Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

Common Sense Media says

Highly provocative expansion with drugs, sex, and killing.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game doesn't send positive messages to players -- because of its lawlessness, violence, language and portrayal of women.

Positive role models

Luis, the protagonist, isn't a good role model, as he resorts to violence and intimidation to accomplish the many missions. He is a gangster who lives outside of the law.

Ease of play

This third-person adventure is very easy to pick up, plus fans of GTA IV will be able to hit the ground running.


As with GTA IV, this downloadable episode allows players to shoot police and innocent civilians, beat up or kill criminals, and use helicopters and tanks on targets, too. The violence isn't over-the-top in the gore department, but it's frequent and ruthless.


While there is no nudity in the game, players can see the players in a simulated sex act with a woman up against the wall (with his body thrusting up and down) and another scene that implies he's receiving oral sex. There are also prostitutes in the game (one of the lead character's "weaknesses").


Expect to hear the F-bomb plenty of times in this game, including "f--k," "f--king," "f--kin' A" and "mother-f--ker." You'll also hear s--t," "p--sy," c--k," and others.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Players will see drinking, smoking, and drug use in this game. Much of the time you'll be visiting nightclubs, plus some of the characters will have drugs in their possession. There's also a drinking mini-game.


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this GTA IV expansion game features lots of potentially offensive content. It has a lots of violence, blood, and killing -- including innocent people and police officers -- along with strong sexual themes (but no nudity), excessive language, and scenes with drugs, smoking and drinking. As with its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony is not for young eyes or ears.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Available as a Xbox 360 download or bundled on a disc with another episode(as Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City) , GRAND THEFT AUTO IV: THE BALLAD OF GAY TONY delivers new game-play to the controversial title, along with new weapons and vehicles that can be used in multiplayer modes. You play as Luis Lopez, a little-known and seedy assistant to Anthony \"Gay Tony\" Prince, a nightclub owner and associate of the Ancelotti crime family in the fictitious Liberty City. In one mission, \"Dropping In,\" you fly a helicopter over Star Junction (Times Square) and land on a building where The Rampage hockey team is hanging out in the penthouse suite. Your job is to take out the owner, but you must first get through his goons, and then escape by base-jumping out of the building, opening your parachute and landing on a moving truck. Another mission, \"For the Man Who Has Everything,\" Luis is challenged with stealing a train car for the over-the-top Iranian millionaire Yusef, which requires an assortment of serious firepower.

Is it any good?


If you liked Grand Theft Auto IV, then you’ll love The Ballad of Gay Tony. It offers more memorable characters, irreverent dialogue, daring missions, and a fully interactive open-world you can lose yourself in for hours at a time. Much of your attention will be on dealing with Tony's debtors, addictions, and boyfriend, while also helping to run his nightclubs and play mini-games. The $20 download is well worth the investment, or $40 for the packaged episodes (Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, which includes the first downloadable episode, The Lost and Damned) -- but just as its risqué predecessors, those easily offended need not apply.

Online interaction: GTA IV offers multiplayer online modes but this expansion pack lets you unlock new weapons and use them in a head-to-head mode. Interaction with strangers is unpredictable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why games like this are appealing to many players. Does it let them live viraciously in a criminal underworld? Does it let them do things they'd never dream of in real life? Or are the many varied missions, open-ended environments, and humorous characters all for sheer entertainment?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Rockstar Games
Release date:October 27, 2009
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs (Xbox 360)

This review of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byJulia Richards January 23, 2010

Yes turn off the bad parts

My son really wants to get this game. He is 13 years old. I said yes because ive heard it got great reviews. I was watching him carefully playing it and luckly there is a setting where you can skip sex parts and no F bombs. My son didnt want to turn those parts off ut i made him so if your a parent on the border of buying this game game for your kid, id say get it and turn off all bad settings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byhaha_wait_wat September 7, 2010

Awesome Game

Love this game! Also to all the parents that want too boycot the games, why dont you not buy them instead
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byP33lzHeer March 4, 2011

Most adult game in the world?

How can you say that this is not as bad as left 4 dead? the violence isnt too gory, but you can kill civillians and police man. there are sex scenes, plenty of swear words, and more unmentionable stuff. this is WAY not for children. I admit though, ive played it once and its a pretty good, and easy to play game.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns


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