Top 10 GTA sidekicks and NPCs
(continued from previous page) ...began with the current generation of consoles, and things only got better from there.
What Candy Suxxx lacks in personality and innocence, she most certainly makes up for in sexuality. Of course, that's not why we love her. Rather, the frequent reappearances her character makes throughout the GTA III-era games are a pleasant reminder of the sprawling mythos Rockstar created on PlayStation 2. Tommy Vercetti is her first beneficiary, using her considerable sex appeal to blackmail a prominent politician into allowing the sale of porn throughout Vice City. GTA: San Andreas sees her return on a Los Santos billboard and on the walls of hundreds of San Andreas residents. Posters with her likeness in GTA: Liberty City Stories cement her place as a series mainstay, nay, icon, and we wouldn't want it any other way.
It's no wonder that The Truth would distrust Mike Toreno, the mysterious government official voiced by James Woods. Toreno's ambitions are, at first glance, to reduce the power of rival drug dealers and make a dent in CJ's new crew the Da Nang Boys. Before long, things take a turn for the seriously weird. Toreno begins meeting you at a secluded ranch house and sends you on all manner of outlandish missions: blowing up a plane full of aliens disguised in tuxedos, shooting down enemy planes with a V/STOL fighter jet... We love Toreno for his nonchalance in the face of lunacy, and when all is said and done, he makes good on his word and secures the early release of CJ's brother, Sweet. He may be cynical and ruthless, but he's far and away one of San Andreas' best personalities.
As the youngest brother of the McReary family, it's odd that we first encounter "Packie" as a mostly independent criminal running bank robberies and the like with his pals Michael and Gordon. It's through that connection that we experience some of GTA IV's most exciting missions, but we also like Packie for his humorous dialogue and sarcastic outlook on life. Spend enough time with Packie, and his very troubled past will rear its ugly head. Of course, that only makes us identify with him more - Niko and Packie are cut from much of the same cloth, making it all the more powerful to see Packie depart from Liberty City and his life of addiction and crime during the end credits of The Ballad of Gay Tony. You'll also find no better darts competitor in the entire game (though the mini-game isn't particularly difficult anyway).
GTA: Vice City's coked-up, paranoid lawyer is another series mainstay, showing up in San Andreas to play... well, pretty much the same role, really. His part in Tommy Vercetti's odyssey takes the cake, though. The two meet to make an exchange with the Vance Crime Family, but when the deal falls apart, Tommy must depend on Rosenberg for legal advice and guidance in his hunt to recover the Forelli family's money. Of course, Rosenberg's cocaine addiction is an obstacle to that, and eventually drives the two associates apart. Hell, he even teams up with Lance Vance and betrays Tommy over the empire! Still, his trainwreck of a personality is great fun to watch as it evolves over two GTA games.
Gamers who didn't see GTA III through to completion (let's be honest, that game was hard as nails) may not recognize the Catalina that appears in San Andreas as the same girl who betrays Claude during the intro of GTA III. Of course, it's a ten-years-younger Catalina that we cruise around the San Andreas countryside with, but she's also ten-years-nastier. Cesar Vialpando hooks up CJ with his cousin so our hero can make a quick buck running heists during his Los Santos exodus, but we soon find out that Catalina is a sex-crazed dominatrix with dangerously violent tendencies. That said, her missions are an introduction to the vast expanse of land between San Andreas' cities and an eye-opener for the wild possibilities just recently opened to the player. Bonus points for a Claude cameo later in the game. He takes her from us, but karma's a bi***, ain't it?
These are our picks for the best 10 sidekicks and side characters in the GTA franchise. Agree? Disagree? Shoot us a comment below and tell us ... (continued on next page)