On top of that, his gambling addiction has caused him to take out loans from Albanian Gangsters and The Mafiya, placing him in nigh-inescapable debt.
Determined to help out his cousin, and hoping to investigate a lead regarding the traitor, Niko is forced to delve back into his past life of violence to survive.
Yes, this is another GTA game in which you'll likely spend the bulk of your time stealing cars and gunning down cops and criminals, but it's also much more than that.
The game certainly takes advantage of the new hardware to the fullest - character models are much more realistically detailed and animated, as is just about everything else.
Set in the late 2000s, the story follows Niko Bellic, a veteran of the Yugoslav Wars who turned to crime in an attempt to track down the traitor who got his squad killed.
After he's nearly busted in a smuggling operation on the Adriatic Sea, he decides that it's time to move on from criminal activities and sets sail for Liberty City in the United States, where his cousin Roman claims to have become a self-made millionaire.
Unfortunately, Roman's stories turn out to have been highly exaggerated, his "mansion" a dockside slum and his "sports car" a taxi cab.