Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars featured image

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar Leeds in 2009 and published by Rockstar Games for Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation Portable, iOS and Android devices.

It is the 13th game in the Grand Theft Auto series and the direct sequel to the events shown in Grand Theft Auto IV.  It is also notable as the first to be released for handheld consoles since 2006's GTA: Vice City Stories.

The game is set in the modern-day GTA staple location of Liberty City (a fictional satire of New York City), the single-player story follows a young Triad member named Huang Lee and his quest to recover a sword stolen from his late father. But his quest leads him to be entangled in a power struggle between factions of the Triad operating in Liberty City.

Plot and location

Chinatown Wars is set in Liberty City in 2009, one year after the events of Grand Theft Auto IV. The campaign story follows the adventures of Huang Lee, the spoiled son of a Triad boss.


After his father is murdered along with the theft of their family sword, Huang works for a well-known figure on the Asian scene in Liberty City to uncover the truth. In addition to the main plot and after recovering The two lions of Fo from the Rockstar Games Social Club, the Xin Shan missions become available.


GTA Chinatown Wars is specifically designed to allow players to interact with objects on their Nintendo DS and smartphone systems via touchscreen controls. Instead of a ground-level view behind the protagonist or a top-down perspective, Chinatown Wars uses a fully rotating camera that faces the action downwards. Chinatown Wars also uses cel-shading polygons with black outlines to create a comic book-like aesthetic for the first time in the series.

Unlike in Grand Theft Auto IV, players can lose Wanted Stars by destroying police cars instead of leaving "Wanted Zones". The more stars the player has, the more police he has to eliminate per level. For example, for a 6-star level, you need to take out 6 police cars to get down to the 5-star Wanted status.

Many features from Grand Theft Auto IV were included to GTA: Chinatown Wars, such as GTA IV’s advanced HUD. Also, Ammu-Nation returns in the form of an in-game website, allowing players to order various weapons via their PDA and have them delivered to their lair. The player also receives an email that can be read on her PDA or laptop in the safehouse.

Stealing moving vehicles is similar to previous Grand Theft Auto games, where the player can just drag the driver out. On the other hand, GTA Chinatown Wars uses a different system for stealing parked vehicles.

Depending on the car, it can be started in one of several ways. Older cars require a few turns of the screwdriver on the ignition, while more modern cars can be hotwired. Newer and more expensive cars (with the exception of bulletproof vans) require the player to "hack" the security system.

A new gameplay element introduced is the ability to buy drugs from suppliers and sell them to make money. This was actually a point of controversy during the release of the game, for its potential negative influence on young players.

Visuals and other features

There are some notable differences between the GTA: Chinatown Wars versions, depending on the device.

  • The Nintendo DS version of the game uses the touchscreen with features such as controlling the PDA, GPS, radio, accessing characters on maps, and using Molotov cocktails and grenades. The top screen contains the game and storyboards. is displayed. Taxi whistle is supported by holding DS mic (or by pressing the X button).
  • The PSP version features updated graphics that are no longer cel-shaded, giving it a more "classic" look similar to previous games in the series (except for the cutscenes, which are styled the same). . Minigames (draw tattoos, unscrew cars, boom panel, etc.) have been changed from touchscreen functionality to simpler quick timed event minigames. Plus, the PSP version also has more missions and dedicated radio stations not found in the Nintendo DS version. However, PSP multiplayer only supports up to 2 players.
  • The iOS and Android versions of the game includes on-screen touch controls and mini-games that have been adapted to work well with modern mobile touchscreens. Both the iOS and Android versions have the same radio stations as the PSP versions, though the iOS version features a custom radio station that makes use of the iTunes library.

The Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable versions of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars used the Social Club of Rockstar Games. Players can upload game statistics using this service.

Release Date

Mar 17, 2009


Play Time

9.5 hours

Games in Series



Mature 17+: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence

Interesting Facts

  • Chinatown Wars is set in Liberty City in the year 2009.
  • Pre-orders of the game from GameStop included a code. This can unlock all weapons in Ammu-Nation, cheat code to win $10,000 early in the game, or launch Bulletproof Infernus from the auto merchant.
  • Chinatown Wars uses a fully isometric rotatable aerial camera angled down at the action.
  • There are over 100 different vehicles in the game.
  • Chinatown Wars is the second game in the series to feature an Asian protagonist. The first was Mikki, one of the protagonists from the first GTA 1.
  • Rampage! makes a return in GTA Chinatown Wars.
  • Every boss in the game has its own theme song that plays every time a mission is started.
  • Chinatown Wars was the first Nintendo DS game to be rated PEGI 18+ (European release).
  • In the upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right corners of town (under the water) are signs that read “Here Be Dragons”. This is in reference to medieval mapmakers supposedly inscribing the phrase “Here Be Dragons” on maps showing unexplored and unknown regions of the world.


Mod Support


Cheats support


Protagonist sex


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