We’ve reached the end of our journey as many mysteries still remain under Liberty City’s desaturated rain covered veil. Niko Bellic tried to figure out his American Dream only to find life in the city harder than imagined. Johnny Klebitz has found the prison release of The Lost Motorcycle Club’s leader more troublesome than first thought.
Now the third and final lead of this mini-trilogy is Luis Lopez, a glorified bodyguard and business associate of nightclub owner Tony “Gay Tony” Prince. The one thing connecting all these tales of woe and misfortune is a bedevilled bag of diamonds, the final possessor of which is about to be revealed in this epic finale.
It’s unique because you are on the tail end of the crime that is ravaging Liberty City
The Ballad starts off with our hero Luis Lopez being held hostage by the McCrery brothers and Niko while they’re off robbing the Liberty Bank of America. It’s unique in that the protagonist makes the sensible choice and doesn’t get involved, it’s unique because you are on the tail end of the crime that is ravaging Liberty City.
You’ll start to think that The Ballad of Gay Tony is going to go somewhere interesting and uncharted when for the first half an hour, Luis rants and raves about how he doesn’t want to get involved with a crime because he’s already done time. Then one mission goes wrong, you are pinned down by thirty cops and Lopez has no problem shooting them all down along with a couple of helicopters.
Clumsy pacing aside, the narrative does pick up and conclude the mystery of the diamonds that have plagued their possessors throughout every tale in the trilogy. The narrative largely tells the troubled relationship between brain and brawn, Luis Lopez and Gay Tony. Naturally Tony doesn’t make the best decisions, which leaves you embroiled with the mob, the police and Russian gangsters.
Needless to say, like Lost & The Damned, this episodic pack heavily relies on shooting and gunplay. Despite the combat not being the game’s strongest point, Gay Tony never really becomes tiresome or dull. You’re always offered newer weapons and put into interesting situations.
You’re always offered newer weapons and put into interesting situations
During the early stages of the game, you’ll be introduced to the opposing nightclubs that Tony owns and the various activities on offer. The Ballad of Gay Tony actually offers up a larger array of mini-games that range from nightclub games like management and dancing to the sports of Liberty City like a solid version of golf and a simple take on UFC. While the golf game might be fun for a few minutes it doesn’t hold your attention and the dancing mini-games are incredibly awkward and naturally end explicitly.
Speaking of which, The Ballad of Gay Tony isn’t offensive against the gay community at all. Sure there are some jokes against this scene and sure they are portrayed, for the most part, as mindless sex loving drones but everyone is in Liberty City.
It’s this unique brand of humour that has made the series great although now it’s starting to date. Despite commentary on the recession and the rise of social networking sites, you’ll be thankful that this is the last of GTA4 as it will give Rockstar the opportunity to move onto something newer, humour wise. That’s not to say that The Ballad of Gay Tony isn’t peppered with hilarious lines, most of which come from Yusif Amir, who has been fantastically played by English stand up, Omid Djalili.
It’s also hard to swallow the fact that those buying the retail version of the game will be rewarded with three extra radio stations not available to those who purchased it over Xbox Live. The music and radio stations are easily some of the most important parts of the game and it’s disappointing that even though everyone pays the same, not everyone gets the same content.
The Ballad of Gay Tony has its quirks. The engine is becoming dated with pop-in and frame rate coming out the yazoo while the humour and pacing still need work. For the most part, though this is a solid extension and finale to the Grand Theft Auto 4 Trilogy. It has it’s moments and is a must-buy for anyone embroiled in fiction Rockstar has told so far. GTA 5 mods Xbox 360 is now on the rise. People start to patronize GTA even better in this modern time. Hence, it is expected to grow further in the future.