Before I go on, I must note that this release is pretty much identical to its Xbox 360 counterpart. If you read my review of last year's 360 release, please note that the delay between releases hasn't necessarily made the PlayStation 3 version the better one. If you've already played this game on the 360, there's no real reason to pick this one up unless you've got more friends on the PlayStation Network who want to play it with you.
Liberty City is every bit as alive as it was in April of 2008. Of all the developers I know of, Rockstar is the best at creating game worlds where the atmosphere is infectious and the attention to detail is staggering. Technically, the world of Grand Theft Auto IV is a bit behind. Given the age of the original game, though, I'm quick to forgive any visual shortcomings. Character models are distinct and memorable, even in the ways you don't particularly want them to be. Johnny Klebitz and Luis Lopez are interestingly-designed characters, but their otherwise ordinary appearances foil nicely against the likes of flamboyant, drug-addled, Hall & Oates fan Evan Moss to exhibitionist Congressman Tom Stubbs. Before you ask, the answer is yes. If you don't skip the sauna cutscene, you will see everything.
Episodes From Liberty City has some of the best voicework you will ever hear in a video game. The gritty, hardcore nature of The Lost and Damned's storyline doesn't leave much room for improvisation. Conversely, the insanity of The Ballad of Gay Tony is embraced by Omid Djalili and D.B. Cooper. Evan may turn the flame up way beyond stereotypical boundaries, but Anthony Prince is grounded, brutally cynical, masochistic, and paranoid to the point of madness. In addition, when Yusuf performs his rendition of Busta Rhymes' "Arab Money" for an unimpressed hooker while wielding a submachine gun and wearing no pants, you will be reduced to tears. Tears, I tell you.