In what is becoming a Christmas tradition, the next Grand Theft Auto game for mobile is here – GTA Liberty City stories.
In keeping with past releases, this is a platform port to mobile from a decade old Playstation Portable version. It’s available only on iOS (iPhone, iPad) initially with an Android version to come early in 2016.
Given the title is over ten years old and both technology and knowledge of gaming on mobile have changed considerably in that decade, there are some significant changes in this port.
Firstly, the graphics have been enhanced in terms of performance and effects, with the likes of lighting, textures, targeting and steering improved. More significantly, some of the missions themselves have been adjusted for mobile and shortened. Thankfully, it doesn’t affect the gameplay in a meaningful way, but might irk some of the retro purists who remember the original in all its detail.
At the time of writing it costs $7/£4.99 to buy, decent value given the hours of structured and random gameplay.
The story features the return of Toni Cipriani to a fictional version of New York after a forced exile for murder. It’s a classic mob tale of warring families and a fight for supremacy, as you help Toni make his way back to the top.
But is it any good?
The game is familiar enough to those who played the original, but despite its age more than strong enough in terms of gameplay and storylines to hold up to its rivals on the app stores.
As with other mobile GTA titles, the controls are never as good as on a console, but importantly they are good enough to progress through the missions, albeit often with clumsy movement and occasional frustration. It’s best played on tablet, but is still playable on mobile, although your thumbs can sometimes block your view of the action.
It’s easy to pick up with gentle introductory missions and progress can be saved across devices through cloud save on the Rockstar Social Club.
It’s not the sprawling mass of GTA San Andreas, no bad thing after the vastness of that game, but it’s fun, chaotic, well plotted and provides hours of entertainment.
The trailer is below: