Grand Theft Auto IV released to the world back in 2008 the only way it knew how, surrounded with media criticism, critical praise, and millions of devoted fans buying out copies to make it (at the time) the largest entertainment release of all time. Of course to keep a game going these days you have to keep it fresh with new content. Rockstar promised 360 owners such content in the form of two story based add-ons for the game. The first was The Lost and the Damned which followed a biker gang and their acts of wrong doing. This time Rockstar brings things to the classier side of the city with The Ballad of Gay Tony.
You play as Luis Lopez partner of, you guessed it, Tony Prince a.k.a. Gay Tony and no they aren’t that kind of “partners”. Tony owns the hottest gay and straight clubs in the city, but as he puts it, “I did a deal with the wrong devil man.” Needless to say Luis will have his hands full keeping both Tony and the clubs safe from the cities lowlifes. Luis is an excellent character and is definitely the best of the three. He is a former drug dealer/underground fighter who is trying to straighten out his life, by ending the lives of those in his way, the Grand Theft Auto way! In all seriousness Luis is a character for whom you will feel his hardships as he always battles with his own good judgment and his need to protect those who matter in his life.
Throughout the story you will meet one of the best casts of characters Rockstar has put out. Each character has his or her own special charm and contrast to Luis adding greatly to the overall experience. All of the characters, unsurprisingly, are voiced to perfection with all of the over the top and deep heartfelt lines delivered without flaw.
Missions will take you all over the city doing every thing from dealing drugs to seducing women, all bases covered. The best new addition to the mission list is the base jumping missions. Essentially these missions require you to get to a really high spot and jump, landing safely to the ground with the finally added parachute. The parachute also factors into some missions making for some unique experiences that you’ll definitely want to tell your friends about.
With all of the makings for a top of the line GTA game there can’t be anything wrong right? Unfortunately The Ballad of Gay Tony has its share of faults, darn and we were doing so well for a while there. The game engine is beyond “showing its age”; it was showing its age later in 2008. The oil painting Esq. graphics do not hold up to today’s standards. Also, there isn’t much in the way of new content other than what was mentioned above. Sure there is some new music (if you buy the disc based Episodes from Liberty City) and multiplayer base jumping…and the APC (TANK!) but nothing else. The Lost and the Damned added a lot more content to an already content rich game, but Gay Tony is just satisfied mooching off of that, then again who every really got bored of it?
The Ballad of Gay Tony is well worth your 1600 Microsoft Points ($19.99). Those tired of the LATD or the original GTA IV story will find a thrilling new experience but those looking for tons of new content will feel disappointed though far from ripped off. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up either by itself or at retail for $39.99 bundled with The Lost and the Damned, then you won’t need your old scratched GTA IV disc to play or to take up over a gig of hard drive space. You could easily do worse than Gay Tony but it’d be hard to do better.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Excellent story. Great set of characters with terrific voice acting. Base jumping missions are fun.
Game engine is outdate. Not much new content.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony is not just an excellent addition to the game; it could easily stand on its own as a full retail title.