Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony

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Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Ballad of Gay Tony cover.jpg
Developer(s) Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Writer(s) Dan Houser
Rupert Humphries
Series Grand Theft Auto
Engine RAGE, Euphoria (motion engine)[1]
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Windows
Xbox 360
Release date(s) Xbox 360
29 October 2009[2] PlayStation 3 & Windows
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second of the two episodic expansion packs available for the PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 versions of Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar North and released for the Xbox 360 on 29 October 2009.[2] It was then released for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows on 13 April 2010. It is the fourth expansion pack in the Grand Theft Auto series, the 14th release on the series and is currently the second to final game of the Grand Theft Auto IV era (Chinatown Wars being last, preceding Grand Theft Auto V). The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the exploits of protagonist Luis Fernando Lopez, a member of the Dominican drug dealers and the personal bodyguard of Anthony "Gay Tony" Prince. Prince is the owner of the two largest nightclubs in Liberty City and is a high-status socialite.

Rockstar Games said in their press release that this episode "injects Liberty City with an overdose of guns, glitz, and crime" and that "players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price."[4] A combined standalone disc-based package titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, which does not require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game to be played, was released alongside the second expansion and contains both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.[5][6]

Gameplay[edit]

The Ballad of Gay Tony includes the ability to replay previously passed missions with scoring. This feature was previously introduced to the series in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Additions to the game's inventory include new weapons such as the FN P90, the M249 SAW light machine gun, the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, the .44 Auto Mag pistol, and the sniper rifle DSR-1. It also includes the return of satchel charges. Additional vehicles include high-end sports cars, sedans, a new aircraft, a small attack helicopter called the "Buzzard", a heavy-lift helicopter called the "Skylift", and a shuttle helicopter named the "Swift". In addition, the parachute returns, allowing players to participate in BASE jumping and skydiving challenges. When flying a helicopter the map now functions as an altimeter.

The game also introduces a new driving range activity, as well as the ability to visit Tony's two nightclubs, where they can participate in drinking and dancing-based minigames. They can also manage the club's security. Players may also enter an underground fighting tournament; where they can either spectate or compete in fights. In multiplayer, free mode, deathmatch, team deathmatch, race and GTA Race modes were updated, and a "BASE jumping" (multiplayer competition) mode was introduced, as a variation of free mode.[7]

Plot[edit]

After witnessing the heist of the Bank of Liberty (carried out by Niko and Packie), Luis Fernando Lopez enters the loft of his employer, "Gay" Tony Prince. Tony is in serious financial trouble, having taken out massive loans from the Ancelotti crime family and Mori Kibbutz. He asks Luis to work for Mori Kibbutz (Brucie's older brother) and Rocco Pelosi, an Ancelotti gangster, in order to satisfy his debts. Luis soon becomes acquainted with Yusuf Amir, an Emirati real estate developer who is interested in purchasing and franchising one of Tony's clubs, and Ray Bulgarin, a Russian crime lord. Tony also plans to buy two million dollars worth of diamonds in order to sell them at a higher price, but members of The Lost Motorcycle Club intervene and steal them. Luis manages to intercept a meeting to trade the diamonds and recovers them. Bulgarin soon reveals that the diamonds are his property, and believes that Luis and Tony colluded to steal them, marking them for death. Giovanni Ancelotti orders that the diamonds are to be used as a ransom payment for his daughter Gracie, who was kidnapped by Niko Bellic and Patrick McReary.

Rocco suggests that Luis should kill Tony in order to gain favor with Bulgarin. Though he contemplates doing so, Luis ultimately refuses and escapes Tony's club when Russian gangsters sent by Bulgarin assault it. Luis travels to Firefly Island to disrupt Russian drug operations and learns that Bulgarin is fleeing the city by plane within two hours. With the help of Yusef (who kills Bulgarin's henchmen attacking Luiz to stop him boarding Bulgarin's plane) with his Buzzard attack chopper, Luis manages to board the plane, and kills all of the henchmen on board. A vengeful Bulgarin emerges from the cockpit holding a grenade, threatening destruction to both of them if Luis kills him. Luis takes the risk and shoots Bulgarin. A dying Bulgarin drops the grenade causing it to explode. Luis parachutes out of the burning wreckage of the plane to safety, and heads to Meadows Park where Tony is waiting. Once there, they both tell Yusuf that they won't franchise the clubs since they prefer to keep it a "family business".

Cast and characters[edit]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PS3: 90.00%[10]
X360: 89.43%[11]
Metacritic X360: 89/100[8]
PS3: 87/100[9]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A-[12]
Eurogamer 8/10[13]
IGN 9.2/10

The game was released to high critical acclaim, with a metascore of 89 on Metacritic.[14] At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony was awarded the Best DLC award.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boyer, Brandon (29 June 2007). "Product: Grand Theft Auto IV Using NaturalMotion's Euphoria". Gamasutra. CMP Game Group. Retrieved 3 April 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Gibson, Ellie (23 July 2009). "New GTAIV DLC gets release date News // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Gets Delayed". IGN. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  4. ^ ""Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony" press release". Take-Two Interactive. Retrieved 26 May 2009. [dead link][dead link]
  5. ^ Griffin McElroy (26 May 2009). "Rockstar announces GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony, coming to Xbox Live and retail compilation". Joystiq. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Stewart, Kemuel (26 May 2008). "GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony’ DLC Announced". GamerCenterOnline. Retrieved 26 May 2009. [dead link][dead link]
  7. ^ Exclusive Features: Multiplayer
  8. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for PlayStation 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for Xbox 360 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ Mike Nelson. "Review". 1UP.com. 
  13. ^ Tom Bramwell. "Review". eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  14. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 

External links[edit]