Wot I Think: The Ballad Of Gay Tony

It dazzles.

Yesterday I told you wot I thought of the first half of the GTA IV: Episodes From Liberty City, The Lost And Damned. Today it’s the other half, The Ballad Of Gay Tony. Having played it from beginning to end, I feel rather equipped to let you know Wot I Think.

When introducing yesterday’s The Lost And Damned WIT, I mentioned that I think a possible mistake made in these two excellent additional episodes for the GTA IV world was to repeat the downbeat, reluctant central character both times. The Ballad Of Gay Tony is by far the better of the two, but it’s here that this attempt to create other Niko Bellic-alike feels most conflicted.

Luis Fernando Lopez is a business partner, bodyguard and muscle for Tony Prince, owner of two of Liberty City’s biggest nightclubs. Or at least, they were in the eighties. Gay Tony, nicknamed for not exactly complicated reasons, is in a lot of trouble. He’s sold his business to two different unsavoury groups, and has no idea how he’s going to get out of this mess. That his current boyfriend is keeping him well supplied in drugs isn’t helping, either.

Luis’s story sees him struggle to help Tony out of his mess, both by keeping back those who wish to claim their money, and by getting himself involved in even more murky areas of the city’s underworld. But despite these apparently dark themes, it’s the most colourful and plain daft game since Vice City.

Unlike Vice City, this continues Rockstar’s recent theme of avoiding the rather tedious “Hey, look at us! We’re committing crimes and banging hookers!” tone that undermined the previous games for me. Luis is a calm guy, smart – too smart – and aware that he could be living a better life. Tony is pissing his life and career away, his childhood friends are losers, his mother is a fool, and his job has become picking up the pieces after all of them. He’s a glum fellow, stuck with idiots.

However, this is contrasted by the circumstances he finds himself in, and the absolute lunatics he ends up working for. An early mission has Luis at a multi-storey driving range, aiming golf balls at a man strapped to a golf buggy on the grass below. Later he’s leaping out of helicopters to grab people mid-air, taking part in land, sea and air races (all at once), and helping the ridiculous Dubaian, Yusuf Amir (voiced brilliantly by stand-up Omid Djalili), to steal a variety of unlikely (and sometimes massive) vehicles. One particularly excellent shoot-out takes place in a funfair. This isn’t the grey, washed-out world of Niko or Johnny.

I was tempted to only post pics of Yusuf.

Similarly to the original GTA IV, TBOGT has multiple mission paths open throughout. There’s a brief (but peculiarly abandoned) story about Luis’s mother early on, alongside tales of the murderous Russian Ray Bulgarin, short-arse cretin Mori Kibbutz, and the previously mentioned loony, Yusuf Amir. These feature alongside Tony’s main mission thread, as well as other standalones here and there.

Once again these missions are extremely well checkpointed, meaning the lengthy sequences need not be completely repeated to progress. However, this time there’s a possible penalty for not completing them in one attempt. You are scored after each completed mission, graded against a series of targets of which you are not aware before you begin. Perhaps there will be an expected number of headshots, a time limit to finish within, and a maximum speed to have reached in a speedboat. There’s no hindrance in not scoring well, but once the game is complete missions can be replayed via your mobile phone, letting you attempt to improve upon your previous score. Should you need to restart a mission at a checkpoint, it won’t let you upload your score to the Social Club online features, just in case you care about such a thing.

Unlike The Lost And Damned, you’re encouraged to have more of a social life with Luis. While of course bowling alleys and the like are available in both games, you’re not being nagged by friends to hang out in TLAD. The Ballad reintroduces this, along with internet dating, emails from chums, and adds in a Perez Hilton spoof celebrity blog. And for further socialising (read: getting laid) you can head to one of Tony’s clubs and show off your dancing skills. This involves getting on the dance floor, sidling up to a single lady, and then impressing her with your ability to hit keys in time with the music. It’s about the simplest rhythm-action minigame in existence, and results in a quickie in the toilets. (Unless you’re in a gay club, where it brilliantly ends in a big group dance.)

Also available around the map are twenty-five parachute challenges. Introducing the chute to GTA IV, it plays a vital role in a number of missions, but also can be accessed in your inventory for your own fun, or in the marked areas for attempting to land on extremely small targets after a long fall.

It’s interesting how much harm Just Cause 2 has done to my psyche. I died twice because I forgot infinite parachutes wasn’t a normal part of skydiving. In fact, once you’ve been given access to parachuting it’s hard to shake the desire to grapple onto a distant building, launch yourself, then grab hold of a passing plane. It’s interesting that while JC2 cannot hold a candle to GTA’s mission structure and writing, it has made its epic city feel very restrictive.

The other frequent theme here, and one where it falls down horribly, is the prevalence of helicopters. These have not been improved in any way, and controlling them with the mouse/keyboard is absolutely hideous. Again, especially after growing used to the ease and fun of a Just Cause 2 chopper, fighting against the awful controls is a fairly miserable experience. I’ve never flown a helicopter, but I’m fairly sure going forward shouldn’t be quite such an ordeal. This falls apart completely when you’re asked to fire weapons at the same time as flying. Due to the muddled controls (and a weird bug refusing to let you assign better keyboard commands to the helicopter if they’ve been assigned to anything else elsewhere in the game). One mission in particular is far from fun thanks to a need to wrestle with these controls.

Since I’m complaining, I’ll repeat the horrible volume of visual bugs that appear in both episodes. Huge chunks of scenery can be replaced by grey sheets, and more weirdly here, rooftop sequences can find you stood waist-deep in a grey soup of nothingness. Extremely off-putting when you’re trying to take out snipers. Occasional AI glitches can leave enemies standing motionless as you saunter up to them and shoot them in the face, along with other choppy glitches that make the PC version feel under-tested.

However, these are blips. The Ballad Of Gay Tony is a huge, elaborate, and hilarious story. The mixture of mission types, the variety in the cast, and the understanding of what’s fun for the player to focus on, makes this possibly Rockstar’s finest GTA release. The cutscenes are absolutely stunning, with a broad range from extremely funny to disturbing, and most of all, smartly written. Any fears of a homophobic tone from the title can be forgotten – while it’s packed with homophobic characters (along with racist, and just plain ignorant folk), the game itself is not. It does mean there’s frequent use of language you don’t often hear in gaming, but again, context context context.

They're having a friendly cuddle is all.

There’s also the rather lovely idea to have all three games converge at various points. A diamond heist forms a focal point that brings Johnny, Niko and Luis together, seen from different angles. There’s also plenty of other cross-over moments, one appearing right at the start of this episode during the awesome opening sequence. Luis is in a bank being robbed by Niko, then almost run over by Johnny on his bike. It gives the impression that Liberty City has dozens of stories to tell – Rockstar could absolutely keep creating smaller stories within their remarkable city, and it would only let the world feel more real, more rounded.

So back to Luis. Due to the tone of the game, the cheerful nature of the massacre within, I found myself a little disappointed that our own character couldn’t be a little more enthused himself. I’m surprised by my own reaction – GTA IV was the first in the series I really adored, because at last I could feel sympathetic to my character, something I’d never been able to do previously. But while Luis was smart, and clearly above the nonsense in which he was involved, that left me feeling a bit detached as well. He’s unquestionably well written, but if he’d only be up for having a little bit of fun. His harrumphing at every turn becomes a little draining. “Hey, Luis, look – I’m controlling you, and I’m having fun. How about you join in?”

Although I’ll forgive about anything for the inclusion of Yusuf, the dangerously rich man-child, desperate to own one of everything in existence. He’s one of the few people in the world who doesn’t want you dead, which is immediately endearing. More endearing is seeing the sad fool prancing in his pants, being scorned by the hooker he’s hired, dancing around the drug-strewn table containing a scale model of his idiotic construction plans, with a machine gun in his hand, as his father walks in. The following scene is the best in the game.

There’s all manner of other little details. There’s a fighting club you can participate in, or just bet on. There’s options to manage one of Tony’s clubs for an evening, which leads to other small missions. You can head to the driving range to compete at some golfing. And my favourite, there’s sticky bombs. Set an area up, and then hit the down arrow when you want them to explode. Tremendous fun.

The Ballad Of Gay Tony is a fantastic mix of all that’s made the GTA series so astonishingly successful. It combines the honesty of GTA IV with the playground silliness of Vice City and San Andreas, along with some of the finest writing the series has seen. And there’s Yusuf.


  1. MD says:

    No more unrealistically shapeless willies in your screenshot folder, John?

    • Sarlix says:

      No, instead we get what seems to be a man with part of yesterdays dinner stuck to the front of his pants…I think I preferred the Willy…

    • Rich says:

      Is yours like a corkscrew or something?

      It may not have had a defined head and throbbing veins, but I think it was sufficient.
      How long is it on screen anyway? Presumably it’s there to just wobble about a bit as the characters talk, and there hopefully no close-ups.

    • Jimbo says:

      The cock scene in TLAD is actually handled quite amusingly.

      Yusuf Amir (the guy in the pants) is the best character – and has the best cutscenes – GTA has ever seen. The ‘Caught With Your Pants Down’ cutscene cracked me up.

  2. Abe says:

    I just want to point out that ‘Amir’ in Arabic is in fact ‘prince’, which could only make Yusuf more endearing.

  3. Chaz says:

    Oh no they brought back the nagging friends! That was probably my most loathed feature in GTA4. It’s not even as if there’s much you can do with them that’s fun or interesting. The comedy club was the only decent activity, but only up to the point where you had seen all the different routines.

    As for the helicopter controls, try a 360 pad, as the choppers are a snap to fly on the consoles.

    • poop says:

      thankfully in gay tony the nagging just consists of the odd HEY WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOME TIME text messages and the occasional girl wanting to have offscreen hanky panky with you

    • Chaz says:

      Well that’s OK then, there was nothing more annoying than getting a call from a needy friend whilst you were in the middle of destroying the city and running from a hundred cops. It didn’t help that if you didn’t answer the phone you lost their respect and if you turned them down you also lost their respect. The only way to get round that which didn’t accrue you any negative points was to agree to meet them and then phone back and cancel your plans. It was still bloody irritating though.

  4. teo says:

    I loved, loved all the GTA 3 games but I couldn’t stand IV. These expansion don’t seem to be much different from IV

  5. poop says:

    I fucking love gay tony because it is like rockstar made another San Andreas level GTA and then removed the first two thirds of the game, leaving behind the final act where you already have tons of freedom and crazy shit happens constantly.

    also the writing with the hilarious homoerotic friendship between Luis and Tony made both characters really likeable, I dont know about you guys.

  6. Rinox says:

    Sounds interesting. I might pick it up on a sale some time, after having bought GTA IV on the super cheap christmas sake.

  7. Spod says:

    After the portrayal of the gay guy in GTA 4 (Niko’s old war buddy) I thought it was quite refreshing to not have an offensively cartoon gay character in Tony. Plus the friendship between him and Luis really made the game for me, was actually quite touching. Well, for a computer game anyway.

    Incidentally John, if that helicopter mission you’re talking about is the one I’m thinking of, it was utter pain in the balls on the 360 too.

    • Jesse says:

      The gay guy in GTA IV is cartoonishly gay, and I didn’t like that, but nevertheless he was my favorite character in that game. Well, him and Jacob.

      Anyway, yeah, Tony and Luis – one of the best game friendships of all time. GTA IV seemed to spiral down and down, but Ballad of Gay Tony seemed like more of a tense struggle. In the early missions you see Luis getting tied up tighter and tighter in a web of relationships that can only pull him down. I like that his major ‘flaw’ is being too nice – he knows better than to get caught up with all these people who need his help, but he gets involved anyway. And I sympathize. This story involved me, and concerned me, more than any other game’s story of the last year and maybe more. I really wanted Tony and Luis to make it out alive, but I didn’t see how it was going to happen. The suspense was all the greater because of the downbeat direction GTA IV and Lost and the Damned tended toward. I knew Rockstar was capable of going there; would they choose to do it this time?

      Ballad of Gay Tony contains my favorite game moment of recent history, eclipsing the previous moment, which occurred at the beginning of GTA IV (walking down the street to Roman’s cab service, changing the ring tone on my cell phone). I love Tony’s gay club. What’s it called? Hercules? That place rocks. The first time I wandered in we kept that party going, through the power of QTE dance, until 10 AM. That’s not even my favorite moment. That would be the time when one of the dancers in the back, wearing only short shorts and a tie, stepped down from the line and without saying a word challenged Luis to a dance battle. The consequences of a QTE were never so high. Respect became the only currency worth having, and rhythm my only weapon.

    • Urthman says:

      Jesse, please write more comments at RPS.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      See, I thought Florian was a little deeper than the stereotype.

      In fact, if I remember correctly, there were a few points in the story where he became angry enough to let the flamboyant facade drop for a few seconds, showing that he couldn’t escape his past any more than Niko could.

      His whole personality, then, was a sort of overcompensation. He was never able to properly enjoy acting on his sexual preferences when he was a soldier in the war, and so now that he’s in Liberty City, he’s adopted this awkward persona that’s a pastiche of all the worst gay stereotypes, in order to convince HIMSELF that he’s just a regular ol’ gay guy, completely free of baggage.

      Then again, maybe I’m just defending a really awful stereotype, while trying to give Rockstar the benefit of the doubt.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Jesse:

      Jacob?! He couldn’t have been more cliché if he’d been cut out of a cardboard plate. :-(

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Sometimes, stereotypes are true.

      Florian is no way more ridiculous than, say, Alan Carr.

  8. noggin says:

    Tales of Liberty City is £19.99 on steam, but the Rockstar Collection is only £29.99

    I’m tempted, since I’ve never played Max Payne, and it is “the most intense gameplay experience imaginable”

    Oh but I see there’s a Max Payne bundle for £2.24, so I’d be paying £7.76 for Midnight Club 2, Manhunt, Bully and the other GTAs which I’ve already got.

    …I think I’ll wait and decide next time I’m drunk

    • Jesse says:

      Max Payne 2 is one of THE BEST games. Get that one. Play the first one first, if you want, but definitely play the sequel.

    • AndrewC says:

      People really like Max Payne. I don’t understand them at all, but maybe you’re one of them too? In which case: Yay!

      Also Bully is lots of fun. Just how much money is kissing a boy worth to you?

    • AndrewC says:

      Waittaminute: how often are you drunk?

    • noggin says:

      No more than once a week…. :D

      Last week I allowed myself to be talked into (finally) buying Monkey Island after a random chat on the Sleep is Death IRC channel, and here I am about to queue up at least 4 more games.

      Oh well, I can just hang onto them until the blessed day when I am struck down by a mystery illness for which the only source of relief is the playing of video games. Or pass them on to my kids when they’re old enough (except Manhunt of course which they’ll be playing straight away)

    • noggin says:

      Epilogue: I went ahead and bought the bundle despite being sober

  9. Urthman says:

    You forgot to answer the real question, John.

    If I haven’t played any of the GTA4 games and only want to buy one package, should I get the original GTA4 or the Lost/Ballad sequel?

    • Jimbo says:

      I thought both Episodes were each much better than the OC, with Ballad being easily the best of the three. I really didn’t like the OC all that much.

      That said, they are really three parts of the same story – think Pulp Fiction – and I think the correct order to play them in is the order they were released. You *could* play the Episodes without playing the OC, but you would lose some context and I don’t think you would enjoy the Episodes as much.

      The whole Rockstar collection is only £30 on Steam at the moment. The GTA 4 stuff alone is easily worth that if you don’t own any of it imo – everything else is a bonus.

  10. Sarlix says:

    I was half considering getting this on the steam deal but I think my PC would have a hernia trying to run it. It seems to have gotten universal praise for bad performance. Plus I’ve so far managed to avoid GFWL and I believe you still need it to run the game/s?

  11. MrCarrot says:

    Yes, GfWL is required, though the install was less painful than I remember it being on my last PC – it’s pretty much ‘just worked’ for me so far.

    • Bioptic says:

      There is, however, the new pain of GFWL install limits – set without exception, across the board. Currently it’s set to 20 installs, with no way to revoke apart from phoning Microsoft. It isn’t soul-crushing, but makes a really bad combination with Steam, that positively encourages you to delete and redownload whenever you need the room. GTA IV and episodes take up 32 GB, which according to the latest steam surveys is anwhere between 5-10% of the average hard drive used.

  12. Anthony says:

    That helicopter mission sucks on the 360 as well – you just can’t fly, aim and shoot at the same time with anything approaching fluidity, even after restarting the mission god knows how many times. It doesn’t help that the bloody thing sinks if it even considers the prospect of touching water.

    Otherwise, the better of the expansions and the friendship between Tony and Louis is excellently written.

    Reading these and thinking back over the whole GTAIV experience has me slightly more excited for Red Dead. If the quality of writing and characterisation is as good, I’m sold.

  13. Penneh says:

    Figures. The only character I actually EVER want to hang out with in the IV saga and I just get an answering machine message from Yusuf everytime I ring him :(.

  14. Lukasz says:

    is it coming to steam/it is already on steam but i cannot see it as i am from Australia?

  15. Chiablo says:

    Note to Rockstar:

    If you are going to have the worst helicopter controls in gaming history, don’t have a third of the story missions require you to pilot a helicopter. I love the story, I love the characters, I want to find the person who did the mission design and tazer him in the testicles. I honestly could not finish the game because of this. I got to the mission where you have to closely follow a sportscar through the high-rise part of the city.

  16. DMcCool says:

    There is something brilliant about The Ballad of Gay Tony, its the first GTA since Vince City where the main character actually just has a fantastic life with nothing to really complain about, so many ways of having fun in this game. Also, best club in a video game ever. Yeah I’m calling it. Captured the feel so well, the authentic music helped. Its got bloody Animal in it. Animal!

  17. abhishek says:

    I enjoyed BOGT a lot more than TLAD. A lot more than GTA4 itself in fact. I think the well written characters and awesome/insane missions were the main draw for me. The story wasn’t *that* great and the controls were horrible, especially with the chopper but overall it’s a fun experience. It’s a shame that TLAD isn’t quite as good, but with over 20 hours of gameplay, the episodes package is worth the price.

  18. Tei says:

    “I’ve never flown a helicopter, but I’m fairly sure going forward shouldn’t be quite such an ordeal. ”

    I have never been near one. But yes, is hard. Copter controls are not octogonal. To move forward you have to use all controls, so is probably as dificult as the most dificult car thing, but not more (parking?).

  19. Serenegoose says:

    I never understood helicopter controls in games. I mean, you could make them incredibly easy if you wanted. I will, actually, just for you, RPS. These may sound familiar.

    W – go forward.
    S – stop/go backwards
    A – strafe left
    D – strafe right
    space – go up
    crouch button of choice – go down
    mouse look – aim guns
    mouse 1 – fire guns
    mouse wheel – select guns

    Is that really so hard? It might not be realistic, but well, I do not hold W to walk forward in my day to day life. You probably don’t too! It would, however, make helicopters much more fun.

    • Tei says:

      “I never understood helicopter controls in games. I mean, you could make them incredibly easy if you wanted. I will, actually, just for you, RPS. These may sound familiar.”

      If you use soo simple controls, It stop feeling like a copter, and start feeling like a alien ufo, that have alien technology that let it hover and move in 3D dimensions.
      The limitations and complex controls of a copter made the feeling of driving a copter. Much like the way a motorcycle move, make it feel like a motorcycle. The way a copter move relax me, and make me feel great. Is somewhat like surfing. You have to take all you inertia into account. Yea, thats is, driving a copter ir like surfing. Is not about eficiently moving, but about how you move.

    • Marcin says:

      Mercenaries used these controls. It was actually less fun, made helicopters feel like UFOs. :/

      I remapped the heli controls in GTA to W/S being tilt forward and back, and shift and ctrl being up and down, respectively. It’s a little better, but yeah, they’re very wobbly. It’s going to take some getting used to … or I’ll just plug the gamepad in.

    • Serenegoose says:

      @ Tei I dig you have to have momentum and stuff, I’d never argue for taking stuff like that out – but the only example I’ve ever encountered of helicopter controls I can actually -fly- with a mouse/keyboard (I won’t buy a gamepad or a joystick to fly one vehicle, it’s just not worth it) is in Bad Company 2, because they put some sensible restrictions on the flying. it’s very difficult to barrel roll a BC2 helicopter – in ARMA, you can do it on liftoff, and I frequently do – as it stands, I think helicopter controls give you -too much- leeway. Want to nose so far forward you can put yourself into an irreversible dive, and the only way you’ll ever learn what is or isn’t recoverable is by time and time again of practice? SURE! Want to bank left, and then lefter, and then you’re upside down because you can’t correct yourself? SURE! Basically, helicopters, unlike most other games, seem designed to let you fail -fatally-, and the game never actually helps you fly the thing. Then there’s the whole balancing throttle and nose tilt which basically feels like a rhythym action game….

      I just hate helicopter controls as they are, because I spend so much time actually just trying to fly straight (and then even worse, stopping and hovering without tilting back into a taildive and planting the concrete) that I could never actually -hit- anything with my weapons. Helicopters are supposed to be death machines capable of fragging an unprotected armoured column, but they feel like unwieldy bricks. And before anybody says ‘it’s just me’ I play multiplayer games with helicopters in them, and I watch people get into them. 1/5 actually gets off the ground and goes somewhere. 4/5 rear back, upside down, and crash into a forest within about 5 seconds of takeoff. That kind of difficulty spike is antithetical to gaming, the object of which is ‘fun’.

    • Tei says:

      I have played a few games where driving a copter is made easier ( Battlefield Vietnam?) but also it was much, much more boring. As you say, playing a game must be fun, and If you make copters easier, often you also removes the fun.

      On these games where driving a copter is extra hard, theres a challenge to beat. Challenges can be very fun, and rewarding once you beat it.

      Something absolutelly precious would be removed from gaming, if all copters where made the same, and easy to drive, like a ufo. Copters are probably the only part from gaming that has more to do with dancing, and body movement, than with syntetic things. Copters are even more a item of nature, than music. I would not miss all music removed from the games, but I would really feel sad if all copters whe dumbified.

    • GameOverMan says:

      One of the anonymous Modern Warfare quotes seems appropriate: “If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe.”

    • Nick says:

      Choppers in BF ‘Nam weren’t boring! They were all kinds of awesome, especially blaring music at those underneath… or picking up a PTB and dropping it off elsewhere.

  20. oceanclub says:

    It’s crazy to demand a sim-style level of control in an otherwise arcady game. I mean, GTA cars don’t have gears and a clutch.

    I’m getting annoyed just thinking about it argh *turns green, shirt rips*


  21. Marcin says:

    Yeah, I picked up The Lost on the 360 originally, and just couldn’t be bothered anymore. The desperately pathetic characters were just no fun to play, getting in deeper and deeper into their oh-so-predictable self-destruction. I think that’s why I didn’t like GTA either – I was expecting more wackiness a la San Andreas and instead I got a wannabe serious game that only got more serious as time progressed. What was that phrase? An open world looking for a game?

    I think a lot of people were in the same boat, never being able to identify or sympathize with GTA4 characters, and in some ways the game itself was schizophrenic. We had the old GTA ridiculousness with the juvenile ads, the radio stations, the ridiculous caricature characters – and on the other hand this serious story was trying to thrive in this environment. By the time The Lost came around we were starting to know what to expect, but with Gay Tony I think Rockstar has trained us to expect a *STORY* game, and relaxed the grimness a bit as well to make the transition from “sandbox ridiculousness” to “story-based open world” a little easier.

    It helps that when Tony calls me, he’s always bitching me out for running around doing stupid stuff and not being available. Why, that’s exactly what I was doing!

  22. Choca says:

    Those articles made me pick up my old GTA IV save where I left it about a year ago, turns out I only had a couple missions left to complete before getting to the (mood killer) ending.

    • RedFred says:

      I’m in a similar boat.

      I play GTA IV every now and then. Do a mission, get frustrated with the check point system. Stop playing.

      Eventually I’ll finish it.

  23. Larington says:

    Been tinkering around with the double pack of these yesterday, got to the first helicopter mission, failed several times, vowed to finally get a 360 control pad even though I feel I shouldn’t need one to play a PC game (FFS).

  24. ChaK_ says:

    JC2 helos control > *

  25. Luigi Vuoto says:

    If there are helicopter missions in any more GTA games, I won’t buy them.

    I had such a bad time with the heli missions in GTA IV, that I’ve had enough for a lifetime. It’s just not worth the aggravation.

    In fact, I’ve got GTA IV installed on my PC and if anyone wants to come over and get me past the Paper Trail mission, I would like to finish the game. If you’re going to have such difficult missions halfway through the game, the least you could do is let us have a cheat code to get past them.

    I was enjoying the game up to that point, too. From now on, no Rockstar for me.

  26. Tobias says:

    Oh, dear. I just played through it, and this is what I have to say:
    1. Difficulty, people. I was pleasantly surprised with the difficulty level in GTA IV, which I found to be catering to ham-handed folks like me – at least compared to the GTA III series, which undoubtedly cost me years of my life. Imagine my surprise when I fired up TBOGT only to find myself in the same territory again.

    Part of this comes from the abundance of helicopter missions. Seriously, most of them were the most frustrating gaming experiences I had in the last years. But some gunplay missions are in the same camp – the penultimate mission, for instance, where I had to fight off hordes of goons entering one of Tony’s clubs had me dying about a dozen times. That gets even worse when the framerate drops dramatically, which, unfortunately, it does a lot…

    2. … which is also one of my major gripes with TBOGT: Performance. For reasons entirely beyond my comprehension, TBOGT delivers terrible frame rates on my computer. What’s even more puzzling: This does not affect either The Lost and Damned or GTA IV, just TBOGT. What’s going on? I had to reduce the detail level and resolution to “nigh hideous”, and still the frame rate frequently drops to very, very uncomfortable levels. It’s so bad, actually, that TBOGT made me want to go out and buy a console.

    3. And then there’s the usual GTA IV stuff, which I’m sure everbody has heard a thousand times.

    In conlusion: I hate TBOGT just as much as GTA IV. Most of the time, I’m cursing at the game for a myriad of reasons…. still, it’s one of the most enjoyable games I know.

  27. rbm666 says:

    can ne 1 plz help me,when ever i go to the mission high dive after the cutscene the mission keeps on loading,i tried lowerin the graphics and even using command lines but nothing ever worked,sum1 plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!! i really need to play it

  28. rbm666 says:

    or can sum1 plz giv me a link to a save game download which has completed da mission high dive

  29. NRG Boys says:

    Nrg boys a social networking site for gays is all set to make it’s marks in United Kingdom. You can visit nrg boys for love, fun, romance and for new friends. Uk gay dating, uk gay chat rooms, gay personal, Gay community, gay forums, gay blogs are also available here.

  30. Corinne says:

    SOOOOOO frustrating, I agree with Tobias. The helicopter and parachute missions in TBOGT (on PC) have made me rage quit on more than one occasion. I’m guessing that the ‘one mission in particular’ the writer was talking about might have been the one where you have to destroy the cruiser and the drug boats? I did that about 10 times before remapping the guns to my left ctrl and shift which finally got me though it – but now I’m up to the one where you have to follow Packie’s car and it’s driving me crazy as well.
    TBOGT seems to be rubbing it in that it would be more suited to console – pretty much every new aspect of the game (except for maybe golf) is so fucking difficult to do with a mouse and keyboard. I’m so upset that Red Dead Redemption isn’t PC and I’m hoping like crazy that TBOGT isn’t a hint that GTA5 will be console-only too, or at least just way too frustrating on PC.
    Same with what Tobias said also, although GTAIV and TLAD run fine on my computer, I’ve been having massive graphics AND mouse problems (for some reason) with TBOGT.
    And on the original article – I really miss Niko! I don’t really like controlling Luis, he’s kind of boring after. Niko. I even prefer Johnny although he’s not particularly engaging either. The loss of Niko’s accent makes it even harder lol :(