Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City is a standalone compilation of the downloadable content (DLC) episodes for the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV, containing both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony on one disc. It was released alongside the DLC release of The Ballad of Gay Tony on 29 October 2009 for the Xbox 360 and released on 13 April 2010 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3. Unlike the standalone versions of the episodes, the compilation does not require a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV to play, nor is an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account necessary (except for multiplayer). The content is also played straight from the disc, and does not need to be downloaded to a hard drive to play, like various other disc-based expansions for other Xbox 360 games that have been released in the past.
Available exclusively on the Episodes from Liberty City disc are three new in-game radio stations – Vice City FM, RamJam FM and Self-Actualization FM.
The Lost and Damned
The Lost and Damned otherwise features similar gameplay to Grand Theft Auto IV. Additions to the game include new weapons, such as a grenade launcher, Automatic Pistol, half of a pool cue and pipe bombs, as well as sawn-off and automatic shotguns and new vehicles, such as Johnny's custom-made motorcycle. However, his way of handling vehicles is less proficient than the way he handles any motorcycle. The player is able to telephone various members of the Lost to provide assistance. Terry, for instance, will drive to a location near to Johnny and sell him weapons and armour, while Clay can deliver a bike of the player's choice to a nearby area. Another addition to The Lost and Damned is gang wars. Once the player has completed a certain amount of them, weapons spawn in either the clubhouse and/or safehouse depending on how far the player has progressed in the story, and every subsequent 10 gang wars up to 50, a new weapon will spawn.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the exploits of a new protagonist, Luis Fernando Lopez, an associate of a Dominican street gang, and the personal bodyguard of Anthony "Gay Tony" Prince. Rockstar Games claim in their press release that this episode "injects Liberty City with an overdose of guns, glitz, and grime" and that "players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price."
Differences from downloadable episodes
There are differences in how the disc content is experienced compared to the DLC versions of the same Grand Theft Auto episodes.
The DLC episodes add music to the existing radio stations in Grand Theft Auto IV and music from the original game is available while playing the DLC episodes, enabling all three games to play a combined soundtrack of over 300 songs. Episodes From Liberty City does not contain radio music included with Grand Theft Auto IV, nor does installing both discs on an Xbox 360 hard drive combine their soundtracks. However, Episodes includes radio stations that are not available for Grand Theft Auto IV. The Episodes soundtrack features over 150 songs, one-third of which are exclusive to the disc.
The gameplay content of the newer episode, The Ballad of Gay Tony, is identical between the Episodes disc and the DLC version, and the multiplayer features of Gay Tony are compatible regardless of version. However, because of updates to the map of Liberty City shared by both games on the disc, the Episodes version of The Lost and Damned cannot be used to join multiplayer sessions with users of the older DLC version of that game.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Rockstar Games Announces Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony Now Available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City Now Available at Retail Stores Everywhere. Take-Two Interactive (29 October 2009). Retrieved on 30 October 2009.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Gets Delayed. IGN (2010-03-18). Retrieved on 2010-03-18.
- ↑ Exclusive Features: Soundtrack