off with a parachute and glide to a target, which may or may not be on the back of a moving vehicle. And then there are the 25 Drug Wars missions, in which Luis has to help his moronic buddies Henrique and Armando (who he can also hang out with and get weapons and cars from) smuggle product and rip off rival dealers. They’re not as addictive as, say, the drug-dealing minigame in Chinatown Wars, but they’re fleshed out enough to be a secondary story unto themselves.

Above: Once you know what you’re doing, this is a lot of fun 

Add to that a cage-fighting ring (which is fun), a golf driving range (which kind of sucks, but is more fun than darts), the air hockey from TLaD, a never-seen girlfriend for Luis to booty call and a few interesting new pedestrians with whom to take on missions, and there’s plenty to keep players occupied long past the story’s 8-to-10-hour run time. And if that isn’t enough, there’s another big, varied activity Luis can pursue: his day job. Er, night job. The one that pays his taxes.

Working the floor

Although it’s completely optional, Luis will occasionally be called on to “manage” Tony’s mainstream club, Maisonette 9, which for the most part involves patrolling between strategic points and scanning the crowd for troublemakers. Most of the time, nothing happens, and even when it does it’s usually just a matter of walking up to some guy and then watching as Luis automatically throws him out. The real fun comes at the end of the shift, when Luis will frequently be tapped to run an errand for some harebrained celebutard VIP – which, while not always that exciting, is at least more fun than just walking the floor.

Also more interesting than Luis’ work are the myriad activities on offer in Maisonette, as well as in the city’s other clubs (including Tony’s gay club, Hercules). You can order shots to get wasted, start a champagne-drinking contest in the VIP area, or hit the dance floor for a minigame that’s surprisingly fun – or at least, it’s more fun than the one in San Andreas. Instead of just hitting buttons on cue, you flick the thumbsticks in time with the music, and then occasionally hold them in place while rhythmically pulling the triggers.

Sometimes, this will lead to Luis getting some closed-door restroom sex with whatever woman he’s dancing with, but it’s also possible that he’ll be challenged in the middle to a dance-off by another dude…

Above: Wow, really?

… or wind up the whole thing by leading a synchronized dance, which requires more traditional timed button presses.

The dances are really only worth doing once or twice at each club to see what happens, but the fact that they’re even worth that is kind of impressive. And of course, if they don’t appeal to you, there’s always…

Sitting on your ass

Yes, there’s something a little pathetic about using a game about theft and murder to watch fake TV shows and surf a fake internet, but for players who just want to chill with a brief distraction, passive entertainment has long been one of the most oddly charming parts of GTA IV. And Ballad of Gay Tony brings the passive entertainment like never before. There are a few new websites to visit, most notably The Celebinator, an obvious take-off of Perez Hilton who can be influenced in Tony’s favor. But the real attractions here are on TV. In addition to new episodes of Republican Space Rangers and a couple of other shows, the standout is the slickly produced, repugnantly hilarious anime parody, Princess Robot Bubblegum. Here, check out the trailer:


  • Vagrant - November 19, 2009 6:34 a.m.

    Much like what I said in the compilatory Episodes from Liberty City review; I dunno if anyone will even see my comment, but there's a few mistakes there. It's Yusuf Amir not Aziz. And Luis' "unseen" booty call is a girl you hooked up with in the club. (whom you obviously saw at the time) Either way, still think Reparez gave these GTAIV expansions some solid reviews. Almost enough to make me forgive him for Assassin's Creed. Almost.
  • loser19 - November 3, 2009 1:30 a.m.

    parachutingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg aepwirguy sd ew e e e ewew e w q w eartyu yter te4 rhgsetawgd jrheytsj teq43tdj yt
  • loser19 - November 1, 2009 1 p.m.

  • loser19 - November 1, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    looks good gonna get it
  • lovinmyps3 - October 31, 2009 10:02 p.m.

    Can't wait to get this! I have GTAIV for my PS3 so I've been waiting for this and TLaD to come out on a disk.
  • Amatarasu - October 31, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    sticky bombs? boosh it's like....thats so awsome i can't make an "it's like" statement.....dam
  • Demonflare - October 31, 2009 2:26 a.m.

    Can't GTA4 be the final series, really!? I can't believe they titled it The Ballad of Gay Tony. I wouldn't play it nor get it, but nice
  • Spybreak8 - October 30, 2009 6:16 a.m.

    AND I was playing in the computer den, so no not the living room like you'd expect. The TV is always being used anyway.
  • Spybreak8 - October 30, 2009 6:09 a.m.

    @patri0t"I'm lovin this. Downloaded it this morning and i can't put it down! Parachutes, golden Uzis sticky grenades, explosive shotguns, and attack helicopters FTW!!!" My thoughts exactly however I did put it down to play Dirt 2 (my Forza 3) and Borderlands lol. Ohh thanks Rockstar you made me so unconformable today, said club sex scene witnessed while my mom was in the room. Awkwaaarrd
  • Ddz53 - October 30, 2009 3:45 a.m.

    Downloaded it, played it, loved it
  • Scotch - October 30, 2009 2 a.m.

    this read more like a ten review to me, but i still loved the review. i got home today and downloaded immediately , love it so far
  • patri0t - October 30, 2009 1:41 a.m.

    I'm lovin this. Downloaded it this morning and i can't put it down! Parachutes, golden Uzis sticky grenades, explosive shotguns, and attack helicopters FTW!!!
  • FreekinIdiot - October 29, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    @justified_candy Of course you should, gayness aside (dude it's almost 2010...get with the times) need I repeat my above comment?? The game sounds so much FUN and after all, that's the main thing
  • FreekinIdiot - October 29, 2009 2:02 p.m. Parachutes and explosvie shotgun shells make me happy
  • SincualaS - October 29, 2009 5:35 a.m.

    ha haa! dangly parts
  • understudybass - October 29, 2009 4:28 a.m.

    One of the best reviews i've seen at the sight although i am a bit offended about even addressing people that have issues with gay people. if they clicked on the link they would have been smited.
  • Mar27w - October 29, 2009 3:43 a.m.

    how can they say GTA4 is showing its age,it has the most technically impressive city ever concevied in a videogame and has yet to be surpassed,strange
  • iKOemos - October 29, 2009 3:14 a.m.

    C'mon Rockstar, 1 PS3 episode is all I'm asking for.
  • Yeager1122 - October 29, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    Sigh i need more money.
  • Kratos13 - October 29, 2009 1:33 a.m.

    YES! one more day and this game is MINE!!!!!!!

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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