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Grand Theft Auto III (Windows)

92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19673)
Written on  :  Nov 18, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Summary

Ahh...to live in a world without sin and restrictions...Oh yeah!

The Good

This probably is one of those games your mom and dad didn't want you to play :) But, it is the taboo that every kid even adults think about (which is why the Simpsons was a hit). This game is the first GTA series I've played and my brain still can't get over it. How in the hell did they manage to create a game this big, this magnitude? If they can create technology like this now, I'm waiting in awe of what they'll think of next.

Where to start...that's hard. This game is big, that's one. I remember the days when you only play a computer game for a whole week then finish. This usually applies to adventure typed games such as this one. This game however takes a loooooooooong time to play. Here's the background:

You appear to be some criminal that was busted out (you weren't the target) en route to a prison. Now your stuck in liberty city trying to make ends meet by doing odd jobs for the local crime lords. The game tries to give a wide variety, for instance the crime lords. You have the Italian Mafia, the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triads just to name a few. Each are in the city is divided into territories between those crime lords, just be sure not to be around when a gang war starts, or just join in the fun!

As most of the perspective used is 3rd-Person Perspective similiar to games like Tomb Raider, these adventure type games acquire a lot of real-time movement. Considering the immense size of the city, that probably a lot walking. It would probably take more than 3-5 hours to walk from one city edge to the other. That's why God invented the sports car!

On that city size subject, the city itself is divided into 3 major areas. The first time around, you can't access the other parts of the city, later on in the game if you follow the storyline, you'll eventually get access to it. My amazement is, after I finished the first area of the city that was barely 25% of the game...which is more than I can say for other games I've played for the same period of time. This game is totally your time and money's worth!

Oh, now the taboo part. In this game, there are no restrictions, no morals and possibly no brains...you can shoot anyone you want, drive anyway you want, blowup anyway and anyone you want. This game has total respect to violence. I really love driving down the road and hitting every pedestrian while I'm at it. Sometimes watch a car blow up and seeing those body parts flying (yes, body parts). I do understand why this game was banned in some countries. Some people aren't stable enough to handle this kind of "reality".

One thing I like that almost makes this game a kind of RPG (but it's not), is that it has a record of all the thing's you've done. How many people you've killed, how many cars you've blown up, even how many police helicopters you've downed with your handy rocket launcher.

And the most important thing is, it gives the player a lot of freedom of choice. It's not to rigid in the storyline, you can do thing's in a manner of different ways....well most of the time. GTA is probably in the great line of freedom of choice such as legendary series of Ultima and Final Fantasy. But I do agree, GTA has certainly began a new cult of its own.

The Bad

All great games with great ambitions usually have its downsides. Unfortunately for GTA, due to the immense creativity intended for the players leisure, it also created a lot of irritating creative bugs.

One thing I really hate is the "refresh rate" of people and cars in GTA, which is also by the way very stupid and unrealistic. For example, you look in one direction and see a grandma walking very slowly towards you, and yellow taxi cab behind her. Just look at another direction and look back...they're gone! And replaced by another citizen and different car maybe. What's wrong with that? Nothing wrong, unless you've broken the law or involved in a gang war mission. Unless you have a brick wall behind you, baddies have an irritating way of showing up behind your back, when you know and you just checked there was absolutely no one behind you. I hate the idea that they materialize in thin air. It's just not real and logical.

In this game, you really loathe cops. Probably because they only chase after you. I had this gangster shooting pot shots at me...hey, he fired first...why doesn't that cop do anything? Impatient at his passiveness, I fire back...the cop runs after me. Now I got the mob and the police up my *beep*.

I hate dying. Although in this game, you can't actually die...but if your health reaches zero...you wind up in the hospital...with all of your hard earned equipment gone. So it's not worth dying for...although this game gives you a lot of reasons: (1) You can't swim. Doh. If you even "touch" water to a certain level, you decrease your health. They should've changed the title to "grand vampire auto" or "grand didn't learn to swim in 1st grade auto". I can't recall countless times I fell of the edge of a boat by accident or run my car off into the big wide sea. There is one time, I was on a boat, I accidently blew up the boat with a grenade. I survived, the boat was ash, non usable. Now what? Stuck in the middle of the ocean, with a black ash boat...and you can't swim? Restore game. Totally stupid. (2) Your car blows up...with you in it. Not a problem really...you only need to get out...if you can get out. The idiot hero has to wait until the car reaches a full stop, to finally open the door. Did he know the car was on fire? Yes...but he's to afraid he'd hurt himself while jumping from a moving car. Might as well wait for the car to stop with the possibility of the car blowing up your body parts. Just brilliant. Another thing I hate is the view point. I have had numerous incidents where I was trying to get out of the car, but ended up running to the car instead of AWAY from the car and having the darn thing blow up in my face. (3) Grenades and Rocket Launchers. You throw the grenade to softly it blows in your face. Should've made a safety restriction there. Rocket Launchers are irritating. They're destructive, but you don't wanna get stuck with a rocket launcher with your pants down. If you have a rocket launcher, you can't kill guy next to you without a possibility of blowing yourself up...so you have to change you weapon...if you could. Not in rampage missions though. They give you one weapon and your stuck with it until the mission is over or failed. The fact that you can't run or jump while wielding a rocket launcher makes you a sitting duck in melee combat.

Another thing I reeeeeeeealy hate is missions with time limits. Now this is where I draw the line. Creativity ends when you put a deadline. I have enough deadlines in real life...don't need to be bothered in games. There are a lot of missions that have time limits...so this game can be pretty frustrating.

There are a lot of bad thing's I haven't yet mentioned...but it's really not that important to the gameplay. Just irritating.

The Bottom Line

I must admit, this is one of those games that you totally get what you paid for! If not more...