What does the American Dream mean today?
For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past.
For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity.
As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them and a living nightmare for those who don't.
Like previous games in the Grand Theft Auto series, the player takes missions from various figures in the local underworld in order to advance the plot, in turn unlocking more locations to explore.