A Windows port of the popular open world sandbox game Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
Windows 8 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City takes two of the best expansion packs from Grand Theft Auto 4 and combines them together into a single stand-alone experience. That means you don't need GTA 4 to play these two treasures, and they offer divergent gameplay experiences that build off of and improve on the core game in some very interesting ways. While Grand Theft Auto 4 offered the typical next gen improvements on the games that preceded for it, it lost some of the franchise's charm in the process. Gone was much of the humor, and in its place was a more grounded and serious experience that evoked the gritty crime dramas of golden age Scorsese. The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and the Damned, the two games included in this collection, bring back some of the irreverence the series is known for and stuffs in a ton of new features in the process. Even better, they each come with their own flavor and core mechanics that make them each stand apart on their own accord.
If you've played GTA 4 before, you have an understanding of the core mechanics and the city itself. They take place in the same expansive version of Liberty City, a sort of loving recreation of New York City's shadiest components. It's a game engine that does a lot and sometimes suffers in the details in favor of being all-inclusive. Shooting makes use of an auto-lock mechanic that doesn't manage to attain the same level of precision you'll find in more dedicated third person shooters, and the vehicles control in a servicable manner but can't hold a candle to the sort of weight you'll find in dedicated driving simulators.
The Lost and the Damneds puts you in the shoes of the member of a biker gang, and your trademark bike is a huge part of the experience. It's a sordid tale of brotherhood and betrayal, and it captures the rough and tumble life of bikers well. Building on the game's core mechanics, you have the opportunity to build out your bike the way that you want it. It becomes almost a second character, able to be summoned on a whim, and carrying a weight and reliability that's not present in many of the standard vehicles. Adding an additional wrinkle is the ability to call in your fellow bikers to complete an array of tasks on your behalf.
The Ballad of Gay Tony is far more exuberant, and it captures the more absurd environments and scenarios the prior games in the series were celebrated for. As the right hand man of one of the city's largest drug dealers, you go on daring adventures that escalate into full blown action movie set pieces. It also weaves a wide variety of mini games into the experience.
Whether you're looking to dive back into the world of Liberty City or experience Grand Theft Auto for the first time, this is a great place to start. It captures the full range of experiences the series is known for and sets them in a living, breathing world.