Posted on May 8, 2008,

8 Things Grand Theft Auto IV Gets Wrong About NYC


No, I’m not ready to let go of Grand Theft Auto going-ons yet.

MTV Multiplayer compiled a list of eight glaring inaccuracies between GTA IV‘s Liberty City and the real world New York City. As someone who is close but doesn’t frequent NYC, I really wouldn’t have had these things occur to me in the course of playing the game.

We are not a car town: No sensible New Yorker uses a car as their primary means of transportation in the city, unless — maybe — they commute from the suburbs. Car ownership doesn’t make much sense. There are never any parking spots. Parking garages are prohibitively expensive. And, most importantly, the subway is a faster, cheaper and more efficient means of transportation. We don’t drive here. Niko, to be a real New Yorker, should rely on the subway. But what would he be left to grandly thieve?

We have lots of two-story tour buses: GTA IV includes sports cars, sedans, taxis, limos, garbage trucks, police cruisers, buses, motorcycles and more. But where are the red double-decker tour buses? This a drastic oversight. Every major thoroughfare in Manhattan has a roofless double-decker bus from Big Apple Tours or some other company. These buses are used to show visitors the sights. A guide stands on the top level with a mic in hand, pointing stuff out. Hey, Rockstar, if there was one signature New York City vehicle I wanted to commandeer right off a short pier in Liberty City, this was it. You let me down.

We eat bagels: Have I missed something or is it not possible to eat a bagel in Grand Theft Auto IV’s Liberty City? Niko can eat burgers, hot dogs and go to diners. But bagels? The most famous New York City food? Never fear, visitors to our town, we have bagels that can be eaten and enjoyed, whether Liberty City acknowledges it or not. Burgers? Waste of time. You can eat them in any town.

Okay, he’s nitpicking, but it’s still fun to find out where Liberty City falls short of being a true virtual representation of NYC.

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9 Comments on 8 Things Grand Theft Auto IV Gets Wrong About NYC


On May 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm



On May 9, 2008 at 1:16 am

“We are not a car town…There are never any parking spots…”

So… who’s driving around and taking up the parking spots? :razz:


On May 9, 2008 at 7:46 am

Um Liberty City was never intended to be an exact replica of New York City. Anyone who bought GTA IV Special Edition and read the artwork booklet that came with it would know that the developers state that they used New York City as a reference, but they wanted to create a unique city all it’s own.

Go Marlins!!!!


On May 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

Nitpicked this from their nitpicking article:

“And the big amusement park over in Brooklyn, one of our five boroughs, is on the southeast side, not the west.”

Now unless I’m mis-interpreting things, R* got this right.


On May 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Its liberty City, not new york.



On May 9, 2008 at 6:31 pm

I know it’s Liberty City, as does Totilo. But it’s based on New York City, so why not take a look at where they didn’t accurately represent the city. It’s not like anyone’s saying it’s a bad game because it didn’t copy NYC 100%.


On May 9, 2008 at 9:28 pm

“As you well know, NYC does not have congestion pricing. Bloomberg failed to get the State’s approval. As for Liberty City, I’m not sure. I don’t think they have a Metrocard system, which just seems downright fiscally irresponsible.”

From Totilo in the comments section. His humor is pretty good, although he did report some inaccurate nitpicks. Such as the amusement park, which is in the right place, and the baseball field. It might not have been a GIANT stadium, but I found a baseball field in-game as I was driving around offroads in my sports car. Just like a real New Yorker!


On May 10, 2008 at 2:43 am

Rock star is prbly reading this and saying Hey lets put this stuff as Downloadable content

havoc of smeg

On August 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

ok, why should we care that liberty city isnt a carbon copy of NYC?