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The Immersionism Issue

Games

THE WARRIORSThe Warriors is one of those movies so goddamned steeped in “cult cred” that you can’t help but wonder how many of its legion purportedly die-hard fans have actually loved

I have been racking my brain all day trying to come up with a way of framing these reviews that doesn’t make us come off like we’re up to our duodenum on Rockstar’s dick, but hey, you’ve got to take it where the taking’s good, right? If Hillary Clinton doesn’t already look like a total asshole getting all Tipper’d-out over a programmers’ in-joke that’s about as exciting as the first

Larry the Lounge Lizard

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, she is going to be the grand wizard of the douchebag-cunt alliance by Christmas, when every person under 40 with testicles owns both these fucking games. Let’s start with the not-quite-as-holy-shit-good-as-the-other one:

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Genre: New GTA game

Platform: PlayStation Portable

Developer: Rockstar Games

So the action’s back in Liberty City, it’s supposed to be three years before

GTA 3

, and the storyline’s a little more suits-and-tie-mafia than grimy-cigar-chomping-bookie-mafia. Why be stoked? For starters, it’s a completely new full-length

Grand Theft Auto

for a handheld system, smarmo. In addition to that,

they revamped the game engine, tightened up the graphics big-time, completely redesigned the city, and added in all the crap from the last two games like motorcycles, changing clothes, boats, and better weapons and whathaveyou. In addition to

that

, they’ve created a new multiplayer mode that works off the PSP’s built-in Wi-Fi receiver. If you are not punching the seat you’re sitting in and barking nonsense syllables in a manic daze, you are either way too over it for your own or anyone’s good or you’re simply not catching on here (or maybe you’re an old woman who found this on a bus seat or something, in which case I am very sorry for all the swearing). See that kid across from you on the train with a PSP? You can now play against him for the duration of your ride. See those other five? Yep, them too, and all at the same time. PLUS, unlike

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Halo

or whatever where you’re stuck on like three streets with one car, the full fucking city is your arena, meaning this guy might just finally make good on the age-old video-game promise to do away with a little thing called “reading.”

Genre: 3D Brawler / Adventure

Platform: PS2, XBox

Developer: Rockstar Games

The Warriors

is one of those movies so goddamned steeped in “cult cred” that you can’t help but wonder how many of its legion purportedly die-hard fans have actually loved it for as long as they say and how many are on Netflix right now trying to cover up for years of fudging. Fortunately for everyone sick to shit of the claim game and all its attendant tudery, the guys at Rockstar (real fans, if you care) have spent the past six years creating an adaptation that basically blows all present and future questions of authentic enjoyment out of the water. To call their treatment of the film “meticulous” or “reverent” would be like saying that Westminster Abbey is a thing that’s in a place: it is borderline impossible to properly convey the degree of unyielding dedication to every aspect of the movie evidenced in the game without resorting to awkward cognates like “much much thorough” or “labor of loveveve.” The fighting actually resembles real human fighting; your AI gang members actually do things real gang members would do, like not get themselves killed; performing skills like picking locks or mugging people requires key combos that actually approximate the real thing you’re doing; people say cornball 70s shit like “youngblood” and “warchief” but it actually comes from their character instead of just being some bullshit “retro” joke.

And speaking of characters, the big Pelham Park meeting that opens the movie doesn’t happen until more than halfway through the game. Know why? Because Rockstar wanted to allow players as much time as possible to invest themselves in each of the Warriors so that getting them back to Coney wouldn’t just be a matter of course, but an inborn drive.

The ONLY drawback is that other than the standard repertoire of multiplayer modes, the gameplay is strictly mission-based, and the missions are pretty strictly area-based, so you can’t just tromp up to that place in Bensonhurst where all those ginos called you a “geey” and go to town on their surrogates’ cars. But whatever, you really shouldn’t let shit like that get you bent out of shape. Kids are dicks, you know?

BABY BALLS