By Stan Rezaee
1998 was the year when the criminal underworld of Liberty City would be changed forever thanks to the return Toni Cipriani. It was a defining moment in the 3D-era story arch, and now gamers can return to the city that introduced them to a life of crime on the PS3.
The story is set before the events of Grand Theft Auto III as the Leone Family are fighting both the Sindacco and Forelli’s for control of the city. Everything changes when Toni Cipriani returns from exile to once again serve Salvatore Leone. However it’s not the welcome he anticipated as he must once again start from the bottom while the Leone Family is being torn apart by internal conflicts.
It’s the classic crime story that fans love with The Sopranos and the works of Martin Scorsese being an obvious inspiration. At the same time it feels like a retelling of Grand Theft Auto III only with real character development as players witness the transformation of Cipriani as he grows to become one of the most notable leaders in the Leone Family.
Gamers who grew up playing the Grand Theft Auto series on the PlayStation 2, Liberty City Stories will feel like a crime spree down memory lane. Old school gamers will feel right at home as they return to the original Liberty City and interact with the characters they fell in love with back in 2001.
In regards to gamplay mechanics, it has the classic setup used in GTAIII along with features that were introduced in Vice City. Add the sharper graphics that neither the PSP nor PS2 version had, and it makes the PS3 version superior.
It’s only minor flaw is that Michael Madsen did not return for the role of Toni Cipriani, but this is something that can be easily overlooked if one feels that Danny Mastrogiorgio did an excellent job. Despite this minor issue, overall Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a perfect game.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a nostalgic crime spree for gamers who want to relive the old days on their PS3.
Final Score: 10/10