Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review (PSP)

grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars-psp-box-artworkGame Review: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Release: October 20, 2009 in North America
Genre: Sandbox/ Action Adventure
Developer: Rockstar Leeds in association with Rockstar North
Available Platforms: PSP, Nintendo DS
Players: 1-2 Players
MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Website: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars centers around Huang Lee, son of murdered playboy who comes to Liberty City to solve the murder of his father.   When Huang lands at the Francis International Airport he finds himself being ambushed and robbed of the Yu-Jian a sword that was to be given to his Uncle W “Kenny” Lee as a gift to the aging Triad Leader Hsin Jaoming to secure Kenny’s spot as the head of the powerful Triad Gang.   Haung is shot and left for dead at the bottom of the Humboldt River.  The Yu-Jian now has to be located and so begins Haungs adventures in Liberty City.


In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars you will complete missions so the story can progress and as each mission is completed a new mission is opened throughout the vast map of Liberty City.  You will start off with small tasks that will lead into larger more complex missions as the story progresses.  If you get tired of the main story or you just want to take a break, Chinatown Wars does include a large selection of side mission to be completed by the player, from jacking a police car or ambulance to posing as a noodle delivery man enabling the player to make some extra cash while posing as the vehicles owner.  Other side missions that can be completed by the player and proves to be a large source of income in the game is the drug trade in Liberty City.  To complete those tasks all you have to do is find and locate drug dealers on the map, start buying and selling with key dealers and before you know it you have become a drug entrepreneur.  The side missions seem to go on and on, so keep an eye out for all the little extra side missions that are scattered throughout Liberty City.

Chinatown Wars offers a large selection of vehicles and weapons that we have come to expect from GTA.  Most of the weapons will be recognized from past GTA’s, but one thing that has been improved upon is changing weapons on the fly.  Now all you have to do is hit the select button and choose your weapon and you are back in the fight.  Weapons can be found in strategically placed red dumpsters or you can order your favorite gun from Ammu-Nation on your trusty PDA.   Vehicles are also familiar from past installments with the exception of how you can obtain your favorite vehicle.  In Chinatown Wars you can still pull an unexpected motorist from their vehicle and go about your business, but if your favorite car is on the side of the road you may have to complete a mini game to get that new car.  The mini games will vary from using a screwdriver instead of a key or hacking the cars security system, whatever way you obtain your vehicle you will be able to map out your next destination instead of driving around aimlessly by accessing your GPS on your handy PDA.

Whatever way you plan on taking on Liberty City one thing has not change and that is the criminal indulgences that has made the GTA series so popular.  You will experience all the true grit and drama as it unfolds while playing this newest installment on the PSP.  The system may be small but Rockstar has kept the series alive and well on this version, everything you have come to love and expect from GTA is packed into Chinatown Wars.


There are numerous local Wi-Fi multiplayer modes packed into GTA Chinatown Wars, from Single Race, Season Race, Stash Dash, Liberty City Survivor, Gang Bang, Defend the Base.  The local Wi-Fi action is endless and not only can you play with your friends but you can also chat live in game through Instant Message or just trade weapons and commodities through your online connection.


What can be said about Grand Theft Auto:  Chinatown Wars, except that this is a great overall game, that is well polished and delivers a great story that is actually appealing, making you play even longer to see how things will play out.  I  played the game on the DS, but I just found myself wanting to know more and dive a little deeper into the story, as the PSP version did add some new missions that gave us a look into the drug trafficking that goes on in Liberty City and that was a nice added bonus if you are familiar with the story.

One could gone on and on what is available in this action packed game, as far as game play to include driving which seems just some much easier on the PSP as compared to it’s big brother GTA IV and even it’s brother on the DS, to the complexity of some of the missions.   I suggest that you go and check out GTA: Chinatown Wars website and see for yourself as you will be pleasantly surprised as to what this game for your favorite handheld has to offer.

I would have liked to seen some animations on the PSP versions as far as cut scenes go.  The cut scenes where just to similar to the ones from the DS, plain and a lot of reading.  Also I would have liked to seen somewhat of a soundtrack as far as radio stations went, they just seemed bland and more times then once I found myself turning the radio off  rather than finding a station I liked to listen to.  The overhead view does sometimes to prove to be a distraction when you are trying to drive, numerous times I lost my vehicle while trying to evade the police under the overhead railroad tracks.

Scott’s final say on GTA: Chinatown Wars.  If you are a die hard fan of the series this is a must buy for you.  If you are looking for a game that will provide you with a lot playing time this is the game you are looking for.   Even with the $40 price tag this game will deliver in ways other games can’t.  I did play this game on UMD so I do not know if any differences are noticeable if you where to download the game for maybe your PSPgo, but this game has far above exceeded my expectations for the game.  I did play the Nintendo DS version, but the PSP version just felt right to me.  So if the price tag is no big deal go pick this one up it will give you numerous hours of enjoyment and sometimes frustration, but overall it will be a good time.

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