It is the eleventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.Set within the fictional Liberty City (based on New York City), the single-player story follows a war veteran, Niko Bellic, and his attempts to escape his past while under pressure from loan sharks and mob bosses.
Knowing only violence and having very little opportunities, Niko turns to the Balkanic criminal underworld for the following ten years, while at the same time trying to search for the two other men who survived the ambush, his cousin Roman Bellic who settled in the United States offers Niko to join him.
After being released from a brief stint in prison, Niko joins a smuggling and trafficking ring run by Russian criminal Ray Bulgarin, during one smuggling run into Italy, the boat that Niko is working on sinks in the Adriatic Sea, a mile from the nearest shoreline.
Niko swims to safety, but Bulgarin accused him of escaping with the money.
Niko joins the merchant navy in order to flee from Bulgarin, he spends the following seven months at sea in the Atlantic Ocean, befriending the crew of the Platypus and contemplating Roman's requests for him to come to Liberty City.
Niko Bellic is voiced by Michael Hollick, who also provides some motion capture for the character.