Liberty City in the GTA IV Era is different from its appearance in the GTA III Era, and is much more closely based on New York City. The city has more detail and personality, with many more places which parody real landmarks such as the Statue of Happiness and the Rotterdam Tower.
This rendition of Liberty City has versions of four of the five boroughs of New York City, plus New Jersey. Brooklyn has become Broker, Manhattan is Algonquin, Queens is Dukes, Bronx is Bohan and New Jersey is Alderney. The only borough not to be recreated in the game is Staten Island.
GTA IV and its two episodes (The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony) use the same full rendition of the city. However, a small number of different locations are accessible in the different episodes. GTA Chinatown Wars uses all of the city apart from Alderney, and is altered for the top-down perspective of the game.
- ""With more sights, shows, restaurants, bars, museums, shopping and borderline psychopaths than you can shake a shotgun at, there is no place quite like Liberty City. Where else can you get sworn at by a senior citizen, accosted by a crackhead, propositioned by a prostitute, and strip-searched by a police officer, all before breakfast? Discover the history, culture and diversity that make a booming metropolis the capital of the world, at least according to the over-caffeinated locals. We encourage you to explore Liberty City's four boroughs and it's islands, each with it's own distinct atmosphere and personality. There is always something for everyone. There is also Liberty City's sister, Alderney State...""
History of Liberty City
Liberty City first began when the Dutch sent out English explorer Horatio Humboldt to find a new location for them to sell Marijuana in 1609 and he sailed to the Humboldt river. The Dutch became a colony and soon Europreans travelled to city to find what freedom was truly like in the colony of New Rotterdam which promised convenience stores and public hangings aswell as a slave trade craze which swept the colony every since the very first ship load of slaves. Eventually, the English set sail for the colony, which was based on the slender island named Algonquin after an old Indian word with the same pronunciation and the settlers signed a petition to be ruled by the British. Soon the English expanded the colonies by eradicating natives and took over three new islands for the colony. The first consisted of both Broker, named after the king's bastard son who was concieved by a milk maid and the other Dukes, after the term Duky because the people smelled like excrement. Alderney was named after a man called Phillip D'Alderney, the only man who could bear living in the swampy industrial island. The smallest island was named Bohan for the Dutch word for Dutch word.
The British and the Americans fought in what was to be known as the American revolution for freedom from taxes, and after recieving a statue of a transvestite eating ice cream from the French, the Americans won and removed the Union Jack and melting the statue of King George into chains, toilet seats and gold teeth. Slavery was soon outlawed in Liberty City and women were forced to spend time under train tracks servicing men. The politicians of Liberty City moved to Washington DC when Liberty City's status as the capital of the nation was removed and given to DC. Frederick O' Fitzpatrick decided to head to the south and teach them a lesson after tensions risen and a civil war was on the horizon, but before doing so constructed Middle Park. Beyond the tranquility, people were tired of living in black and white and riots ensued, which didn't help with a civil war looming. (From History of Liberty City TV show GTA IV)
As of 2008, the population of Liberty City is 8,000,000. The current mayor is Julio Ochoa while the Deputy Mayor is Bryce Dawkins. Thomas Stubbs III is Liberty City's congressman. The time setting is apparently autumn 2008, evidenced by the color of the trees and ingame dialogue.
The area of the city is compressed in size (as seen with the Empire State Building's proximity to the Broker Bridge in the final shot), and the various landmarks are placed much closer to each other than in real life. The entire map is smaller than that of San Andreas, but is immensely more detailed. This makes Liberty City in GTA IV the most lifelike city to feature in any Grand Theft Auto game yet. From the massive buildings and large mass of traffic on every block of Algonquin, to residential areas of Bohan, Rockstar has successfully compromised quantity for quality, although the lack of pedestrians in normally crowded places such as Star Junction has drawn criticism.
Liberty City is an incredibly diverse city and so are its neighborhoods and residents. Such examples of diverse neighborhoods include the large Russian, Italian-American and African-American populations found in various neighborhoods across the city. Liberty City's residents are known for their sarcastic attitude. The demonym of a Liberty City inhabitant is "Libertonian".
Crime is rife in Liberty City, most likely brought about by the large number of gangs in Liberty, each fighting for control of the city and will use any means possible. The Commission is an association of all the major gangs in the city, including the Five Families (the Gambetti Family, the Ancelotti Family, the Pavano Family, the Messina Family and the Lupisella Family.) Towards the end of GTA IV, the Pegorino Family are trying to gain a place in The Commission.
This is the city where anything goes, so long as you don't get caught. There has been a crackdown on crime in recent years and the police are everywhere in the city these days. The force responsible for patrolling and maintaining order in Liberty City and Alderney is the Liberty City Police Department or LCPD.
Food & Drink
Much of Liberty City's catering scene comprises of fast food chains and food stands/ vendors. Two of the most dominant fast food chains within the city are the Cluckin' Bell and Burger Shot franchises. Their restaurants can be found in several locations across the city. Hot Dog vendors can also be found in many locations, as well as a few hamburger vendors and mixed nuts vendors around Liberty City, particularly around Middle Park.
Click on an island/borough for more information, or see a full Map of neighborhoods.
|Image||Borough Name||Archetype's Name||Description|
|Algonquin||Manhattan||Self-proclaimed center of everything|
A bustling commercial district full of towering skyscrapers and a varied composition of cultures. Here holds various famous landmarks, such as the Rotterdam Tower (Empire State Building), Star Junction (Time Square) and Middle Park (Central Park).
|Broker||Brooklyn||Churches, hipsters and housing projects|
A distinct ex-city on its own, it maintains a distinct character apart from the rest of the city. This is the borough in which Niko initially arrives to Liberty City.
An old ethnically-diverse predominantly-residential area, it is the location of the baseball stadium that is home to the Liberty City Swingers, and an Irish pub, the Steinway Beer Garden.
The birthplace of the culture of rap, hip-hop, and drugs. Largely consists of expansive run down housing developments and is home to the St.Mary's Community Project led by Manny Escuela.
|Alderney||New Jersey||Strip malls and condos|
A run-down industrial dockland area. Home of the Sprunk brewery.
The main form of transport throughout Liberty City is by road, there is a prominent freeway in each borough, with two in Algonquin and another stretching from Broker to Dukes. A bridge connects each island to Algonquin, with two from Algonquin to Broker and another from Dukes to Bohan.
There is also an extensive subway system, connecting the many areas of Broker, Dukes, Bohan and Algonquin with two main routes. One serves inner Algonquin and Bohan, the other serves outer Algonquin and Broker/Dukes.
Helicopters can be flown either by the player or by an NPC pilot when participating in Helitours, and Liberty City has an international airport named Francis International, though the aircraft are cannot be used by the player in the game. Boats can also be used to travel between the islands although the game does not feature a public ferry system as in Liberty City Stories.
Every street in the new Liberty City has a name. All the streets on each island mean something. For example, most streets in Broker are named after famous cowboys; those in Algonquin are types of rock.
Choice of City
When asked why Rockstar Games decided to re-use Liberty City, Dan Houser, Vice President of the company said: "[New York City] is an environment we felt had never been done to the level we were envisioning it in a video game. From looking at all of the locations, this was the one that really stood out to us, and really had that impact. It has
"The texture of the Algonquin streets, which are filled with crater-like potholes and occasional glimpses of the brick used in a world gone by, are greatly varied in design and something you can't tear your eye from. The visual makeup of the city was something we could capture real well and really understand the minute aspects of its personality. Trying to put that into a videogame is something that we think is unique to the video game medium. It was a way that we could capture some aspects of the experience of living there that you couldn't put into a film, you couldn't put into a TV show, and you couldn't put into a book."
"A big part of New York life is walking around the streets and meeting lunatics. That's something that we definitely tried to put into the game. We are trying to give it that life and difference between the neighborhoods and the difference between the kinds of people. We are tying to capture that Capital of the World aspect of New York."
"It's not the full city, it's an approximation thereof. We make a city that feels like the real thing, but is perfectly tuned for gameplay in the broadest sense. The world is not designed to be a video game. We are trying to make a video game that feels like the world, but still plays like a video game. The design of the city and the missions that unfold within it are designed hand-in-hand and complement each other perfectly. Everything in this world is here for a reason, where it is directly tied to gameplay or simply there to create atmosphere."
GTA Chinatown Wars
GTA Chinatown Wars has a few differences to the Liberty City in the main console versions. This is mainly due to its top-down view, which is as a result of its design for the Nintendo DS portable platform.
- The island of Alderney has been removed, yet the boroughs of Bohan, Dukes, Algonquin and Broker still remain
- There are no major height differences. Though changes in elevation are present, these are generally minor, and are ultimately barely more than Unique Stunt Jumps. This has led to the removal of many freeway overpasses, which are replaced with double-lane roads
- The street pattern, though roughly following that of Grand Theft Auto IV, is more grid-based, with smooth turns not being accommodated for
- Most skyscrapers only have their base rendered, as the top could not be viewed with the top-down perspective provided by GTA Chinatown Wars
- The train system is not usable, as stations cannot be entered. However stations, tracks, and trains are still present
- The depiction of Liberty City in the official website of GTA IV has been retouched to picture the entire city, or at least its landmass, as being larger than it is in-game. Broker is seen extended further to the right, or east, and lights that stretch to the horizon are visible in this extended area, as well as behind Dukes and Algonquin. The same modification can be seen to a more limited extent to the left or west of Alderney.