A Love Letter to Grand Theft Auto’s Best Side Stories

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On Staunton Island, Cipriani primarily takes missions from Donald Love, who could or is probably not impressed by a sure media mogul turned one thing else. Unlike in GTA III, this youthful and extra erudite model of Donald appears straight out of Phillips Exeter and Yale, ranting to “Antonio” about his political ambitions with sing-songy glee.

Cipriani makes an early mark on the brand new island by assassinating Mayor R. C. Hole, by some means solely engendering a one-star wished degree (so actually, how beloved was he), after which derailing the marketing campaign of Miles O’Donovan, who seeks the mayorship within the aftermath. In “Steering the Vote,” Cipriani, and by proxy, you the participant, journey round in a marketing campaign van spewing propaganda: “O’Donovan hates America” and “Donald Love is a war hero.”

Yes, the 2005 Rockstar classic predicted what even the savviest political scientists missed.

Love, with Cipriani as strongman, sabotages ballots and voting machines, stopping at nothing to win. And with just enough plausible deniability that the Entertainment Software Rating Board didn’t slap an AO rating on this wild title, it’s implied that Donald Love is also a cannibal, supping on the flesh of his adversaries, including Liberty Tree reporter Ned Burner and his former mentor, real estate mogul Avery Carrington.

GTA goes there, however with patented Rockstar humor. “Listen, Don, we need to win this election. OK, we need to make sure that there are no skeletons in the closet, if you know what I mean,” Cipriani warns.

And though Donald eventually escapes to Francis International Airport with Cipriani’s help, you’d be a fool to assume he won’t try to return to Liberty City soon.

Vice City Stories

Vice City Stories takes us back to the 1980s vibe of Miami, two years before Vice City. Only instead of Tommy Vercetti and a Scarface storyline, the saga centers around Victor Vance, Grand Theft Auto’s second Black main character after San Andreas’ Carl “CJ” Johnson blazed the trail. Unlike CJ, or Franklin in GTA V, Victor Vance has a military backstory, not one drawn from the hood.

Vance hopes to collect a steady paycheck from the military, but that goes up in smoke because of his corrupt cocaine-addicted superior Jerry Martinez. Kicked out of the barracks, Vance takes a series of odd jobs for arms dealer Phil Cassidy, who much like Donald Love is at his most bombastic in this expansion.

In a highlight mission, “Boomshine Blowout,” Vance navigates a forklift via a burning warehouse to retrieve crates of boomshine—not to be confused with moonshine. Only, with every profitable crate delivered to Cassidy’s truck, a brand new piece of particles reroutes your path. Another entry “Domo Arigato Domestoboto,” additionally performs on a ticking time bomb puzzle theme and includes controlling a Short Circuit-esque robotic maid to crack a protected, all of the whereas juggling (oh so tedious) home duties. Both Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories, quite than restricted by the PSP, use the conventions of handheld video games to conjure up one thing fairly unique.

Victor Vance is a bit too passive within the early storyline, being pulled in lots of instructions by different extra dynamic and lively characters, together with Cassidy. A sturdy central character like Tommy Vercetti/Ray Liotta he isn’t.

Once Vance arrives on the second island, he does begin to pop a bit extra. Too typically in media depictions, Black foremost characters are alone on an island, with none Black pals or household to converse of—completely faraway from their group. In Vice City Stories, although, it’s nearly as if we get two foremost characters: Vance, who does the whole lot by the books, and his brother Lance, the little satan on his shoulder. Soon the duo get in deep with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and I can not recall the final time I’ve seen two Black males working facet by facet for therefore lengthy in a online game.

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