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Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (PS3) [US Import]

by Take 2 Interactive
PlayStation 3
 Ages 18 and Over

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  • Brings the interweaving Grand Theft Auto IV stories of Niko Bellic (main game), Johnny Klebitz (The Lost and Damned) and Luis Lopez (The Ballad of Gay Tony) to an explosive conclusion.
  • Contains The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, on one disc. These were originally digital content releases for GTAIV that were unavailable to PS3 players.
  • Both games are standalone releases that do not require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game, or an Internet connection for their single player campaigns. (multiplayer modes are online)
  • Complete your Grand Theft Auto IV experience with powerful new weapons, vehicles, music, features and new mission types.
  • Each episode contains both a single player campaign as well as a variety of online multiplayer modes specific to the storyline of each.


Game Information

  • Platform:   PlayStation 3
  • PEGI Rating: Ages 18 and Over Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age or over.
     PEGI Violence
  • Media: Video Game
  • Item Quantity: 1

Product details


Product Description

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City for PS3... Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City includes two complete games - The Lost and Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony - together on disc for PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows. In The Lost and Damned, experience Liberty City as Johnny, a veteran member of The Lost, a notorious biker gang. Johnny has been creating business opportunities for The Lost in Liberty City but his first loyalty must be to the patch he wears on his back and to Billy Grey, the club's President. However, when Billy returns from rehab hell-bent on bloodshed and debauchery, Johnny finds himself in the middle of a vicious turf war with rival gangs for control of a city torn apart by violence and corruption. Can the brotherhood survive? The Ballad of Gay Tony injects Liberty City with an overdose of guns, glitz, and grime. As Luis Lopez, part-time hoodlum and full-time assistant to legendary nightclub impresario Tony Prince (a.k.a. "Gay Tony"), players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  156 reviews
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City 15 April 2010
By Leif Sheppard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Video Game|Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
It took forever and a day, but PS3 owners finally have access to the two outstanding "Grand Theft Auto IV" expansions on one reasonably-priced disc. As is custom for the GTA series, the game includes a small booklet and the ubiquitous full-size fold-out poster. In addition to the disc version, the Playstation Store has both expansions available for download as well. This is an option of convenience or useful if you only want one of the expansions.

Buying both, however, is the same price or more than the disc, so you might as well buy the disc. You'll get the nice poster and booklet in addition to the hard copy you can either sell or give to a friend when you're finished. The poster has an image of a party girl in a pink dress on one side and a detailed map of Liberty City on the other. The booklet contains brief paragraphs outlining the premise of each expansion, a full list of the radio songs, and the game credits.

Both "The Lost and Damned" and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" are amply sized and playing through both took me around twenty hours, and this is considering I ignored much of the many interesting diversions and side-quests (everything from arm wrestling, gang wars, bike races and more) present in both. A very dedicated player could easily spend forty to fifty hours completing all the side-quests and obtaining all the trophies, making this disc a nearly mandatory purchase for PS3 owners who enjoy a good sandbox-style romp.

Of course, both games are rife with the bizarre hallmarks of the GTA games. The nudity is particularly bizarre, including a scene of full-frontal male congressman nudity, which is ostensibly intended to be amusing but only elicited a furrowed brow from this gamer. This sort of thing is nothing new to the franchise or even the genre, so I'm not complaining, just making note. The language is often coarse but I wouldn't have it any other way. It lends atmosphere to the storyline, and after all, we're dealing with a biker gang and a bodyguard/drug dealer. Speaking of which, it's amazing to me how many parents complain about the content of games when specific ratings are provided on each title's sleeve and detailed content descriptions of games can often be found online. But that's another story entirely.

Unfortunately, much as in GTA IV, the AI scripting for your teammates is rather weak. Occasionally they can even become a hindrance, as they get in the way during chases, and even with relatively high attributes are often unable to hit their targets (particularly if the enemy is behind cover). Another slight mark against these expansions are those missions that frankly don't even make much sense. For instance, during one mission on "The Lost and Damned", your character is to ride his motorcycle to find three rival gang vans driving around Liberty City. Once you find a van, you're to throw pipe bombs at the van until it's destroyed, all while the heavily-armed crackshot gang members are leading you with semi-automatic weapons. To be fair, the mission can be completed without resorting to the pipe bombs (I stood in the street and used a rocket launcher instead), but I just couldn't shake the feeling that Johnny Boy had taken too many knocks to the skull. Well, no one said biker gangs were very bright to begin with, right?

This is admittedly a small complaint. Besides, I appreciate that Rockstar tries to add a bit of variety to the missions so that each one isn't simply a full-throttle shootout. At least no mission on these expansions is as ridiculous as that one in "Vice City" where you had to plant bombs using a very unwieldy remote-controlled helicopter! Story-wise, however, neither expansion disappoints in any way. "The Ballad of Gay Tony" is colorful, amusing and more characteristic of a typical GTA storyline. As far as mission variety is concerned, "TBOGY" wins hands down. One moment you'll be piloting a high-tech aircraft, the next you're in a speedboat chase, and before long you're parachuting from a skyscraper to escape the police.

My personal favorite storyline, however, was "The Lost and Damned" which features a darker, more involving plotline. It's nothing terribly complex, mostly a series of drug deals gone awry, mixed with gang wars and internal conflicts within your own gang, but Johnny Klebitz (the player character) is my favorite of the entire franchise. This is due in large part because, despite the limited and somewhat dated graphics (keeping in mind GTA IV was released almost exactly two years ago) I'm always impressed with how solid the acting is. The voice acting and scripting are top gear, but what really sells the cutscenes is the dead-on body language and gestures from the characters.

The numerous multiplayer modes add nearly endless replayability to the title and are often a source of great amusement. My favorite multiplayer games include: "Chopper VS Chopper", where one player rides a motorcycle through a series of checkpoints while another player in a helicopter tries to destroy the biker, "Lone Wolf Biker" where every other player is trying to kill the one who is tagged the 'lone wolf', and "Witness Protection" where one team is trying to destroy a bus full of witnesses while the other team is trying to protect it. There are also a multiplayer motorcycle race mode, a "Club Business" mode where the players act together as a team to carry out various tasks, and a "Own the City" mode where the players attempt to take over the city piece by piece.

My personal favorite addition is the mission checkpoint system, which really cuts down on wasted playtime after a failed mission (i.e. having to take a ten minute drive back to the mission site after every mission failure). I hope this becomes the norm on every subsequent GTA title. All things considered, it was well worth the wait. For the modest price this title typically averages, it's highly recommended, and a great way to stave off the waiting for the next GTA title (or, in my case, the upcoming "Red Dead Redemption").
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent GTA 17 April 2010
By E. Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Video Game
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Quite how it's taken so long for this to be released on PS3, I cannot understand, but after the long wait, you won't be left disappointed.

Although the game plays exactly like GTAIV (there was never going to be a major upheaval on this front), there are enough additions to make the two included games feel new. Plenty of new, more fun weapons (grenade launcher anyone?), and a sprinkling of new vehicles around the streets.

Liberty City is opened up completely from the start, and a lot of the weapons you may have taken several days to earn in GTAIV are available within half an hour of playing this one. But that's a good thing; I imagine most gamers buying this will have completed GTAIV, so there is no need to go through the same process of slowly earning better weapons as you progress.

If you're like me and you love the radio stations on GTA games, you'd be pleased to hear a totally new radio soundtrack to complement the game. My favourite by a country mile would be Vice City FM - being an 80s music fan, I am of the opinion that Vice City had the greatest soundtrack to a game ever. Fernando Martinez hosts, and hearing an excellent selection of not-so-obvious 80s tracks playing in Liberty City just brings back a little bit of that "Vice City feeling" when playing this one.

The Episodes are notably shorter than GTA, with around 25 main story missions each. Looking on the bright side of this, you won't end up with the ridiculous unspendable amounts of money Niko had in GTAIV, which I suppose makes money a little more valuable.

Difficulty wise, there doesn't seem to be much difference between IV and the Episodes; I would say the Episodes are maybe slightly more challenging (the harder missions naturally come along a lot quicker with there being fewer missions overall). The missions themselves offer more variety to the gameplay, you'll have heard about the parachuting etc in Gay Tony for example. For those who like this sort of thing, missions interweave with Niko's progression in IV, adding depth to the original plot and providing interesting background to some of the tasks you carried out as Niko.

All in all, Episodes from Liberty City are two superb games if you loved GTAIV, and whilst not entirely new games, they are just new enough to be well worth the money.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rockstar's Rashomon 17 Sept. 2010
By korova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Video Game
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Long time fans of Grand Theft Auto know that each of the games in the post-PS1 era is thematically linked to a particular genre of movie. GTA III is heavily indebted to Mafia movies such as Goodfellas and The Godfather, as well as to the cable television series The Sopranos. Vice City is clearly influenced by Miami Vice and Scarface, while San Andreas draws a great deal of inspiration from Colors and Boyz N the Hood.

Episodes from Liberty City carries on this tradition by transforming Grand Theft Auto IV into an homage to Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. As in Kurosawa's film, a set of events is seen from multiple points of view, leaving the player to decide which perspective he or she believes is the most credible. Niko Bellic, Johnny Klebitz, and Luis Lopez, the main characters, each bring a different experience and interpretation to GTA IV's story line. Niko is an immigrant, forced to assimilate and adapt rapidly to a world completely new to him. Johnny is caught in a classic master versus apprentice situation. Luis, who is the only character with any kind of insider status, must choose between building his future and honoring his past.

These are all familiar character situations in videogames, of course, but Rockstar creates deeper and richer stories and characters than most other game developers. The majority of games stick to the bare rudiments of character motivation and development. Rockstar has given us THREE strong stories in the GTA IV series, each with a complex and compelling main character. It was ambitious of Rockstar to release Niko's view of the story first, in isolation, without any indication of what was to come later. Many of the events in the Niko version of the story, in fact, aren't fully explained until the Luis and Johnny episodes. Compare that to the usual rote or clichéd story arcs found in too many games, even multi-episode games. There are a few studios that consistently produce well-written games in addition to Rockstar--Bungie, Valve, and Kojima Productions are three standouts--but the vast majority treat story and plot as afterthoughts.

Story and influences aside, the bigger question is whether or not Episodes from Liberty City is fun to play. The answer is YES, even though it is clear that Rockstar devoted a lot more development time to Luis' episode than it did to Johnny's episode. TLAD feels somewhat stripped down and is similar to GTA III in many ways. You'll spend most of your time following the main story, driving or riding to combat missions. If you fully explored Liberty City in Niko's episode, there isn't a whole lot to discover or do that you haven't already experienced. On the other hand, TBOGT contains a much broader variety of missions, side activities, and minigames. Most players will spend more time with TBOGT than with TLAD--but now that they're both part of a value priced twofer disc, it's no big deal. The important thing is to play the series in the order in which it was released (GTA IV then TLAD then TBOGT). If you don't, you'll miss out on properly experiencing how the full story unfolds.

Well worth picking up.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EVEN BETTER THAN GTA IV 16 Jun. 2010
By P. Taegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Video Game
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Don't get me wrong. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV is a great game, but the lack of checkpoints and the wonky driving mechanics slow the pace and make missions tedious to retry (eg. Do I really need to steal another car and spend 5-7 minutes driving across the city again just to retry a mission? Argh!)

That being said, my grievances with GTA IV were all fixed in EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY. The driving mechanics, especially the motorcycles, have been smoothed out. Driving in the game has now actually become fun, and it is now easier to handle a motorcycle than a car. Also, when you get killed on a mission, the game will take you back to the start of the action. These two changes alone radically change the gaming experience and make EPISODES one of the most fun video games I've ever played. I literally didn't want it to end.

The stories are compelling and fast-paced. If you've played through GTA IV, you'll notice and appreciate some intersections with that story, but by and large these are standalone story lines. And the characters are quite a lot more fun than the rather dour Niko Bellic of GTA IV. I won't give away any more than that.

The main point I'd like to drive home is that if you haven't played GTA IV, I strongly recommend skipping to this game, Episodes from Liberty City. If you have played GTA IV and are on the fence about getting Episodes, don't even think twice. Make this your next game. You won't regret it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Companion Piece To "GTA 4" 1 Sept. 2010
By R.A. McKenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Video Game
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
"Episodes From Liberty City Stories" is comprised of two games that were originally only available via downloading. They both use the world, gameplay, and story of "Grand Theft Auto IV". If you can stomach some of the problems with these two games, then this will be a fine addition to your collection.

The Two Games included:
* The Lost and Damned
* The Ballad of Gay Tony

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The Premise
* Both games take place during Niko Bellic's criminal activities from "GTA 4". Although both have their own unique story, they will often center around what happened with the diamond heist that went horribly wrong in "GTA 4".

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The Story
* "The Lost and Damned" chronicles the turmoils of a biker gang, currently led by Johnny Klebitz. However, when gang president Billy comes home from prison, Johnny clashes with Billy's more violent, care-free way of doing business.
* "The Ballad of Gay Tony" tells the story of Luis Lopez, a man who was saved from a lowly life of crime by Tony Prince, owner of the hottest nightclubs in Liberty City. But Tony's indiscretions and personal demons force Luis to get involved with some dangerous people to keep the businesses - and his personal & working relationship with Tony - stable.

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Gameplay
* "The Lost and Damned" is heavily based around running with the biker gang. You often ride with other gang members to complete missions, your home is the L&D bar, and several members are available to call for backup or sell you weapons. Most of the missions take place in the state of Alderney.
* "The Ballad of Gay Tony" is mostly based in Algonquin, since that's where Tony's businesses and dealings are. You have your own safehouse and more fanciful wardrobe, and the gameplay is more similar to "GTA 4" where you tend to be more of a solo operator with some friends on the side.

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Side Activites
* Both games feature unique mini-games outside of the main story. Because "Lost and Damned" is mostly based around the gang, your side activities revolve around them. You can fight Gang Wars, where your crew will try to take out some competing gangs. The biker hangout allows you to arm wrestle, gamble on a hi-low card game, and just hang out.
* "The Ballad of Gay Tony", on the other hand, allows you to fight in an underground fight club, do some baseline jumps off the skyscrapers, shoot at the golf driving range, help a couple of old friends with Drug Wars (take out the competition), and watch over one of Tony's nightclubs.

Either title's minigames are good and bad. It's nice to watch over a nightclub, but it gets repetitve. I love playing hi-lo, but you can't increase your gambling wage. The Gang and Drug Wars are very fun, but they don't do much except increase your completion percentage.

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Which Game Is Better?
* I prefer "The Ballad of Gay Tony" in almost every way. I think controlling a motorcycle in any of the "GTA 4"-based games is annoying (though it's probably more realistic than past "GTA" games). I love doing missions in Algonquin (the Manhattan-inspired city), but pretty much hate doing missions in Alderney (the Jersey-inspired state). "Ballad of Gay Tony" is a more colorful story and world overall, whereas "Lost and Damned" features a more grungy, hardrock kind of backdrop. I had a hard time telling the L&D gang members apart; in "Ballad", I never once forgot who anybody was. I enjoyed the minigames in "Ballad" more than the activities available in "Lost".

Overall, I thought "The Lost and Damned" was a pretty good, whereas "The Ballad of Gay Tony" was even better.

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OVERALL
* Now, I want to be clear about this: Both games are good, and both are worth playing. I just thought that "Ballad of Gay Tony" had a more compelling lead character in Luis Lopez, and the story flowed smoother from start to finish, especially since many characters play a part in the main story. In "Lost and Damned", I knew where the gang's infighting would lead, and I wasn't terribly surprised by the conclusion.

The great thing about "Episodes From Liberty City" is that both games are unique enough that there will fans of both. The bad side is that I believe players are gonna really like one, and feel indifferent towards the other, just like I did.

The sad part about this is that even when you combine the games together, there still isn't much to do compared to "Grand Theft Auto IV". The characters were deeper, the story more surprising, and the things to do to kill time more plentiful. These two expansions had a lot to live up to, and for the most part, they're satisfying add-ons.

I recommend picking this two-pack compilation up. Both "The Lost and Damned" & "The Ballad of Gay Tony" are good games. Just don't expect the masterful epic that was "GTA 4". They weren't meant to surpass that game in the first place.

THE LOST AND DAMNED = 8.0 / 10
THE BALLAD OF GAY TONY = 8.5 / 10
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