Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

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For the 2009 compilation title, see Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Cover art
Developer(s) Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Writer(s) Dan Houser
James Worrall
David Bland
Series Grand Theft Auto
Engine Rockstar Leeds 3D Engine
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 (PSN)
Release date(s) PlayStation Portable
  • NA 24 October 2005
  • EU 28 October 2005
  • AUS 2 December 2005
  • JP 26 July 2007
PlayStation 2
  • NA 6 June 2006
  • EU 23 June 2006
  • JP 6 September 2007
PlayStation 3 (PSN)
  • NA 2 April 2013
  • EU 3 April 2013
[1]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) PlayStation Portable: Single-player, multiplayer
PlayStation 2: Single player
Distribution UMD, download, DVD

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar Leeds in conjunction with Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. Released on 24 October 2005 for the PlayStation Portable.[2] It is the ninth game in the Grand Theft Auto series and was preceded by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It was published and distributed by Capcom for the Japanese release. It was released on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network on April 2, 2013.[1]

A port for the PlayStation 2 was released on 6 June 2006 in North America.[3][4] At the time of release, the recommended retail price of the PS2 port was around half the price of the PSP version.[5] The PS2 port does not feature the custom soundtrack ripping capability, in comparison to its PSP counterpart. It was released on 1 October 2009 as a downloadable game on the revised PSP model PSP Go.

Gameplay[edit]

Liberty City's layout is largely similar to Grand Theft Auto III, while it also incorporates elements found in Grand Theft Auto III's successors, such as more indoor environments, clothing changes, and motorcycles. In addition, in keeping with recent Grand Theft Auto games, the player has more flexibility in terms of moving the camera around for viewing surroundings (Grand Theft Auto III is noticeably limited in that respect). Things that are omitted from this game are the ability to climb and the ability to swim - contact with deep bodies of water is instantly fatal in this game. The overall sandbox play area, as it is based upon the original Liberty City layout, is considerably smaller than that of San Andreas.

In addition, motorcycles are permitted in the city during this game, as earlier-released games (set later in the Grand Theft Auto universe chronology) do not allow this. The official Liberty City Stories website reveals that motorbikes were banned by the turn of the 21st century, due to a public ordinance supported by the Maibatsu Corporation (which marketed the over-sized Maibatsu Monstrosity SUV in Grand Theft Auto III and the Vincent sedan in Grand Theft Auto IV) in order to promote the use of automobiles in the city. Though airplanes can be found in Vice City and San Andreas, usable airplanes cannot be found in Liberty City Stories. However, both games do have usable helicopters.

Multiplayer[edit]

The PSP version of Liberty City has a multiplayer mode, for up to six players through WiFi ad-hoc mode (same area). The game features seven modes of wireless multiplayer gaming, in which various pedestrian and character models from the single player mode avatars. Rockstar decided not to include these modes in the PlayStation 2 version.

Plot[edit]

Toni Cipriani is fresh back in the city after lying low for several years, having killed a made man as a favor for Don Salvatore Leone. The grateful Salvatore puts him straight back to work. During the course of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, players can accept a variety of missions from many people, including Salvatore, Salvatore's wife Maria, JD O'Toole, wise guy Vincenzo "Vinnie" Cilli, and even Toni's own mother. Players may also accept missions from the "Avenging Angels", similar to the Guardian Angels, earning special vehicles and wardrobe rewards.

The game features a club named "Paulie's Revue Bar" which is later taken over by the Leone family and renamed "Sex Club Seven". In the PSP version, as in all subsequent versions than the beta versions, the player cannot go in the club. Although Liberty City Stories is set in 1998, the intro for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which takes place in 1992, shows the club as "Sex Club Seven". This is likely a continuity error as Liberty City Stories was not in development when the San Andreas introduction DVD was released. San Andreas' events lead up Grand Theft Auto III where the club was also named "Sex Club Seven".

Plot[edit]

Toni Cipriani, having been forced into living abroad after killing a made man on the orders of Salvatore Leone, decides to return to Liberty City. Upon arrival Toni is greeted by Salvatore and a member of the Leone family, Vincenzo "Lucky Vinnie" Cilli, who rose to prominence during Toni's absence. Vincenzo is instructed by Salvatore to set Toni up with an apartment and job in Liberty City. Not long after, Toni quits upon the realization that Vincenzo had set up a job designed to ensure Toni would be caught by the police. Toni then begins working with a former member of the rival Sindacco crime family now loyal to Leone, J.D. O'Toole, but this is short-lived as another member of the Leone crime family is ordered to kill O'Toole on the same day he was intended to become a made man within the family.

A time after, Toni receives a call from Vincenzo during which he insists that he is apologetic toward the situation regarding Toni's previous job with him and asks Toni to meet.However,this turns out to be a trap set by Vincenzo so that he gets Toni's place in the Leone family. Toni is then attacked by henchmen loyal to Vincenzo but quickly subdues them and kills Vincenzo in the process. Following Vincenzo's death, Toni resumes working for Salvatore Leone.

Toni reunites with his mother only to be met by her disapproval of his status within the Leone ranks. She orders a hit on Toni but he manages to kill the hitmen instead, leaving the business unfinished between both he and his mother. Toni's relationship with Salvatore and his wife, Maria, grows as he continues working for them eventually leading Salvatore to place his trust in Toni and set him up in a larger apartment in exchange for Toni chauffeuring them to a secluded area of Liberty City and away from the rising attacks on the Leone family by various gangs. In particularly, a war is orchestrated between the three leading Mafia families, the Leones, Sindaccos, and Forellis.

Toni continues working for the Leone family in an effort to display his loyalty and eventually becomes a made man as a result. Toni's mother receives the news and is elated to learn her son's status has finally risen to what she'd hoped and eventually calls off the hit she had ordered on Toni previously. The celebration is cut short however, as the Liberty City police arrive and arrest Salvatore under suspicion that he is a gang leader known only as "Mr. Big". Toni remains loyal to Salvatore and poses as his lawyer, while continuing to accept jobs from him which lead to Toni attacking Salvatore's rivals, culminating with Toni killing the head of the Sindacco family, Paulie Sindacco,who was the main reason of Salvatore's arrest and had made the new mayor arrest Salvatore.

Toni soon becomes a respected leader within the Leone family. Salvatore is eventually taken to trial, an event which his rivals plan to use as an opportunity to be rid of him. Toni realizes this and intervenes, keeping Leone safe. After Salvatore is released on bail, he comes to conclude that Massimo Torini is behind his troubles and realizes that in order to prevent recently elected mayor, Miles O'Donovan, from dropping the charges against Leone that Torini has taken the mayor hostage.

Both Salvatore and Toni head to the island where Torini is holding the mayor and a fight ensues, resulting in the two killing Torini and using the time with the mayor to establish that O'Donovan is now in the Leone family's debt and as the game concludes, Salvatore demands that O'Donovan grant protection to the Leone family while Toni attempts to unsettle the mayor to ensure it is granted. Afterward, it is revealled that Torini was the underboss of Salvatore's uncle, who had been trying to undermine his nephew's control of the city.

Development[edit]

As stated in an IGN preview, "Rockstar dropped Renderware in favor of a brand new in-house engine to best utilize the resolution, texture density and particle effects of the PSP".[6] Until the release of Liberty City Stories, RenderWare had been the game engine behind every 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto III era. Liberty City Stories used Image Metrics for the game's facial animation. In April 2013, the game was released on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network.

Soundtrack[edit]

Radio stations[edit]

Liberty City Stories features ten radio stations, which comprise a mix of both licensed music and tracks created specifically for the game, plus one talk radio station. The ten radio stations are as follows:

Custom soundtracks[edit]

A special feature for the PSP version of the game is the ability to listen to custom soundtracks.[7] Previously, only Grand Theft Auto games on the Xbox and PC were able to implement custom soundtracks. When Liberty City Stories was released, the custom soundtracks option was featured in the "Audio" section of the menu (by pressing Start in gameplay) but did not have any use.

A few days after release of the game, Rockstar placed the application called "Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0" on the official site under the "Downloads" section. This then gave people the chance to use the custom soundtracks feature. The application is based on Exact Audio Copy.[8]

In the application, songs from a CD are ripped, compressed, and converted to .Wav files that can be read by the game. Rockstar Custom Tracks (RCT) only allows the ripping of songs that are from a store-bought CD. However, fans have found a way to compress and convert MP3 files that are not burned onto CDs.[9] The Custom Tracks are just .Wav files renamed to .gta. RCT can also look up and use the names from the Freedb server if there are no names for the song(s). There must be at least one save file in order for RCT to work. More details can be found in the PDF in the file downloaded from the official site.

Reception[edit]

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PSP) 87.54% (PS2) 77.38%[15]
Metacritic (PSP) 88/100 (PS2) 78/100[14]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 9.0/10[11]
G4 4/5
GameSpot 9.0/10[12]
GameTrailers 9.1/10[13]
IGN 9.0/10
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 9.0/10

The game received generally positive reviews, with a 9.0/10 from IGN. In the United States, the PlayStation 2 version of Liberty City Stories had sold 1 million copies by February 6, 2007;[16] as of December 27, 2007, the PSP version has sold 1.83 million copies and the PS2 version has sold 1.32 million in the United States alone.[17] As of March 26, 2008, Liberty City Stories has sold 8 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.[18]

The PlayStation 2 version was criticized for lacking improvement, the same portable coding and removing certain features from the PSP version. It currently holds a 77.38% on GameRankings and 78/100 on Metacritic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b R*Y (30 March 2013). "Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories Coming to PSN Next Week". Rockstar Games. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Official Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories website". Rockstar Games. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Software - Investor Relations - Take-Two News Release". Ir.take2games.com. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  4. ^ "$20 PS2 GTA: LCS due 6/6/06". GameSpot. Retrieved 2006-04-19. [dead link]
  5. ^ "GTA: Liberty City Stories PS2 Hands-On Impressions". Game Informer. 2006-06-06. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  6. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Preview". IGN. Retrieved 2005-09-09. 
  7. ^ "GTA Custom Soundtrack Loader". GTA Network.com. Retrieved October 29, 2005. 
  8. ^ From the Rockstar Custom Tracks readme file: "Rockstar Custom Tracks was developed by Rockstar Leeds with the creator of Exact Audio Copy. Rockstar Custom Tracks has benefited enormously from the expertise of the author, Andre Wiethoff. Thanks Andre!"
  9. ^ "How to add custom tracks to GTA: LCS. Both techniques, very detailed. - Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories - GameSpot Forums". Gamespot.com. 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  10. ^ Davison, John (2005-10-24). "GTA: Liberty City Review for PSP from". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  11. ^ Tom Bramwell (2005-11-04). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Review - PSP - Page 1". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  12. ^ McShea, Tom (2010-03-08). "GTA:LCS Review for PSP". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  13. ^ "GTA:LCS Video Game, Review". GameTrailers. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  14. ^ "GTA:LCS reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  15. ^ "GTA:LCS for PSP". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  16. ^ "The Games People Buy 2007 - Edge Magazine". Next-gen.biz. 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  17. ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  18. ^ "Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc.'s Tender Offer" (PDF). Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 2008-03-26. p. 12. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 

External links[edit]