he millions of Grand Theft Auto fans out there without PSPs can finally experience the first new GTA since San Andreas in 2004. Of course, Liberty City Stories takes place in the same environment as GTA III and it has been scaled down to fit onto a portable system. So how does the game survive the transition to PS2? What’s better? What’s worse? Read on for all of the details.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is almost exactly the same on PS2 as it was on PSP (click here for full impressions). The graphics haven’t been beefed up anywhere close to San Andreas quality. And all of the stories, gameplay elements, items, and vehicles are all exactly the same. Rockstar even took out all of the multiplayer and custom soundtrack features of the PSP game.
However, there are a few advantages in moving LCS to a more powerful system. Load times seem to be shortened, the draw distance extends further, and it appears there are more cars and people on screen at once. Rockstar also preserved the PSP’s widescreen aspect ratio for those who want it. But perhaps the best part about the new LCS is that it controls like a real GTA game now. Thank you, right analog stick, for providing us with a decent camera! It’s also nice to be able to cycle through your weapons with the extra L2 and R2.
Sure LCS is only a fraction of the size of the massive Vice City and San Andreas games, but it maintains that signature level of GTA quality throughout. Whether it's mission structure, plotting, or voice acting, everything is spot on. And even though LCS isn’t quite as lengthy as its forbearers, it still takes about as long to complete as a modern RPG.
But what really makes LCS for PS2 a must-buy is its astonishingly low price point. You could purchase two $20 copies of the PS2 version for the cost of a PSP copy (recently reduced from $50 to $40). This is the perfect opportunity for GTA fans to catch up on a chapter they may have missed, especially during the long summer gaming drought.