Grand Theft Auto

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Posted by motoman 03/01/2009 @ 14:39

Tags : grand theft auto, video games, entertainment

News headlines
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Second Month Sales Drop In NPD-pds - Kotaku.com
First month Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars did not impress. At least they weren't impressive to analysts, as the game's initial NPD figures came in far below expectations. What about month two? According to NPD Group data from Gamasutra, the Nintendo...
Rockstar: New Grand Theft Auto IV expansion pack 'coming soon' - GamePro.com
By Patrick Shaw NEW GRAND THEFT AUTO COMING: Rockstar Games reveals that the second expansion pack for Grand Theft Auto IV is on the way, and says that we won't have to wait long for the new GTAIV content either. Rockstar Games' next downloadable...
Second GTAIV DLC details 'soon' - Rockstar - GameSpot
By thorsen-ink The past several weeks have seen the downloadable expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV at the center of several rumors. First came a report that the Lost and Damned would be ported to the PlayStation 3--a report Microsoft quickly and...
Grand Theft Auto 4 Wallpapers - XboxSolution
About Grand Theft Auto 4: What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City,...
Nintendo Wii Leads Drop in US Game-Console Sales - Bloomberg
Sales in April 28 surged nearly 50 percent after the release of “Grand Theft Auto IV” and “Mario Kart,” NPD said. “Grand Theft Auto IV” sold 2.85 million units for the Xbox 360 and PS3, while “Mario Kart” sold 1.12 million copies for Nintendo's system....
Grand Theft Auto 4 Cheats - Xbox 360 - XboxSolution
The following items can be unlocked in Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 video game console. Boom? (Call Packie for him to make you a car bomb) Find an ATM then cause a traffic jam and block the roads so a ambulance can't get through....
Britain's games industry seeks government investment to stop ... - Telegraph.co.uk
It has created many worldwide hits such as Grand Theft Auto. For the last 30 years, Britain has had the third most successful video games industry in the world, behind the United States and Japan. It has created many worldwide hits such as Tomb Raider...
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars - N-Sider.com
In fact, when I started to play Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars just prior to GDC, it marked the first time I'd turned on my DS in months. Ever since the game was first introduced by NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime, I have struggled to comprehend how...
Grand Theft Auto with Horses? - Gamespy.com
Rockstar San Diego is using the RAGE engine to power the game -- the same tech used by Rockstar North in Grand Theft Auto IV. Stay tuned for tomorrow's funky new trailer, and enjoy the screens in the meantime. Bryn says: I'm actually quite excited...
JFK assassination: A video view - Kalamazoo Gazette - MLive.com
KALAMAZOO -- Dale Myers' computer animation looked almost like a ``Grand Theft Auto'' video-game scene. A Lincoln convertible rounds a bend in a road. Shots are heard, two figures in the car act as if they've been struck. Another gunshot is heard,...

Grand Theft Auto (series)

The original Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a video game series created by Dave Jones, later by Dan Houser and Sam Houser, and game designer Zachary Clarke and primarily developed by Scottish company Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and published by Rockstar Games.

The gameplay consists of a mixture of action, adventure, driving, and occasional role-playing, stealth and racing elements and has gained controversy for its adult nature and violent themes. The series focuses around many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the criminal underworld, although their motives for doing so vary in each game. The antagonist in each game is commonly a character who has betrayed them or their organization or someone who has the most impact impeding their progress.

The series began in 1997 and currently has nine stand-alone games with two expansion packs for the original and two expansion packs being released for the latest console installment. Film veterans such as Danny Dyer, Michael Madsen, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Gary Busey, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, James Woods, Joe Pantoliano, Frank Vincent, Robert Loggia, Kyle MacLachlan, Peter Fonda and Ray Liotta have all voiced major characters in many installments in the series. The name of the series and its games are derived from grand theft auto, a term referring to motor vehicle theft.

The games allow people to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organised crime over the course of the game. Various missions are set for completion by the figureheads of the city underworld, generally criminal, which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations, and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, or learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft are also involved as alternate adventures, which can be done at any time during the game, with the exception of the periods performing main missions.

In later titles, notably those released after Grand Theft Auto 2, the player is given a more developed storyline, in which they are forced to overcome an event where they are either betrayed and left for dead or experienced an unfortunate event, which serves as motivation for the character to advance in the criminal ladder, and eventually leads to the triumph of the character by the end of the storyline; specific examples of this are the plots for Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The Grand Theft Auto series, belonging to a genre of free-roaming video games called "sandbox games," grants a large amount of freedom to the player in deciding what to do and how to do it through multiple methods of transport and weapons. Unlike most traditional action games, which are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, in GTA the player can determine the missions they want to undertake, and their relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices. The cities of the games can also be roamed freely at any point in the game, offering many accessible buildings and minor missions. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game.

Grand Theft Auto III and subsequent games have more prevalent voice acting, and radio stations, which simulate driving to music with disc jockeys, radio personalities, commercials, talk radio, pop music, and American culture.

The use of vehicles in an explorable urban environment provides a basic simulation of a working city, complete with pedestrians who obey traffic signals. Further details are used to flesh out an open-ended atmosphere that has been used in several other games, such as The Simpsons Hit & Run, which has less emphasis on crime or violence.

The series has courted a great deal of controversy since the release of Grand Theft Auto III. This criticism stems from the focus on illegal activities in comparison with traditional "heroic" roles that other games offer. The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel. Opponents of violent video games, such as Jack Thompson, Hillary Clinton and Julia Boseman, believe that players will try to emulate this behaviour, while proponents believe it provides an emotional outlet, as such actions in real life would have serious consequences.

The success of the Grand Theft Auto series has resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 10 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include Most Guest Stars in a Video Game Series, Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game (GTA: San Andreas), Largest In-Game Soundtrack (GTA: San Andreas), and Most Successful Entertainment Launch Of All Time (GTA IV).

The Grand Theft Auto series may be divided into canons, based on the inclusion of a numbering after the recognizable title name (e.g. Grand Theft Auto III) after the original Grand Theft Auto's release, and to a certain extent, the type of graphics engine used.

Grand Theft Auto, the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series, was released on PlayStation in 1997/1998 and also for Windows PCs. The game is set in three different fictional cities, Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City. A reduced Game Boy Color port was later released. Subsequently, two expansion packs were offered, both under the name of Grand Theft Auto: London.

The second game in the series, Grand Theft Auto 2, was developed for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation and Dreamcast and released in 1999. Set in the indeterminable future, it featured updated graphics and somewhat different gameplay based upon the player's appeal to various criminal organizations. A reduced Game Boy Color port was also produced. Unlike the other games of the Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto 2 was the only game released in its era.

Grand Theft Auto III was released in October 2001, and served as the breakthrough for the franchise. The game's setting takes place around that time, in fictional Liberty City, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. Grand Theft Auto III brought a third-person view to the series, rather than the traditional top-down view of earlier titles (although the view is still made available as an optional camera angle). For the first time, the problem of navigating in the huge sandbox game was solved by implementing a constant GPS triggered mini-map that highlights the player's position as well as those of current targets. Graphics were also updated with a new 3D game engine. The gameplay engine expanded the explorable world of GTA III, using a mission-based approach. Multiplayer was discarded (third party mods were later released, allowing for multiplayer gameplay), but GTA III improved in many other areas such as voice-acting and plot (in previous games, there was speech only in short animated cut scenes between levels, while other communication was simply subtitles running on the bottom of the screen).

After the success of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released in 2002. This game was set in 1986 in Vice City, which was based on Miami. The game's plot focuses on the cocaine trade during the 1980s. Vice City was the first game to introduce fully functional flying vehicles that could be used by the player, such as sea planes and helicopters. It also featured a variety of new weapons and vehicles, including a new addition: motorcycles.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, released in October 2004, is set in 1992, focusing on California gang life and the awakening of the drug epidemic brought on by crack cocaine. The setting was in the fictional state of San Andreas, which was based on some California and Nevada cities, specifically Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Their counterparts are Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas respectively. The game also included a countryside in between Los Santos and San Fierro and also between Los Santos and Las Venturas, and a desert in between Las Venturas and San Fierro. San Andreas also attracted controversy when a sex minigame that was cut from the game, but remained in the game code, was discovered in both the console and Windows versions of the game. Dubbed the "Hot Coffee mod", the minigame allowed players to have sex with their in-game girlfriends. As a result, GTA: San Andreas was pulled from a number of retail outlets and was re-rated from "M" (Mature) to "AO" (Adults Only) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), making it the first game in the series to be given an AO rating. Rockstar has since released an edited version of the game for the Microsoft Windows, Xbox and PlayStation 2, and has reclaimed the "M" rating.

Grand Theft Auto Advance, for the Game Boy Advance, was also released in 2004. Originally developed as a top-down conversion of GTA III, became an original game. Unlike the Game Boy Color ports of Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto Advance did not tone down the violence and profanity common to the GTA series. The game received an "M" rating from the ESRB. It was developed by an external developer, Digital Eclipse.

In 2005 and 2006, Rockstar released two games for the PlayStation Portable, both developed by Rockstar Leeds. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III and set in Liberty City in 1998. A PlayStation 2 port was released by Rockstar on 6 June 2006.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories was released for the PlayStation Portable on 31 October 2006 and set in Vice City in 1984, two years before the events of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. A PlayStation 2 port of the game was released on 6 March 2007. It is the last installment of the third generation series, and the final game in the Grand Theft Auto III canon.

Grand Theft Auto IV was released on 29 April 2008, after a six month delay. It was the first Grand Theft Auto game to be released simultaneously for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. In August 2008, Rockstar announced that it was going to publish GTA IV for PC. GTA IV's game engine is the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (also known as RAGE) used in Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis and the Euphoria physics engine. The game once again takes place in a redesigned Liberty City that very closely resembles New York City, much more than previous renditions. Times Online reported that Grand Theft Auto IV recorded 609,000 copies in first-day sales, in the UK. In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million.

Microsoft officially announced a "strategic alliance" with Rockstar Games over the rights to episodic content through their Xbox Live service at their X06 event. This content was released as Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned on 17 February 2009, and it is available for download, exclusively for the Xbox 360. The expansion add some new elements to the existing game and focuses on Johnny Klebitz, the vice president of "The Lost" motorcycle gang.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is the first Grand Theft Auto game to be released on the Nintendo DS, and was announced at the E3 Nintendo Press Conference on July 15, 2008. This game has several new features, such as touch screen mini-games. The game is expected to be released on March 17, 2009 in North America and March 20, 2009 to Australia and Europe. The game is rated 18+ by the BBFC (UK, Europe) and M by the ESRB (North America).

Ever since 2001, the Grand Theft Auto series has become a gargantuan success, both critically and financially, generating perfect or near perfect reviews and scores on almost all of the games, and selling over 70 million copies worldwide, as of 26 March 2008.. Because of its universal acclaim, the Grand Theft Auto series is believed to be one of the greatest video game franchises of all time, akin to others such as Super Smash Bros. and Gran Turismo, and other well known franchises such as Final Fantasy, Mario, Need for Speed, Tekken, Metal Gear Solid, The Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, and Soul Calibur.

Critics have targeted the exploitative and violent attitude toward women in the series. Although not encouraged to do so in any of the games, players may utilize the services of prostitutes, and then subsequently murder and rob them.

The Grand Theft Auto series has been a source of considerable controversy since the release of Grand Theft Auto III. Some controversy can be attributed to publicist Max Clifford, who planted sensational stories in tabloids in order to help sell the game.

The fourth game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, also came under criticism. One mission in particular, in which the player must instigate a gang war between Haitian and Cuban gangs, has been controversial. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups criticized the game. Jean-Robert Lafortune of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition is quoted as saying that "The game shouldn't be designed to destroy human life, it shouldn't be designed to destroy an ethnic group," for this and similar scenarios, including lines in the game's script such as "kill the Haitian dickheads" during an altercation between the player and a Haitian gang. After the threat for having been sued by the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, Rockstar removed the word "Haitians" from this phrase in the game's subtitles.

More recently, four teens in New York decided to go on a crime spree, claiming inspiration from Grand Theft Auto. The four teens beat and robbed a man outside of a New Hyde Park supermarket. They then went to a train station, encountering other teens they knew from their high school and recruiting them. The mob, now numbering six, armed themselves with a baseball bat, a broomstick and a crowbar. They stopped a woman driving a black BMW, stole her cigarettes, then her car. They then smashed a van with the baseball bat they carried. Both the driver of the BMW as well as the van called the police, and the teens were arrested shortly after.

In 2009, a six-year-old boy, who claimed he had learned to drive from the game, took his family's car on a 10 mile trip before he crashed.

According to the The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition, it's the most controversial videogame series ever, with over 4,000 articles published about it, which include accusations of glamourizing violence, corruption gamers, and connection to real life crimes.

After the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, hackers managed to find unused code in the game and released unofficial patches for the Windows & Xbox (with a modchip) version enabling the player to engage in sexual mini-games (dubbed "Hot Coffee" in reference to a euphemism for sex used in the game). These mini-games were never intended to be playable in the final version of the game, but were left partially intact in the game's code. This prompted application of an Adults Only (AO) ESRB rating to the version of the game containing the leftover code. Take-Two Interactive was forced to re-release the game in order to restore the Mature (M) rating. A class action lawsuit against Take-Two was also filed as a result of the "Hot Coffee" code.

Lawyer Jack Thompson has been involved in a number of attempts to get families of murder victims to hold the Grand Theft Auto series accountable for the death of their loved ones. Due to his conduct in this and related cases, Thompson was disbarred in 2008, and was fined more than $43,000 by the Florida Bar Association.

On 20 October 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by GTA III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America. Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. District Court on 29 October 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause." The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that, but failed in his attempt to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act. Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.

In February 2005, a lawsuit was brought upon the makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto series claiming the games caused a teenager to shoot and kill three members of the Alabama police force. The shooting took place in June 2003 when Devin Moore, 17 years old at the time, was taken in for questioning by police in Fayette, Alabama regarding a stolen vehicle. Moore then grabbed a pistol from one of the police officers and shot and killed him along with another officer and dispatcher before fleeing in a police car. One of Moore's attorneys, Jack Thompson, claimed it was GTA's graphic nature - with his constant playing time - that caused Moore to commit the murders, and Moore's family agrees. Damages are being sought from branches of GameStop and Wal-Mart in Jasper, Alabama, the stores from which GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, respectively, were purchased and also from the games' publisher Take-Two Interactive, and the PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment. The case is currently being heard by the same judge who presided over Moore's criminal trial, in which Moore was sentenced to death for his actions.

In September 2006, Jack Thompson brought another lawsuit, claiming that Cody Posey played the game obsessively before murdering his father Delbert Paul Posey, stepmother Tryone Schmid, and stepsister Marilea Schmid on a ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of the victims' families. During the criminal trial, Posey's defense team argued he was abused by his father, and tormented by his stepmother. Posey was also taking Zoloft at the time of the killings. The suit alleged that were it not for his obsessive playing of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the murders would not have taken place. Named in the suit were Cody Posey, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Sony. The suit asked for US$600 million in damages.

Critics sometimes treat the release of Grand Theft Auto III as a revolutionary event in the history of video games, much like the release of Doom nearly a decade earlier. Subsequent games that follow this formula of driving and shooting have been called Grand Theft Auto clones. Some reviewers even extended this label to the Driver series, even though this series began a year before the release of Grand Theft Auto III.

Grand Theft Auto clones are a type of 3D action-adventure game, where players are given the ability to drive any vehicle or fire any weapon as they explore an open world. These games often incorporate violent and criminal themes. Notable games that are sometimes seen as Grand Theft Auto clones are the Saints Row series, The Godfather, The Getaway, The Getaway: Black Monday, Crackdown, Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, Mafia II, Wheelman, True Crime: Streets of LA and True Crime: New York City, Scarface: The World Is Yours and The Simpsons Hit & Run, which uses the GTA style of gaming.

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Grand Theft Auto III

A screenshot of Claude running with a pistol in hand (Microsoft Windows version). With a completely redone game engine, the player is now able to see forward and better explore GTA III's environment.

Grand Theft Auto III (abbreviated as GTA III) is a sandbox-style action-adventure computer and video game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North), and published by Rockstar Games. It is the first 3D title in the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series and the third original title overall. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, May 2002 for Windows, and in November 2003 for the Xbox. The game is preceded by Grand Theft Auto 2 and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

GTA III is set in modern Liberty City, a fictional metropolitan city. The game follows a nameless criminal who was betrayed by his girlfriend in a bank heist, and is required to work his way up the crime ladder of the city before confronting her. GTA III is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and like its predecessors, implements sandbox-like gameplay, where the player is given the freedom to explore a large city, complete missions, commit criminal acts, or complete side missions.

The game's concept and gameplay, coupled with the use of a three dimensional game engine for the first time in the series, contributed to Grand Theft Auto III's positive reception upon its release; it became 2001's top selling video game and is cited as a landmark in video games for its far-reaching influence within the industry. GTA III's success was a significant factor in the series' subsequent popularity; as of 2008, five GTA prequels set before events in GTA III have been released. GTA III's violent and sexual content has also been the source of moral panic and controversy.

Grand Theft Auto III takes place in Liberty City, a fictional city on the East Coast, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. GTA III's Liberty City is one of three renditions of "Liberty Cities" featured throughout the series, of which the other two are present in Grand Theft Auto (GTA1) and Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV). The timeline of GTA III is set at around the autumn of 2001, the present time around the first release of GTA III, October 22, 2001; this was indicated by the Liberty Tree website, which included plot points that connect to events in the beginning of the game, in its last existing monthly entry, dated October 18, 2001.

Throughout the story, the protagonist is never named and never utters a single word, though he is often referred to as "Kid" and sometimes "Fido". However, his name is confirmed to be "Claude" in the sequel to the game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (prequel in terms of time settings), in which he appears as a non-player character.

The player character has robbed the Liberty City Bank with his girlfriend, Catalina, and a male accomplice. While running from the scene, Catalina turns to him and utters, "Sorry, babe, I'm an ambitious girl and you ... you're just small-time". She shoots him and leaves him to die in an alley; the accomplice is also seen lying nearby. It soon becomes apparent that the player character has survived but has been arrested and subsequently found guilty and sentenced to jail. While he is being transferred, an attack on the police convoy aimed at kidnapping an unrelated prisoner sets him free.

With the help of fellow escaped prisoner 8-Ball, the player character then takes on work as a local thug and rises in power as he works for multiple rival crime gangs. In the process, Maria, the wife of a local Mafia boss, begins to take a liking to him. The Mafia leader, Salvatore, grows suspicious and lures the player to a death trap; but Maria saves him, remaining close to him throughout the storyline. He later goes to work for others, including the Liberty City Yakuza, a corrupt police officer and media mogul Donald Love. Eventually, his exploits attract the attention of Catalina, now affiliated with a Colombian drug cartel, resulting in the kidnapping of Maria. This gives him the opportunity to face Catalina once more, resulting in a large firefight and Catalina's death.

In addition to the exploits of the game's player character, the storyline, while not as integral to the game as its successors, depicts the character development of several non-player individuals and bosses, through cut scenes before the start of each mission, as the player progresses through the game. Most of the characters encountered revolve around corruption, crime and a fictional drug called "Spank," which is a growing menace in the city.

With the success of GTA III and its sequels, several of these characters or their relatives reappear in future GTA titles with major or minor roles, and their personal background expanded, particularly Leone family Don Salvatore Leone, media mogul Donald Love, Phil, the One-Armed Bandit, 8-Ball, Catalina and Toni Cipriani.

The voice cast for the game's characters features several established celebrities. Notable voice actors include Frank Vincent, Michael Madsen, Michael Rapaport, Joe Pantoliano, Debi Mazar, Kyle MacLachlan, Robert Loggia, Lazlow Jones and rapper Guru.

Grand Theft Auto III inherits and modifies much of the gameplay mechanics from its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, combining elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game in a new 3D game engine. The idea of using a 3D game engine in such a genre however is not new; the first game to combine elements of action, shooting, and multiple-vehicle driving in a 3D package was Hunter (1991). The first developed by DMA Design was Body Harvest (1998), for the Nintendo 64. Publicly debuted in 1995 at Nintendo's SpaceWorld video game trade show, Body Harvest was revolutionary for its time, but despite above average reviews, the game sold poorly. GTA III takes the gameplay elements of Body Harvest and combines them with the GTA series' open-ended game design to create a level of freedom and detail that was unprecedented in 2001.

On foot, the player's character has the additional ability to sprint (but is incapable of swimming), as well as use weapons and perform basic hand to hand combat; he is also capable of driving a variety of vehicles, (with the addition of watercraft and a fixed-wing aircraft).

Criminal offences, such as carjacking, murder and theft will result in increasing levels of resistance from the authorities. If the player's "wanted" level reaches certain levels, the police, FBI, and army will respond accordingly. When the player character collapses from his injuries or is arrested, he will re-spawn at a local hospital or police station respectively, at the expense of losing all weapons and armor and an amount of money for medical expenses or bribes. While this is similar to previous Grand Theft Auto games, the player character is essentially offered unlimited "lives," as opposed to the limited number of lives in GTA1 and GTA2. This allows the player character to "die" as many times as he pleases, and render it impossible to indefinitely lose in the game.

A major feature in GTA III's predecessors that allowed the player to obtain cash by committing petty crimes has been downplayed in GTA III, encompassing only car ramming, vehicle destruction and pedestrian killing. The amount of money in the player's possession is no longer a requirement to unlock new areas in GTA III. Instead, the completion of missions and unfolding of the game's storyline are now responsible for this role. Additionally, the player is allowed to return to all unlocked areas of the city. However, as new areas open up, access to other, previously available areas becomes more dangerous or less accessible, due to hostilities from enemy gangs.

The interface of the game has been significantly overhauled. The player-centered compass is replaced by a separate mini-map that also displays a map of the city and key locations (safe houses and contact points) or targets. Armour and health levels are now indicated in numbers, and a 24-hour clock is added. Gang behavior is no longer dictated by "respect" meters used in GTA2; instead, the player character's progress through the story affects his view in the "eyes" of gang members. As the player completes missions for different gangs, rival gang members will come to recognize the character and subsequently shoot on sight.

Multiplayer modes from previous GTA titles were dropped, favouring single player gameplay only. However, third-party multiplayer modifications developed by members of the community are available.

A common trait GTA III shares with the rest of the GTA series is the considerably non-linear gameplay. Missions that are offered to the player primarily fall into two categories: storyline-based and side missions. While the game's linear set of storyline-based missions are required to advance the plot and unlock certain areas of the map, the player can choose to complete them at his or her own leisure. Additionally, many of them are not mandatory. Alternatively, it is possible to ignore the main missions and only play side missions. If the player acquires a taxi cab, he can pick up designated non-player characters as fares and drop them off at different parts of the city for cash; obtaining an ambulance allows the player to pick up injured non-player characters and drive them to the hospital for cash. Fire fighting and vigilante police missions are also available. However, if the player wishes, he or she may avoid all missions and instead choose to explore the city, stealing cars, running over pedestrians, and avoiding or opposing the police.

Whereas its predecessors merely featured a short cut scene upon completion of missions in each city, GTA III significantly expanded this feature, triggering cut scenes after the player enters a contact point or during certain missions. The cut scenes serve multiple purposes: as a visual narration of the storyline, as formal directives of a mission, and as a visual assessment of a scene and objective. During gameplay, mission updates and messages are relayed through text-based instructions given in the form of on-screen subtitles, or on a few occasions, the player character's pager, similar to GTA1. GTA III also includes one-time tutorial directives to familiarize the player with the game's controls and features.

The selection of weapons provided in the game consists of firearms and explosives, with the addition of two forms of mêlée attacks (hand to hand combat and baseball bat). The weapons themselves are largely similar to the selection of weapons from GTA1 and GTA2, such as the M1911, the Micro Uzi, an AK-47 and an M16A1, the rocket launcher and the flamethrower, which are based off similar weapons from GTA1, and the shotgun and thrown weapons (Molotov cocktails and hand grenades) from GTA2. The porting of GTA III into a three dimensional environment also allows access to a first-person view, making the inclusion of the sniper rifle and first-person aiming of the M16A1 and rocket launcher possible. In addition, it becomes possible in the game to perform drive-by shooting using the Micro Uzi, while the inclusion of magazine-based weapons introduces the need to reload weapons after a magazine has been depleted. Additionally, wielding certain weapons restricts movement. Weapons may be purchased from local firearms dealers and businesses, retrieved for free from certain dead gang members, mission-specific characters and law enforcers, or picked up in certain spots in the city.

All versions of GTA III allow the player to auto-aim using a gamepad with the push of a button, holding human targets at gun point using most firearms, with the exception of first-person aiming for the sniper rifle, M16 and rocket launcher, which are aimed using the analog stick or mouse as the player presses the same auto aim button. The Microsoft Windows version includes the additional ability to look around and aim freely with a mouse while on foot; these control differences are seen in the console and Microsoft Windows ports of Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

One of the game's subtler inclusions was a variety of radio stations. The stations feature music specially written for the game (as well as many songs originating from the first two GTAs), but also includes licensed music, some of which were excerpts of several actual music albums; this combination differs from those of the game's predecessors, which featured entirely original soundtracks. One of the stations is a full-length talk show, and many of the callers are actually characters from the story missions, often demonstrating the same views and eccentricities that become apparent to the player during the missions. Another station "Flashback FM" features music heard throughout scenes in the film Scarface, which had heavy influence on the game's sequel, Vice City.

Additionally, an online format of the fictional Liberty Tree newspaper, dedicated to events that took place within and outside Liberty City between February 2001 and October 2001, was made available months ahead of GTA III's release. The website, working in tandem with the official map-based website and sub-pages, also served to provide a back-story to GTA III, while evoking a sense that the reported events had actually taken place in real time, releasing monthly issues in its nine months of activity. The site also includes articles on criminal activities in the city and city development (i.e. delayed tunnel completion and the growth of Love Media in the city), and various advertising to fictional products. Pre-released screenshots of gameplay, the city's environment and characters were used as photographs for certain news articles.

Various commercials are featured on both the radio stations and the Liberty Tree website. Certain ads often referred to their advertisers' official websites, such as Petsovernight.com. All of these sites actually existed; they were set up to tie in with the game. However, although looking very much like genuine online stores, all links to purchase or order the products actually led to Rockstargames.com.

Grand Theft Auto III's new RenderWare game engine and graphics are significant departures from its predecessors, most notably for its use of a forward viewing perspective as the default view, similar to a majority of third-person shooters and driving games, and improved street-level graphics. The game also includes several additional camera views, including a cinematic view, and a top-down perspective prevalent in GTA III's predecessors that was omitted in following titles, making GTA III the last major title in the GTA series to include a top-down camera view. For console versions of GTA III, the game runs under a lower display resolution dictated by the console, while the Microsoft Windows version permits resolutions of up to 1600 by 1200 pixels.

The environment in-game is extensively displayed through the use of level of detail (LOD), applied by allowing only areas directly surrounding the player to display objects in higher polygon counts (including vehicles, buildings and terrain) or minor props (e.g. street furniture), while areas far from the player are displayed with lower polygons and the lack of details. As such, LODs aid GTA III in displaying a large environment with a further draw distance, while ensuring that the game's performance remains optimum. When travelling within an island in the city, the game consistently swaps models of varied detail as the player moves from one area to another. As the player travels into another island, the game is required to load detailed models files of the entire destination island while also loading low detailed models for the islands the player is leaving, requiring substantially more processing time; in the process, the game displays a "Welcome to..." screen for a short amount of time, before gameplay can resume.

As is the environment, vehicles and pedestrians are depicted in full three dimensional models, compared to flat top-down sprites in previous games. Both vehicles and pedestrians are constructed from individual polygon parts with a central "core" (the wheels, engine, chassis and body of vehicles, and the torso of pedestrians). The damage system of vehicles consists of representing the minor vehicle parts (doors, frontal quarter panels and bumpers) as undamaged, damaged or missing, based on the types of collisions detected on the vehicle; the core of each vehicle, remains visually unchanged despite heavy damage. As pedestrians in GTA III are made out of separate polygon parts (limbs, a head and a torso), it is possible to detach the limbs of a pedestrian or effectively "popping" the head of the pedestrian (through heavy firearms or explosives). This feature is evident in the Microsoft Windows version, but is not included by default in the PlayStation 2 version, It is unlocked through a cheat implemented into the game.

As the game runs in a 24 hour cycle and includes changing weather, the game engine is also required to simulate day and night periods, as well as weather effects. This is possible by adjusting surrounding visual effects and details in accordance to the time of the day and present weather. Other minor details, like a rainbow after a rain, and the sun, which moves from the northeast of the city in the morning to the southwest in the evening, are also present.

The game is the first in the series to use motion blurring (dubbed "Trails" in the Microsoft Windows and Xbox versions of the game), semi-transparently rendering the last in-game video frame to the current frame; the feature could be toggled on and off.

The only apparent change on the game that has been suggested to have been made shortly after 9/11 was of the police cars' paint scheme; the new color scheme of the LCPD is modeled in a panda-like black-and-white design similar to the LAPD, while the old color scheme of blue with white stripes (seen in previews and the manual map) resembles that of the NYPD. Pre-release screenshots in the game's official website depicting police cars had also undergone modifications, around a week after September 11. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV saw paint schemes bearing likenesses to those of the NYPD's (past and present) returning, several years after GTA III was released.

Another cut is that of Darkel, an in-game character, for the final version of the game. Mentioned in several early video game publications and websites, Darkel was to be a revolutionary urchin who vowed to bring down the city's economy. One mission involved stealing an ice cream van, using it to attract pedestrians, then blowing it up (this mission would eventually be given by El Burro instead in the final version of game to kill a group of gang members). Darkel was also originally expected to give out Rampage-like missions, and even had his voice recorded for this part. Rockstar later decided that they would like to go back to the original system of giving out rampages as featured in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. Although Darkel and his missions were removed indefinitely, the character remains listed in the manual's credits, as well as having a character texture retained in the game's data files. Another reminisce of Darkel's existence is an abandoned tunnel in the city, associated with the character in the official website, and includes four homeless people in a group wielding Molotov cocktails. Both the tunnel and the four homeless people are retained in the final version of the game.

The Dodo airplane, the only flyable aircraft in the game, was also a point of discussion; the wings of the vehicle were significantly short, while an uncontrollable full-winged version has been seen flying around the city. However, the plane, for months before 9/11, had a short wingspan, as evidenced from a preview in Game Informer (Issue #95), which indicated that the plane was to be used in a (now abandoned) mission to loft the plane high enough in its brief flight and reach new areas of the city. The Dodo is considerably difficult to control, usually resulting in short flights (although it is possible to fly the plane continuously around Liberty City when properly trained). Mods exist to give the Dodo a wider wing, though the outer sections are not solid. Otherwise, the aircraft would not be able to fit into the import/export garage at the docks in Portland Island.

Other changes included stopping the selection of certain character models when using cheat codes, removing the aforementioned ability to blow limbs off non-player characters in only the PlayStation 2 version of GTA III, elderly pedestrians with walkers, school children as pedestrians (from GameSpot UK's preview and the Gouranga fansite) and a school bus (seen in eight screenshots).

Upon its release, Grand Theft Auto III received very positive reviews; while minor problems and comments pertaining to graphics, performance and controls were noted, GTA III was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications. With reviews of 9.6/10 from IGN and GameSpot, 8/10 from Edge, 10/10 from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, 94 from GameSpy and an average score of 95%, according to Game Rankings, the game won several awards, such as GameSpot's Console Game of the Year, Game of the Year from GameSpy and Cheat Code Central, and Best Action Game of 2001 by IGN. The game's average review score of 97% on Metacritic ties it with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. It was also inducted into GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time list.

GTA III unexpectedly emerged as a smash hit at its initial US$49.95 price and became the #1 selling video game of 2001 in the United States. Later discounted to $19.95 as part of Sony's "Greatest Hits" program, it continued to sell well and went on to become the second best-selling video game of 2002, behind only its sequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. GTA III was bundled with Vice City for the Xbox Double Pack, which enjoyed strong sales in December 2003, even though GTA III was two years old. The Double Pack's success for Xbox was due to several factors; the critical acclaim and controversial game content for the games, the graphical improvements specifically for the Xbox, and having two games in one, which led to GameSpy giving it their Best Value Award.

As of September 25, 2007, Grand Theft Auto III is the ninth best-selling video game in the United States with 5.7 million copies sold, behind its successors Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, according to the NPD Group. As of September 26, 2007, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 12 million units according to Take-Two Interactive. As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 14.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.

Although the Grand Theft Auto series had been an underground hit prior to the release of GTA III, it was this game that first brought the series mainstream success and widespread accolades. The success of GTA III resulted in two console and Microsoft Windows sequels (Vice City, San Andreas), both of which were able to build upon GTA III's success, as well as three additional titles for handheld consoles (Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories). The next generation in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV, was released on April 29, 2008.

GamePro recently called GTA III the most important video game of all-time, explaining that the game's open-ended gameplay elements have revolutionized the way all video games are made. Similarly, IGN ranked GTA III among the Top 10 Most Influential Games.

Video game critics and players have used the term "GTA clone" to describe the slew of video games released which attempted to emulate the sandbox gameplay of GTA III.

Reviews of the game had been generally positive; while minor problems and comments pertaining to graphics, performance and controls were noted. There are some glitches such as clipping (when characters and objects get "half-stuck" in walls and the ground), a bug which caused vehicles to disappear, relatively poor AI for NPCs; many of these issues were not fixed in Vice City. Other complaints have come up when GTA clones have been released; GTA III and Vice City have comparatively fewer cars or pedestrians on screen, short view distances and "disappearing" cars, and very short-term street damage, when measured against Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven which featured many cars and pedestrians on screen at once, along with collateral damage lasting the length of a mission.

Grand Theft Auto III was and remains very controversial because of its violent and sexual content, and it generated outrage from many upon its release. Various critics hypothesized that if children were to play the game, they might acquire sociopathic attitudes toward others.

For examples of video game violence, many TV news channels often show a play session of GTA III where the main character is gunning down pedestrians and blowing up police cars. The player is rewarded with cash for various illegal and immoral actions. Frequently cited in the press is the opportunity for players to carjack a vehicle, pick up a prostitute, have (implied) sex with the prostitute, and then kill her and steal her money. This action, while permitted ("sex" restores the player's health, up to 125% of its normal maximum), is never actually required, nor is any particular suggestion made in the game that the prostitute should be killed. In addition, all in-game crimes incur the wrath of the police.

It was because of GTA III that the Wal-Mart chain of retail stores announced that, for games rated "M" by the ESRB, its stores would begin checking the identification of purchasers who appeared to be under 17.

After its initial release in Australia, the game was banned for a period and a censored version of the game was to be released in its place. A key reason why this course of action was taken was that Rockstar did not submit GTA III to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the body that, among other things, rates video games according to their content in Australia. Lacking a suitable R18+ rating (the highest rating being MA15+), the game was "Refused Classification" and banned for sale because they felt that the game was unsuitable for minors. Australia still does not have an R rating for video games like it does for movies. Among other things, the censored version had the gore (except for the “Gore Mode” cheat) and the ability to kill prostitutes immediately removed.

While the Australian version of the sequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was censored by Rockstar, the next sequel Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was not, despite featuring more "mature" content (although, later, San Andreas was once given a Refused Classification rating amid the "Hot Coffee" controversy).

On October 20, 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by GTA III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America. Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. District Court on October 29, 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause." The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that and is attempting to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act.

Six months following the initial PlayStation 2 release of Grand Theft Auto III, versions for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox had been made available. GTA III is notable for being the first game in the series to be released on a video game console before a PC version was available. Following GTA III, PlayStation 2 GTA games generally followed GTA III release pattern, in which the Microsoft Windows port is released within seven to eight months after the PlayStation 2 versions' release.

The Microsoft Windows version of the game, released on May 21, 2002, has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of Vice City. This was due to technical issues; the game engine rendered everything within the draw distance, even things hidden behind buildings or trees, whereas Vice City only rendered what could actually be seen. The Microsoft Windows version does, however, support higher screen resolutions, has more detailed textures, a customizable player skin, and a custom option for MP3s playback in cars.

The Xbox version was initially supposed to be released in spring 2002 but it was shelved when Sony signed an agreement with Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar Games' parent company), making the GTA series a PlayStation 2 exclusive until November 2004. However, the agreement was amended in 2003 and the Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack containing both GTA III and Vice City was released for PS2 and Xbox in December 2003. The Xbox version of the Double Pack has improved audio, polygon models, and reflections over the Microsoft Windows and PS2 versions of the game. The Double Pack was not released for the Microsoft Windows. In November 2005, GTA III was re-released again for the Xbox and PS2, this time bundled with Vice City and San Andreas in a trilogy compilation, dubbed Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy. There were no new changes, though the set retained Double Pack's graphical improvements for GTA III and Vice City. A Nintendo GameCube port of GTA III was also planned to be released alongside the Xbox version, but was cancelled for unknown reasons. The Xbox version, also supports the playback of MP3's through the Xbox's on board codec which involve burning the music to a CD and copying them onto the Xbox's hard drive.

Two handheld titles based on GTA III have also been released. Grand Theft Auto Advance was initially intended as a Game Boy Advance port of GTA III, but has since introduced a new storyline set in Liberty City, roughly one year before the events in GTA III. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2005 and later ported to the PS2. The game, which is also set in the same location as GTA III, takes place in 1998, three years before the events in GTA III. Liberty City Stories is the last GTA title to feature Liberty City in its GTA III form, as Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009) are entirely set in a completed redesigned Liberty City.

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Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto)

The map of Liberty City, as depicted in Grand Theft Auto III. Right to left: Portland Island, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale.

Liberty City is a fictional city in Rockstar Games' video games series Grand Theft Auto, based primarily on New York City. Three different incarnations of the city have appeared in various generations of the series.

The Grand Theft Auto rendition is portrayed as a city geographically similar to New York City, composed of two mainland islands. The Grand Theft Auto III rendition (also featured in Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and briefly in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) is portrayed as a more generic metropolitan city that is loosely based on New York City, but consists of elements of other American cities. The Grand Theft Auto IV (also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars) rendition is portrayed as a caricature of New York City, with Liberty City's landmarks and geography based heavily on New York City's. Liberty City's four boroughs, as well as the adjacent state of Alderney correspond to four of New York City's five boroughs and New Jersey, respectively.

In every rendition of the city, Liberty City is primarily depicted as a large city with a sizable population (4 million in the Grand Theft Auto III rendition, with double the amount in Grand Theft Auto IV), featuring a complete transportation infrastructure of roads and railways, and is located on a geographical configuration of shorelines and islands, similar to that of New York City. The city has been described as one suffering from crime and corruption, with the presence of organized crime, feuding street gangs, petty criminals, and rampant misconduct and corruption among city officials and law enforcement. Parts of Liberty City have also suffered major damage and loss from bombings, which are depicted as being orchestrated by local criminals. Some of these damages, however, have been repaired or resulted in complete redevelopment of an entire area.

Liberty City is also located in the same fictional universe as Vice City, Carcer City (Manhunt), and San Andreas, other locations portrayed in games throughout the series and other Rockstar Games related games. Liberty City is the most used fictional setting in the series: it is prominently featured in six of the ten stand-alone Grand Theft Auto games, with a cameo appearance in a further two.

Liberty City was first featured in the original Grand Theft Auto. The city's geography and alignment of districts was more true to that of New York City, featuring two major mainlands with a Manhattan-like central island (which contains a large park at the center, a reference to Central Park), and several smaller islands along a river of the city, with the mainlands and islands connected primarily by road bridges. Train services with lines running in the city were also present.

The second appearance of Liberty City is in Grand Theft Auto III, assuming a significantly different design from its original version. The location, circa late-autumn 2001, is often referred to as "the worst place in America" by in-game literature, for its rampant crime and corruption; gang wars, theft, and murder are endemic to everyday life to the point where police intervention has become nearly negligible. In addition to its appearance alongside Vice City and the state of San Andreas, the city is also located near Carcer City, which is featured in Manhunt, another video game developed by Rockstar Games. Little is known about Liberty City's early history, although dialog exists in GTA III claiming that the city was "a church, a cow pasture and three houses when the telephone was invented", and a map of the city provided in the packaging of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories claims that the city is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 1998, suggesting that the city was founded in 1798. The population of the city is given at four million, as stated in the game's manual. The GTA III website mentions that the city is twinned with Beirut.

The mayor of Liberty City, as of 2001, is Miles O'Donovan, although his first name was not revealed until Liberty City Stories. O'Donovan was preceded by Roger C. Hole, who is assassinated while jogging in 1998 by Toni Cipriani in Liberty City Stories, under orders from local Mafia Don Salvatore Leone. The death of Hole forces an election that eventually leads to O'Donovan's victory, although it is also revealed that media mogul Donald Love was campaigning unfairly as a candidate in the elections.

Many landmarks exist within Liberty City, but many do not echo the real-life landmarks of New York City. A Central Park equivalent is located on Staunton Island, called Belleville Park. The city is also home to another tall hi-rise, Staunton Plaza, under construction in Fort Staunton and designated to become a large business office block. In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, a Little Italy section of town exists in place of the Fort Staunton construction site, until 1998 when Toni Cipriani destroys the entire area under orders of Donald Love. Other landmarks include an unnamed equivalent of the Empire State Building in Staunton's downtown financial district. Across from the building lies the Jefferson St. Credit Union Office Building, the tallest building in the city. The Lips 106 radio station building features two identical twin towers resembling Marina City in Chicago.

The city is divided into three areas, or "boroughs", which in turn are separated into districts and neighborhoods. While the boroughs are different from one another, each borough houses one hospital, one police station and one fire station, with the former two serving as local respawn points in an event the player dies or is arrested, respectively.

Although not technically part of the city, an inaccessible city block dubbed as "Ghost Town" seemingly located in Liberty City exists as a hidden sector of the game, used only once in the bank heist cutscene at the start of the game's storyline. The "Ghost Town" is located behind Shoreside Vale and floats above the sea. The city block is made up of non-solid textures (with the exception of two dumpsters behind the bank) and is reachable only by airplane, cheats, or by third party modifications, including one that creates a bridge linking the Ghost Town with the rest of the city. It has been removed from the Liberty City Stories rendition of the city. The Ghost Town is sometimes erroneously referred to as Carcer City, the city from the Rockstar Games's Manhunt, which is mentioned on the ingame radio stations.

Chinatown is a primarily Triad run part of the city. However, there is some Leone and Sindacco activity. The Saint Mark's is primarily Italian American owned and run in the northeast side; it is so heavily run by the Mafia that not even the cops go there. Other districts of interest include the Red Light District used to be the residential area of Portland. However it is now mostly abandoned, and cops are posted all over the place. However, it is a lost cause. Pimps, hoes and gangbangers are rampant throughout the area. Hepburn Heights are the projects located by the Red Light District and closely resemble Queensbridge. It is home to almost all gangs in Portland and defined by poverty violence and gangs. Harwood, located on the northern end of the island, is mostly used to store drugs by the Leone crime family (including the Head Radio broadcasting station), a junkyard, a car dealership, a bomb shop, and the Porter Tunnel's Portland entrance/exit.

The remaining districts of Portland Island are sparsely inhabited: Callahan Point is located under and around the foot of the Callahan Bridge, which links Portland Island and Staunton Island; Portland Beach is an empty cliff-side beach located east of Saint Mark's; while Portland View consists of a tract of land and a stretch of road between Portland Harbor and Chinatown. Old platforms and train cars of a railway line are also found in eastern Harwood, as well as a tunnel running under the Saint Mark's district, which directly links Harwood with Portland Harbor. Portland Rock, a small island housing a lighthouse, may also be seen east of Portland Beach.

Located on an island between Portland Island and Shoreside Vale, Staunton Island is depicted as Liberty City's upscale central business district or city center (similar to New York City's Manhattan Island), housing the largest cluster of commercial and residential skyscrapers in the entire city. Due to the nearby Francis International Airport, taller skyscrapers are concentrated towards the south of the island away from incoming planes, while low-rises and several of the city's major institutions (Staunton's hospital, sports stadium and university) are concentrated towards the north.

The skyscraper core of the island is located within the south Staunton downtown district of Torrington (to the east) and Bedford Point (to the west). The tallest and largest building in Staunton (and the city) is depicted to be owned by the Jefferson St. Credit Union, which is connected to two other large commercial buildings owned by FCB Bank (which is the third tallest building in the city) and AMCO via skyways; all three buildings are located within the district of Torrington. In addition, a skyscraper resembling the Trump Tower is also present beside the Jefferson St. Credit Union building. Aside skyscrapers, Torrington also boasts a Yakuza-controlled casino at the southeast, and the Staunton branch and overall headquarters of the Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) complete with a helipad; Bedford Point houses the city's cathedral, opera house, art gallery, a Times Square-themed street, an Empire State Building look-alike (the second tallest building in the city) that dominates the district, and the Love Media building, the workplace and home of Donald Love. Several neoclassic-styled municipal buildings are also located within the two districts, which are nameless in-game, although one of the buildings located near the northern end of Torrington is suggested in the official GTA III website to be city hall, while another building on the northeast end of Bedford Point is described as "town hall" upon inspection of the game's internal data files. Based on the locations of the city's landmarks and spoofs within the both districts, both districts may be based on both Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan.

The Newport district, located north of Torrington, houses several apartments and businesses, boating docks, and a multi-story car park. Bordering the west of Newport is the Belleville Park district, consisting of Belleville Park, a play of New York City's Central Park, and blocks of buildings surrounding the park, including a shopping mall.

Fort Staunton, located north of Newport, is depicted as an area in the process of demolishing blocks of old buildings and re-developing the entire property with the construction of Staunton Plaza. Panlantic Construction, a division of an American-Colombian business conglomerate in charge of the area's development, is suspected by the LCPD to be one of the many fronts for the Colombian Cartel, and thus may explain the presence of Cartel members and gang cars in the area.

The remaining districts towards the north house civic facilities and other structures: The Aspatria district in the northwest houses the "Liberty Memorial Coliseum" (or the Bush Stadium), completed in 1923 and serves as the playing field for the Liberty City Cocks Football team, and a waterfront park along its coastline (similar to Riverside Park); while the Liberty Campus district, located inland from the east of Aspatria, consists of campus blocks of the St. Matthias University (the facility was also dubbed Liberty City College). Rockford is primarily occupied by the Carson General Hospital, and an arms dealing business owned by Phil Cassidy, based on the northern tip of the district.

Based on the commercial area of New York City, Staunton most resembles the tourist areas and central business districts of Manhattan as well as urban shopping areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The name is an obvious play on the real-life borough of the city Staten Island and business-oriented areas of urban New Jersey such as Newark, Hoboken, or Jersey City. "Aspatria" takes its inspiration from the Astoria section of Queens. "Liberty Campus" is a take-off on the typical Manhattan college campus, such as New York University (NYU) or Columbia University, while "Belleville Park" derives its name from the nearby Manhattan suburb of Belleville.

Shoreside Vale is a hilly and more suburban area of the city, located on the west-most side of Liberty City, and is the only part of the city located on the mainland, with the entire area attached to a large body of land that creeps towards the north of Portland Island.

The area is the location of the Cedar Grove suburb (which takes its name directly from one of the Jersey suburbs) at the northeast and the Wichita Gardens housing projects at the east, which resembles the poor gang-ridden housing projects in The Bronx. Wichita Gardens used to house many of the Forelli gang members but during a shootout ordered by Salvator Leone, leader of the Leone's, Toni Cipriani and The Southside Hoods took control of the blocks. Also located in Shoreside Vale is the Pike Creek industrial district at the west, a dam (dubbed Cochrane Dam, named after Adam Cochrane, a designer working in Rockstar North) at the northwest and the city's airport, Francis International (featuring a structure based on the Los Angeles International's Theme Building). There is also a bridge linking Pike Creek to Cedar Grove which resembles the Henry Hudson bridge over the Harlem River.

Shoreside Vale most resembles the farther away, more upper-class Long Island, Westchester, as well as suburban areas of New Jersey and the more affluent neighborhoods of New York City's Staten Island, which is relatively far from Manhattan, although it too resembles The Bronx in the eastside.

Liberty City is connected via a series of bridges and tunnels, linking boroughs to Staunton Island. Callahan Bridge (also known as the West Port Bridge) is a four lane suspension bridge, connecting southwestern Portland Island with east-central Staunton Island. The bridge is destroyed by a bomb in late-2001 by the Colombian Cartel, as they kidnap a prisoner. The bridge is repaired during the events of the game and eventually becomes operational. The second bridge, known as the Shoreside Lift Bridge, is a large four lane lift bridge connecting southeast Shoreside Vale with the west side of central Staunton Island. During a large portion of the game, the bridge is suffering a mechanical failure preventing the lift from functioning. Like the Callahan Bridge, the Shoreside Lift Bridge is repaired as the game's storyline progresses.

Liberty City has one major road tunnel system, dubbed Porter Tunnel, possibly based on the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel or the Big Dig, located in Boston. The Porter Tunnel is a primarily four lane underground and underwater road tunnel (however the Staunton Island slipway consists of only one lane for each direction), which connects all boroughs in Liberty City: Portland via Harwood, Staunton via Rockford, and Shoreside Vale via Francis International and Wichita Gardens. The tunnel is initially inaccessible, citing that tunnel construction is still incomplete and had been delayed several times. The tunnel is then opened in phases: first with the segment linking Portland and Staunton, then the segment linking the Portland-Staunton exits to the Shoreside Vale exits. In Shoreside Vale, entrances to two additional road tunnels may also be found north of Cedar Grove and Cochrane Dam, respectively. The tunnels are inaccessible in Grand Theft Auto III but the ingame map of the city indicates the tunnels lead up north out of city limits. In Liberty City Stories, the tunnels can be accessed and connect to each other at an underground T-junction. The tunnel that branches off is signposted as leading to "Upstate", but is inaccessible.

In addition to road transportation, Liberty City has two subway and elevated train systems that run within the city, bearing similarities to the New York City Subway. The inter-borough subway, an underground subway system that connects all three boroughs of the city, has stations at Portland (border between Chinatown, the Red Light District and Saint Mark's), Staunton (Rockford Station in Liberty Campus and Staunton South Station in Bedford Point) and Shorside Terminus in Shoreside Vale (Francis International). The Portland El, an elevated train service, runs its routes within Portland Island, with Rothwell Station in Hepburn Heights, Kurowski Station in Chinatown, and Baillie Station in Saint Mark's. The Portland El is claimed to have been introduced in 1930. Both systems are not directly connected to each other, and there is no transportation hub where both trains networks may intersect. The trains run 24 hours a day and their use is free of charge.

Liberty City is controlled by various gangs and criminal organizations. The Leone crime family controls Portland, specifically the St. Marks area and Red Light District area, and are led by Don Salvatore Leone. Neighborhoods in Portland are also under the control of the Triads, who are located in Chinatown, where their influence is weakened after their gang war with the Leone family; and the Diablos, whose turf is the Hepburn Heights district. Staunton Island is controlled by the Yardies and Yakuza. The Yakuza are located in the Torrington area and are led by siblings Kenji and Asuka. The Yardies are also powerful in Staunton, and are located in the center of the island, close to Newport and Belleville Park. The Colombian Cartel also have a presence in Staunton, and are located in the construction area of Fort Staunton. Shoreside Vale is controlled by the Southside Hoods. The South Side Hoods actually consist of two opposing street gangs: The Red Jacks and the Purple Nines. They are located in Wichita Gardens. The Colombian Cartel's presence in Shoreside Vale is in Cedar Grove.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories takes places in the same Liberty City depicted in Grand Theft Auto III, but is set in 1998, three years before the events in GTA III. As such, the Liberty City Stories rendition of the city explains some of the city's characteristics in GTA III. At the time of Liberty City Stories, the city is officially declared "The least likely place to succeed in America" by an October 30, 1998 issue of the Liberty Tree being cited in the headline as the 'Worst place in America' and that it has received the accolade for the eighth time, showing that the city has been unpopular for some time.

Motorcycles are initially permitted in Liberty City. By GTA III, a citywide ban on the vehicle is imposed, explaining the absence of motorcycles in the game. The Maibatsu Corporation of America, is a staunch supporter for increased car use in Liberty City, is seen as a notable advocate and contributor to the ban, funding an organization dubbed "American Road Safety for Everyone" (ARSE) that has lobbied for the ban after "the successful banning of bicycles,". It is implied that Maibatsu have spearheaded the campaign to help market the allegedly oversized Monstrosity SUV due to be released in 2001.

Police cars in Liberty City Stories are depicted assuming a marking and paint scheme that resembles those of the NYPD during the 1990s, although the game's version uses a black-and-white color scheme, instead of blue and white. This design was originally planned to be used for GTA III, but was redesigned into a common panda-like black and white color scheme around the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York City.

In 1998, the city is depicted undergoing major changes in inter-borough road links. Callahan Bridge, which is expected to connect Staunton Island and Portland Island, is under construction, and is due to be completed in May 1998. The Porter Tunnel is also seen as mostly under construction, but is revealed to have completed segments linking the Shoreside Vale exits. The segment linking Staunton is unfinished but still accessible, as shown when Toni Cipriani is seen driving a van through the area to reach a nonoperational subway terminal beneath Fort Staunton. Construction of the Portland segment, however, has yet to begin, as the area is still in the process of excavating a tunnel.

Because road connections to Portland are unavailable in 1998, the island is initially accessible by car in ferries between Harwood, on the northwest end of Portland, and Rockford, on the northern end of Staunton. Two ferries travel alternately in opposite directions between the ferry terminals, and the service charges $25 for each one-way trip between the islands. The inter-borough subway system is also connected to all three boroughs, allowing pedestrians to travel between the areas with fewer restrictions.

Nevertheless, ferry services cease to exist by late-2001. While the Porter Tunnel is still unfinished at the time of GTA III, the completion of the Callahan Bridge suggestively ends ferry services in the city. The Portland terminal becomes the location of the Portland exit for the Porter tunnel by 2001, while Phil Cassidy's arms dealing business, circa 2001, is relocated close to the former site of the Staunton terminal.

In Liberty City Stories, the city is in the process of constructing several buildings, including some of Liberty City's tallest. For example, the Jefferson St. Credit Union office building, which is the largest and tallest building in Liberty City in GTA III, is under construction in 1998, with a large construction crane present at its top and only half the height it is in 2001, although it is indicated that it was simply an expansion over the building's existing structure as several occupied interiors of the building suggest the completed half of the building is operational. As such, the city's Empire State Building equivalent is the tallest tower in Liberty City during the game, and 3 buildings resembling the Flatiron Building can be seen around Staunton Island.

Other noticeable differences include the presence of scaffolding and a construction crane at the main entrance of the Liberty Memorial Coliseum, suggesting that the stadium is under renovation. Also, housing projects in Hepburn Heights are under construction.

In Staunton Island, a large cemetery exists south beside the Bedford Point Cathedral in Staunton. By 2001 an Opera House, following its destruction in Fort Staunton, is built in its place, completely dwarfing the cathedral itself. During a 1998 radio show, a Chatterbox listener phoned in to tell Lazlow he is campaigning to bulldoze the church garden and make way for a concrete square, which would house Internet terminals and foosball tables for parishioners. As with the eventual ban of motorcycles, a real estate company, Jimmy's Commercial Real Estate, is behind this campaign's eventual success, citing that the city's "sick love of death" should be put to a stop and that a building be built in place "for the health of everyone". The construction of the building left the Cathedral with only a thin strip of burial ground on the north side of the Cathedral by late-2001.

In the cemetery, the people listed on the headstones-Paulie Sindacco, Vincenzo Cilli, Giovanni Casa, Dan Sucho, Mayor R.C. Hole, J.D. O'Toole, and Cedric "Wayne" Fotheringay—are all characters that are killed by Toni Cipriani throughout the course of the game.

In the duration of the game, several other buildings are destroyed or replaced by GTA III. Among them, the Doll House gambling den and brothel, and a Leone-owned factory at Callahan Point which is replaced by a Triad fish factory by 2001, when it is also destroyed. Toni Cipriani's apartment in Saint Mark's, Portland is also in the process of demolition by GTA III.

Perhaps the most notable destruction in the city was that on Fort Staunton in northeast Staunton Island, consisting of several blocks of business establishments, apartments, an opera house and a museum housed within the namesake fortress. The area is imploded voluntarily by Toni Cipriani in 1998 with explosives given by 8-Ball, planted underground in several old and disused subway station platforms, on orders from Donald Love, paving the way for a new property development project. The bombing coincidentally cripples activities of the rival Forelli family, which conducted much of their activities in the area. Following the destruction of the district, the local media blames the origin on explosions on the Forelli's underground arms stores beneath the district. In GTA III, the area is completely cleared away for the Staunton Plaza, which is under construction in 2001.

Fort Staunton's defunct subway stations, closed to the public, but accessible via the unfinished Staunton slipway in the Porter Tunnel is completely cut off from the rest of the subway line. The stations are picked as prime locations to destroy Fort Staunton, and are located in three points beneath Fort Staunton. The stations are suggestively cleared away along with the remains of the devastated district by 2001.

Although the bombing is made possible by Toni, Donald and explosives specialist 8-Ball, the plans for the area were originally conceived by Avery Carrington, whose plans are stolen by Toni and Donald, as Avery is killed by the two after he exits Francis International with Colombian Cartel bodyguards. After the bombing, development of the site is indicated to involve Panlantic Construction, which remains tied to the Cartel in GTA III. Donald is forced to flee the city after the Cartel attempts to ambush and kill him, leaving Fort Staunton in possession of the gang up to the time of GTA III, when the Yakuza seize the district from them.

Liberty City in 1998 contains a different distribution of gang activity, which, during the course of the Liberty City Stories storyline, is shown changing to more closely resemble the gang control of 2001. The Leone family, the Forelli family and the Sindacco family of the Liberty City Mafia, all have a larger control on districts in Portland and Staunton Islands than in GTA III. At the time, the Sicilian Mafia also have an interest in Liberty City. In addition to Saint Mark's, the Leone family control at least the northern portion of Chinatown. The Forelli family have footholds in Fort Staunton, Newport, Belleville and Wichita Gardens in Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. The Sindacco family conduct much of their activity in the Red Light District and Hepburn Heights. However, they lose these territories to the Leones and move to Staunton Island. As in 2001, the Colombian Cartel occupy Cedar Grove, but can also be seen around Francis International Airport. The turf occupied by the Uptown Yardies, Liberty City Yakuza and the Southside Hoods in 2001, is acquired by these gangs in 1998.

Liberty City is also featured as the setting of Grand Theft Auto for the Game Boy Advance, which is set roughly one year before the events in GTA III. In Advance, all three islands are featured, and the Callahan Bridge has been completed, but ferry services are absent. In Portland, an unusually long overpass exists spanning between one end of the Callahan Bridge to the blocked passage of the Porter Tunnel. However, this is the road the bridge ends at with the allyway linking that road to the porter road tunnel road. The Alleyway that divided the road is now a road itself. The Cahallan Bridge passes the road it ends at in GTA III and continues a bit further into another road. At one point of the game, Liberty City is said to be affected by Bubonic plague.

Because of the hardware limitation of the Game Boy Advance, the city assumes a classical top-down perspective, with roads running only horizontally and vertically, while the overall design and identity of the city remains similar to other GTA III-era renditions. Top-down gameplay meant that height-dependent or underground elements such as subway trains and tunnels (including the Porter Tunnel) could not be implemented into Advance. Slopes are also absent in the Advance rendition.

The fifth appearance of Liberty City is in Grand Theft Auto IV, assuming a very different design that is based much more closely on New York City than previous renditions. This new rendition of Liberty City is larger in scope than any previous version, with highly advanced detail and a greater degree of realism. The city continues to be referred to as the "Worst Place in America", which has been trademarked by Rockstar Games and appears on the in-game license plates as the city's motto.

The mayor of Liberty City, as of 2008, is Julio Ochoa, and the deputy mayor is Bryce Dawkins. During the course of the game there is an election campaign taking place for the state governorship. John Hunter and Michael Graves are the two main candidates although it is not clear who belongs to which party or who (if either) is the incumbent.

The bridges in the city are locked down during the early stages of the game due to a terrorist threat,, and crossing the police blockades with result in the player receiving a 6-star wanted level, but the police blockades are gradually lifted later in the game, allowing the player to access the other islands in the city in a fashion similar to previous games in the series. The population of the city is given at 8,000,000.

During the game the player is able to watch the first part of a television documentary that tells the story of the history of Liberty City from its founding up until the Civil War. The city's timeline is also similar to that of New York City. The Liberty City area is said to have first been explored in 1609 by Horatio Humboldt. A Dutch trading post was established in 1625 on Lower Algonquin, quickly becoming a den of drugs and vice. The city was originally named New Rotterdam by its first Dutch settlers, but was changed to Liberty City when control of it passed to the English in 1664 due to a sponsorship deal that had been agreed with the Bank of Liberty. The British abandoned Liberty City in 1783, concluding the American War of Independence. Liberty City became the first capital of the United States and remained so until the government moved to Washington DC in the 1790s.

Landmarks such as the Statue of Happiness, Zirconium Building, Rotterdam Tower, Grand Easton Terminal, Civilization Committee, Triangle Building, Liberty Ferry, LC24 Tower and the GetaLife Building are present in the city, as well as Star Junction, which features advertisements for familiar brands and companies such as the Liberty Tree newspaper, Bank of Liberty, Sprunk, Cluckin' Bell, and Burger Shot fast food restaurants, and Middle Park, which are parodies of the real life Statue of Liberty, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the United Nations Headquarters, the Flatiron Building, the Staten Island Ferry, One Court Square, and the MetLife Building. Bank of America, Sprite, Taco Bell, and Burger King appear under mentioned brands above, and the New York Times is called the Liberty Tree. Firefly Island has a roller coaster called the "Screamer" (which is based on the The Cyclone), the Liberty Eye ferris wheel (based on the Wonder Wheel), and a ride called "The Corpse Ride". The elevated trains resemble the Culver Line in Brooklyn. The city's transportation includes the Broker and Algonquin Bridges and BOABO (Beneath the Offramp of the Algonquin Bridge Overpass). Each street in the city is individually named.

Liberty City is made up of four geographical islands, with Bohan being the smallest major island and Algonquin being the largest. Next to the city is the state of Alderney, which is independent of Liberty City and Liberty City State. Despite this, it is still apparently governed by Liberty City and shares many of the city's services and facilities.

Broker is located south of the borough of Dukes, on the southern half of the island located in the eastern part of the city. Broker is primarily an industrial portion of the city based on Brooklyn, made up of factories, warehouses and brick townhouses, many of which are dilapidated. The borough's population consists largely of ethnic gangs, hipsters, and industrial workers. A taxi service owned by Roman Bellic, called Express Car Service, operates within the district. The game begins in this borough, with Niko Bellic living in Roman's small one-room apartment in the Eastern-European district of Hove Beach. Other districts include Outlook, East Hook, BOABO, South Slopes, Downtown, Rotterdam Hill, Beachgate, Firefly Projects, Firefly Island and Beechwood City. Broker is connected to Algonquin via the Broker Bridge and the Algonquin Bridge.

According to the TV documentary on the History of Liberty City, Broker is named after Sir William Broker III, the (fictional) illegitimate son of the King of Great Britain. Most streets in Broker are named after famous cowboys, such as Hickcock Street and Earp Street, while most avenues are named after Native American tribes of the American northeast, such as Mohegan Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and Mohawk Avenue.

Dukes is a borough in the northern half of an island at the eastern end of the city limits. As the second largest borough in the city, it is based on the borough of Queens. The city's airport, Francis International Airport, returns from the previous rendition and is located to the eastern most part of the city, this time containing elements of New York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports (the terminal resembles the TWA Flight Center, and the geography and layout of the airport is based on that of LaGuardia). Districts include Steinway, Cerveza Heights, Meadows Park, Meadow Hills, Schottler, Willis and East Island City. Dukes is connected to Bohan by the Dukes Bay Bridge and the East Borough Bridge. The East Borough Bridge also connects Dukes to Algonquin.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Dukes is a shortened version of "dookie" (slang term for feces) because most of the residents there "smelled like shit." Most avenues in Dukes are named after famous American military battles, such as Bunker Hill Avenue, Tinconderoga Avenue, Inchon Avenue and San Jacinto Avenue, though Battle of San Jacinto was fought by the Texans before America acquired Texas in the early 1800s.

Algonquin, based on Manhattan (Manhattan comes from the Algonquin word "Man-a-hat-a"), is the largest area of the city and is located on an island in the very center of the city limits. It's also the most densely populated, as it serves primarily as the city's business district and administrative headquarters, with skyscrapers concentrated towards the southern end of the island. A large parkland area called Middle Park, based on Central Park, resides in the center of the district and is suggested to have been built to give local drug users a scenic backdrop for narcotics abuse. Adjacent to the park is Middle Park East and Middle Park West, based on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side respectively. The Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) have their main headquarters on the island, near Star Junction, based on Times Square. The Triangle modeled on TriBeCa features the Rotterdam Tower, the tallest building in the city based on the Empire State Building. The Exchange is the in-game equivalent of Wall Street. Districts include Chinatown, City Hall, Castle Garden City, Castle Gardens, The Meat Quarter, Purgatory, Lancet, Lancaster, Little Italy, Hatton Gardens, Varsity Heights, Fishmarket North, Fishmarket South, Westminster, Suffolk, Presidents City, Easton, Lower Easton, Northwood, North Holland, East Holland. Two islands exist east of Algonquin between Dukes and Broker in the Humboldt River: Charge Island to the north and Colony Island to the south.

Happiness Island contains two marinas for boats to dock at, multiple hot-dog vendors and multiple buildings on the southern end of the island. There are also multiple binoculars on the water's edge.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Algonquin is believed to be a Native American term meaning "place to build condo skyscrapers" or "place to contract an STD". Streets in Algonquin are mostly named after minerals, like Emerald Street and Hematite Street, and others are named after chemical elements, like Manganese Street and Barium Street. The seven avenues are named after various places in the United States, five of which (Albany, Bismarck, Columbus, Denver and Frankfort) are state capital cities. These go alphabetically, with streets ranging A-X (south to north), and avenues A-G (east to west).

Bohan, based on the Bronx, is the smallest borough in the city, and contains co-op housing similar to Co-op City. Districts include Industrial, Northern Gardens, Chase Point, South Bohan, Fortside, Boulevard and Little Bay. To the north of Bohan is Welham Park which is surrounded by the Welham Parkway.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Bohan is a Dutch word meaning "Dutch word." Most avenues in Bohan are named after famous prisons, such as Alcatraz Avenue, Sing Sing Avenue, Rykers Avenue, San Quentin Avenue, and Guantanamo Avenue.

Alderney is a small state located to the west of, and independent from Liberty City, mostly based on Hudson County, New Jersey and named after the channel island of the same name. The state is largely dominated by Alderney City, (the equivalent of Jersey City with parts of Newark, NJ), and is concentrated towards the middle of the island with Sopranos-esque upmarket suburbs located to the north and the Acter Industrial Park (based on the Port Johnson industrial sector at Constable Hook) on the southern end. The abandoned "Sprunk" brewery is located here and the city is filled with strip-malls and condominiums. The state is infamous for its prison, Alderney State Correctional Facility (based on Northern State Prison in Newark) located to the east of the Acter Industrial Park and an abandoned casino to the north (an exact copy of an abandoned casino in Asbury Park) in Westdyke. A dilapidated mansion exists in the northern part of the state, its outward appearance suggesting it has been condemned for decades. Alderney City is connected to Algonquin via the Hickey Bridge and Booth Tunnel.

Districts Include Acter, Berchem, Leftwood, Tudor, Port Tudor, Westdyke and Normandy. It is implied throughout the game that Liberty City citizens do not like Alderney, or anyone from it. One of the Helitours pilots says, "There's the West River. Every day people from Liberty City are glad to know this separates them from Alderney." In the game guidebook Alderney is depicted as "Liberty City's Ugly Sister". Despite the mutual animosity between the two areas, Liberty City shares a number of its services with Alderney, including taxis and emergeny services.

According to the TV documentary on the history of Liberty City, Alderney is named after Phillip de Alderney, the only person who could originally tolerate living there. The theming of streets is varied in Alderney. Northern Alderney has streets mostly named after mountain ranges within the Rocky Mountains, such as Percell Road and Big Horn Drive. A collection of streets in central Alderney are named after cult leaders, like Koresh Square, Applewhite Street, Jonestown Avenue and Hubbard Avenue. Most streets in southern Alderney are named after nuclear bomb tests done by the United States, such as Plumbbob Avenue, Emery Street and Niblick Street. Other streets in south Alderney are named after inventors, such as Farnsworth Road, Moog Street and Edison Avenue.

Each of the boroughs and the state of Alderney are connected via tunnels and bridges, these include the Northwood Heights Bridge, East Borough Bridge, Dukes Bay Bridge, Hickey Bridge, Algonquin Bridge, Broker Bridge and the Booth Tunnel, a commuter tunnel linking Algonquin with Alderney. The elevated Plumbers Skyway is a series of deck truss bridges that traverses much of Alderney. There also exists an under construction ferry terminal, known as the "Liberty Ferry" (based on the Hoboken Terminal) which exists below Downtown Alderney City near the Booth Tunnel. When built, it will let pedestrians travel in ferry boats across the West River to Lower Algonquin near Castle Garden City. A rapid transit system, based on the New York City Subway, also exists in Liberty City, with destinations in each of the four boroughs. Much of the underground portion of the system is located in Algonquin, while the elevated part is located elsewhere. The 3/8 Broker Line loops around Broker and Dukes in a figure-8 meeting at Huntington Street with stations in Hove Beach, Schottler, Lynch Street and Francis International Airport. Algonquin features two different lines: the A/J Algonquin Outer Line, linked to the 3/8 line and with stations in Feldspar, Emerald, Hematite, Manganese East, Manganese West, Quartz East, Quartz West, Vauxite and Vespucci Circus; and the K/C Algonquin Inner Line with stations in City Hall, Suffolk, Easton, Frankfort Ave, West Park, East Park and North Park. The Easton station serves as the main junction of the entire system. The B/E Bohan Line loops around Bohan and links with the K/C line, it features two stations in San Quentin Ave and Windmill St. In the Steinway district of Dukes, there is a nonoperational terminus station called Dukes Boulevard, closed due to maintenance works. Bohan and Broker also feature elevated railways across their respective districts. There is also the remnants of a defunct elevated rail system in Algonquin, which is no longer in use, based on the High Line in Manhattan. This and other derelict sections of railway track scattered around the city suggest a now-abandoned freight railway. The subway system, as well as a supposed bus system, is operated by the Liberty City Transport Authority (LTA). A Liberty City version of the Roosevelt Island Tramway connects midtown Algonquin with Colony Island.

Liberty City has a baseball team named the Liberty City Swingers, who play in Dukes. There is also a football team called the Liberty City Wrath. The city also has a basketball team called the Penetrators and a hockey team named the Rampage.

Remaining Grand Theft Auto games set in Grand Theft Auto III-canon, while set in completely difference locales, still mention Liberty City in dialog or feature a part of the city for a short period of time. Also, protagonists featured in these games have prominent experiences with the city for a period of time.

In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Tommy Vercetti, having just been released from prison, was dispatched to Vice City in 1986 by Sonny Forelli, who was shown inside the Forelli-run Marco's Bistro at Saint Mark's, Portland, Liberty City. Tommy had also earned the nickname the "Harwood Butcher", since he had murdered eleven men when he only came to kill one, evidently in the Harwood district of Portland which resulted in his 15-year jail sentence.

Liberty City is also featured in The Introduction, a machinima prequel of San Andreas. Set immediately before the events of the game, The Introduction shows both Carl Johnson stealing cars and mugging people in Liberty City and Salvatore Leone's house at Portland Beach, where he makes arrangements for his participation in a casino venture in Las Venturas.

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Source : Wikipedia