Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
|Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony|
|Developer(s)||Rockstar North[N 1]|
|Series||Grand Theft Auto|
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. It was first released for Xbox 360 on 29 October 2009, before then being released for PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows on 13 April 2010. It is the fourth expansion pack in the Grand Theft Auto series and the 14th release in the series.
The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the exploits of Luis Fernando Lopez, a Dominican former drug dealer and the personal bodyguard of Anthony "Gay Tony" Prince, a nightclub magnate in Liberty City. The storyline focuses on Luis's efforts to help Prince, a club owner and high-status socialite, overcome several issues, including drugs, debt, Mafia families and attempts on both of their lives. It also ties up loose ends from Grand Theft Auto IV and The Lost and Damned in regards to the diamond storyline that connects all three games.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is an action-adventure game set in the open world environment of Liberty City. It features similar gameplay, and the same setting as Grand Theft Auto IV. A notable addition, previously introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, is a scoring system for missions. The score has no effect, but gauges the player's overall performance in a mission, as well as unique goals they accomplished. The player can redo missions to improve their score. The player also has new activities, side jobs, vehicles, and weapons. Luis may call on his friends, Armando and Henrique, to use their special abilities: Armando can sell weapons to Luis while Henrique can supply him a vehicle. Luis can also take them on friend activities.
The Ballad of Gay Tony features "side jobs" for players to earn more money. These include Drug Wars, Triathlon Races, managing Prince's nightclubs, entering an Underground Fight Tournament, and BASE jumping. Drug Wars perform similarly to Gang Wars in The Lost and Damned; the player must acquire a drug stash and take it to a drop-off point, with many variations, while being pursued by rival gangs. Triathlon Races consist of skydiving to a collection of boats, sailing through checkpoints, landing at a collection of cars, and street racing to the finish line. Club Management focuses on Luis working as a bouncer for Prince's clubs, handling situations with clubgoers or assisting/chauffeuring VIPs.
Other new activities include golfing at a driving range, a dancing minigame at clubs, drinking games, and air hockey. Minor changes include a modified display and HUD, such as an altimeter when the player is in the air. The game's multiplayer added new activities.
In 2008, after witnessing the robbery of the Bank of Liberty,[N 2] Luis Fernando Lopez meets with his employer and business partner, nightclub owner "Gay" Tony Prince. Struggling to run the clubs Maisonette 9 and Hercules, Tony takes out loans from the Ancelotti Mafia family and Mori Kibbutz in order to keep them running, ending up in severe debt. Luis finds himself working with both Mori and Rocco Pelosi, an Ancelotti mobster, to pay off Tony's debts. At the same time, he helps his drug dealing friends - Armando & Henrique - out of several botched deals, and assists Yusuf Amir, an Emirati real estate developer, with a number of vehicle 'acquisitions'. Luis soon becomes annoyed with Tony's failure to stay in control of his clubs and the constant problems he brings from his debts, but eventually settles matters with Mori.
Later, Tony makes plans to buy $2 million worth of smuggled diamonds in order to sell them at a higher price. However, they are ambushed by members of The Lost biker gang, led by Johnny Klebitz, resulting in the death of Tony's boyfriend Evan Moss and the loss of the diamonds.[N 3] Tony soon locates the stolen merchandise, and has Luis ambush Johnny and Niko Bellic's exchange with the Jewish mob, taking back the diamonds in the resulting chaos.[N 4] During this time, Luis also takes on jobs for Russian crime lord Ray Bulgarin, who offers to help cover Tony's debts, but turns on them when he reveals the diamonds were his property. Don Giovanni Ancelotti soon orders Luis and Tony to give the diamonds as a ransom payment for his daughter Gracie, who was kidnapped by Niko.[N 5] The diamonds are ultimately lost when Bulgarin intercepts the exchange, though Luis and Tony manage to save Gracie and return her to her father.[N 6]
Rocco meets with Luis, and advises him to kill Tony to gain favour with Bulgarin, so that he will spare him. Though he contemplates doing so, Luis ultimately refuses and fends off Bulgarin's men when they attack Maisonette 9. Deciding to retaliate, Luis disrupts Bulgarin's drug operations. Upon learning that Bulgarin is fleeing the city by plane, Luis pursues him with Yusuf's help, and kills him aboard his plane. Bulgarin drops a grenade in the process, destroying the plane, but Luis is able to parachute to safety. Reuniting with Tony, the pair decide to reopen the clubs, while declining Yusuf's proposal to franchise the clubs, preferring to keep ownership of them for the moment.
The diamonds are ultimately found in the trash by a homeless Vietnam War veteran, who sells them and departs for Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic. At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony was awarded the Best DLC award.
- Rockstar Toronto ported the game to Microsoft Windows.
- As depicted in "Three Leaf Clover" in Grand Theft Auto IV.
- As depicted in "Diamonds in the Rough" in Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned.
- As depicted in "Museum Piece" in Grand Theft Auto IV and "Collector's Item" in Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned.
- As depicted in "I'll Take Her" in Grand Theft Auto IV.
- As depicted in "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in Grand Theft Auto IV.
- Rockstar North (13 April 2010). Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Microsoft Windows). Rockstar Games. Level/area: Credits.
- Gibson, Ellie (23 July 2009). "New GTAIV DLC gets release date News // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More". Eurogamer. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- 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.
- Bramwell, Tom (26 May 2009). "Second GTAIV episode named, detailed". Eurogamer.
- "Rockstar Games". Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
- "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for PlayStation 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- Bramwell, Tom. "Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 November 2013.