Developer: Rockstar Leeds |
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Players: 1 Player Game |
Genre: Action

Release Date: 10/24/05

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series is seemingly always in the headlines these days. The recent “hot coffee” incident brought a lot of attention to GTA: San Andreas and with all the controversy constantly surrounding the series it might be easy to miss other news concerning the titles. Well, it’s time to snap out of it because soon the series will make its debut on Sony’s lovable PSP with the upcoming Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.

Undoubtedly, some of you are thinking that this is just a GTA III port being dumbed down to run on the small screen. If you find yourself in this lot, you are woefully mistaken, my friend. Not only is Liberty City Stories a completely new game, but it also includes things that you won’t find in its older siblings including new vehicles and new weapons. Rockstar is definitely not holding back with this title. Everything that was in the other games is back–including car stunts and hidden package missions. This new game will take place in the GTA III universe, but the events that unfold are set three years prior to the start of the third game. You play the part of Toni Cipriani who’s just got back into town and is ready to get down to business; illegal business to be exact.

The gameplay will remain largely unchanged with the exception of a few improvements here and there. One area that Rockstar has stated they are improving is the targeting system. Apparently the PSP title will use a slightly modified version of the San Andreas’ system in order to make aiming and shooting more intuitive. Other than that, the focus will still be on completing various tasks ranging from simple rendezvous operations to full on firefights with the competition in Liberty City. Of course, if you so desire, you can still steal some unsuspecting citizen’s ride and just cruise the streets while rocking out to your favorite songs.

Another area where this game shines is the graphics; we’ve seen some impressive things from the PSP, but it just never ceases to amaze me to see PS2 quality graphics on such a small platform. Liberty City Stories looks almost identical to the PS2 titles and even feature detailed car models that take damage as you wreck some poor sucker’s ride. The sheer size of the game is impressive and with so much going on, you’d expect the PSP to chug trying to render the complex scenes, but surprisingly, this isn’t the case.

PSP owning GTA fans owe it to themselves to pick up this title on release. Right now, there is a dubious fall release date, so be sure to keep an eye out for more news concerning the release of this title. The game is looking great at this point and honestly, who’s not looking forward to getting lost in a new GTA game? Expect anywhere from sixty to one hundred hours of game time depending on how much you explore and how many side quests you take care of. That’s a lot of gaming for your dollar, so you shouldn’t have any qualms about picking this one up. Of course, if you’re the cautious type, you can check back with CVG for an official review of the title once it hits the shelves.

By Ryan Schaefer – 09/29/05
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs

Screenshots for GTA: Liberty City Stories