Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

  • Trademark free-form GTA gameplay
  • Compelling story and great voice work
  • Incredibly fair price: $20
  • Smaller than previous two PS2 GTAs
  • PSP multiplayer modes amputated
  • Trademark GTA swishy vehicle handling

The game's PSP origins are almost invisible in this PS2 version. You might not notice it if you don't put them side-by-side, but there are countless small graphical upgrades from the PSP version. It's smoother, too, with very little of the blurriness from the portable predecessor. It also supports widescreen displays, though that isn't written on the box. And though this isn't as pretty as the latest full-sized console GTA game (San Andreas) was, Liberty City still looks miles better here than it did in GTA III.

Gameplay, too, is big improvement on GTA III, though admittedly not as ambitious as San Andreas. You can't swim or work out to change your physique. But you can change outfits (sometimes you have to get a certain job), and there are boats and motorcycles, which weren't around before. Plus, you can move the camera with your controller's right analog stick now, a huge advantage over the PSP version.

The missions themselves often seem shorter, tailored more toward the portable experience. But many players will consider this a boon, and the game still contains dozens, if not hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Multiplayer is gone - which is a bummer. Rockstar's explanation is that it wants the first GTA multiplayer on consoles to be a bigger, bolder, badder thing than the PSP game's diversions, and we get that. It would have been a nice appetizer, though.  

More Info

Release date: Jun 06 2006 - PS2
Oct 24 2005 - PSP (US)
Jun 23 2006 - PS2
Nov 04 2005 - PSP (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2, PSP
Genre: Action
Published by: Rockstar Games
Developed by: Rockstar, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North
Franchise: Grand Theft Auto
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs
Eric Bratcher

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.

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