The Good

The Ballad of Gay Tony is the second episode of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV. This time around you play the bodyguard and business partner of Gay Tony, a night club owner, drug addict, and you guessed it, gay guy. The story is solid and your interface is adorned with, shall we say, more eccentric colors like pink and purple.

You can finally welcome back sky diving and parachuting into Liberty City. Spread throughout the downtown area are checkpoints that will teleport you to the rooftops of nearby buildings. Base jumping gets especially fun when you go online and start pushing matches at the top of a skyscraper.

The SWAT tank makes it's way back as well. This nearly indestructible beast comes with a mounted turret and explosive rounds. Later you will gain access to the Buzzard, an attack helicopter with infinite rockets and mini-gun ammo. Of course new weapons, bikes, and other assortments of goodies have been added to the city as well.

The Bad

Some characters you will only meet once or twice in the story. Others are extremely exaggerated, making immersion into the universe nearly impossible.

The difficulty curve feels more like watching your stocks bounce up and down. If you're not gunning your way out of a gang infested territory then you may find yourself helping Mom pay the bills. There is almost no feel for progression.

Apparently none of your gangster friends have their license yet, so you will be spending most of your time driving them from one destination to another. To make matters worse, checkpoints are few and far between. A half-hour mission will have one, maybe two checkpoints, so dying becomes very irritating very quickly.

The original GTA IV and The Lost and Damned came with fun, innovative multiplayer modes like Cops N' Crooks and Witness Protection. The Ballad of Gay Tony delivers none. There was potential for ranked skydiving matches or triathlon races, but we are only given the basic free roam, race, and deathmatch modes.

The Salty
The story fills most of the plot holes left by the first two episodes and comes to a climactic ending worthy of the older Grand Theft Auto games. After completing the campaign you can replay old missions, but chances are you will spend the rest of your time either online or roaming around Liberty City aimlessly.

If you liked Grand Theft Auto IV or The Lost and Damned DLC, you will definitely have fun with The Ballad of Gay Tony. If the game never got your juices flowing in the first place, this download won't give you a reason to come back.

The Ballad of Gay Tony gets 7 eccentric purple interfaces out of 10.