Liberty City in GTA IV Era

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File:New LC.jpg
Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV

Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV, as seen in the first trailer and the GameInformer magazine preview, has been remodelled to look much more like New York City compared to its Grand Theft Auto III renditions. Landmarks such as the Statue of Happiness (Statue of Liberty), Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, and the Getalife (Metlife) Building are present, as well as a Times Square lookalike that features advertisements for the Liberty Tree. A rollercoaster called the "Screamer" appears to be based off the The Cyclone of Coney Island.

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 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 and has no "wasted" open space such as countryside or desert.

When asked why Rockstar Games decided to 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 all of these iconic things that you couldn't put into a game before."

NYC Map Small.jpgBohanAlgonquinDukesBrokerStaten IslandAlderney
About this image
The five boroughs of Liberty City:
1: Bohan (Bronx), 2: Algonquin (Manhattan), 3: Dukes (Queens), 4: Broker (Brooklyn), (5: Staten Island), 6: Alderney (New Jersey)
Click on a borough on the map to go to that page

"The texturing 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 neighbourhoods 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."

Boroughs

This rendition of Liberty City has versions of four of the five boroughs of New York City, plus New Jersey. Staten Island is not planned to be part of the GTA IV map, but speculatively it may be available as a downloadable expansion.

Image Borough Name Real Name Description
100px Algonquin Manhattan A bustling commercial district full of towering skyscrapers and a varied composition of cultures
100px Broker Brooklyn A distinct ex-city on its own, it maintains a distinct character apart from the rest of the city.
100px Dukes Queens The largest borough of the city, it is an old ethnically-diverse predominantly-residential area
100px Bohan Bronx The birthplace of rap and hip-hop culture, with the baseball stadium and expansive housing developments
Liberty docks.jpg Alderney New Jersey / Jersey City A run-down industrial dockland area

Bridges

The features in the trailer which are the most useful for marking locations are the bridges. New York City has dozens of bridges, and several of them appear in the trailer for GTA IV.

File:Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.jpg
The Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge, looking from Manhattan towards Brooklyn (right) and Queens (top)