Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (commonly abbreviated as GTA: LCS, GTA: Liberty City Stories or Liberty City Stories) is a sandbox-style action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and Rockstar Leeds. It is the ninth game in the Grand Theft Auto series. It was released for the PlayStation Portable in North America on October 25, 2005 and in the United Kingdom (UK) on November 4, 2005. The game is the prequel to Grand Theft Auto III and was succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It was published and distributed by Capcom for the Japanese release.
A port for the PlayStation 2 was released on June 6, 2006 in North America, and June 22, 2006 in the UK and the rest of Europe. At the time of release, the recommended retail price of the PS2 port was around half the price of the PSP version. The PS2 port does not feature the custom soundtrack ripping capability, in comparison to its PSP counterpart. It was released on October 1, 2009 as a downloadable game on the revised PSP model PSP Go.
Liberty City's layout is largely similar to Grand Theft Auto III, while it also incorporates elements found in GTA III's successors, such as more indoor environments, clothing changes, and motorcycles.
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In addition, motorcycles are permitted in the city during this game, as earlier-released games (set later in the GTA universe chronology) do not allow this. The official Liberty City Stories website reveals that motorbikes were banned by the turn of the 21st century, due to a public ordinance supported by the Maibatsu Corporation (which marketed the over-sized Maibatsu Monstrosity in GTA III) in order to promote the use of automobiles in the city. Though airplanes and helicopters can be found in Vice City, usable airplanes and helicopters cannot be found in Liberty City Stories.
The PSP version of Liberty City has a multiplayer mode, for up to six players through WiFi ad-hoc mode (same area). The game features seven modes of wireless multiplayer gaming, in which various pedestrian and character models from the single player mode avatars. Rockstar decided not to include these modes in the PlayStation 2 version.
The game is set in Liberty City (the same city featured in Grand Theft Auto III). However, it takes place in 1998, three years before the events of GTA III. Both games feature many of the same locations, although there are many differences in terms of building design and street layout between the two versions of Liberty City.
Toni Cipriani is fresh back in the city after lying low for several years, having killed a made man as a favor for Don Salvatore Leone. The grateful Salvatore puts him straight back to work. During the course of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, players can accept a variety of missions from many people, including Salvatore, Salvatore's wife Maria, JD O'Toole, wise guy Vincenzo "Vinnie" Cilli, and even Toni's own mother. Players may also accept missions from the "Avenging Angels", similar to the Guardian Angels, earning special vehicles and wardrobe rewards.
The game features a club named "Paulie's Revue Bar" which is later taken over by the Leone family and renamed "Sex Club Seven". In the PSP version, as in all subsequent versions than the beta version you cannot go in the club. Although Liberty City Stories is set in 1998, the introduction DVD for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which takes place in 1992, shows the club as "Sex Club Seven". This is likely a continuity error as Liberty City Stories was not in development when the San Andreas introduction DVD was released. San Andreas' events lead up Grand Theft Auto III where the club was also named "Sex Club Seven".
There are a million stories in Liberty City. This one changes everything. Once a trusted wise guy in the Leone crime family, Toni Cipriani was forced into hiding after killing a made man. Now he's back and its time for things to be put right.
The streets of Liberty City are in turmoil. Warring mafiosi vie for control as the town begins to self-destruct under waves of political corruption, organised crime, drug trafficking and union strikes. No one can be trusted as Toni tries to clean up the mess of the city's chaotic underworld. Deranged hit men, morally depraved tycoons, cynical politicians and even his own mother stand in his way as Toni tries to bring the city under Leone control.
As stated in an IGN preview, "Rockstar dropped Renderware in favor of a brand new in-house engine to best utilize the resolution, texture density and particle effects of the PSP". Until the release of Liberty City Stories, RenderWare had been the game engine behind every 3D game in the GTA III era. Liberty City Stories used Image Metrics for the game's facial animation.
Liberty City Stories features ten radio stations, which comprise a mix of both licensed music and tracks created specifically for the game, plus one talk radio station.
A special feature for the PSP version of the game is the ability to listen to custom soundtracks. Previously, only Grand Theft Auto games on the Xbox and PC were able to implement custom soundtracks. When Liberty City Stories was released, the custom soundtracks option was featured in the "Audio" section of the menu (by pressing Start in gameplay) but did not have any use.
A few days after release of the game, Rockstar placed the application called "Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0" on the official site under the "Downloads" section. This then gave people the chance to use the custom soundtracks feature. The application is based on Exact Audio Copy.
In the application, songs from a CD are ripped, compressed, and converted to .Wav files that can be read by the game. Rockstar Custom Tracks (RCT) only allows the ripping of songs that are from a store-bought CD. However, fans have found a way to compress and convert MP3 files that are not burned onto CDs. The Custom Tracks are just .Wav files renamed to .gta. RCT can also look up and use the names from the Freedb server if there are no names for the song(s). There must be at least one save file in order for RCT to work. It is thought that this will be used for other games Rockstar will release on the PSP from the name. More details can be found in the PDF in the file downloaded from the official site.