Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Rockstar North 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Rockstar Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 13, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The adjustments to multiplayer are milder; it's pretty much the online GTA you know and love, with a few tweaks. Whereas Johnny's motorcycle opened up lots of new avenues for Rockstar to run down, Luis is, physically at least, the same thing as Niko: a reasonably in-shape adult male capable of stealing cars and shooting things. The deathmatch modes feature the new weapons, and the races include nitrous. Free mode includes parachute challenges and the new military vehicles. The kickboxing matches don't make their way into the game's online capabilities, which is surprising if not very disappointing (see above).

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot

Of course, The Ballad of Gay Tony also features more of all the little things that make Grand Theft Auto fun, with the exception of the grainy visual filters from The Lost and Damned, which are gone in keeping with the lighter themes. There are new TV shows (most notably the anime satire Princess Robot Bubblegum, though it goes a bit long), new side missions (helping out Luis's childhood friends in a gang war, doing favors for assorted characters, working at a club for Tony, etc.), and new radio programming. These extras aren't as fun as the core content is, but we didn't expect them to be, and they will keep players occupied and entertained long after the credits roll. A rabid completionist could spend days with this game before exhausting his options.

Advertisement

It's easy to see some fans being frustrated at this expansion's direction. The tone of the story is, after all, quite a departure from the franchise's previous two outings. However, the amusing dialogue, fun gameplay, and delightfully absurd missions make this a must-buy for everyone, whether by download (in which case it requires a copy of GTA IV to run) or on disc with The Lost and Damned. The only question remaining is how Grand Theft Auto V and its expansions can top what Rockstar has given us these past couple of years.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.7
Graphics
We miss the visual filters from The Lost and Damned, but still, it's the Liberty City we met in Grand Theft Auto IV, and we love the way it looks.
4.3
Control
No complaints for the most part, but some of the new military vehicles are a pain to wrestle around.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Again, it's the Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto IV, with all its radio stations, street dialogue, etc. The new voice acting here is up to the standards set in the previous games, which is to say it's perfect.
4.3
Play Value
The average player will spend maybe 10-15 hours with this game, which justifies the $20 purchase price (note: it's $40 when bought on disc, but then it comes with The Lost and Damned). Some will spend weeks exploring Liberty City and playing multiplayer games.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • All-new storyline missions that provide an over-the-top experience from start to finish. Replay missions for the first time ever in a console Grand Theft Auto game.
  • New high-powered weapons including Sticky Bombs and an Advanced Sniper Rifle, plus new powerful assault shotguns and machine guns.
  • A fleet of new vehicles, including lavish new cars and a collection of specialty vehicles including an attack helicopter and a N.O.O.S.E. APC.
  • Brand new TV programming for when Luis feels like staying in.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook