Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
While Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was originally released for the PSP, it is the PlayStation 2 version of the game that I am looking at today. This was a huge hit and a big deal on the PSP, but the PlayStation 2 version which was released as a budget title really late in the console’s life (2006) actually sold phenomenally well.
Welcome To Liberty City
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories takes place in Liberty City and the city is actually very similar to how it was in Grand Theft Auto III. The game is set before the events of GTA III. You play as Toni Cipriani a man who has been in hiding after killing a made man and who is now back in Liberty City trying to move up the ranks of the underworld. As you would expect, things are not smooth sailing and there are betrayal and a lot of bloodshed. In all honesty, in comparison to the other PS2 GTA games, III, Vice City, and San Andreas. I must say that the story this game is telling is not as engaging or as epic. However, to be fair as a PSP game the story is great and ideal for a smaller scale GTA story.
Best Of Both Worlds
While the game is set before GTA III. I like how they have put a few of the elements that San Andreas and Vice City had in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. For example, you can go into more buildings that you would think, you can ride motorbikes and there is a lot of clothing to deck yourself out with. I also feel that this PS2 version does control better than it did on the PSP. The camera especially feels a lot smoother this time around. Speaking of smoother the PS2 version has faster load times and the draw distance seems a lot better than it did on the PSP. It does lose the ability for multiplayer and the ability for custom soundtracks that were on the PSP. Which is a bit of a bummer as the soundtrack in this game repeats a lot!
Do What You Want
The missions that you will be doing in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories are what you would expect from a GTA game. Some are very, very easy and some are super frustratingly hard. The game plays it very safe with the missions if you ask me. One thing that you will notice is that the missions are rather short. This is not because the dev team was lazy. Remember this was originally designed for the PSP so the missions are made to be shorter for quicker on the go bursts of gaming.
While it may not be as celebrated as Vice City or San Andreas. I will say that Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a game I have had a lot of fun with. I have played both versions of the game and for me, the quicker load times alone make the PlayStation 2 version of the game the better one.
- It is fun to play
- Going on a rampage is still a lot of fun
- The load times are better than they were on PSP
- It also looks a bit sharper too
- For a budget title, it has a ton of content
- No multiplayer like on the PSP
- The game is not as grand in scale as other GTA games
Download Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
When we first encountered Liberty City Stories on the PSP late last year, it felt familiar, with good reason: The game takes place in GTA3's Liberty City but features a different story and characters. And here we go again with this PSP-to-PS2 port. Wait—PSP to PS2? Rockstar sees no reason for fans of the criminally successful series to be shut out of this side story just because they don’t have a PSP. Oddly enough, the PS2 version loses something in the translation: multiplayer. Where the PSP LCS features a suite of six-player Wi-Fi matches, PS2 players miss out on their first chance for more-than-a-minigame multiplayer GTA action. And since nothing else changes (though the switch to the DualShock 2 pad is welcome), it sounds like a rip-off...until you consider the budget price.
If you have the PSP game, you’ll find nothing new here. But for the millions of GTA fans that don’t, you get a lot of game for your $20.
The good news is that Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories pulls off an impressive feat. Taking a game that has an extreme dependency on console/PC gameplay techniques and jamming them into a handheld is not going to be an easy or clean process. Only having one analog stick for instance can cause significant camera problems and really be challenging to overcome with the limited controls of a PSP. I can tell you that it's not going to be problem free, but have no fear, this game is a must have for the PSP.
Without going into the details too deep, the story revolves around Toni Cipriani who is a big player in the Leone family. As you might guess, the Leone family has some out of the ordinary business interests and techniques that require the Leone family to find ways to 'motivate'? their customers. Anyway, the missions that you undertake are classic Grand Theft Auto style. However there are a number of missions that don't work well, either because of the design of the mission or restrictions from the PSP, but overall you'll be able to overlook those as the rest of the game more then makes up for it.
The other parts of the gameplay will be familiar and transferred to the PSP beautifully. The huge sprawling city to move around in is represented with plenty of side missions, the control system (especially the camera) has some glitches but generally can be worked through, and the multiplayer capabilities have to be experienced to fully appreciate with full functionality similar to what the console versions of GTA offer'full freedom.
Besides the gameplay, the graphics and audio also make comparable showing to the console versions with amazing detail and quality. The environments are beautifully rendered and there are numerous sound tracks to listen to while driving through the city. Other areas like the cut scenes also bring the game to life and will impress.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories will stay in your PSP for a long time. Besides the story mode, there are tons of things to discover and unlock with seven multiplayer modes to keep things interesting. If these are the types of games we can expect to see coming to the PSP, Nintendo is going to see their market dwindle away.