Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City is a compilation of two expansion packs released for 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. It includes The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, both originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2009 as part of an exclusive deal with Microsoft. Both expansions were later released for PlayStation 3 and Windows in 2010.
As with the original Grand Theft Auto IV game, both expansions are set in Liberty City during the year 2008. Each expansion adds new content including missions, weapons, vehicles and side-activities related to the respective expansion's theme and aesthetics. Episodes from Liberty City is set concurrently to the events of the base game, following new protagonists whose stories intertwine with Niko Bellic's, the protagonist of GTA IV.
Episodes from Liberty City can be purchased either digitally as an add-on to the original game or as a separate game physically. If downloaded online, each episode requires the original GTA IV game disc in order to be played, but doesn't require the disc if the Episodes from Liberty City game disc is used instead. In the former case, slight alterations to the base game's map occurs to modify certain buildings and main consistency with the expansions.
Both Episodes received critical acclaim, with praise towards the new content and the way the expansions intersect with the original game, though the narratives and characters were met with a more mixed response and were compared and contrasted against the base game. The retail release of the compilation sold less than 160,000 copies by December 2009.
List of episodic content
Both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony were also released together on a single boxed game disc called Episodes From Liberty City, on October 29, 2009. Unlike the individual episodes, Episodes From Liberty City doesn't require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game. The disc includes three new radio stations exclusive to the double-pack version to compensate for some music not carried over from GTA IV. The single-episode DLCs do not contain exclusive music, but the original music has been carried over. Players who do not have GTA IV installed on their console will find that some phone conversation dialog in Episodes From Liberty City are missing.
If the player were to download any episode online and save a game using TLAD or TBoGT in the original GTA IV, and then later use the Episodes from Liberty City game disc, the saved games will still be available, however, the GTA IV saved games will not be, requiring to start a new game. Nevertheless, the player can still reload their last saved GTA IV and play it as usual.
Episodes from Liberty City also introduces three aforementioned exclusive radio stations; Vice City FM, Self-Actualization FM and RamJam FM. The additional tracks from the episodic content, for the existing radio stations, are also included. However, the original playlists from GTA IV have been omitted. Vice City FM replaces The Vibe 98.8, Self-Actualization FM replaces The Journey, and RamJam FM replaces Massive B Soundsystem 96.9 and Tuff Gong Radio.
As of March 19, 2020, the digital version of EFLC no longer exists as a separate game for PC, as the game was replaced by Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition. This update combined GTA IV and Episodes as one game, similar to the console versions of The Complete Edition. Until an update on June 3, 2020, the EFLC-exclusive radio stations were temporarily unavailable. This version combines the GTA IV radio station tracklists with the songs that both Episodes add, but the songs removed in April 2018 due to copyright expiry are still missing in this version. The Complete Edition also lacks all multiplayer modes featured in both GTA IV and EFLC.
Episodes from Liberty City received critical acclaim. IGN awarded the pack with a 9.2/10, praising the DLCs' gameplay and features, but criticizing the short story lines. 1Up gave the PS3 version a score of -A. GameSpot gave the PC version an 8.5/10, while both PS3 and Xbox versions received 9/10 from the site.
PC and PS3 release
On January 29, 2010, Rockstar officially announced that both expansion episodes would be released for the PlayStation 3 and the PC on March 30th. However, due to having problems with Sony Europe with the Liberty City radio, television, and Internet content, the episodes had been delayed until April 13 in North America and April 16 in Europe. Like the previous release on Xbox 360, each episode was been made individually available online at the PlayStation Store and at Games for Windows - LIVE Marketplace, as well as together on disc.
Rockstar Games Collection
Legal Action in Brazil
On October 18, 2010, the Third Civil Court of Barueri, São Paulo State, Brazil, claimed that "Episodes From Liberty City" violates the Brazilian law concerning copy rights by using an unauthorized sample of "Bota o dedinho pro alto", from the Brazilian composer Hamilton Lourenço da Silva, in the game without his permission. Said song was sampled in a track on the Electro-Choc radio station, "Kid Conga" by Daniel Haaksman featuring MC Miltinho; the latter being the son of Lourenço da Silva, who was 8 years old at the time his vocals were recorded for the song. Although Rockstar gained permission to use the track, no approval was given by Lourenço da Silva himself.
The court ordered that all copies of the game for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC should be recalled from stores. The decision also states that if the game is not recalled in 48 hours, Rockstar Games should be billed in R$ 5,000.00 (approximately USD 3,125.00) per day. The copyright problem has since been resolved in 2012.
- Throughout the game, radio stations have news reports concerning The Lost MC and The Angels of Death.
- Elizabeta Torres and Ray Boccino give missions to Niko and Johnny.
- Ray Bulgarin gives missions to Luis and attempts to kill Niko twice, but fails.
- In Mori's missions, Brucie Kibbutz interacts with Luis during each mission.
- In Tony's missions, Roman Bellic is seen entering Maisonette 9 during some missions.
- In the mission Clean and Serene, Niko makes a cameo appearance cursing at a pedestrian in Serbian.
- In the mission No Love Lost, Jason Michaels is killed by Niko Bellic.
- In the mission Blow Your Cover, Niko and Johnny escape from the LCPD.
- In the mission Three Leaf Clover, Luis is on the floor during the robbery.
- In the mission I Luv LC, Niko, Johnny, Packie and Derrick almost hit Luis.
- In the mission Chinese Takeout, Billy Grey sets up an ambush for Johnny and Jim, but they escape.
- In the mission Roman's Holiday, Johnny kidnaps Roman on Dimitri's orders and Niko rescues him.
- In the mission Diamonds in the Rough, Johnny ambushes Luis and kills Evan Moss to steal the diamonds.
- In the mission Taking in the Trash, Ashley Butler interacts with Niko Bellic.
- In the mission Museum Piece, Niko and Johnny meet again and are ambushed by Luis.
- In the mission No Way on the Subway, Niko kills Jim Fitzgerald on orders of Ray Boccino.
- In the mission I'll Take Her, Niko kidnaps Gracie on Gerald McReary's orders.
- In the mission Ladies' Night, Luis and Tony follow Packie McReary to Gracie's location.
- In the mission Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, Niko and Luis trade each other with the diamonds and Gracie.
- In the mission Pest Control, Niko kills Ray Boccino on Jimmy Pegorino's orders.
- In the mission Departure Time, Luis kills Ray Bulgarin in the airplane.
- The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony have removed features which were present in Grand Theft Auto IV, such as Vigilante and Most Wanted missions (attempting to activate a Police Computer will display an error message), and the ability to buy clothing from the various shops. The ability to go on dates has also been redesigned. Although there are women in the clubs present in The Ballad of Gay Tony, they cannot be dated by Luis and will only have sex with him.
- Johnny and Luis can still use the parking spaces located outside Niko's safehouses, though the safehouses themselves cannot be accessed (with the exception of the South Bohan safehouse from the back door).
- Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Grand Theft Auto V are the only games in the series where the entire map is accessible from the beginning of the game.
- Even though they take place at the same time, the vehicle selection and radio stations featured in the episodes, are different from that of GTA IV, with some of the radio stations being either replaced or removed.
- The game will often fail to load the last saved game for GTA IV if attempting to play the original game, since it interferes with the saves of The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. The player will be taken to the very start of the game, and must pause and manually load the last saved data for the original game.