Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Let me start by saying that I love this game. Originally, it was fro the PlayStation 2, but it had crossed over to the PC realm by the time my brother brought his computer home for summer vacation. He had to take it back with him because, regrettably, the game is too good for my computer. (My computer can’t handle the system requirements.)

The game starts with a robbery gone wrong. Your first task is to find a place to hide and recover. This ends up being your base of operations while you do missions on the first of three islands. Most of the game consists of doing missions for various Mob people, although you can do other missions, which I’ll get to later. You’re stuck on the first island until you go through enough missions. That’s when the bridge opens and you’re allowed to drive across. The subway will also be closed until then. However, if you’re interested in mass transit, you can use the elevated rail to get around the first island.

There’s lots of sex and violence. To give you an example, you can have sex with a prostitute, and then kill her to get your money back. As you do these highly illegal and immoral things, your wanted level goes up. One star means that the police will only chase you if you cross their path. Two stars mean that they come after you. Three stars mean that a helicopter will come after. (IT goes up to six stars, but I won’t admit to being that wanted.) There are ways of getting rid of the police, such as having your car repainted. Should you get arrested, you’ll be fined some money (actually a pay-off) and released to do more harm to society. Should you do something to get yourself killed, you’ll be sent to the nearest hospital and fined a large quantity of money.

The three islands are very detailed. There are a dozen or so “people” (actually templates) that walk around the city, any of which you can beat up or kill, and several dozen cars models, any of which you can steal. This includes taxis and police vehicles. If you steal a taxi, you can actually pick up cab fares for extra money. If you steal a law-enforcement vehicle, like a police car or tank, you can go on Vigilante Missions. (Yes, I said tank.) These missions aren’t necessary to complete the game. You’ll have plenty of game play without them, although I found them useful on the second island. Many of the missions there were extremely difficult without cheat codes. There are also hidden packages to find and insane stunts to perform for bonuses. There are 100 hidden packages; each set of ten you find will get you a new weapon, which can be found near your hideout.

Speaking of weapons, there are about a dozen, including a baseball bat and a flamethrower. I loved the grenade launcher and the sniper rifle, mostly because both of them allow you to aim first. I found the handgun to be extremely difficult to kill someone with. Either my aim wasn’t good or it didn’t do much damage. You have to be careful with the flamethrower because when you set someone on fire, there’s a risk of the fire jumping back on you. Controls for the guns, and for the game in general, are very easy. The only thing I had difficulty with was the drive-by shootings. I guess if I had stuck to the keyboard, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but I got used to using the mouse. Regrettably, there’s no multiplayer. I’d love to be able to go head-to-head over the Internet or a LAN or something.

I spent a lot of time just driving around in a car listening to the radio stations. Each station consists of a loop, each consisting of a different theme. There’s an 80’s station, a rock station, and so on. You can even use your own mp3 files as another station. I’d have liked to be able to have several mp3 folders so that my brother and I could have each had our own station. It was a nice feature anyway.

This game will provide hours of fun for any adult. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend this game for children. There’s way too much to explain to them and even then, they probably wouldn’t understand or comprehend all of it. If you’re a responsible adult, I’m sure you’ll love this game as much as I do.

IMDb page

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