Protagonist Niko Belic immigrated to the fictional Liberty City in hopes of living the American Dream.
As Belic, you complete missions, from stealing cars to killing rival drug dealers, just to make ends meet.
In the game you accumulate a variety of weapons to complete missions ranging from pistols and shotguns to machine guns and sniper rifles.
You can carjack any vehicle in the game, including taxis, police cars, and huge semi-trucks.
The police will actively chase you around the city if you get caught committing a crime in public, which means the police are always after you, because you're committing public crimes for most of the game.
Liberty City, a mockup of New York City, is so huge that it takes almost an hour to drive from one end to the other.