4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
GTA Is Getting A Bit Tired...,
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
EFLC does require you to install the same Rockstar Social Club and Windows Live that the main GTA IV did, however there is an option to run in "offline" mode when playing the single player campaign. (DVD required in drive).
Two campaigns, in terms of length probably about the same as a city section from previous GTA's though with a bit of padding - in LAD you get gang wars and in BGT there's snatching drugs from rival distributors to flesh out the main story missions. The social interaction with other characters is still a feature but can be ignored unless you're questing for 100% completion.
Now GTA isn't known for its high moral stance and there's little change here. Very adult themes running through both stories and definitely not one the kids should be playing. Lots of "F" and even a few "C" bombs in there, plus the infamous brief male full frontal scene.
The difficulty level ramps up fairly quickly in both stories. I started out with the biker gang story in Lost and Damned. Now I admit to quite liking the character of Johnny Klebitz, nowhere near as grim as Niko in GTA IV and I loved the little one liners particularly during the bike chases. However - and without giving away the story - I felt the sequencing of the story was a bit out. Even without having read a guide or FAQ beforehand, you can see where things are going and that gives little incentive to pursue the side missions and towards the end I just wanted to finish off the story. I also found many of the missions lacked imagination - ride to a location an take out several enemy waves or fight through a warehouse or building then have to evade a 3 star wanted level.
Turning to BGT, the first thing that is stands out is the "pink" tint on everything, even down to the onscreen text and GPS trails on the map. It's important to note that the character you play (Luis) is (so far as I can tell) straight, but just a word of warning that confirmed hetero's such as myself may find the "gay" settings and references a bit awkward or squirmish. Rockstar also seem determined to push the conroversy envelope, the first proper mission puts you in a dance club where, if you successfully complete a dancing mini-game, you promptly escort a female character to the toilets for a quickie. Classy. (Although maybe there's a hidden message too - after subsequent romantic encounters, Luis mutters about getting a penicillin shot!). Anyhow, if anything, BGT throws even tougher missions at you from a very early stage. To offset that, you do get access to better weapons and higher rewards much earlier but having to play a mission several times just to advance the story doesn't encourage you to try the new feature of replaying a completed mission for a higher score. There's a bit more variation and interest in the BGT missions but many still amount to the same old gunfight and/or police chase.
I actually broke off replaying GTA:SA to do EFLC but in truth I really can't wait to get back to the older game. I don't know what plans Rockstar have (if any) for future GTA's but IMHO they need to take a long hard look at the conceptualisation. While still enjoyable, the same old same old is getting a bit tired - at times it was more of a chore playing through compared to titles such as Fallout 3 or Oblivion with a more dynamic, RPG or open ended approach. I very much wanted to award EFLC 4 stars but in truth it's closer to 3 stars.