Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second of the two episodic expansion packs available to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto IV, which was developed by Rockstar North and first released for the Xbox 360 on 29 October 2009. It was then released for both the PlayStation 3 and for Microsoft Windows on 13 April 2010. It is the fourth expansion pack in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the fourteenth release overall.
The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the exploits of a new protagonist, Luis Fernando Lopez, a recent member of the Dominican drug dealers and the personal bodyguard of Anthony Prince, who is also referred to as "Gay Tony". Prince is the owner of the two largest nightclubs within Liberty City as well as a high-status socialite. Rockstar Games claim in their press release that this episode "injects Liberty City with an overdose of guns, glitz, and crime" and that "players will struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price."
A combined standalone disc-based package titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, which does not require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game to be played, was released alongside the second expansion and contains both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.
The Ballad of Gay Tony includes the ability to replay previously passed missions with scoring, similar to the Hitman and Manhunt series'. This feature was previously introduced to the series in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Additions to the game's inventory include new weapons such as the FN P90, the M249 SAW light machine gun, the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, the .44 Auto Mag pistol, sniper rifle DSR-1, as well as Satchel Charges. Additional vehicles including high-end sports cars, sedans, a new aircraft, a small attack helicopter called the "Buzzard", a heavy-lift helicopter called the "Skylift", shuttle helicopter named the "Swift". In addition, the parachute which can also be found in San Andreas returns, allowing players to participate in BASE jumping and skydiving challenges. In addition, when flying a helicopter the map now functions as an altimeter (similar to a feature in San Andreas).
The game also introduces a new driving range activity, as well as the ability to visit Tony's two nightclubs; where they can participate in drinking and dancing-based minigames. They can also manage the club's security. If players wish to do so, they are also able to enter an underground fighting tournament; where they can either spectate or compete in fights.
In multiplayer, free mode, deathmatch, team deathmatch, race and GTA Race modes were updated, and a "BASE jumping" (multiplayer competition) mode was introduced, as a variation of free mode.
The Ballad of Gay Tony opens with Luis Fernando Lopez being held hostage at the Bank of Liberty, during a robbery involving Niko Bellic, Packie and Derrick McReary and Michael Keane. A local gun club member lying next to him, Eugene Reaper, shoots and kills Keane and is then killed by the McReary brothers in retaliation. The scene cuts to the aftermath of the robbery; Luis is questioned by the police about the incident before proceeding to "Gay Tony"'s loft. On the way he is nearly run over by Niko Bellic (returning from the robbery) and Johnny Klebitz who drives past him. Rocco Pelosi, a senior Ancelotti mobster, and his accomplice, Vince, enter the loft to collect Tony's club income for the week as interest repayment on an outstanding loan. Tony then discusses with Luis his dire financial situation with his two clubs, Maisonette 9 and Hercules. In an attempt to curry favor with Rocco, Tony and Luis go to Chinatown to negotiate a deal with a senior Triad. Billy Grey, president of The Lost Motorcycle Gang is seen arranging an ambush on Johnny Klebitz and Jim Fitzgerald with the Triad as Tony and Luis enter the room. The negotiations with the Triad soon turn awry, and Luis protects Tony through their escape from Chinatown.
Luis visits his mother, who also has financial issues, and his childhood friends Henrique Bardas and Armando Torres. Luis' mother does not approve of his lifestyle, and would like him to attend college. Henrique and Armando are Luis' friends who are heavily involved with the narcotics distribution trade. Luis soon becomes acquainted with Yusuf Amir, (voiced by Omid Djalili) a real estate developer in Liberty City. Luis helps Yusuf acquire several vehicles, including an experimental military grade chopper called the "Buzzard," which Luis steals from South African arms dealer Frikki van Hardenburg, an APC used by the National Office Of Security Enforcement(NOoSE), and even a subway carriage.
Meanwhile, Tony is headed in a downward spiral due to substance abuse, supplied by his boyfriend Evan Moss. Luis, Tony and Evan head to the docks to buy two million dollars worth of diamonds from a chef coming in on a tanker called the "Platypus". In the Grand Theft Auto IV opening cutscene, the chef can be seen mixing these diamonds into cake batter on the Platypus as Niko walks by. During the exchange, members of The Lost (led by Johnny Klebitz) attack and kill Evan to acquire the diamonds. Tony promises Luis that he will quit the substance abuse and introduces Luis to Mori Kibbutz, and his younger brother Brucie. Mori is highly egotistical and constantly chooses to bully and belittle Brucie, a source of irritation to Luis who repeatedly stands up for the younger brother. Luis does eventually manage to effectively cancel Tony's debt to Mori. After Luis finishes his last favor for Mori, Brucie stands up to his brother, punching him in the nose. Brucie shows up in a cutscene at the Maisonette club to thank Luis, also making a sexual advance on him. Mori later calls Luis, revealing that he's taken a dictatorial position in a commune.
Tony and Luis meet Ray Bulgarin and his associate Timur at Maisonette 9, who offer Luis some work in exchange for financial help. Luis helps Bulgarin eliminate some corrupt federal agents and acquire the Liberty City Rampage hockey team. Gracie Ancelotti gets Tony back on the drugs and is later kidnapped by unknown assailants (Revealed to be Niko Bellic and Packie McReary from GTA IV) . The Ancelottis establish that Gracie has been kidnapped because of the diamonds and are pointing the blame at Tony and Luis. Tony learns that the diamonds are being exchanged at the Libertonian, and sends Luis to retrieve them. Luis ambushes the exchange (involving Niko Bellic and Johnny Klebitz) and escapes in the Buzzard, which has since been gold plated.
Bulgarin phones Luis, telling him to go to the roof of a building in midtown Algonquin. As Luis uncovers the severed head of the chef from the "Platypus", Bulgarin explains that the diamonds belong to him and accuses the chef, Luis and Tony of colluding to steal them. It emerges that Bulgarin has led Luis to an ambush on the rooftop, and he escapes alive. Luis and Tony are then ordered by Gracie's father, Giovanni Ancelotti, to trade the diamonds with the kidnappers in order to get Gracie back. At the exchange, Bulgarin shows up and orders his men to attack the assailants, Packie McReary and Niko Bellic. Bulgarin flees the scene and amidst the chaos the diamonds fall into a dump truck headed the opposite direction. Luis, Tony and Gracie then successfully escape in a speedboat.
As a result of being preoccupied with recent events, Tony neglects to pay his debts and the city closes down all of his clubs. Luis meets Rocco and Vince in the restrooms in Middle Park, and they explain to him that he must kill Tony, before both the Ancelottis and Russians decide to team up and kill Tony, Luis and all of their friends and family. Luis shows up at Maisonette 9, and contemplates shooting Tony before pointing the gun at Vince and shooting him in the head. Tony warns Luis not to shoot Rocco, as he is a "made man". Rocco escapes, and the Russians show up ensuing in a huge gunfight within the club. Tony blames Luis for contemplating to kill him, he then flees to his apartment to pack and move to the desert. Luis convinces Tony that he chose not to kill him because it's them against the world, and that they need to resolve their situation. Luis ventures to Firefly Island to ambush a Russian heroin exchange, telling Tony to hide out by the Monoglobe structure in Meadows Park, Dukes.
In the fairground, Luis destroys the heroin and kills Timur, who mentions that Bulgarin is fleeing the city by plane within two hours. After an opportune phone conversation, Yusuf shows up in the Buzzard and eliminates the pursuing Russians while Luis drives to the airport. Luis manages to board the plane, and kill all of the henchmen on board. A vengeful Bulgarin emerges from the cockpit holding a grenade, threatening destruction to both of them if Luis kills him. Luis takes the risk and shoots Bulgarin, who drops the grenade causing it to explode. Luis parachutes out of the burning wreckage of the plane to safety, and heads to Meadows Park where Tony is waiting. In the park, Luis knocks a hobo into a trash pile, who finds the missing diamonds amongst the trash and runs off gleefully. Yusuf approaches Tony and Luis and the three celebrate their victory and look toward the future. At the end of the credits sequence, Mori and Brucie are seen in an underground cage fight and Packie McReary is seen leaving Liberty City on a plane with the stolen money he had got from robbing the bank. The hobo who found the diamonds is shown living in a big mansion surrounded by women and all of Tony's clubs are reopened. After this, the player can choose to replay past missions if they so choose to do so.
Cast & Characters
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- Exclusive Features: Multiplayer
- Mike Nelson. Review. 1UP.com.