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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Review - PSP

8
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Introduction



Grand Theft Auto has been one of the most successful game franchises around and each of the offerings has been successful. When the first news broke about a GTA game for PSP, people thought that this was a remake of GTA III. Instead we find that Liberty City Stories is an entirely new storyline in the same world. This is the first GTA for handheld that takes places in a 3D environment, and they have managed to do a good job of the graphics engine on the PSP. Recently Liberty City Stories has also been ported directly to Playstation 2 - some would say to cover up the poor sales on the handheld unit. This has had people complaining, as the game was originally strutted as a PSP exclusive. We take a look at the original Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories on PSP and see how it stacks up.

Gameplay



As the title of the game suggest, Liberty City Stories is really just another GTA game and this time you find yourself back in Liberty City. The beauty of the GTA series is that you are placed in a free roaming world in which you are able to do your worst nightmare - whether that is beating an old lady to death with a hockey stick, or to killing SWAT members. Much of the game therefore plays out similar to the other recent GTA titles.

In GTA III, one of the people you perform missions for is Toni Cipriani. In Liberty City Stories, things are reversed as you play as Toni himself, and the events of the story take place around 3 years earlier than GTA III. It does improve on certain areas of the game by adding in motorbikes, and offers an improved base on the third island.

As with quite a few PSP games, there are load-time issues in Liberty City Stories. There are times waiting when you enter/exit your base, or if you manage to go faster then normal (using cheats), that the game cannot keep up. The constant UMD use also causes the battery to be depleted quicker then usual, lasting only about 3-4 hours off a full battery. This is on low brightness, no sound. The constant loading means it is vital for a power point to be nearby for longer sessions.

Due to the PSP's layout, one of the downsides is the fact that we only have one analogue stick for controlling the player. In other GTA games, we were able to control the view of the 3D world by using the right analogue stick. Instead of this, we have to press L + analogue to look around, which takes some time to get used to. This especially gets annoying for drive-by shootings because you have to use a combination of buttons whilst driving in a straight line. You also can’t turn while you are doing this ... (continued next page)