You take control of a twenty eight year old Italian American from the mean streets of Bohan named Carlo Devino who after falling into serious financial difficulty ends up working for the mob. You will journey with Carlo up through the ranks of Liberty City's five big Mafia Families, working your way up from a simple associate to a full fledged member of Liberty City's La Cosa Nostra, taking on more violent and dangerous jobs as you go.
This game will give players a chance to deeply immerse themselves in Liberty City's most infamous crime families and experience first hand the compelling events which surround them on a daily basis. The overall tone and format of this chapter based game will differ greatly and will unfold in a more narrative fashion than any of the previous titles in the grand theft auto series, playing out more like an interactive movie than an actual game. The story will contain about ten to fifteen hours of gameplay with plenty of mini games and side missions thrown in to keep the game fun. Other exclusive additions to this game will be an advanced combat system, improved law enforcement AI requiring the player to act tactically to avoid arrest (or death) and a whole host of new weapons. Carlo will also have access to three exclusive clothing stores – namely Ranch and ProLaps (for casual/leisure wear) and Didier Sachs (which sells more formal attire as you progress further into the game).
Other additions to this game include an honor and respect system similar to Red Dead Redemption, weapon specific close quaters executions, a gun closet in your safehouse where you can store weapons you have obtained over the course of the story, the ability to recruit crew members to accompany you on jobs and all new “favours” missions which are similar to random character side missions but are centered around random events on the street such as muggings, car thefts, vacating drug dealers from neighbourhoods and package delivery jobs and a brand new island to the south west of LC known as Richmond Island (based on Staten Island). The story itself will be almost completely seperate from that of the other Liberty City protagonists (meaning no direct crossovers) but some of the characters will re-appear and certain events from those games will be referenced and/or explained in greater detail. The game will be available exclusively for download on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network but will also be playable from in game menus of GTA IV and The Complete Edition.
Carlo lives in a small appartment in Bohan with his elderly foster mother, who he regards as his birth mother since she adopted him at a very young age. Carlo has never really been able to hold down a job due to his serious lack of formal education and over the years he has had to resort to working undesirable, temporary jobs and commiting petty crimes in order to bring money home for his mother.
Growing up, Carlo was always surrounded mobsters, theifs and drug dealers in his community but he has always tried hard not to fall too deep into the criminal underworld. Lately however Carlo's financial situation has gotten particularely dyer and the money he gets for the odd jobs he does is barely enough to keep the aspestos filled roof over his mother's head. For Carlo it's now a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures and when his childhood friend Daniela “Dani” Lupisella inadvertently offers him a chance to work for the local cosa nostra family, the offer just seems a little to lucrative to refuse.
Richmond Island is one of the five boroughs in the Family Ties version of Liberty City and the only one which is inaccessible to the player at the start. Richmond Island is the least populated of the five boroughs but is the third largest in area. Richmond island is a lot more suburban in nature compared to the other four boroughs of Liberty City and the independant state of Alderney which is overall more urban than the majority of the island. Richmond Island is the only part of the city not to be connected to another by way of a bridge as has been the case since the 1970s when the Tudor Bridge connecting the Island to Alderney (the remnants of which can still be seen off Tinderbox and Red Wing Avenues in Tudor and Acter Industrial) was destroyed by a terrorist attack.The only remaining mode of transportation between the island and other parts of Liberty City is the Richmond Island Ferry which carries people to and from the island from stops at The St. John's Bus and Ferry Terminal (Richmond Island), Pier 45 in Algonquin, East Hook in Broker, Happiness Island and the Alderney Ferry Terminal for the price of just $2. Due to these and other factors Richmond Island has often been called "the forgotten borough" by it's inhabitants who feel neglected by the city government to the point of denying it's existence despite some of it's members actually living on the island. Unlike the other boroughs of Liberty City Richmond Island does not have an operational subway system instead making use of buses to transport it's inhabitants around the island (these buses can be hijacked by the player and used as a way of making a little bit of extra cash. Overall the island is quite ethnically diverse and is diversely split in terms of the socio-economic backgrounds of it's citizens, with the South of the Island being generally affluent and the North of the island generally being more disadvantaged. Despite the generally upscale nature of the island compared to the other boroughs there is in fact a substantial presence of gangs on the island, especially members of the Liberty City Mafia who will be Carlo's main contacts on the island.
State: Liberty State
City: Liberty City
Total Area: 265.5 sq km
Population: 468, 730 approx
Richmond Island consists of a total of 13 individual designated areas, these are as follows:
1. New Haven (based on St. George, Tomkinsville and New Brighton)
New Haven is a historic commercial and residential district located in the north eastern tip of the island. The main attraction of this area is the St. John's Ferry Terminal, the main gateway to the island for travellers from the rest of the city. The area is generally quite affluent and houses many large apartment building and quaint little eateries, historic shopping districts, a farmers market and a large church. Other major landmarks in the area include the Richmond Island Museum, the St. John's Theater, the Richmond Island Borough Hall and a waterfront memorial sculpture dedicated to none other than St. John himself. The southern and eastern portions of the neighbourhood are more residential and contain several blocks of two story town houses moving towards West Haven and North Beach. This area is home to many Italian and Irish Americans but also boasts a small Albanian community who can be seen hanging around the area's commercial hub and in clusters around the seafront boardwalk. One of the islands three police stations is also located in the area close to North Beach.
2. West Haven (based on West Brighton, Clifton and Stapleton)
West Haven is a mostly residential area located to the west of New Haven. The area is generally working class in nature although there is a clear split in social classes within the area with the east side containing a number of two story houses (similar to neighbouring New Haven). The neighbourhood begins to look more run down however moving west towards Port Haven. The western portion of the neighbourhood contains several rows of shops and a small number of ethnic commercial properties however the area is majorly dominated by project buildings and six story red brick apartment complexes which are home to the area's large African American population. Almost the entire northern portion of the neighbourhood is taken up by the Bank of Richmond Ballpark, a baseball stadium which seperates the large commercial office buildings of New Haven to the east and the aforementioned run down project and apartment buildings to the west. West Haven is also the site of one of the island's two major hospitals as well as one of two of it's fire stations and the second of it's three police stations.
3. Port Haven (based on Port Richmond)
Port Haven is a neighbourhood located north of West Haven reminiscent of many areas of Bohan (particularly Chase Point and Little Bay). The area was once a bustling hub at the foot of the Tudor Bridge, since the destruction of the bridge however most of the buildings in the area have gone into a state of disrepair and it has become more of a 'haven' for drug dealing, gang violence and prostitution, seeing many wars between the areas population of gang affiliated Latino Immigrants and the African American gangsters from neighbouring West Haven in recent years. The area is currently in the midst of a large scale redevelopment plan which aims to restore the area to it's former glory (the evidence of which can be seen by the many construction sites in the area). Aside from the construction sites the area is generally run down and dirty and features an abundance of graffiti on it's buildings and piles of litter everywhere. Port Haven is also the site of Richmond Island's third and final police station.
4. North Beach (based on various east shore sea and beach front neighbourhoods)
North Beach is a coastal area which encompasses almost the entire south eastern shoreline of the island. The residential portion of the area is a mix between apartment buildings located in the area closest to western New Haven and small beach front properties located close to the beach which is seperated from the rest of the area by a large boardwalk prominade similar to Firefly Island which contains many stores and small businesses as well as a mix of italian and chinese restaurants. Also located close to the beach is an amusement arcade where the player can play bowling, pool and air hockey. In this area there is also a small housing estate which not only seperates the adjacent park from the coast but also offers it's residents some mild seclusion from the hustle and bustle of the seaside prominade. The demographics of the area is mixture of Irish and Chinese immigrants who seem to coexist with one another without any problems.
5. Cursor Park (loosely based on LaTourette Park and surrounding areas)
This neighbourhood concists almost entirely of a large park of the same name which also contains a country club and golf course which is a huge hit with the island's most affluent residents. As was the case with Leaf Links in Vice City weapons are not allowed on site but there are plenty of golf clubs and stealable carts floating around with which to cause mayhem. Adjacent to the park there are also a few brownstone townhouses home to a small orthodox Jewish community.
6. Cursor Hills (based on residential areas of Todt Hill and Dongan Hills)
Cursor Hills is a highly affluent private residential neighbourhood (Similar to Meadow Hills) located in the hills next to Cursor Park complete with it's own security guard. The area contains several tudor styled two story houses and mini mansions largely owned by local celebrities and high ranking mob figures, the largest of which being a mega mansion belonging to Don Giovanni Ancelotti.
7. Stoneville (based on Graniteville, Willowbrook and commercial section of Bulls Head)
Stoneville is Richmond Island's main commercial hub located beneath the large hills which house the neighbourhood of Cursor Hills and overlook the area. The area is the most sparsely populated of all of Richmond Island's neighbourhoods but is home to three of the borough's major landmarks these being the Richmond Island Mall - a medium sized shopping mall comparable in size to the North Point mall in GTA III era's Vice City, The College of Richmond Island which has it's campus in the center of the neighbourhood and a large hotel owned by the super rich Von Crastenburg family (based on the Hilton Garden Inn). The area also contains some light forrestry mostly concentrated towards the south west near Cursor Park.
8. Bentleyville (based on Tottenville)
Bentleyville is a large upper-middle class residential neighbourhood concisting of two and three story duplexes, detached and semi detached homes which sit next to a small beach area to the south east (similar to the ones found in Beachgate in Broker). The Residents of Bentleyville are a mix between young (mostly white) collegiate types and elderly people of all races. The neighbourhood is also home to the south west area's main fire station which is located close to the border with Thompsonville. The area also cointains a boathouse although it is of no particular use to the player other than providing a spawn point for several boats.
9. Norfolk (based on Industrial sections of Bloomfield and Travis)
Norfolk is Richmond Island's Industrial hub containing many warehouses and factories and a large oil refinery. Overall the neighbourhood is similar to Acter Industrial Park in Alderney.
10. Port Norfolk (based on Port Ivory and parts of Mariner's Harbor)
Port Norfolk is Richmond Island's main sea port. It is located almost directly opposite the Acter Industrial section of Alderney. Port Norfolk like neighbouring Norfolk is heavily industrialised and many trucks, trailers and cranes can be found in the area for loading and unloading containers from cargo ships and as a result many containers can be found stacked in the area. The only residential dwellings in this area are a collection of mobile homes located to the east.
11. Thompsonville (based on Rossville, Huguenot and Charleston)
Thompsonville is a large residential neighbourhood located just west of the center of Richmond Island. Most of the area is made up of two story detached and semi detached homes with open gardens giving this area a distinct country feel. Due to the neighbourhoods border with Norfolk it is surrounded by many scrap yards and small industrial properties. There is also a medium sized hospital and a fire department located in the neighbourhood.
12. West Beach (loosely based on South Beach)
West Beach is a large baron sandy beach located to the extreme west of the island. The beach is largely uninhabited and contains many sand dunes and natural ramps and hills which makes the area a virtual playground ideal for cruising around on a dirt bike or the Bandito dune buggy.
13. City Dump (based on the Fresh Kills landfill)
After being previously mentioned in GTA IV the City Dump finally makes it's appearence in Family Ties. Although the dump is technically not a neighbourhood it's sheer size dictates that it be considered it's own individually designated area. The dump is where most of the city's rubbish ends up after it is taken from the other boroughs by way of specially constructed boats. The dump doesn't provide much to the player in the way of fun but it will none the less be given a starring role in one particular chapter of the story. Although the dump is technically controlled by the Liberty City Sanitation Department (who in turn work under the rule of the mob) it can just as much be considered to be under the rule of the local army of hobos who call the dump their own, remaining unmoved by the LSD who recently lost a bid to move the hobos on as it was deemed to be a breach of their squatters rights.