Grand Theft Auto 3
Review of Grand Theft Auto 3
Grand Theft Auto 3 (GTA3) is in a class by itself. Taking control of an up and coming criminal has never been this fun. Through executing various assigned missions you will make your way up the kingpin ladder. However, if you tire of the daily life as a paid thug, you can always just roam the streets of Liberty City and make your own mayhem. Yep, its blast in both the core of the game and the totality.
The story behind the game is relatively simple, which is ironic for a game that is far from simple in its design. Players will assume the role of a man who is new to Liberty City and, being the criminal that he is, will make nice with the local gangsters in town. Fairly straightforward in its concept, but that’s where the basic gist of the game ends and the real polish of GTA3 begins.
This is top notch from the get-go. Beginning the game will set you smack dab in the middle of (part of) Liberty city with a doorway you walk through to save, and a garage where you can store any wheels that you may have “acquired”. From here the game is virtually entirely in the players hands. Of course to advance the plot of GTA3 and open up more weapons and portions of Liberty City one will eventually have to seek out the seamy underbelly types and accept their missions. This will pay off, both through an increase in your wallet, and the prestige one gets from pleasing mob types.
The control is infallible. Whether controlling the character on foot, car, or other vehicle, great effort was put into giving the player not only the freedom of movement a game like this needs, but the control to pull it off without pulling ones hair out. So many camera views are available, and couple that with a control scheme that just seems to fit in every way, and movement throughout the game is smooth and pleasing.
That’s just about it…no really. The controls rock, the missions are extremely varied and fun, and the cut-scenes and cast of characters lend a real feel to the game that hasn’t been expressed this well to date. Think of GTA3 as a city simulator with you playing a bull in a china shop. You can run about the city causing all forms of mayhem and hope the police, or others don’t kill you, or you can be an astute underling of the mob and just do as your told. It’s entirely in your hands.
The AI is also done extremely well. For example, if you run over a few people, and pull over to watch a crowd will gather around the victims. Keep waiting and an ambulance will come to try and administer aid. Also, I got out of my car to go use a phone (to take a mission) and saw some punk steal my truck right before my eyes! The list goes on and on, Liberty City IS alive.
GTA3 has almost infinite replay as well. Just going through all of the missions and making you way through the various cities can easily take 60 to 80 hours…but it really need to stop there. Since gameplay is virtually wide open, you can freely walk about and discover all of the hidden packages littered about, partake in the side rampage missions or just simply take in the view while you are randomly beating the crap out of someone…just because you can.
The graphics are used in a superb way if not somewhat rough. There is a tiny map in the lower left portion of the screen that indicates mission related points and of course where you are located. I would have liked this map to be bigger, but I did get used to it the more I played. Other than the map, the only stuff on screen to impede in the glorious 3D polygonal world of Liberty City is your health, wanted status, weapon, and money display in the upper right corner of the screen.
Some textures are very detailed and others look horrid. Some people in the game look like they have been run over a few times….wait, maybe I DID run them over. There is some pop-up and draw in, but rarely do you see this since most action is close to the camera. Still, even with its short comings in the technicality of graphical prowess, the WAY in which graphics have been implemented and put to use to further give life to the city far out shines it’s technical flaws.
While playing GTA3 the city buzzes with the sounds one would expect in a city; cars honking, people yelling or mumbling, gunshots… you know typical city stuff. This is done nicely with passer-bys making comments to you or giving you rude gestures and the like. When you “enter” a vehicle one of many radio stations will come on to enhance your driving mood. Don’t like the station? Change it; along with some other features its a wonderfully done menu system that is accessible at any time.
The artists and voice actors put together for this game reads like a who’s who. I won’t list all the talent, but let’s just say that the talent is awesome. The musical and voice talent both are not to be beat anytime soon.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Grand Theft Auto 3' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Robert Gibson © Absolute PlayStation
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