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GTA IV: The Ballad Of Gay Tony - What GR editors thought

Last week, Rockstar visited our UK and US offices to show us the latest instalment of GTA IV's Xbox 360 exclusive DLC - The Ballad Of Gay Tony. Unusually for a game demo, most of the GamesRadar team were able to get substantial hands-on time, and by the end of the day we all had something to say about the new theme, style, weapons, vehicles and altogether more 'San Andreas-y' feeling missions.

For the uninitiated, Ballad focuses on a new protagonist, Luis Lopez, bodyguard and business partner to nightclub baron “Gay” Tony Prince. As the richest of GTA IV’s three protagonists, Luis has access to better cars and better guns than Niko or Johnny, including Belgian P-90 assault rifles, C4 sticky bombs and rapid-fire auto-shotguns that fire explosive rounds. He also has more activities available to him, including a dancing minigame, randomly generated side missions at his club, BASE jumping from an assortment of buildings and the ability to replay any completed missions.

What we saw during our international hands-on was a thorough introduction to some of Ballad’s new characters, weapons and acitivities, as well as three missions. The first, “Dropping In,” was a showcase for the episode’s new parachuting and skydiving action, as Luis dropped into the penthouse offices of the local hockey team. He then murdered the owner and his bodyguards, all the while keeping in touch with his new boss Timur (actually a henchman for GTA IV heavy Bulgarin) via a Bluetooth headset, before leaping out a window and floating safely down to the back of a moving flatbed truck.

The next two missions introduced us to Yusuf Amir, who GTA IV fans might remember as the developer from Dubai that Playboy X was trying to suck up to. First up was “For the Man Who Has Everything,” which involved Luis inching his way along the top of a moving subway train, ducking overpasses and police choppers, all so he could decouple the lead car and enable Yusuf to steal it by helicopter. Next was “Sexy Time,” which required Luis to steal aboard a gigantic yacht, jack an experimental helicopter and then sink the enormous luxury boat before its occupants could shoot him down.

So, that's what we've played of The Ballad of Gay Tony so far. What did we think? Rather than single out one writer to write up his thoughts, we thought we'd give everyone a shout - that's the venerable Mikel Reparaz from our US office and Dave Meikleham, Dave Houghton, Matt Cundy and Nathan Irvine from the UK. We've set up the preview as a question and answer arrangement with all the editors giving their spin on six talking points. If you want any more info, send them a PM, drop us a line on Twitter or leave a message in the comments.

Read on for official GR opinion...

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22 comments

  • silentmusic16 - September 28, 2009 7:24 p.m.

    i didnt get gta 4 but...this sounds fun enough to warrant a buy. if i have money after mw2, assassins creed 2, kh 358/2, and brutal ledgends. you know, even though we have all these games moving to 2010 this year is still awesome!
  • AlexMercer1337 - September 20, 2009 11:13 a.m.

    Holy crap, I'm buying the two episode CD edition. Thanks for the tip GR!
  • yungkartooon - September 19, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    p-90 the gun
  • YuGiOhisbetterthanMagic - September 18, 2009 11:40 p.m.

    i dunno... can it beat the dick? LatD set high standards, but this will probaly be the greatist GTA adventure yet, just so long as theres brucie =p
  • MilitaryRaiden - September 18, 2009 3:58 p.m.

    @Gamesradar: How about music, new DJs, new station or new tv segments - did you see anything in BoGT? And if so can you tell us about it?
  • cart00n - September 17, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    @Yeager: If you think about LatD and BoGT in the same light as VC and SA, $20 for a GTA sequel isn't too bad. @wrapdump: Frankly, I'll be upset if Brucie doesn't show up and formally come out of the closet in THIS installment! @IKOemos: I presume you're on the PS3 - well, you guys give up the Joker, and then we'll talk. @hardcore_gamer: The fact you don't own a 360 sez you should reconsider your handle. Just sayin'...
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - September 17, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    I presume this is for the seXbox only? *sigh* CURSE YOU MICROSOFT
  • Yeager1122 - September 16, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    Getting it will it cost the same as Lost and Damed though?
  • Samael - September 16, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    "Belgian P-90 assault rifles" Buying this. I know it's cliche and it's in so many games these days, but that gun always makes my eyes melt.
  • Fancy Rat - September 16, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    "...steal aboard a gigantic yacht, jack an experimental helicopter..." Goldeneye was my favorite Bond movie.
  • cheatgangsta1 - September 22, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    "jack a helicopter and sink the yaught," HAVE TO BUY THIS DAMN GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • MilitaryRaiden - September 18, 2009 7:07 a.m.

    I've greatly enjoyed both GTA IV as well as the first episode and really can't wait for this one especially since it's going to be a tad closer to the all-out craziness of San Andreas in current-gen's Liberty City. Great preview and it was a really good choice to allow more than one editor to voice their opinions as well as their concerns.
  • gamble45 - September 18, 2009 2:36 a.m.

    is the game for x box live or is it in stores
  • RedBandit - September 17, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    I LOVE YOU I WANT IT!!!!!
  • wrapdump - September 17, 2009 2:46 p.m.

    If the next dlc is not brucie-based, I will not be happy
  • Seabread - September 17, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    no one wants a massively over the top gay game. using the 'bosses' sexuality as a means to open up what's on offer is one thing but turning everyone in Liberty into Florian wannabes would ruin GTA.
  • iKOemos - September 17, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    ... Microsoft play fair goddamn it!
  • Rhesus - September 16, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    Halo:ODST, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed II, Madden 10(still) and now this. What am I?! Made of money. (I'm not by the way)
  • VenomVip7 - September 16, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    Dude...this looks and sounds awesome.exploding shotgun shells? AWESOME!
  • nadrewod999 - September 16, 2009 9:36 p.m.

    Right now, I don't have GTA IV, but based on how good this looks, I think I will soon be playing as a character with the initials LL.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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