Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grand Theft Auto- Retrospect

So, recently, I decided to go ahead and give the Lost and the Damned a spin. If you've forgotten what that is, that is one of the episodic downloadables for Grand Theft Auto 4. Instead of running around Liberty City as Slavic gun-for-hire, I mean, Niko Bellic, you are cast as Johnny Klebitz, a member of The Lost, a Biker Gang occasionally encountered in the main game, and seemingly starts his story at the beginning of Niko's, as many allusions to earlier missions are brought up. We even see Niko for a split second telling some guy off in the opening.
Like San Andreas before it, the emphasis is gang cred, and also Turf Wars make a comeback. However, instead of being a hood rat who's all about the bling, you're a jewish biker with a head for gang respect, brotherhood, and everything the Hells Angels probably are.

And coming in October, unless providence decides otherwise, the next episode will be released, entitled 'The Ballad of Gay Tony', in which we play the bodyguard of...Gay Tony...An Alternate Lifestylist mobster featured in the main game for one mission, yet mentioned a handful of times. Luis Fernando Lopez...oy...
Since it's about Gay Tony apparently, I'm wondering if it'll feature some really snazzy duds to change into. Maybe the Purple Dildo will return as a wieldable weapon.

Well, let us review our GTA antagonists, and my impressions...

GTA 1: Travis, Kat, Nikki, Divine, Bubba, Troy, Kivlov and Ulrika- All silent, all seen from the above view, and all seem to wear the same yellow sweater.

GTA 2: Claude Speed (White) , as noted in the manual, also seen in a full video intro-- also once of the coolest intro's to a GTA game. Claude would be the one in the video who looks like Hayden Christianson as he was in Jumper.

GTA 3: Claude Speed once more, or Fido as one NPC affectionately refers to him. Silent. Efficient. Loyal, as long as the money holds out.

GTA 3- Vice City: Tommy Vercetti (Itallian American) , the first GTA Guy to have a voice. Voiced by professional Mafia Actor Ray Liotta, Tommy approaches business with a very So-What attitude and is all about power and money. A caricature of Tony Montana if he hadn't gone into crack and remained straight. My personal favorite. Takes place in the 1970's.
Trivia Note: Ken Rosenberg, Tommy's lawyer, is a Mission Giver in San Andreas, and makes reference that either Tommy has turned his back on Ken by the time the early 90's roll's around, or he is dead at San Andreas's point in the timeline, a victim of 'the business'.

GTA 3- San Andreas: Carl 'CJ' Johnson (African American) . Former runner for GTA 3's Sonny Leone. The game takes place before GTA 3, and actually sets the stage for Claude Speed's story, and Carl and Claude bump heads on more than one occasion. Carl is an opportunist as a modern Gangsta. He talks a good game until he is put into a corner. In the end, he's really all about the Benjamins and a good time and little else.

GTA Stories- Vice City and Liberty City: In both these games, you play lesser characters from the previous games, and serve as prequels. In Vice City Stories, you play the brother of Lance Vance who is gunned down in Vice Cities beginning story scene. Liberty City Stories has you playing the role of a muscle for the Leone Family, Tony Cipirani, whom Claude runs missions for in GTA 3. Nothing truly impressive about these characters...they have their places as GTA Guys and little more.

GTA 4: Niko Bellic (European) . Slavic military man turned Mercenary, taking jobs and contracts from the Russian Mafia, a gang of Irish Bank Robbers, and ultimatly the Itallian Mafia. He is the first GTA Guy to actually question why he does what he does, while all others are regarded as "don't give a shit" maniacs outside of their loyalties. What starts as a story of revenge turns into a journey to find out just what the American Dream really is. Niko hates what he does, but he can't escape it. "What is my profession, Roman?" He asks at one point. "I deal in death."

GTA 4- The Lost and the Damned: Johnny Klebitz (Jewish) , Vice President of The Lost biker gang. Now we're back to less angsty ground. Johnny is a more traditional GTA Guy. He examplifies typical biker qualities- the need for speed, big guns, fast women, and good times, but he isn't afraid of having to kick someone's teeth in if they cross that line. Another personal favorite.

GTA 4- The Ballad of Gay Tony: Luis Fernando Lopez (Latin) , a member of the Northwood Dominican Drug dealers and the personal bodyguard of Anthony "Gay Tony" Prince. Luis Fernando...why does that name just not roll off the tongue? I'm not opposed to a latino GTA Guy, as they're all over the spectrum. We even have an Asian one featured in the DS Game. I wonder if the story will continue the growing trend of increadingly complicated characters and have Luis and Gay Tony come into conflict with their feelings. Well...We've had a black GTA Guy already...why not an openly gay one...? so crazy...

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