The year is 1998. There is an evidence board hanging on the wall of an LCDD detective’s office. A mess of red strings weaves between black and white photographs of Liberty City’s fiercest and most feared crime families. And they are all there. The Leones, the Ciprianis and the Forellis. The Triads, the Yakuza, the Yardies, the Cartel and… the Sopranos? You might not have realized it at the time, but GTA: Liberty City Stories – the spin-off prequel to 2001’s GTA 3 – and David Chase’s multi-award-winning HBO crime drama is the mix of gangsters you didn’t realize necessary…until now.
“I’ve always been a fan of The Sopranos and a fan of GTA Liberty City Stories, which is the only Grand Theft Auto game entirely focused on a La Cosa Nostra-related mob story,” says the prolific GTA actor, creator, and modder Anersshady, who also goes by the alias OGMoney. “GTA 3 involved Italian-American crime families, but the story didn’t focus on that. I thought refreshing the game with new characters based on The Sopranos characters, based on their personalities, would be a cool way to re-enact GTA Liberty City Stories, and the role-playing within it.”
I woke up this morning
Creator Anershady is no stranger to twisting the basic formula of old GTA games. He’s currently helping DeltaCJ bring GTA 1991 to life, for example – a project that could be the San Andreas Stories prequel we’ve always wanted – and while that endeavor is more modest in scope, it breathes new life into a game. who is now almost 17 years old. in the coolest way.
As a prominent member of the San Andreas roleplaying community, Anershady has been creating his own mods over the past decade and has been part of an Italian-American roleplaying team in Multi-flight auto (opens in a new tab) for some time. During a period of quarantine due to a pandemic last year, he and his girlfriend watched The Sopranos from start to finish for a third successive time, and it was after that that the creator put himself to bring the likes of Tony Soprano, Uncle Junior, Big Pussy Bonpensiero, Paulie Walnuts and Ralphie Ciffareto to the streets of Liberty. As a bonus, he also created two random “Easter egg” pedestrian models that share the likeness of Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci as they appear in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Better still, Anershady promises that “more are on the way”, hailing the moddability of older GTA games as the main reason why the role-playing scene is still thriving in 20-year-old games.
“The GTA RPG community is really a huge community, you have FiveM, RageMP, SAMP, MTA, even Red Dead Redemption 2 RP, if you consider it GTA-ish. That’s a great thing, players are developing incredible characters while role-playing, they create factions based on real organizations adding their own twists, but always following each server’s rules to stay true to their spirit,” adds Anershady. “GTA 5 RP is the where most people play these days, the game mechanics and systems are better than the old ones, but the old games still hold weight in the scene. Old games from the GTA 3D Universe era (GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas and their respective “Stories” offshoots) are the most moddable games in the entire series, so the number of opportunities to modify them in order to getting what you want from roleplaying is nearly limitless.”
Anershady says nostalgia combined with an abiding love for The Sopranos and Grand Theft Auto of the 3D universe era are the basis of the project – loosely billed as “The Ciprianis” at present, with a nice intro video (opens in a new tab) stylized similarly to the TV show – and its meticulous attention to detail regarding each character’s clothing and likeness is what drives it forward. Add in his penchant for video game role-playing, and it’s easy to see why Anershady is so passionate about his work.
He adds: “I grew up playing GTA all my life, and 3D era games were my treasures back then. I loved the storylines of those games, their characters and just the overall vibe. they gave us. I’m not hating new games, but, story-wise, GTA was never my thing. Maybe new games are for a new generation To be honest, when I was younger what I found the most fun in GTA games was the random violence, chases, murders and mayhem – but as I got older I finds it much more focused on things like story, where you play the game like a movie, pushing the boundaries of storytelling, and I think that’s where projects like this come in.”
Get yourself a mod
In pursuit of movie likeness, I ask Anershady if he would ever consider doing voice acting to support the likeness of his Sopranos characters in-game. “That would be really cool to be honest,” he laughs. , “I thought about it many times but it’s really difficult because all these guys have unique voices and tones, so I don’t think anyone can do it better than the real actors themselves. I I could do a mediocre Tony Soprano impersonation with a nose clip, but that would be an insult to the deceased legend!”
Before embarking on this project, Anershady once created a GTA-style character model of American musician The Game – which was given the green light by rapper Hate It or Love It himself after being shared with him on the social networks. To that end, Anershady says he wouldn’t mind reaching out to former Sopranos cast members for voice work. Given that Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa have a vocal relationship with fans following their Talking Sopranos podcast, how great would the fully voiced iterations of Chrissy Moltesanti and Bobby Baccalieri in an edited version of GTA: Liberty City Stories be? cool?
I may be ahead of myself, but Anershady is firm on what’s next for The Ciprianis project. “First of all, my main goal is to finish the Sopranos-based GTA: Liberty City Stories stuff before the end of the year, and I would really like to start a new Scarface-based project using GTA Vice City. But I have tons of ideas, so who knows. I’m even thinking of a story about bikers in San Andreas with The Lost MC, and with a character based on Stone Cold Steve Austin. I just like to create whatever I think just to have in the safe for whenever I need it.”
The idea of Stone Cold handing out Stunners in Los Santos is pretty mind-boggling, but it’s something Anershady feels his GTA 1991 Total Conversion partner Delta CJ is capable of pulling off. With that in mind, does Anershady think a fully directed, Sopranos-driven total conversion mod for Liberty City Stories is possible? “That’s a really good question. I wish I could do that, but it takes a big team, with hard-working, motivated people and it’s hard to find. Kind of like the mafia!”
“I know next to nothing about screenwriting, so I could only write the script and provide good skins, but, sure, that would be amazing, Liberty City could be easily converted/adapted to The Sopranos environment, a few spots and shops here and there and that’s it If you think about it, the game already has everything, Salvatore’s Mansion, Saint Mark’s Bistro, Shoreside Vale which mirrors New Jersey – you wouldn’t need to change much to get that vibe.
I don’t know about you, but even with that speculation, I’m into it. Completely in. As committed as a blood oath to Omerta. Instead of a full-fledged total conversion mod, you’ll find more on Anershady’s Sopranos-style GTA: Liberty City Stories project here (opens in a new tab). You should watch the intro trailer (opens in a new tab) too, which took the creator three days. In the absence of free camera mods for LCS, that’s damn impressive.
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