Setting

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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is set in the GTA IV Liberty City minus Alderney (New Jersey) in 2009. Just like IV, Liberty City is a down-sized version of New York City. Boroughs include Broker (Brooklyn), Dukes (Queens), Bohan (Bronx), and Algonquin (Manhattan) plus Happiness Island (Liberty Island) complete with statue.

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In addition to Alderney being omitted, the road map was simplified for ease of use. Most of the roads were made into straight grids that resemble the older top-down Grand Theft Auto games. Other parts of roads were omitted completely such as under bridges and tunnels.