I’m playing Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Number of missions completed before I became disgusted and looked up cheat codes: 7. Some things never change. This game really knows how to enrage me.
In this game you play as Tony Cipriani, who was an NPC back in GTA III, which is in the future from this game’s standpoint. Got it? No? Fine.
|New in this version of the game is the ability to see out windows. I like how I’m wandering around my apartment idly carrying a submachinegun. Only in GTA.|
Even with the retcon IQ boost up he’s still not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s not very impressive physically, and he still looks like he needs to spend some quality time with a bar of soap.
The game re-uses the Liberty City scenery from GTA III, but with a few minor tweaks to keep things interesting. Many improvements from later installments were backed into the original GTA III gameplay. You can bail out of moving vehicles, ride motorcycles, change clothes, and a number of other things that weren’t possible the last time we visited Liberty City. Sadly, swimming and crouching didn’t make it, so you once again get to enjoy the stupidity of drowning in shoulder-deep water and standing like a target dummy in combat.
There are a few new mini-games here. I saw a set of missions that let you become a “car salesman”. I figured this was a euphemism for stealing cars, but no: You actually have to sell cars by taking an NPC for a ride and demonstrating the capabilities of the vehicle. Clever. I will say this: Those would-be customers are exceedingly brave. I have yet to make a sale, but I have killed a number of them and totaled a few cars in the attempt. They don’t seem to mind.
I had hoped the flirting they did with RPG stat-building gameplay in San Andreas would make it into this game, but that didn’t play out. I cling to those scant few RPG elements like a lifeline. The core gameplay of GTA isn’t really my thing, and as I play the game I can’t help but fantasize about how the game could be a sort of urban version of Oblivion.
An apt title for the game might be Grand Theft Auto: More of the Same. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
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