I'm Niko from the block
Being Niko Bellic -- the East European illegal immigrant you play for the game's duration -- is like performing a frantic tarantella with fate. He's a soft-spoken tough guy able to kiss or kill on a dime. His early jaunts, where he almost innocently intimidates or roughs up Liberty City's delinquent payees, quickly devolve into a violent scrabble through a bullet-filled, thug-fouled, cacophonous urban labyrinth in search of money, sex and respect. And, when all of those evaporate (as we know they ultimately must), he looks for a sense of identity, place, and belonging. Niko clambers off an industrial freighter in Liberty City's harbour as the game's opening credits roll, wearing his ideals carefully under his sleeve. But he quickly gets embroiled in escalating feudal battles between warring powers, becoming their cat's-paw, until he's forced to take matters in hand and come to grips with his own sordid history.