|Review by Trotterwatch|
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If it were true that violent games, breed violent people, then I would probably be considered Public Enemy No1 after playing this game for a long stretch. Beating people to death, shooting them, running them over and stealing cars are all just ways to progress in this game. Now in real life I have never had the compulsion to do any of these things, nor would I ever (honest) but when you do these things in the game, you are surely not human if you don't cackle like a mad person when you first do these things.
Grand Theft Auto 3, the third game in the series, which they tried to ban, is the first game in the crime series to be in full 3D.
The main plot of the game is that you are a wannabe gangster making your way up the crime scene by doing jobs for gangsters that are much higher up the hierarchy than you. In order to complete the jobs, you have to complete objectives such as, going on massacres, stealing cars, rigging cars up with explosives, straight forward racing, disposing of dead bodies, even picking up pages of a 'Specialist' Porn magazine whilst driving in a Van for one Mexican gangster. The games missions are nothing if not varied.
WHAT OPPOSITION DOES A GANGSTER HAVE?
You don't get the whole City to yourself you know. Along with all the ordinary pedestrians and drivers, there are people who don't like you very much and who take great pleasure in trying to kill you whenever you go near them or in their territory. These include, the Triads, the Mafia, a Columbian drugs cartel, and the Yakuza.
OH SHIT IT'S THE PIGS
The Police are of course on duty to provide law enforcement, and to ensure that your main character spends as much time in Jail watching his back in the showers, as he does generally causing havoc and mayhem. The amount of Police after your character, and their level of activity is governed by a stars system. Stars are 'earned' as you do illegal activities, the more you wreak havoc, the more you are on the Police wanted list. For example:
1 Star = You would have to be pretty rubbish to get collared, 1 Police car after you, not doing much in particular to get to you though
6 Stars = The army after you, tanks, helicopters etc. You won't survive. Basically it is brown trousers time....
In between these two extremes you will have to learn to deal with getting rammed off the road by the police cars, being chased by Helicopters, dealing with police roadblocks, SWAT vans and the FBI amongst others.
There are ways to get rid of your wanted rating though. These methods are for you to discover yourself.
HOW CAN YOU FIGHT BACK?
You have access to many weapons, many of these are given to you for specific missions, some of them you find on dead bodies, and others you can purchase from the Ammu-Nation store.
These weapons include, Pistols, Uzis (for drive by shootings!), Flame Throwers, Sniper Rifles, and Rocket Launchers amongst others.
I SCREAM - U SCREAM
As touched on earlier, the diversity of the missions is something to be commended. One of my particular favourites from the early part of this game is when you have to steal and Ice Cream van, rig it up with a bomb, and drive it into Mafia territory. It is then up to you to activate the Ice Cream vans jingle and retreat to a safe distance. Sure enough several of the Mafia go up to it to get an Ice Cream, you then detonate the bomb from a safe distance, another problem taken care of.
SOUNDS OF THE CITY
When driving along in your stolen car, through one of the three very large and diverse cities you will have the pleasure of listening to some excellent in car entertainment. There is a variety of radio stations included in this game for you to listen to, each of them being very enjoyable to listen to, especially the phone in station, which is frequently hilarious. You also have the option to listen to your own MP3s, via the games MP3 radio station.
WOW IT'S A BIG WORLD OUT THERE
As mentioned there are 3 large cities in this game, each of these cities looks very different to the last. Cruising around the Cities is a game in itself, the aesthetics such as the gradually changing weather, and time of day further makes this a very enjoyable thing to do.
You can only progress onto the next Island via completing all of the missions on the Island in which you are currently on. Once you have done this, the next Island will be available to go to. All of these Islands though are interlinked via Subway, Bridges, and Waterways. This means that you can go back to any City you want whilst playing the game, indeed this is essential in order to complete many of the missions.
LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY PICTURES
The graphics in this game are nothing short of stunning, from the wide open cityscapes, to the way that papers and leaves blow around the streets via the wind is a sight to behold. Also due to the way the time of day changes constantly in this game, you get to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and dusky nights. This combined with a range of weather effects such as Fog and Rain makes the game even more aesthetically appealing.
I HAVEN'T EVEN SCRATCHED THE SURFACE!
This game has a lot more to offer than I have described in this review, other things you can do if you wish:
Steal police cars, and choose to do 'Vigilante' missions in your stolen vehicle
Steal Fire Trucks, and choose to go and put out fires
Steal a Taxi and go and pick up people, and drive them to their destination for cash
Steal an Ambulance and go and help the dying and wounded
Those are just a few more of the things that you can do, there is plenty more to discover, you can even earn extra cash for pulling off Insane stunts in your vehicle.
There is even a replay mode included in this game in which you can replay the last 30 seconds of action, and change the cameras to suit you, then you can save it for prosperity to enjoy again and again.
By now you would have realised that this game isn't one for young children indeed this game has an official BBFC certification of 18.
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS
This game requires some pretty hefty specifications I wouldn't recommend it to you, unless you have a system that meets or exceeds these requirements:
Processor: P3 or Athlon 700mhz
O/S: Windows 98 or higher
Graphics: GeForce 2 or above graphics card (preferably a GF3 or 4)
Memory: 128ram (256+ preferred, especially with XP)
Theoretically you can run this game on a machine lower than these specifications. This is especially true if you for example have a slightly slower Processor, but a graphics card such as a GeForce 3. In that instance the graphics card will be able to handle most of the extra strain this game places onto your system.
I'm off now to wreak some more havoc,
Footnote: This review was written by me quiet a while back for a site called dooyoo.co.uk.