Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
GTA Chinatown Wars Boxart
DevelopersRockstar Leeds and Rockstar North
PublishersRockstar Games
Cyberfront (Japan)
Release date

Nintendo DS
United States 17th March 2009
Europe 20th March 2009

PSP
United States 20th October 2009
Europe 23rd October 2009

PlatformsNintendo DS
PlayStation Portable
Apple iPhone OS
ProtagonistHuang Lee
LocationLiberty City
Year2009

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is a Rockstar Leeds game for the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and Apple iPhone OS (iPhone & iPod touch), the third of the GTA IV Era, released for the DS in North America on March 17, 2009, and March 20, 2009 in Europe. It became available on PlayStation Portable on October 20th 2009 with upscaled widescreen graphics, improved lighting, and new story missions. The game is set in Liberty City - based on the Grand Theft Auto IV rendition. The separate state of Alderney, however, does not appear in the game. The game focuses on the Triads, and protagonist Huang Lee, the twenty-five year old nephew of Lee Family head Wu Lee.


On 18th January 2010, Chinatown Wars was released on the App store for the Apple iPhone, with little to no beforehand advertisements. It features the return of the touch-screen activities from the DS port, with the higher quality graphics of the PSP port. It also features "Independence FM", a custom radio station, where players can create a playlist of their favourite iTunes songs. It is currently 4th highest ranking game on the App Store, and costs $9.99.

Plot

Huang Lee, the spoiled son of a recently murdered Triad boss, arrives by plane in Liberty City with Yu Jian, a sword that Huang's father won in a poker game and has decided to use as an heirloom, to deliver it to the new patriarch of the family, Huang's uncle Wu "Kenny" Lee. Shortly after landing, Huang's escorts are killed by assassins and he is shot (a bullet grazes the side of the head but he survives) and kidnapped. The assailants steal the sword and, thinking Huang is dead, dump his body in the water. Huang manages to survive and informs Kenny that Yu Jian has been taken. Kenny explains that he had intended to offer the sword to Hsin Jaoming, the aging Triad boss in Liberty City, as a means of securing a position as his replacement. Kenny is dishonored and reduced in power due to the loss of Yu Jian, leaving him and Huang working to keep their businesses afloat.

Eventually, Huang is contacted by Zhou Ming, a high-ranking Triad member, and Chan Jaoming, son of Hsin. Both men are also competing to be Hsin's replacement, and employ Huang to combat each other's efforts. After Chan hires Huang for a deal that goes badly, Huang is intercepted by LCPD Detective Wade Heston, a crooked cop under pressure from Internal Affairs. Heston offers an alliance with Huang to find the men responsible for the theft of Yu Jian and the murder of Huang's father. Huang agrees and finds that Heston suspects a Korean gang allied with the Triads is behind the events. After combating the Koreans for a while, Heston plants a bug in the Koreans' headquarters, from which he learns that there is a splinter group inside the gang called the Wonsu. Heston determines that the leader of the Wonsu will be the one responsible for Yu Jian's theft, and is also a police informant who has been causing trouble for the Triads.

Meanwhile, Hsin enlists Huang in finding the informant, only to then suspect Huang himself and attempt to kill him. Kenny arrives and convinces Hsin to give them time to find the real rat, bringing haste to Huang's mission. Hsin puts Huang on to investigate two gangs who may be housing the rat: the Angels of Death, and the Korean Mob. Huang gets into contact with Lester Leroc, a PI inside the Angels of Death, and performs his own work against the Koreans. Huang is temporarily thrown off course by the intervention of mafia member Rudy D'Avanzo, who tricks Huang into believing the mole is a Messina Family member named Jimmy Capra. Hsin later reveals D'Avanzo's trickery and Huang kills him.

Both the Koreans and the Angels are found to be innocent, leading to a new course of investigation. Heston employs Huang to hack into the servers of the FIB in order to find the informant. The information recovered names both Zhou Ming and Chan Jaoming as having talked to the police about Triads. This is taken to Hsin, who is disgraced that is own son is a suspect, instantly steps down as leader and appoints Kenny as the new head of the Liberty City Triads. Huang then executes both Chan and Zhou, despite each deny their guilt. Shortly after the killings, Huang is contacted by Heston, who informs him the information they recovered was fake, and that he has learned of a meeting between the leader of the Wonsu and his allies. Huang and Heston go to the meeting and find Kenny, who admits that he was responsible for the theft of Yu Jian and Huang's father's death. Heston and Huang persue Kenny across town, cornering him at Hsin's residence. Here Kenny explains that he was tasked by Hsin to retrieve Yu Jian, thus Huang's father would have to die for it to be passed on to him, in exchange for a position underneath Chan. Kenny complied with this, but attempted to have Yu Jian stolen to keep himself from such a dishonorable position and later framed Zhou and Chan to cover his tracks.

After a final confrontation between Hsin and Kenny, Hsin demands the hand over of Yu Jian. Kenny ironically responds by stabbing Hsin with the sword as his way of presenting it to him. With Huang as witness to the murder and truth, Kenny engages in an inevitable final battle with Huang, who is the only one left in the way of Kenny's undisputed rise to power. Centered around a fountain with Kenny slashing away, Huang eventually kills Kenny, fulfilling his promise to avenge his father. Immediately the IAD and FIB arrive to arrest Heston and Huang, however Heston claims that he was in deep undercover and orders the arrest of everyone except Huang. Hsin praises Huang with the loyalty and nobility to become his true successor as Triad Boss.

Completion of the Rockstar Social Club missions opens up Xin's missions where Huang helps Xin steal and dispose of a Rhino for him, after he gets ambushed by the cops. Huang attempts to take him to safety, although he succumbs to his injuries. Before his death, he makes the revelation that he is Ling's brother and Huang mourns for both of them.

Gameplay

Chinatown Wars has a different presentation than any previous game in the GTA series. Instead of a ground-level view behind the protagonist (GTA III-Present) or a top-down perspective (GTA1-GTA2, GTA Advance), Chinatown Wars uses a fully rotatable aerial camera angled down at the action. This angle allows the camera to rotate dynamically during action sequences,as well as acknowledging the earlier GTA games.

The game uses a basic lock-on system for combat, which yields variable results, as sometimes the system locks on to vehicles instead of enemies. The game also locks on automatically when using melee weapons.

One of the main features of the game, which distinguishes Chinatown Wars from the rest of the series, is the PDA. This is where many of the game's features are accessed from, including the Ammu-Nation online shop and Trade Info, which is used in the drug dealing side feature. The PDA is also how the protagonist receives missions in the game in the form of emails, which is a nice substitute for the lack of voice acting in the game.

Controversy

There has been some controversy over a drug dealing minigame, along with comments that some Nintendo games are aimed at children. The drug dealing mini-game allows you to peddle six types of drugs around the city, but the profit you make depends on market conditions which will be based on the area in which you deal, and the amount of service this area receives from you regularly.

"Nintendo wanted us to make GTA, and we wanted to make a game on their platform. They didn’t want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren’t interested in making a game we wouldn’t normally make."


PSP version

A screenshot of the PSP version, with enhanced graphics.

Due to the DS version of the game not selling many copies, Rockstar decided to put the game on the PlayStation Portable. In October 2009 it was released and features new characters and missions. The graphics have also been updated and it only uses one screen. The use of the second screen has been changed to quick-time events, in which the player has to use the buttons instead.

Trivia

  • It was stated in the UK magazine Official Nintendo Magazine that this game contained at least 800,000 lines of code.
  • If you pre-ordered the game from GameStop, you were provided a cheat code that allows players to unlock all the weapons at Ammu-Nation and receive $10,000 early in the game, or the ability to acquire a bullet-proof Infernus at the car shop.
  • All of the mission givers in the game have their own theme songs.

Game Information

External Links