Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Multiplayer Hands-On

From machine guns to BASE jumping, we try out all the action in the latest GTAIV episode.

My dude is running around with an automatic weapon, but I'm not staring at the gun. Instead, it's his sweet cream-colored flat cap, the tan jacket he's rocking that looks like it might be leather, and a thin layer of moustache that wouldn't look out of place on that weird aunt of yours who has too many cats. I'm fascinated by his faux tough-guy look, and while I work with the camera to try to get a better view of his gear, a bullet rips through his chest and he's dead. Oops, forget admiring the sartorial splendor of my makeshift thug and let's get to doing what he does best: popping bullets in fools in the multiplayer features of the upcoming downloadable content episode for Grand Theft Auto IV, The Ballad of Gay Tony. Rockstar hosted a multiplayer session during which we had a chance to try out most of the multiplayer modes available in the Gay Tony expansion.

We started out with a few free-for-all deathmatches, including one particularly hectic match located in the amusement park Funland. Dodging bullets amidst all of the carnival rides turned out to be some of the most fun we had during the entire session. At one point, we had a great sniping point on the veranda of an office building and managed to snag a handful of successive kills without ever being spotted. The Gay Tony-specific weapons have some high points--including a sharp assault submachine gun that's good for tight spaces and an advanced machine gun that makes up for its lack of accuracy with some deadly stopping power.

In addition to the free deathmatches, we tried out the team deathmatch where multiple teams compete to collect as much cash as they can before the session timer runs out. With a long strip of road running down the middle of one of the most popular areas during our team deathmatch session, it wasn't uncommon to see cars hurtling down the road before exploding into flames as rival teams battled it out on the steps of the government building nearby. New deathmatch features in the Gay Tony DLC include earning cash for assisted kills, getting bonus cash for kill streaks, and the using the aforementioned new weapons.

Getting some bullet therapy in has its charms, but it's certainly not the only thing to do in Gay Tony's multiplayer. After all, it wouldn't be GTAIV without some racing, right? We tried out a couple of different races during our session, which included long point-to-point races in high-performance sports car models. Some of the routes were a bit confusing, thanks to a lack of direction. At one point, we managed to take a wrong turn off the highway and completely screwed our race. After a few weeks of playing Forza 3, the loosey-goosey handling of the GTA cars took some getting used to as well. Still, the wheel-to-wheel, anything-goes attitude of racing events made for a lot of laughs (and only a few curses). As in other multiplayer game types, there are a ton of options when setting up races, including car class, number of laps, traffic, pedestrians, time of day, weather, and several others. The races we ran featured sports cars with nitros attached--you could get a significant boost of speed with the B button and respawn your completely destroyed ride by holding the Y button.

You have a parachute, I have a gun. I win.

The highlight of the multiplayer session had to be the free mode where got a chance to try out the completely awesome (and wondrously incongruous) BASE jumping mode. After hitching a ride with a Rockstar employee who knew his way around the city, we immediately headed to the closest helicopter, took off to fly downtown, and looked for the tallest buildings in the city. With parachutes strapped to our back--which you automatically receive when boarding a helicopter in the game--we peered off the edge of the skyscraper, pondering our virtual doom, before taking the leap of faith and free-falling for as long as we dared. At the last possible moment, we pressed the A button to pull our chute and, for added flare, popped some smoke by pressing the L3 button.

We touched down safely, but because it was the free mode, it wasn't long until other players started making trouble. The timed free-mode session ended with a swath of fiery destruction as we were on foot being chased by a Rockstar employee emptying his helicopter's missile supply in our general direction. We did our best to get another BASE jump attempt in but were met with a fiery death instead. Of course, that isn't the only way to die when BASE jumping. In addition to failing to pop your chute in time, you can be chopped by the rotor blades of a helicopter and killed by weapon-wielding opponents as you glide down to earth.

But then, no one ever said BASE jumping was safe.

Look for The Ballad of Gay Tony for Grand Theft Auto IV on Thursday, October 29, available for download or on disc as part of the Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City stand-alone game.

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Discussion

32 comments
Tevi
Tevi

i weant on psn

Zero_Burn2
Zero_Burn2

I have...er...skipped a few of the GTA episodes. I was a devout GTA-ist for GTA1, 2 and that London one, but since the PS2 I kind of left them behind, What do you think > is this the one to get me back in on the scene?

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Finally, GTA IV is worthy of the score of 10 it received.... Now bring us something on the scale of San Andreas in HD, and I will love you forever R*

austinite04
austinite04

I bought this add on day one, it's SOOO worth $20.00 (1600 MS POINTS) Go get it I love it. The story is very deep. I like how within the first few Lite missions (drive to apartments) you see Nikko Bellic and TLAD characters. The online needs more games, it seems they actually took some out, I could be wrong. The new sniper rifle, is awesome. It punches cars, no kidding, it makes cars crunch where you shoot them, not explode them right away. They revamped the code in other areas too, I just don't want to spoil it for you. This add on in my opinion is worth $60 in it's own right as a DVD game sans the original GTA4 Disc being required to play it. I have the Marketplace Download version. It didn't take me long to download it, just two innings of the world series game 2.

twztid13
twztid13

yes dvd has 2 be in. took forever to download!

hsu55
hsu55

does anyone know if you have to have the GTAIV disk in the drive while you play this game? my DVD drive is dead and I haven't replaced it yet.

LAwLB15
LAwLB15

I love you microsoft......my ps3 friends are soo jelous

Excedra
Excedra

this should get a 10

BulletsnOctane
BulletsnOctane

Found $30 in change recently... Next buy. This and Dragon Age, I think. Excited about base jumping.

gabrielkipp
gabrielkipp

this game is the best! so much variety and online is FANTASTIC!

Mike0193
Mike0193

Working for a gay dude will actually be fun. I think it's great that they're doing this, and even better that he's not a stereotypical gay guy (Tony, the guy you work for). He's not like they portray in movies and sheeit lol... he's just a regular dude, who happens to like men. Yeahhh, i'm gonnaa quit talking about this, he doesn't exist lmao.

Mike0193
Mike0193

I'll definately be getting this. I am bored of GTAIV, and lost and damned, plus this has a lot of add ons that make it cooler, and funner. such as being able to play missions again (like they did in chinatown wars). i loooove the features in chinatown wars (i got it for DS) so i hope future GTA games will have the same things. Ballad of Gay Tony is starting to do that, soo awesome. PLUS, i just read the review, and wooot ! they've added in a Vice City FM radio station ! SWEET ! lol that's gonna be so damn awesome. Can't wait, now i really can't wait to get home after school and start downloading.

D1j3L
D1j3L

rockstar needs to make a game that is a mix of GTA SA and and this game. THEN it should get a perfect 10.

maximo
maximo

I have to agree SA has been the best GTA so far... just the vareity of things to do and the size of the world was astounding, from gambling to dancing on the beach to all the weapons to buying houses, to gang wars, to side missions, buffing urself up in the gym or getting fat by eating too much etc etc... SA was truly groundbreaking imo....

Night_dude
Night_dude

dude this game simply su*ckssssssssssssssssssssssssss

italianice102
italianice102

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

doontime
doontime

This game does not deserve a 10 out of 10 that is a bunch of bull crap.

ANTFARANO
ANTFARANO

gta IV just isnt as fun as san andreas, everytime i try to finish it i just get bored unlike SA where i couldnt put it down. this expansion does seem to add some of the over the top fun that SA had, i might pick up the pack when i get arround to it.

RUSSOxD23
RUSSOxD23

Im still decpcionaded i like a lot of the Liberty city episodes but why not do it for PC or PS3 i now its for the guys buy a microsoft console but and the money think in that im from brasil there s no sellers here a XBOX too expensive (its like the music from MICHAL JACKSON they don t even kare about us)

DFen
DFen

big fan of the gta series, definitely getting this one :)

Viktor_Suhow
Viktor_Suhow

JustusCF Maybe gay means colour, like in old times? )))) Sorry for the grammar, I'm from Russia =)

yoshimitzuPwnz
yoshimitzuPwnz

Looks really fun, looks like that online parachute thing could get really annoying though. Also JustusCF, idk if you're being serious but nobody else cares :)

JustusCF
JustusCF

I'm offended, how dare they say gay why not homosexual? I'm boycotting this game now.

Wwfl
Wwfl

XD it says in the pic You have a parachute.I have a gun.I WIN. XD XD XD

the_danny
the_danny

this is gonna be the best after school tomorrow i buy it directly in amsterdam city :D

metalkid9
metalkid9

rockstar saved the best for last :D cant wait for this!

aChaChaCha
aChaChaCha

Only 13 hours till its available on Live, can't wait! Like seriously, all I've got on my mind now is to probably just sleep till its release.