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GamesRadar Editor's Choice

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City review

GTA IV's downloadable episodes drop together in one mayhem-filled package

Drawing a sharp contrast to The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony is colorful, silly and packed with cool things to see and do, and its tone and presentation fall somewhere between GTA IV and the overtly ridiculous GTA: San Andreas. Following the exploits of Luis Lopez, the bodyguard, business partner and friend of nightclub baron “Gay” Tony Prince, it delves into Liberty City’s neon-drenched club scene, as Luis runs violent, high-speed errands for some of the city’s richest celebrities and power players.

Above: Also, it has tanks, which GTA IV doesn’t. We probably should point that out more

Gameplay-wise, TBoGT introduces new luxury and sports cars, a new attack chopper, a small armory of expensive, high-powered firearms and explosives, some ridiculously destructive missions and – most importantly – the ability to strap on a parachute and BASE jump out of helicopters or off the city’s many skyscrapers. It’s a lot of fun, and comes the closest to delivering the over-the-top craziness that a lot of GTA fans expected after San Andreas. Here, check out the Super Review to find out more:

Above: Click the image for the full review!

Is it better than%26hellip;?

Grand Theft Auto IV? Individually, no. Taken as a package, however, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony easily measure up to the scope and depth of Niko Bellic’s immigrant tale. Episodes from Liberty City isn’t the trailblazer GTA IV was, but it does improve noticeably on its gameplay while filling out the rest of its story, and it’s as worthy a successor as any sequel could be.

Red Faction: Guerrilla? It depends on what you want out of your free-roaming carjacker games. Demolishing every building in sight makes Guerrilla a lot of fun, but while Guerrilla is a respectable game, its GTA-on-Mars conceit starts to wear a little thin somewhere around the umpteenth rescue mission. If you want a huge, destructible playground in which to go berserk, nobody does it better than Guerrilla. But if you want to play through two excellent stories with creative, unique missions and top-notch production values, Liberty City is where you belong.

Saints Row 2? Yes. Again, while Saints Row 2 delivers a fun playground filled with things to destroy and interesting stuff to do, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are more coherent, better constructed and ultimately more believable than SR2’s nihilistic cartoon take on urban crime.

Just for you, Metacritic!

While great on their own, bringing The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony together makes for an impressive package that rivals GTA IV itself while completing the story it began. The missions, gameplay tweaks and parallel stories make this a must-buy for fans who haven’t already downloaded either add-on.

Oct 28, 2009

More info

DescriptionEnjoy GTA IV but don't have the internets to get the DLC? Well just in time for the second episode, here's a disc that contains both DLC episodes (The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony) and you don't even need GTA IV to play it. Taken together, these give a new and amazing experience based around an already phenomenal game.
Franchise nameGrand Theft Auto
UK franchise nameGrand Theft Auto
Platform"Xbox 360","PS3","PC"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"18+","18+","18+"
Alternative names"GTA IV: The Lost and Damned","GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.