Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Cover art of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Rockstar Games
Producer(s)Leslie Benzies
Designer(s)David Bland
Programmer(s)
  • Obbe Vermeij
  • Adam Fowler
  • Andrew Greensmith
  • Matthew Shepcar
Artist(s)Aaron Garbut
Ian Bowden
Writer(s)
Composer(s)
SeriesGrand Theft Auto
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer (PSP)

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is an action-adventure game developed in a collaboration between Rockstar Leeds and Rockstar North, and published by Rockstar Games. The ninth installment in the Grand Theft Auto series and the second one to be released for handheld consoles, after 2004's Grand Theft Auto: Advance, the game was released for the PlayStation Portable in October 2005.[2] A port for PlayStation 2 was released in June 2006 in North America.[3] At the time of release, the recommended retail price of the PS2 port was around half the price of the PSP version,[4] because the PS2 port does not feature the custom soundtrack ripping capability of the PSP version. A port for iOS, Android and Fire OS devices was also released in December 2015,[5] February 2016,[6] and March 2016, respectively.[7]

Set within the fictional Liberty City (loosely based on New York City) in 1998, the game is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III, and follows mobster Toni Cipriani as he becomes involved in a power struggle among the city's Mafia families while attempting to rise in the Leone family's ranks and earn the respect of his boss, Salvatore Leone. In addition to Toni and Salvatore, the game features several other returning characters from Grand Theft Auto III, and offers background information for them or for other aspects of the game, including certain areas of Liberty City, explaining how they ended up the way they were depicted in GTA III. Its successor, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, a prequel to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, was released in October 2006, also as a PSP exclusive before being ported to other platforms.

Gameplay[edit]

Toni on Staunton Island riding a PCJ-600 motorcycle with a sub-machine gun equipped and with a two-star wanted level.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is an action-adventure game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective. Liberty City's layout is largely similar to Grand Theft Auto III,[8] but it also incorporates elements found in Grand Theft Auto III's successors, such as more indoor environments, clothing changes, and motorcycles. 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).[9][10] Things that are omitted from the game are the ability to climb and the ability to swim – contact with deep bodies of water is instantly fatal.[11] The overall game's open world, as it is based upon the original Liberty City layout, is considerably smaller than that of San Andreas.

Differently from GTA III, motorcycles are usable in the game.[12] Though flyable aeroplanes and helicopters can be found in Vice City and San Andreas, flyable aeroplanes cannot be found in Liberty City Stories, and helicopters are only accessible through certain exploits.[11]

The PSP version of Liberty City Stories has a multiplayer mode, for up to six players through Wi-Fi ad-hoc mode (same area).[13] The game features seven modes of wireless multiplayer gaming, in which various pedestrian and character models are from the single player mode avatars.[13] These multiplayer modes were removed in the PS2 and mobile versions.[14][15]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Liberty City Stories takes place in 1998 within the fictional Liberty City, and forms part of the "3D Universe" canon of the Grand Theft Auto series. Set three years before the events of Grand Theft Auto III, the setting features several areas that are different from the 2001 setting, including locations that are being constructed, or facilities and buildings that are no longer around in the future setting. An example of this is the district of Fort Staunton, which represents a virtual version of a "Little Italy" district, before events in the game later lead to it becoming a construction site in 2001.[16]

Characters[edit]

Like previous Grand Theft Auto games, Liberty City Stories features an array of notable actors in its cast. Several characters from Grand Theft Auto III make appearances in the game, receiving notable changes in appearance and lifestyles to reflect who they were in 1998. Although Frank Vincent returns to reprise his original role in both Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,[17] other returning characters from Grand Theft Auto III were voiced by new actors. For instance, Fiona Gallagher replaced Debi Mazar as Maria Latore,[18][19] and Will Janowitz replaced Kyle MacLachlan as Donald Love.[18][20]

Plot[edit]

In 1998, Leone mobster Antonio "Toni" Cipriani returns to Liberty City after a four-year absence, having been forced to live abroad following his murder of a rival mobster for the Leone family. Upon his return, Don Salvatore Leone welcomes him back and assigns him to work under another Leone mobster, Vincenzo "Lucky" Cilli, who despises him. At the same time, Toni finds his mother disapproves of his rank in the Leone family, and is forced to stay away from her when she calls a hit on him. After Toni escapes being arrested on a job, he quickly discovers Vincenzo seeks to take his place within the Leone family. When Vincenzo tries to murder him, Toni kills him in retaliation. With Vincenzo dead, Salvatore assigns work to Toni, including looking after his trophy wife Maria.

Toni soon uncovers evidence that Sicilian Mafia underboss Massimo Torini is orchestrating plans for minor gangs to take control of Leone territory, whilst they're engaged in a war with the Sindacco and Forelli families. After helping to escort Salvatore downtown as problems arise, Toni earns his trust and becomes a made man, causing his mother to call off the hit on him. Toni soon finds himself entrusted with killing the city's mayor, controlled by the Forellis, and assisting media mogul Donald Love into becoming his replacement. However, Donald goes bankrupt after he loses to his rival Miles O'Donovan, who promptly has Salvatore arrested on several charges soon after his election. Toni remains loyal to him, and assists him by killing Don Paulie Sindacco, as revenge for having Salvatore arrested, effectively ending the Sindaccos. He then destroys Fort Staunton for Donald, allowing him to rebuild his fortune for the future, while severely weakening the Forellis.

With the Leones now the strongest and sole-surviving Mafia family in Liberty City, Salvatore soon finds himself targeted by his rivals, forcing Toni to protect him before his trial. Upon being released on bail, Salvatore quickly deduces that Torini organised the mob war and rigged the mayoral elections. Suspecting he will likely kidnap O'Donovan to prevent the charges against him being dropped, Salvatore works with Toni to rescue O'Donovan and kill Torini. He then convinces the mayor he is in the Leones' debt and demands him to grant his family protection. Salvatore later reveals that Torini was working for his uncle, who wanted to weaken his nephew's control over the city for not paying him tribute. With his uncle no longer a threat, Salvatore and Toni settle in with controlling 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".[21] 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 using the PlayStation 2 backward compatibility.[22]

An enhanced port of the game, with touchscreen controls, real-time lighting, high-definition textures and draw distance, was released in December 2015 for iOS, February 2016 for Android and March 2016 for Fire OS.[5][23][6][7]

Soundtrack[edit]

Liberty City Stories features ten radio stations, which consist of a mix of both licensed music and tracks created specifically for the game, and talk radio stations.[8] A feature for the PSP version of the game is the ability to listen to custom soundtracks.[24]

To implement the custom soundtrack feature, Rockstar placed the application called "Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0" on the official site under the "Downloads" section.[25] This then gave people the chance to use the custom soundtracks feature. The application is based on Exact Audio Copy.[26]

Reception[edit]

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PSP) 88/100[27]
(PS2) 78/100[28]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Eurogamer9.0/10[9]
G44/5[29]
GameSpot8.6/10[30]
GameTrailers9.1/10[31]
IGN9.0/10[8]
OPM (UK)9.0/10[32]

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

Sales[edit]

In the United States, the PlayStation 2 version of Liberty City Stories had sold 1 million copies by February 2007.[33] In the United States alone, Liberty City Stories' PSP release sold 980,000 copies and earned $48 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 16th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country.[34] As of 26 March 2008, Liberty City Stories sold 8 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.[35] The PlayStation Portable version of Liberty City Stories received a "Double Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[36] indicating sales of at least 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[37] ELSPA gave the game's PlayStation 2 version a "Platinum" certification,[38] for sales of at least 300,000 copies in the region.[37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ported to Android, Fire OS, and iOS by Lucid Games.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". LucidGames.co.uk. Lucid Games. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". GameSpot. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Rockstar Games Announces Release Date for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories on PlayStation(R)2". Take2Games.com. Take-Two Interactive. 18 April 2006. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  4. ^ Vore, Bryan (6 June 2006). "GTA: Liberty City Stories PS2 Hands-On Impressions". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b Makuch, Eddie (17 December 2015). "GTA: Liberty City Stories With "Significant Enhancements" Hits iOS". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b Makuch, Eddie (11 February 2016). "Get Free GTA 5 T-Shirt DLC When You Download GTA: Liberty City Stories for iOS, Android". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Saba, Elias (11 March 2016). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories released for the Amazon Fire TV". AFTVnews. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Castro, Juan (24 October 2005). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". IGN. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  9. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (4 November 2005). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  10. ^ Wolpaw, Erik (28 May 2003). "Grand Theft Auto III Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b Zwiezen, Zack (19 January 2017). "Ranking The Grand Theft Auto Games, From Worst To Best". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  12. ^ Webster, Andrew (17 December 2015). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is now on iPhone". The Verge. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b Castro, Juan (30 September 2005). "GTA: Liberty City Multiplayer Hands-On". IGN. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference gaming_target was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Williams, Jeff (17 December 2015). "GTA: Liberty City Stories Debuts on iOS, Runs at 60FPS And Has 3D Touch". Wccftech. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  16. ^ Sin, Brian (1 April 2013). "GTA Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories heads to PSN next week". SlashGear. Archived from the original on 3 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  17. ^ Castro, Juan (18 May 2012). "GTA: Liberty City Stories: Frank Vincent Speaks". IGN. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  18. ^ a b Glixel, Adrian Todd Zuniga; Glixel, Adrian Todd Zuniga (21 October 2016). "'Grand Theft Auto III': Meet Voice Actors of Legendary Game". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Maria Latore". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Donald Love". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  21. ^ Castro, Juan (9 September 2005). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". IGN. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  22. ^ Dunning, Jason (29 March 2013). "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories Come to PS2 Classics on April 2nd/3rd". PlayStation LifeStyle. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  23. ^ Fingas, Roger (17 December 2015). "GTA: Liberty City Stories comes to iOS, Pixelmator adds Apple Pencil tilt to more brushes". AppleInsider.com. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  24. ^ Gibson, Ellie (31 October 2005). "Custom tracks for GTA PSP". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Rockstar Games: Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories". RockstarGames.com. Rockstar Games. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  26. ^ Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0: Readme file (Report). Rockstar Games. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 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!
  27. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PSP)". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  28. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  29. ^ Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Review on YouTube
  30. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (28 October 2005). "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Review for PSP". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 31 October 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2005.
  31. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". GameTrailers. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  32. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories". Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine. No. 67. Christmas 2005.
  33. ^ "The Games People Buy 2007". Edge. 6 February 2007. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
  34. ^ Keiser, Joe (2 August 2006). "The Century's Top 50 Handheld Games". Next Generation. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
  35. ^ "Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc.'s Tender Offer" (PDF). TakeTwoValue.com. Take-Two Interactive. 26 March 2008. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  36. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Double Platinum". ELPSA.com. Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  37. ^ a b Caoili, Eric (26 November 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  38. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". ELSPA.com. Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.

External links[edit]