Introducing the boys from way out East
Niko is a tough-looking, imposing man from Eastern Europe somewhere, who seems to have had a troubled past. He mentions that he has killed, sold and smuggled many men, which suggests he was involved in slavery and people-trafficking. It seems he want to move away from the criminal life and have a go at something rather more legitimate, just like his cousin Roman.
Roman has been sending him many emails describing how good things are in Liberty City, so it seems a natural place for Niko to start his new life. Niko is an optimistic and resourceful man who seems skilled in many criminal activities - as he demonstrates with his methodical sweep of an apartment armed with a pistol, and the easy way he hotwires a stationary car.
When we first encounter him entering Liberty City, it’s obvious that he isn’t exactly rich - he looks disheveled, unshaven and is dressed in cheap sports casual clothing. What next for him? We’ll see.
Roman is Niko’s cousin, who moved to Liberty City to make his fortune but wound up running a failing taxi company. It also seems he has got himself into a great amount of debt and on the wrong side of several crime leaders.
To escape from his failures and project a false image of success, he has been corresponding with Niko and describing how wonderful his life is. The big fat fibs include the number of women, hot tubs and sports cars he has, which help convince Niko to make the journey across the sea.
The deception is more accidental than intentional. Roman isn’t a devious man, more a fool with dreams.