Friday, May 16, 2014

Grand Theft Auto = Daft Rate Nought

Note:  This is a review I posted on Epinions on 8/2/2005. A few appropriate modifications have been made.

The first Grand Theft Auto game I played was GTA 3, and I have to say that I was hooked. I went and got Vice City, which was even better. Shortly before the PC release of San Andreas, I went and got this package of the three original GTA games: GTA, GTA: London and GTA 2. I knew that the original GTA was a low-budget game, but I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. I had to have this game.

The game is even lower budget than I remember. (Actually, I realized that I was remembering GTA 2.) It’s a very simple game. You go over to a bank of four payphones to get set of missions. As you complete each mission, you get money. If you complete a set of missions, you get a multiplier bonus, so when you kill someone or steal a car, the score that you’d normally get is multiplied. (Rewards for missions aren’t affected.) When you complete all four of those missions, new banks of payphones open up. As I mentioned, you can also get money by doing things like killing and stealing and wreaking havoc. Once you get $1,000,000, you get to move on to the next city.

I never got to see one of those other cities. The problem is that the game isn’t that interesting. The main problem is that you can’t save. I don’t know why the game was designed like this, but it was. Other reviewers on Epinions have complained that the game is repetitive after a while. It gets really repetitive when you have to play the same four missions over and over again. It gets really frustrating when you get up to 890,000 points and die for the last time. (You get four lives, but you can get extra lives throughout the city.)

You can get arrested as many times as you want. As you kill and steal, you’ll get a wanted level. The higher your wanted level, the more aggressive the police get. The only way to get the police off your tail is with an auto shop, and those are difficult to find. (It’s either that or getting killed.) If you are arrested, you lose any guns you’ve picked up and your multiplier is cut in half, rounding down.

It also took me a while to figure out how to get guns and stuff. When I first played, all I knew was that I was getting these guns. I eventually figured out that they were in these crates. Also in the crates were get-out-of-jail-free cards, extra lives and kill frenzies. (With a kill frenzy, you’ve given a certain amount of time to kill a certain number of people or destroy a certain number of vehicles.)

I can’t recommend buying this game unless you’re a die-hard GTA fan. The graphics are extremely bad by today’s standards. The view is from above; if you pass under something, all you get is an arrow indicating which direction you’re going in. Also, the only thing to really do is go around doing the missions. Yeah, I know that I said that you could do the kill frenzies and stuff, but that’s not going to get you to the next city. The game gets very boring after a while.

I give it three stars. It was a great distraction when I first got it, but I’ve already moved on. I had hoped to be able to play GTA: London, but it’s actually an expansion for this game. I’m not even going to bother with it. I’ve already started with Grand Theft Auto 2.

No comments :