Reviewed by Jimmy | 12.19.05
Introduction:Liberty City Stories is a brand new GTA experience for the PSP and surprisingly it works so well that you won't even miss your PS2. Liberty City Stories isn't the next Grand Theft Auto episode you have been waiting for, but it will tie you over until then.
The Game:Liberty City Stories is obviously set in Liberty City and you play Toni Cipriani a member of the Leone family. The story is a set before Grand Theft Auto 3, and gives you some background on this character. The story has the same gangster appeal as the other games with the typical GTA humor thrown in. The missions are pretty much the same deal as in any other GTA game, which is why we play this game. Grand Theft Auto is one of the best games for providing different gaming styles, and fun objectives. GTA is always pleasure to play and the portable version is no different. You might even wonder if this series was made for the portable market with all the short missions they include. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to complete a mission which is great for the PSP, and the gamer on the go. You can throw it in, do a few missions, save and be on your way. Although putting GTA down isn't as easy as it sounds because like all the other GTA games, it's highly addictive.
GTA Vs. GTA
The content of LCS is up to par with the console releases of the GTA Vice City , and GTA 3. Actually the graphics might be a little superior to its Liberty City friendly GTA 3 which is a good accomplishment given the portable factor. It is clear to see the potential for the PSP with Grand Theft Auto on board, this could be the game to push the system into your Christmas stocking this year. Also, no other games can't really complain about fitting content on the UMD because LCS is packed with a lengthy story mode, plus all the other side events we've come to love about GTA. You really get your dollars worth of action here, and no fan will be disappointed.
Smooth & Easy
The game plays identical to your its big brother on the consoles, so you will have no problems getting into the action. The controls translate well onto the PSP and Liberty City Stories succeeds where so many other 3D games fail, and I'm talking about camera control. LCS is a breeze to navigate on foot or by vehicle and it really shows that you can have a full blown 3D world with quality camera controls and angles on the PSP. We seen it before, bad camera controls can really hurt a good game. Along with the familiar smooth controls LCS is equally smooth during the action. I thought the system would be chugging a bit in the big action sequences, but it never becomes a problem. LCS is overall a damn smooth experience, besides the Toni's occasional ghosting while running. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a major accomplishment for the Rockstar team.
One strange decision on direction in LCS is that they didn't use any of the character upgrades from San Andreas. Toni can't climb walls, gain weight, or swim. It seems like they built this game from GTA3 and didn't go for the San Andreas build. I'm sure they are already plotting the next GTA PSP experience, and you can bet we will have another adventure as Carl Johnson.
One bonus and a first for the series are multiplayer. GTA multiplayer is almost too good to be true. Aside for home made mods on the PC this hasn't been done before, but it is the next logical evolution. In local action you can go into a deathmatch styled game called Liberty City Survivor, or participate in races in Street Rage. Team based action also comes into play in Protection Racket, Get Stretch, The Wedding List and Hit List. This is more then enough and most would be satisfied with Survivor. If you like to play your PSP online, this is the game to have. Now that we've had a taste, it has to be in the next GTA console game.
Lowdown:Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a landmark title for the PSP and every interested gamer should add Liberty City Stories to their library. Even with its portable limitations Liberty City Stories steps up to the plate a delivers a solid single player game with the same addictive continuity as its other versions. Rockstar also went above the call of duty and delivered a huge innovation for the series with Multiplayer support. Forget about it, Liberty City Stories is amazing.
Gameplay: 10, Graphics/Sound: 9, Innovation: 8, Mojo: 10. Final: 9 / 10
- An astounding technical achievement, Liberty City Stories pushes the PSP to its absolute limit, resetting the publics understanding and expectations of what is possible on a hand held gaming system.
- An all new story, all new features, all new missions, all new characters, all new voices, all new music-an entirely NEW game that follows Toni Cipriani's return to Liberty City, his involvement with the Leone's, and their bitter turf war against the rival gangs, the police force and the Mayors office.
- THE FIRST EVER 3D MULTIPLAYER WIFI MODES IN A GRAND THEFT AUTO GAME! 7 modes for up to 6 players! Run and gun through the open city environments of all 3 islands of Liberty City !
- See Liberty City like never before. Experience a whole new adventure in the three classic boroughs: Portland , Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. Dripping with nostalgia, each neighborhood has been meticulously created for the PSP with all new businesses, pedestrians and adventures.
- Liberty City has been rebuilt from the ground up specifically for the PSP with a brand new game engine built by Rockstar Leeds and Rockstar North, optimizing the texture density, resolution and particle effects. There are amazing reflections on cars, fantastic in-game physics, and impressive draw distances.
- Freedom to play the game your way-play through the varied missions, or interact freely with the sprawling city.
- Full-scale audio production, from an all-new licensed soundtrack played on changeable radio in-game radio stations, to all-new pedestrian speech, and all-new player speech.
- Drive the best vehicles from the Grand Theft Auto universe. Motorcycles, Choppers, Scooters, Boats, Muscle cars, Train and Ferry systems are all featured in Liberty City for the first time ever.
- Liberty City is filled with classic Grand Theft Auto gameplay elements like Hidden Packages, Insane Stunt Jumps, Rampages, Ammu-Nations and Pay 'N' Spray.
- Many safehouses positioned around Liberty City ensuring gamers' ability to quickly save their game on the go.
- Sprawling urban environment includes changing weather, chattering pedestrians and interactive ambient traffic.
- Lookin' Sharp! For the first time different outfits have been made available to the player in Liberty City .
- Full host of Grand Theft Auto weaponry including the best weapons from the Grand Theft Auto universe including machine guns, shotguns, pistols and multiple weapon sets never seen in Liberty City.
- Refined weapon targeting system with an optimized control scheme for the PSP
- The AI of Liberty City Stories is as sophisticated as previous Grand Theft Autos. You'll see all the gang rivalries, police and emergency services, chattering pedestrians going about their daily business as they bring life to the gritty streets of Liberty City