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SummaryJust like the original, but even better
The GoodGrand Theft Auto 2 is the sequel to DMA Design's 1997 hit, and it is even better. For those who haven't played the original, you control one of several protagonists and go on many exciting missions to earn money. You can also have the option of participating in a high-speed police chase, go on a killing spree, and much more. The graphics and sound were amazing at the time, and there is plenty of replayability there as well. It was so successful at the time that players demanded more, and DMA delivered two years later.
In regards to GTA2, the developers took what made GTA great and expanded on it. The sequel features more advanced AI and more missions. If you commit enough crimes, not only are the police involved, but SWAT teams, secret agents, and the military. The game also introduces gangs who you do missions for (with the Zaibatsu commonplace). If you successfully complete a mission for a certain gang, you'll gain a higher respect for them but your respect for their rivals also decreases. I like the way they start shooting at you repeatedly if you drive around a gang's territory while you have low respect for them.
The higher your respect is with the gang, the more missions that you gain from them. Missions are split into three categories: green, yellow, and red. Green missions can be accomplished easily enough, but red missions are far more challenging, especially if they involve you driving into a territory of a gang whom you have lower respect.
There are thieves to look out for, including muggers and car thieves. Stand in an area for too long and you will get mugged. When I am playing the game, I'l let them mug me the way they do normal pedestrians, but as they walk away, I'll execute them in front of other people.
There are new radio stations to listen to, and there are a couple of DJs that I enjoyed listening to. Out of all of them, I enjoyed listening to Dean Frantz because at least I can relate to him, especially when he mentions the cops. I am glad that the developers chose to remove the option that allows you to turn on constant ratio. It didn't make any sense in the last game to be listening to radio stations while you were out walking around.
GTA2 provides a day and night setting. Some of the missions require you to blow up things, and the resulting explosions look spectacular at night, as do the buildings that have their signs lit up. There are several weapons that you can use on your enemies that cause these types of explosions. Two of my favorites include the flamethrower. Once you set people alight, they scream and run in the opposite direction. But that is nothing compared to the rocket launcher. If you use it too close to your target, you'll end up flying through the air and come back down hard on the ground.
Another thing I must point out is the nice save feature, where you can enter a church to save the game, as long as you get at least $50,000 and are not on a mission. This save feature is a step away from the draconian save method in the previous game, where you are limited to saving in between cities. Cheat codes can be entered into the game if you keep failing the missions. The cheat codes include invincibility, maximum cash, full ammo for all weapons, and more. There are a few cheat codes that alter the game mechanics. I like using the one that involves all pedestrians turning into thieves. No matter where you go, you hear them fighting, and one of them has a go at you if you get too close to the action. Another cheat involves turning vehicles into the game into mini-cars. When you use this cheat, you can also listen to different radio stations in “chipmunk speed”.
The BadIf I have to say anything negative about this game, it would have to be the fact that the aforementioned $50,000 requirement for saving games is a little bit hefty, and should have been much less. With this requirement, you need to successfully complete at least two missions, and then you can then save in-between each mission if you want. I am glad that the money requirement is left out for GTAIII and onwards.
The Bottom LineIn conclusion, Grand Theft Auto 2 is a much better game than its predecessor as the game mechanics are much better. There are new radio stations you can listen to while you are driving around, and also thieves and gangs to deal with. As I said earlier, completing missions for a certain gang earns you a higher respect with them, but lower respect with their rivals. As a result, the rivals will deal with you the moment you enter their territory.
As the game says, “And remember: respect is everything.”