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Monday | October 22, 2018
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GTA 4: The Ballad Of Gay Tony (X360)

GTA 4: The Ballad Of Gay Tony (X360)

Another downloadable expansion pack was released recently for the Xbox 360 following the successful reception of ‘The Lost and Damned’. All you need is a copy of GTA IV and $20 to immersive yourself in another fun Rockstar experience.

The Ballad Of Gay Tony is based around the character of Luis Lopez who you control – he works for the title character. This time however Luis is a successful guy and you aren’t working from the ground up as you did with Niko Bellic or Johnny Klebitz. Tony Prince (Gay Tony) is the owner of one of the biggest straight and gay nightclubs in Liberty City and he was the reason why your character is so successful, he helped him rise through the ranks. You in fact work for one of the richest men in the city and the influence of his success means you live in luxury yourself.

Basically you play the game viewing Tony’s life from the perspective of Luis. You play a part in the Tony story and the game is heavily focused on a strong cast of secondary characters which is both hilarious and massively entertaining on a variety of levels. Rockstar are great game makers, but they are also fantastic story tellers. This expansion pack is a continuation of the stolen diamonds thread from GTA IV and it is a great ride from start to finish.

The missions take place mostly in Algonquin which many of you will know is Liberty City’s take on Manhattan. Initially you are presented with a few missions detailing Luis’ life before he met Tony, however the game quickly starts to sweep around to the main storyline, which is fortunate because Luis is nowhere near as exciting a character as GT. You (as expected) take on missions for Tony as well as a bigger than life persona called Yusuf Amir and also a mentally unstable Russian Mobster called Bulgarin. The missions for the most part follow the tried and trusted pattern we all know and love however Rockstar have thrown in a few curve balls to create several missions which are so massively over the top they are hugely entertaining.

The most memorable mission involves Russian madman Bulgarin who is intent on taking control of Liberty City’s hockey team, the Rampage. He asks you to help him scare the owner and you end up jumping out a helicopter at one point onto a rooftop to kill guards, chuck a guy out a window and leap from 20 stories above onto a moving truck. If that doesn’t sound like high octane fun to you, then we will check you still have a pulse.

These characters are incredibly enjoyable to watch and as with all Rockstar GTA games, it is the interpersonal character developments that rise the entertainment factor above just a ‘great game’. Yusuf is a typical GTA character, he is larger than life, possesses a wacky sense of humour, but is equally ready to kill anyone he doesn’t like. His personality is charming, as he really just wants his rich Arab father to love him and be proud of him, but the way he goes about it is just hilarious. He has an endless supply of cash and when you get involved with him, the missions take a turn into the utterly hilarious.

The Ballad of Gay Tony has such a huge plethora of weapons that it is hard to cover them all. You will battle on roof tops, in helicopters, on vehicles. Everything you can imagine. The new P90 assault SMG is absolutely brilliant and you can mow down literally rows of bad guys without even looking. A shotgun with explosive rounds also makes an appearance and you can easily take out vehicles with it if you get close enough, which makes for some interesting strategy confrontations. A new sticky bomb is also key to some great situations as you can attach them to vehicles, run away then trigger them from a distance causing mayhem when you are out of harms way.

A big talking point is the new vehicle which the police use in certain parts of the city the APC NOOSE tank which is devastating. You can blow up copters and cars with one shot from it, and stealing one for a rampage is almost a requirement!

You are the manager of Tony’s club called Maisonette 9 and you can sample the delights anytime you like. You can dance with the ladies in a little mini game and initiate some champagne battles. If women aren’t your thing you can head over to Tony’s Gay club, Hercules and flirt with the shirtless guys. Parents are going to love this!

The title receives some changes to the mechanic, you get a score for every mission you complete and after beating the game you can replay all the missions using your phone in the effort to get higher scores. Additionally Rockstar have included 15 base jumping challenges if you want to think outside the box.

Side quests are offered with 25 Drug Wars additions. All your friends from the past are needing your help in building a drug cartel without money to fund it. The plan is to steal a ton of drugs from various gangs in the city and each of these missions gets progressively more difficult. There is also a virtual boxing option in the fight club which will appeal to some gamers who like an old school punch up.

Multiplayer is catered for with 16 player online options such as Deathmatch and Team Deatchmatch, Free Mode, Race and GTA Race. It is a slightly underwhelming set of options but at least you can use the new weapons as well as parachuting and nitrous boosting.

The Ballad Of Gay Tony is actually the most fun I have had with a GTA game. Much of the story is very tongue in cheek and these characters are the best in the series to date – those with a wicked sense of humour will be chuckling all the way through.

If you have $20 spare, then head online now and get this great downloadable content on your X360. If you can’t purchase online, then both expansion packs are available from many stores in a single set for around $40 – just make sure you have the original GTA IV beforehand.


Very tongue in cheek yet smart mission design makes for a lot of fun
The Rage engine is getting a little dated, but with such wonderful gameplay it doesn’t really matter.
As always, the music station selections are masterful
For $20 you would be mad to miss this one.

Rockstar do it again.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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