Think you've seen all Liberty City has to offer? Think again. Rockstar is set to unleash Episodes from Liberty City on PS3 on
March 30 as both a stand-alone Blu-ray and as two episodes of DLC. Episodes features two new, very different GTA stories; The Lost and Damned, which focuses on biker culture, and The Ballad of Gay Tony, which introduces you to Liberty City's extreme party side.
Each clocks in at ten or so hours, and that's before you get stuck into the new side-missions. It's effectively two games for the price of one. Xbox 360 owners have been enjoying Episodes since last year, but the Sony version - while identical - is still essential (and great value at £35). If you've not been following the hype, here's ten reasons to be excited; outside of our in-no-way obsessive, er, 'interest' in playing the game without blind fear of missing out on trophies.
FIVE REASONS TO PLAY THE BALLAD OF GAY TONY
1. The most exciting GTA missions ever
Niko Bellic had his moments, but new hero - or anti-hero - Luis Lopez is a much more imaginative criminal. Missions in Gay Tony see him climbing the Rotterdam Tower (Liberty City's answer to the Empire State Building), jumping out of planes, intimidating a slanderous celebrity blogger, blowing up a yacht in a military helicopter and riding on top of a subway train taking down police choppers. Every mission is like an epic action movie set-piece, and there's none of the 'deliver this package to Tony' or 'go pick up Dave and drive him home' type objectives that littered GTA IV.
This is the big one. Now you can safely jump off the side of buildings or abandon damaged helicopters without dying. Most of the story missions involve parachutes, and their inclusion makes Luis a lot more mobile. You can also use them in multi-player, lighting a coloured ﬂare by clicking the left stick to create patterns in the sky as you descend. Parachutes are also used in the San Andreas-style base jumping side-missions. In one you have jump off a skyscraper on a motorcycle, release your chute then land on a moving ﬂatbed truck.
3. Become a club bouncer
One of the side missions sees Luis helping out at one of Gay Tony's clubs, Maisonette 9. Changing into a black suit and earpiece combo, you wander the club, looking around in ﬁrst-person to spot troublemakers. If you see someone puking in the toilets, getting over familiar with a girl, or generally being a jerk, you get to beat them up and throw them out. Other tasks see you rushing across town to get takeaway for a Paris Hilton-style VIP and chasing away paparazzi.
4. Synchronised dance routines
Luis is a ladies' man, and spends a lot of the game, well, sexing women. Whether it's his 'booty call', the girl who works in the ofﬁce at Maisonette 9, or girls he meets in Tony's clubs by dancing. It's a fairly standard QTE mini-game, but dance perfectly and suddenly the whole club will join in, in a glorious synchronised routine. It's like GTA: The Musical.
5. Yusuf Amir
Voiced by Iranian comic Omid Djalili, Yusuf is one of Rockstar's ﬁnest creations. The son of a billionaire oil baron, he's come to Liberty City to create his own empire, but spends most of his time coating things in gold. He has a gold convertible, a gold helicopter and even a gold machine-gun. Other quirks include wandering around in his pants, hiring prostitutes and speaking like a rapper, but in a Middle Eastern accent.