Grand Theft Auto IV

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GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Multiplayer Details Revealed

Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Xbox 360
$19.99 (Xbox Live Download, 1600 Microsoft Points)
$39.99 (Episodes From Liberty City retail disc, includes The Lost And Damned)
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Ballad of Gay Tony Content

Videos  |  Previews  |  Screenshot Galleries  |  News Stories

What kind of game is it?

It's a standalone expansion to Grand Theft Auto IV, much like its predecessor expansion The Lost and Damned. Many view the GTA series as the epitome of open-world game design, with rich characterization and 3D action that varies between shooting and exploration. It is also possible to steal cars, and then drive them.

Who's the Developer?

The bio on Rockstar Games is worth an entire feature story by itself, but we'll be brief: the New York City-based company was founded in 1998 by a group of developerse, most notable of which are the brothers Dan and Sam Houser. Their three marquee game franchises are Grand Theft AutoMidnight Club, and Max Payne, while other offerings include Red Dead Revolver/Redemption, The Warriors, Manhunt, and State of Emergency. Besieged by the mainstream media for the "Hot Coffee" incident, Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy. (You may now hand me the award for "Understatement of the Year.")

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Grand Theft Auto 4

Indian video game fan Chirantan Patnaik recently set the Guinness World Record for playing Grand Theft Auto IV for over 40 hours straight.

"I think staying away from coffee and eating dates during my game helped me to stay alert and fit," Patnaik said. I guess he was talking about "dates" the fruit, because a marathon video game player couldn't possibly be talking about the company of women.

Why am I telling you about a marginally difficult record in an older game during a play-session that took place in a faraway land? Because kids today are wimps, even in Mumbai.

Guinness rules stated that Patanik got a 10 minute break every hour, and he managed to go for 40 hours and change. Compare that achievement to the records set by marathon dancers of the 1920s. When the "walkathon" craze was at its peak in the 1920s and 30s, dancers remained on their feet, continuously moving, for thousands of hours... and they only got a ten minute break every hour. In 1930, Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux danced for 5,152 hours straight at a ballroom in Chicago. That's six months of continuous movement. At the end of it, they won $2,000. Ritof and Boudreaux would laugh at 40 hours sitting in a chair, playing a video game.

So, Chirantan Patnaik, call me back when you've played a video game for half a year straight, and then I'll be impressed. I think I could easily play a game for 40 hours. I've played games for 12 hours in a row without thinking about it. What about you? What's your longest gaming-time?


GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony Nightlife Mini-Games Detailed

Rockstar Games is pulling out all the stops for Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony, the last installment in the Grand Theft Auto IV saga. As the latest trailer demonstrates, this action-packed episode is going to be big, bright and balls-through-the-wall nutty. The episode focuses heavily on Liberty City’s nightlife, as “Gay” Tony Prince is one of the city’s most famous (and now desperate) club owners. This means that players will be spending a lot of time at the three new clubs that will be available in the game: Bahama (how it's spelled in the game) Mamas, Maisonette 9 and Hercules.

In addition to just being cool places to hang out, there will be several mini-games and even a club management feature to keep you busy as well. You’ll be able to show off your moves on the dance floor, and as Rockstar explains, “The better your moves are, the more points you’ll score with the ladies.” Whether this will result in any horizontal dancing isn’t clear, but given the over-the-top tone of the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up in there somewhere (Luke Warm Coffee?)

You can also head over to Maisonette 9 and spray crowds with magnums of champagne before chugging the rest of the bottle, in a clearly responsible way, of course. Once you’ve had your fun, it’s time for business. One of Luis Lopez’s many hats is that of manager, which means you’ll be able to pick up shifts at Tony’s clubs and experience the thrills and spills of dealing with “club security and unruly club patrons, as well as tending to the many needs of the Liberty City party-going elite.” There aren't any details on how the management mode will playout gameplay-wise just yet, but I have a feeling that I’ll be doing drug runs and disposing of someone else’s dead hookers for a change.

GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony is shaping up to be one hell of a wild and out of control ride. Oct. 29 needs to be here sooner.

Click through to see some new screens of Liberty City nightlife in action.

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Colton Harris-MooreWashington teenager Colton Harris-Moore is living out a game of real-life Grand Theft Auto. Since his escape from a halfway house in 2007, the 18 year-old is suspected in about 50 burglary cases committed in a small island community outside of Seattle. His M.O. is to break into unoccupied houses, have a nap, steal some stuff and disappear into the woods. That's pretty small-time, sure, but recently, Harris-Moore has taken to stealing airplanes and boats.

The ne're-do-well boosts small planes from local airport hangars, joy-flies them for a bit, and crashes them into the woods. He has no flight training or experience. So far he's stolen three airplanes and commandeered two boats. Not bad for such a young guy! The picture to illustrate this story was reportedly taken by Colton with a stolen digital camera cops eventually found. How pimp is that?

Local police are at loose ends to deal with the guy: His crimes are apparently not serious enough to call for a massive manhunt and Harris-Moore seems very good at running and hiding, so he has thus far eluded 5-O. I'm guessing his wanted level in GTA is at about 3 stars, but heading rapidly towards 4. No one knows where he hides, but his mother believes he linked up with a group of other people who live in secret safe-houses with high-tech surveillance systems. I'm sure each safehouse features a save-point and a weapons cache.

Speaking of his mums, Pam Kohler, Harris-Moore's mother, told a reporter the following when asked about his son's plane-stealing habits: "I hope to hell he stole those airplanes — I would be so proud... But put in there that I want him to wear a parachute next time."

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It's a no brainer that there's a lot going on in the streets and back alleys of Liberty City. But just how much have you yet to see in the upcoming Gay Tony expansion? Check out the latest trailer from Rockstar's package deal Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City.

GTA Episodes From Liberty City There's Always A Girl Trailer »



Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

Face it: you love reading achievement lists for games that aren't out yet. Don't lie. Now that we're on the same page, it's time to check out the achievement list for Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony, which will be exclusively released as DLC for the Xbox 360 on October 29, 2009.

The content will drop with 10 new achievements for 250 total gamerscore bringing GTA IV's grand total up to 1500G.

I'm going to put them under the cut in case anyone is scared of spoilers.

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GTA: Episodes from Liberty City Henrique, Armando, Brian Vid »


Updated: Be sure to check out the new Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City trailer featuring Henrique Bardas and Amrando Torres: Life-long friends of protagonist Luis Lopez; and revisit old whiny arse Lost & Damned biker secretary Brian Jeremy.

I'm wild about Gay Tony and I'm not afraid to admit it. Rockstar's upcoming expansion to Grand Theft Auto IV comes out on October 29th, and if it's any near as expansive and great as the last piece of DLC (Lost and Damned), it'll be worth the price and then some.

Along with new characters and plot, Rockstar revealed last night that Gay Tony will feature a variety of new vehicles... including a tank and the return of the Faggio Scooter (of course).

Click the cut for the list of new rides and Rockstar's descriptions thereof:

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Lost and DamnedThis week's Xbox Live Deal of the Week might be the best one in the history of deals of the week: Microsoft is offering "The Lost and Damned" Grand Theft Auto IV expansion pack for only 1,200 Microsoft points (A/K/A 15 bucks.) It's available for one week, beginning today

In case you've been living under a rock since it was released in February, "The Lost And Damned" sets a new standard for DLC in games by offering a full, interesting plotline, and incredible value for your money. Seriously, this pack was well worth it at the original price of 1600 points ($20). Now that it's cheaper, you can't afford to not buy it.  Many, many hours of play will be yours to behold for a very low price. (I'm going to stop now because I sound like an infomercial.)

The only issue with this deal is the fact that most people who are interested have already paid full price for this piece of content -- I think every GTA IV fan here at G4 has already finished with this one.

What do you think? Is "The Lost and Damned" the best piece of downloadable content ever, or is it over-hyped nonsense?


Rockstar Announces

Rockstar games has announced the next downloadable story for Grand Theft Auto IV. "The Ballad of Gay Tony" is for the Xbox 360 and will be released this fall for $19.99.

According to Rockstar, "The Ballad of Gay Tony" lays on the "glitz, guns and grime," as players will take on the role of  Luis Lopez, hoodlum assistant to nightclub owner "Gay" Tony Prince. Plotwise, gamers 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." Okay, that doesn't say much of anything about the plot, but I'm still sold. Rockstar secures their place in the pantheon of awesomeness with their decision to put "Gay" right in the title of DLC that is ostensibly geared toward "hardcore" gamers. Way to keep shaking things up, Rockstar!

That's not the only Rockstar news though: The company is releasing both pieces of DLC in fully independent disc form for the 360.  Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City will contain "The Lost and Damned" and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" on one disc that does not require Grand Theft Auto IV to play.

"The Ballad of Gay Tony" will release on Xbox LIVE this fall for $19.99 or 1600 MS points.

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Rockstar Games Teases Second 'Grand Theft Auto IV' DLC Via Twitter

Rockstar Games' Twitter page has teased information on the second set of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV. The tweet stated:

"Details on 2nd episode of GTAIV downloadable content coming soon."

It's cool to see Rockstar using modern social-media tools to promote its goods, though it's hardly surprising, as it has always been one of the most forward-thinking companies in the business.

Are you anxious for more GTAIV DLC? What do you think of Rockstar's use of Twitter? A lot of you were coming down on the service yesterday, but don't you think it's interesting that companies are using it as a tool to connect with fans?


I can't be alone on this one. 44 mission into Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and I can't break old habits from dozens of hours with Grand Theft Auto IV. In GTA IV, players made Niko run by annoyingly tapping the X or A button, depending on your console. You don't have to do that in Chinatown Wars…but I do.

In Chinatown Wars, Rockstar Games wisely ditched the tapping requirement and only asks players to hold down the B button to run. If you run for more than a few seconds, however, your character runs out of breath -- but you can keep him sprinting by tapping B. Reasonable compromise, right?

Except Rockstar has already trained Grand Theft Auto players the other way around. My muscle memory keeps me tapping B like a maniac, even though my brain keeps shouting "you don't have to do that, idiot!" Hours later, my thumb's throbbing with pain and it's time for a break.

Like I said, though…44 missions in and I haven't broken the habit yet. Am I alone?


Is The 'GTA' Franchise Approaching Dark Times? Not Bloody Likely.

When it comes to the Grand Theft Auto franchise, success has never been an issue. The games fly off shelves and, basically, print money for Rockstar and Take Two. Just to toss a rough estimate your way for the sake of argument, 2008’s GTA IV has currently sold over 13 million copies. Given that GTA IV brought in around $500 million in its first week of sales (off around six million units sold), the fact that the game has now topped 13 million units sold, that means this single game has generated over a billion dollars in sales. However, not everyone is quite so doe eyed when it comes to the gaming juggernaut. 

CNBC has an article running now that takes a look at GTA’s “slowing” success and attempts to figure out what might be causing it. The article sets its sights on the rather disappointing sales numbers of the GTA IV DLC The Lost and Damned and GTA: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS. No official numbers have been released for L&D, but CNBC claims that experts have predicted the number sits close to the million-unit mark.

CNBC rightly points out that this should be seen as a bit of a disappointment, especially given that Call of Duty 4’s Variety Map pack topped a million units sold in just over a week. Of course, with more downloadable episodes on the way for GTA IV on the Xbox 360, there’s no telling what kind of revenues the game will generate down the line.

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Ecstasy Tabs Found With Used 'Grand Theft Auto' GamesThe father of a 12-year old boy purchased used copies of two Grand Theft Auto games for his son from a Gamestation shop. He was shocked to find ecstasy tablets in the manual. According to Telegraph UK:

"The father of a 12-year-old boy found four ecstasy tablets in the packaging of a second hand video game he bought for his son from a high street store. He bought two previously-owned Grand Theft Auto games from the shop on Sunday. After discovering the drugs he took them to a nearby police station." 

Richard Thornhill, the father, was outraged:

"I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have opened the box and found them. I dread to think what the consequences would have been if he had. He is only 12. He could have died."

It's certainly terrible that this happened and Gamestation should be chastised. However, a lot of people are going to miss a very obvious point. While Thornhill is justifiably angry with Gamestation, the fact remains that he purchased two Grand Theft Auto games for his 12-year old son. That's just bad parenting.


'Lost and Damned' Brings In Over $18 Million

It seems that biker gangs still have their appeal in this day and age, because GTA IV's first piece of downloadable content, The Lost and Damned, has already raked in $18 million in online sales. Interestingly enough, retail stores are selling codes to download the episodic content. According to Jesse Divich at Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, the in-store sales for the TLatD in February are expected to be less than $3 million.

This is a 6-to-1 ratio between online purchases and retail sales which Divinich expects to increase moving forward.

Is digital distribution the delivery method of the future? Will we get entire games this way? As long as it gets me that sawed off shotgun, I'm in.


Microsoft is incredibly happy with itself for the Grand Theft Auto IV expansion The Lost and Damned. On its press site, the company proclaimed:

"Already owner of the biggest entertainment launch in history, the Grand Theft Auto IV franchise continues its rampage on the record books with the Xbox 360 exclusive downloadable episode, The Lost and Damned. The highest reviewed downloadable content ever fromRockstar Games eclipsed first-day revenue for all previous downloadable content on Xbox Live."  

While I'm sure The Lost and Damned will continue to sell like flame-broiled Whoppers (I'm convinced that hotcakes no longer sell) and the review scores are commendable, Microsoft's celebration is a little misleading. Obviously, the expansion was going to shatter revenue records -- it's more expensive than most other content on Xbox Live (1,600 MS points). Given the popularity of GTAIV and the expensive price, it was easy to predict The Lost and Damn's financial success.

Out of curiosity, have any of you downloaded the expansion? What do you think so far?


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