Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Friday 2 June 2006
Rockstar doesn't tend to follow trends. After the success of Grand Theft Auto, everyone expected the company to continually mine the lucrative seam of 'crime' games. Instead, it made a cowboy game. Then, when every publisher decided to make their first 360 game a shooter set in the near future, Rockstar goes and makes a table tennis game.

And now, just when everyone is converting their PS2 games into PSP games (Tomb Raider, Tekken, Pro Evolution Soccer et al) Rockstar decides to - get this - transform a PSP game into a PS2 title. Woah! That's like pushing boxes and thinking outside of envelopes.

Yes, GTA: Liberty City Stories is now playable on PS2 and that's just about the whole story. What must be pointed out is that the PSP's excellent multiplayer game isn't part of the conversion: Rockstar doesn't feel the PS2 online service can provide a quality of gameplay that it would be happy with. It's a shame as turning each island into a cartoon-battlefield of rocket launcher and automobile mayhem was hugely entertaining. Not particularly subtle but constantly surprising and always messy. So, for now, we'll have to continue the wait for online GTA on consoles.

Other changes of note include graphical tweaks to cater for play on a bigger screen, with greater draw distances and more objects in the frame, and far snappier loading times - a godsend for serial game savers.