Fresh of the boat from Eastern Europe you arrive at in Liberty City in the land of the free. You meet up with your brother who has been feeding you lies about how good things are for him. This is how the game starts, shortly after you end up getting in to trouble with thugs and it all spirals out of control. The feeling of disillusionment is much how I felt about this game.
The game looks ok, with a slightly cel-shaded cartoon type look and the soundtrack will depend on which radio station you choose to put on in the car. I will say that the size of the city and the various routes that you can take around the city show a wide variety of buildings and areas that you typically get in a big city.
The thing that really got to me was the controls, while running around on foot the controls were manageable and while in a car they were also ok, but the controls for when you are on a bike or in a helicopter, and it was this last one that really buried the game for me. Two of the missions need a helicopter to complete them and one is the finale. But I found it really difficult to control it. You had to push the left thumb stick forward just enough in order to move forward, but do it too much and the copter goes into a nose dive. Around the same time I was playing Crackdown 2 and the controls for a helicopter in that were so much more concise.
As far as playing the game again I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to get it. Apparently there is a multiplayer element where you can tear up Liberty City with your friends but I can’t see why you would want to with controls that are this bad. Also once the main story is complete the game turns into that really annoying part of the Sims where you have to keep up appearances with your “friends”, but that was part of the Sims that I really didn’t like. As far as toughness goes some of the missions were difficult and not just because of the controls but it does seem to manage a good balance between easy and difficult missions.
Overall I really didn’t like this game bad controls spoiled the game for me, something else that may or may not have spoiled the game for me was that one of the achievements was to complete the game in 30 hours so I might not have got the most out of the game as I was rushing my through the story.