Last year’s top video game was Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV, Liberty City. I played it from beginning to end. Shit was fires. So hooked was I that when I heard Rockstar would be releasing downloadable content as an add on exclusively for the X-Box Live earlier this year, I actually went out and purchased a 2nd copy (as my first was for the PS3, a machine that I believe is far more superior to the X-Box). The downloadable title Lost And The Damned took place in the same crafted Liberty City as the events of GTA IV (a meticulously built miniature New York City, along with boroughs and various parts of neighboring New Jersey). Lost And The Damned was a completely different story, darker and more violent, about members of a bike gang and their going ons. It also featured some of the main characters from GTA IV. Needless to say, this add on was also fires.Rockstar released it’s most recent entry Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City. I reluctantly copped as the game contains LATD. It also features a brand new game The Ballad Of Gay Tony. Rockstar announced that TBOGT would center around gay character Tony Prince, a New York Liberty City club owner experiencing financial woes due to our nation’s current economic recession. The player interacts [||] with Tony playing as Louis, a Dominican tough who works with/for Tony in carrying out all the adventurous missions entailing battling various criminal elements as well as crooked cops and what not. TBOGT somehow manages to keep the ongoing theme fresh a full year after release of the original Liberty City title.
Louis and Gay Tony
What blows me away [||] about TBOGT is how Rockstar effortlessly introduces to the video game platform two minorities (Gay, Dominican) as main characters in as tasteful a manner as possible for the medium. Louis is Dominican to the T, without any of the b.s. stereotypes usually attached to Latinos portrayed in the media. In addition, Gay Tony comes off as an incredibly cool, although disfunctional dude, whose homosexuality is an after thought in how the character plays out. Dude is the kinda person I’d actually like to hang out with. [||]. Off course the game is chocked full of off color anti gay and Latino slurs, but the kind of jokes one would hear daily on the streets of New York Liberty City with regard to Dominicans and gays. You have to play it to understand.
As a gamer who stays pissed at how the gaming industry maintains a lilly white facade in crafting blonde hair, blue eyed protagonists, as well as with the seemingly all white employees and executives that run the industry (even though minorities everywhere game on the daily), I must commend Rockstar for attempting to buck the trend (game wise at least). Introducing minorities in most of their recent titles, from Black (San Andreas), Asian (Chinatown Wars) and now a homosexual and a Latino, the publisher, in my opinion, is doing their part to alter image perception in an industry overly archaic and conservative in its portrayal of diverse cultures. Salutes
That being said, please believe the game is fires in gameplay, story and theme. Plus, GTV: Episodes From Liberty City is TWO FULL GAMES in one. Who’s effin with that? If you’re a fan of the GTA franchise or just looking for a game that is as fun as it is realistic, this one is highly recommended.