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Grand Theft Auto III

aka: GTA 3, GTA III, GTA3, GTA: Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary

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Critic Reviews 92% add missing review

Snackbar-Games.com (5 out of 5)

Mighty fine game we have here on the PC. Sure, I'll probably go to hell for enjoying such a real game, but oh well. It's all fun and games to me, and this is one of the most fun games I've ever played. Kudos to Rockstar Games for inventing such a great new concept in the video game market, and I hope they keep it up. I just hope it doesn't invent a new breed of criminals in 10 years or so.

Feb 6th, 2003 · Windows · read review

GameSpy ( )

From the opening credits all the way to its hysterical finale, Grand Theft Auto III is a fantastic ride from start to finish. Any PC owner even remotely interested in action or driving games should pick up a copy today.

Jun 4th, 2002 · Windows · read review

2404.org PC Gaming (10 out of 10)

Grand Theft Auto 3 for the PC is one of the best games out there on the market. If you have never played or heard of the Grand Theft Auto games you’re missing out on an extremely fun and exciting game that will keep you playing for days, weeks, even months!

Jun 24th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Game Chronicles (10 out of 10)

This has to be one of the most “fun” games I’ve played in a long time, and I can’t decide whether it’s despite, or because of, the adult content. The developers did everything right, in great part (in my superior, yet humble opinion) to their paying attention to even the smallest of details. I believe that GTA3 has set a new standard for what we’ll expect from other game designers in the future.

Sep 3rd, 2002 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )

Despite fear of incurring the wrath of garners everywhere, I’ll go out on a limb and liken GTA3 to another (not very pretty game) that you can play over and over again: Half-Life. Both show us that there’s more to making a good game than eye candy. With a good story, compelling subplots, and the chance to kill everything from pimps to FBI agents, it’s safe to say that GTA3 is $50 well spent.

Sep 2002 · Windows

Game industry News (GiN) ( )

So not only does GTA3 on the PC bring the joys of vehicular manslaughter to an entire new group of gamers, it also gives us PC guys a second chance to become proud thugs as well.

2002 · Windows · read review

Entertainmentopia (A)

Grand Theft Auto III stands as a testament to game makers on how to do it right. The open-ended style of gameplay, the side-quests, the missions, the driving, the flying, the running, the shooting, the crime waves, the jumps, the cars, the people, the innuendo, the humor, and the sheer fun all combine together to make a great, easily accessible, sweet-ass game.

Jun 22nd, 2002 · Windows · read review

AceGamez (10 out of 10)

Seriously though, this is a truly great game that will go into the gaming hall of fame, its content is very strong but that's why it has an 18 certificate and it is nothing you haven't already seen in dozens of movies and TV shows. All in all, this is an amazingly huge, free-roaming, entertaining game that will last you for ages and is a must-have for everyone old enough to own it.

2002 · Windows · read review

Netjak (9.8 out of 10)

This is the bottom line here, folks. The interaction between player and environment sets the bar so high for other games, that it is nearly inaccessible. Pulling out a gun in a crowded street will cause pedestrians to scream "He's got a gun!" and high tail it out of there. This is a total must have for any PC owner, and if you don't have the luxury of having a PS2; this is a must-have-or-die title.

Jun 5th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Armchair Empire, The (9.8 out of 10)

Grand Theft Auto 3 (GTA3) works well on so many levels that it is hard to imagine what could have been done to improve it. On the PS2, players had to deal with low-res textures, some slowdown, and a horrible targeting system that turned gunfights into crapshoots. All of these problems are eliminated in Rockstar’s PC port of GTA3, and players are left with a stunning, involving experience that, though not for everyone, will appeal to both the gamer looking for a long, structured action/adventure game and the one looking for loosely organized chaos.

Jul 20th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Joystick (French) (97 out of 100)

Avec le terrain de jeu fantastique qu'est Liberty City (composé de trois ïles), la grande variété des missions, sa réalisation graphique impeccable, sa bande sonore étonnante et la liberté laisseé au joueur, Grand Theft Auto III redéfinit à lui tout seul les critères du jeu d'action. Un titre indispensable auquel tout le monde devrait succomber. Et tout ça, pour moins de 40 euros. Et là, tout est dit.

Jul 2002 · Windows · read review

FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network (96 out of 100)

This game nearly transforms the genre. Really, this is like nothing you�ve ever played before, and the PC enhancements add to an already great experience. Sure it is violent. Sure there is bad language. But play it. You�ll love it.

Jun 25th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Fragland.net (95.5 out of 100)

I could go on and on, I like the game that much, but in conclusion: graphicwise, GTA III is a massive improvement over GTA II and much to my –and everybody elses- liking. The gameplay is simply put, loads of fun and the sound, well, just look at the marks I gave it. Don’t hesitate, this game is hours of fun :)

2002 · Windows · read review

Game Informer Magazine (9.5 out of 10)

After my first review of GTA III, I got a lot of mail asking me why I rated the PS2 version at a mere 9.5 instead of a perfect 10. Well, that's simple – Grand Theft Auto III wasn't perfect. The character models and texturing was nothing special, and the out-of-the-car gun targeting pretty much sucked. Of course, the overall package was so innovative and addictive that no one cared, and it was still the most memorable gaming experience I've had in a long while. Now, this masterpiece is out on PC, and it will be the only opportunity that non-Sony owners will have to get a crack at it for a few years.

Aug 2002 · Windows · read review

JeuxVideoPC.com (19 out of 20)

On s'était habitué aux Grand Theft Auto 1 et 2, d'un niveau assez moyen jusqu'à ce que la révolution en matière de carnage urbain éclate.

Oct 17th, 2002 · Windows · read review

IGROMANIA (9.5 out of 10)

Действующая трехмерная модель криминального мегаполиса. Сбрендивший маньяк с пеной у рта прилагается: отыграв пару дней, посмотритесь в зеркало.

Jul 2002 · Windows · read review

PC Zone (1993-2010) (9.5 out of 10)

GTA III does so much right that you'll never say a word against it. It might not dazzle you with its complexity, but the rest of it shines so brightly you'll have to wear shades. I'd stake my life that not a single person that buys it will regret the decision and I'm willing to fight anyone that says otherwise. OK, we've had to wait a long time for it on PC, but it's just made it all the sweeter now that it's here. What's more, it's a tantalising taste of what's to come in the next version. Put the same game in a complex city where you can go in every building, and where each character has a life and a reason to be in the game beyond acting as eye candy and I reckon you'd have the perfect game. Add in the fabled multiplayer element to the proceedings and I'd have the perfect excuse to finally get involved in an MMORPG. For now, GTA III will do very nicely indeed, thank you very much.

Jun 17th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Svenska PC Gamer (95 out of 100)

Ett fritt gangsterspel med suverän känsla och enorma miljöer.

Jul 2002 · Windows

Meristation (9.5 out of 10)

Por si no lo he dicho antes, GTA III está conducido por una historia. Una historia elaborada y oscura, muy de cine negro actual, un poquito El Padrino, un mucho Payback. El argumento es muy descarado y sin complejos y nos muestra el mundo del hampa con un deje de humor negro bastante simpático. Los personajes son un poco estereotípicos pero creíbles, las historias son tristemente muy posibles y al final la trama engancha y empuja a completar misiones para saber más.

Jun 25th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (95 out of 100)

Лучше скажите мне вот что, мисс: вам нравится этот город? За что, спрОсите? Да за всё. За опьяняющую разум свободу действий, за отражения фар моего "Инфернуса" на мокром асфальте, за чумовые радиостанции, что заполняют эфир 365 дней в году... Я готов любить Либерти-сити за одних только жителей — трижды сволочных, жестоких, циничных и подлых, но в то же время таких умных, живых, настоящих!

May 30th, 2002 · Windows · read review

IGN (9.4 out of 10)

Even though the editors at IGN ultimately chose Halo for 2001 Overall Game of the Year, after the ballots were counted and the chads examined and re-examined, the decision came down to a one-vote lead for Halo, with an intense eight to seven battle with another extraordinary impressive game. The seven dissenting votes went to Grand Theft Auto III for the PS2, and I was among those who thought it was good enough to deserve the ultimate of awards.

May 27th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Peliplaneetta.net (94 out of 100)

GTA3 ei ole pelkästään monipuolinen tai kaunis. Se on muutamine puutteineen ja vikoineenkin niin hyvä peli, että se ottaa melkein päähän. Kun tätä on kerran päässyt maistamaan, saattavat muut pelit helposti tuntua rajoittuneen ahtailta, epärealistisilta tai itseään toistavilta. Harvat pelit nostavat rimaa, mutta Rockstarin uusin on ilman toivottua moninpeliäkin kiistaton virstanpylväs pelihistoriassa ja pistää odottamaan tulevaisuuden peleiltä lähes ihmeitä. Aika näyttää, pystyykö pitkään odotettu Mafia vastaamaan uusimman GTA:n haasteeseen muutenkin kuin teknisesti paremman grafiikkansa avulla.

Jun 4th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Atomic Gamer (94 out of 100)

A while back, there were plans for making the PC port of GTA3 playable online. And while that didn't make into the final version, it's still a great game that most players will enjoy for a good twenty to forth hours or more. Multiplayer modes would have made this game even better, but it seems Rockstar Studios didn't find it worth the time it'd have taken to finish it (plus, there's the chance they're planning a whole separate multiplayer GTA game for later). Despite its problems and lack of multiplayer, GTA3 is a wonderful title that'll keep you whacking gangsters and cops for weeks.

Jun 3rd, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (9.3 out of 10)

Judged solely as an enhanced port, Grand Theft Auto III is a little lacking. Other than the addition of mouselook--whose beneficial impact on gameplay cannot be understated--nothing much has been added. There's no new content, the replay feature is pretty bad, and by improving just some of the graphical elements, the overall visual effect has arguably gotten worse. But--and this is a big "but"--GTAIII is a faithful port of a truly exceptional game. As long as you have a PC an order of magnitude greater than publisher's recommended specs, then you'll find in Grand Theft Auto III one of the most inventive and satisfying action games of all time.

May 28th, 2002 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (92 out of 100)

it’s hard to imagine a PC gamer who won’t immediately take to GTA III. It empowers you as a player in ways few games even try to do. And it’s quite simply a whole lot of fun.

2002 · Windows · read review

Mygamer.com (9.2 out of 10)

A definite buy! Not since Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 have I glued myself in front of the monitor for this long. This game simply blows its competition out of the water.

Sep 14th, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) (92 out of 100)

Als je het enkel en alleen als een omzetting van een consolegame naar pc bekijkt, had je wat meer nieuwigheden kunnen verwachten - op de heel welkome 'mouse look' na natuurlijk. Maar, en dit is een heel grote 'maar', GTAIII op de pc is een trouwe en precieze overstap van een echt onwaarschijnlijk sterk en uniek game. Wie een configuratie heeft die krachtig genoeg is, moet dit creatieve, meeslepende en tot in de details uitgewerkte game gewoonweg hebben.

May 31st, 2002 · Windows · read review

Gamesmania.de (91 out of 100)

GTA III ist originell, actiongeladen, hübsch und bietet wie kaum ein anderes Spiel die Möglichkeit, komplett in eine Spielwelt einzutauchen. Eines der besten PC-Spiele des Jahres, das in keiner Action-Sammlung fehlen darf.

May 25th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Gameguru Mania (91 out of 100)

Is GTA3 worth your hard earned money? The answer is surprisingly simple, if you have never played the PS2 version, definitely yes, because gameplay is superb and the game has really incredible replay value If you like games of this type and you don't have PS2, then you should get this game.

Jun 11th, 2002 · Windows · read review

ComputerGames.ro (90 out of 100)

Choose rainy days, choose uzis and bazookas, choose a fast car or a bullet proof patriot, choose hookers instead of girlfriends, choose money over friendship, choose insane stunt jumps and suspended railway cruising, choose gunned policemen and torched cars, choose dead SWAT teams and blown helicopters, choose Asuka and Maria both in same time (trust me), choose the sweetest life, choose Grand Theft Auto 3!

Jun 21st, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (90 out of 100)

Nach der Konsolenfassung habe ich GTA 3 auf dem PC erneut durchgespielt, obwohl die Missionen identisch sind. Denn dank der alternativen Lösungswege machen die Botenfahrten und Killer-Aufträge auch beim zweiten Mal Spaß. Es steht mir völlig frei, wie ich etwa Mafia-Boss Salvatore ausschalte. Wenn mir das Scharfschützengewehr zu langweilig ist, ramme ich halt seine Limousine zu Klump. Oder ich blockiere seinen Heimweg mit einer Straßensperre aus geklauten Lieferwagen. Ein paar Handgranaten aus dem Hinterhalt erledigen dann den Rest. Da ist es mir auch egal, dass das Spielprinzip nur aus Fahren und Ballern besteht. Erstklassig ist die Atmosphäre gelungen: Die Gangsterbosse in den Zwischensequenzen sind richtige Charakterköpfe. Schade nur, dass die hervorragenden Sprecher ihre Aufträge nicht auf Deutsch erteilen. Das und einige technische Schlampereien legen die Vermutung nahe, dass GTA 3 schnell fertig werden musste.

Jun 2002 · Windows

Super Play (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

Annars måste jag säga att Grand Theft Auto III är lika härligt och fascinerande som det var när det debuterade till PlayStation2. Det ger spelaren en fantastisk frihet i en våldsam stad som inbjuder till brott av både små och stora mått. En milstople inom spelhistorien som mycket välförtjänt vann titeln "Årets spel" på senaste Spelgalan.

Jul 2002 · Windows

PC Zone Benelux (90 out of 100)

Op enkele diehard fans van de eerste twee delen na, zal iedereen wel tevreden zijn met het nieuwe driedimensionale uiterlijk van het spel. Dat werkt uitstekend. De cameravoering is prima, zowel als je loopt als vanuit een auto. Het spel ziet er in 3D ook prima uit, zelfs nog een stuk beter dan de eerder verschenen versie voor de PlayStation 2. Ook de verschillende auto's zijn prima. Ze sturen lekker direct en dat is goed in een spel als dit. Bovendien voelt elk model anders aan, er zit dus een groot verschil tussen een sportwagen en een verhuistruck. Hierin is GTA3 echter niet echt spectaculair. Het spel is top omdat het zo heerlijk ongecompliceerd, enorm grappig en ongekend afwisselend is.

Jul 2002 · Windows

Play.tm (90 out of 100)

This game is destined to be a big hit on the PC. It mixes driving, wandering around with big guns, and even bigger explosions. One thing to note; this game is not subtle and if you prefer the more cerebral PC experiences then this might not be for you. I'm sure for the rest of the bloodthirsty masses it's been a long wait for this conversion, and it's definitely been worth it. GTA3 is a big release that doesn't disappoint. What are waiting for? Go run over some old people. Ahem.

Jun 9th, 2002 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (90 out of 100)

In aller Kürze: Geht und kauft Euch eines der derzeit besten PC-Spiele überhaupt! Etwas länger: Ich habe selten ein Spiel mit derartiger Handlungsfreiheit erlebt. Es gibt immer mehrere Lösungen für ein Problem; wenn man will, kann man sein Geld auch friedlich verdienen - oder aber auch als Gangster übelster Sorte, wenn man mit den Konsequenzen leben kann. Grafik, Sound, Spielwitz und Mittendrin-Gefühl sind vom Allerfeinsten und die Motivation auch nach Tagen und Wochen des Spiels ungebrochen hoch. Einige kleinere Dämpfer wie Grafikfehler, das eingeschränkte Speichersystem oder die eine oder andere maue Mission vermögen den Spielspaß kaum zu bremsen. GTA3 ist am PC mindestens genauso ein Highlight wie auf der PS2 - wenn nicht sogar ein wenig mehr. Allerdings nur für Spieler, die kein Problem mit der teils heftigen Gewaltdarstellung haben.

May 29th, 2002 · Windows · read review

All Game Guide ( )

As a game, Grand Theft Auto III is fun with impressive character development, replay, variety, and gore. With the separate missions optional with the Taxicabs, Fire Trucks, and Police Cars. Rampage missions, evading the police, and racing your car off ridiculous jumps are so much fun that completing the missions may take you quite a while. Just do everyone a favor and keep the kids away from it.

2002 · Windows · read review

GamersHell.com (9 out of 10)

Grand Theft Auto 3 does a great job at immersing the player within the game, and for me, racing from the cops trying your best to stay alive is a more exciting than most new games. It may not have the most technologically advanced graphics, but it’s put together in such a great way that the cities truly come to life. The audio also plays a very important part in Grand Theft Auto 3, with professional voice-overs and very diverse music. Multiplayer would be an awesome addition to the game, and even though it sadly isn’t included the single player part is very fun to play, and with so many challenging missions you’ll surely get your money worth. If you like action in any way and have a somewhat new PC then be sure to buy this game, just don’t shoot the clerk at the store.

2002 · Windows · read review

Gamekult (9 out of 10)

Avec Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar Studios offre une nouvelle référence au genre et un beau cadeau aux fans de la série. Le gameplay du premier épisode, associé à une liberté d'action jamais vue, une ville superbement modélisée, un moteur physique bien sympathique et une durée de vie exemplaire, la barre est placée très haut. Le copier/coller intégral de la version PS2 sur nos machines (jusqu'au livret, qui est strictement identique... mis à part les contrôles clavier) est cependant un brin intégral et aucune grosse modification n'est présente, si ce n'est le support de nombreuses résolutions : pas de multi, les mêmes sacrifices de mémoire et surtout, l'animation moyenne pour la plupart des machines. En bref, un excellent jeu à posséder, mais qui demande tout de même une grosse machine pour véritablement s'exprimer graphiquement. Un manque d'optimisation un peu triste, quand même.

May 29th, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameTrip.net (9 out of 10)

En dehors de l'aspect film noir scénarisé et les graphismes somptueux, on peut noter que ce titre reste encore et surtout politiquement incorrect. Il est truffé de détails, mais aussi de références liées à la pop culture et aux films de gangsters. Le casting vocal peut se targuer d'avoir Joe Pantoliano ou Michael Madsen. Il a fait fureur à l'époque, il a fait pleurer des associations qui défendent nos chères têtes blondes, et il était interdit aux moins de 18 ans partout sauf chez nous (16 ans), mais tous les jeunes de 14 ans l'avaient déjà. Tellement proche des références du polar noir qu'un pack GTA III + Pulp Fiction était vendu pour 60 boules.

Mar 12th, 2020 · Windows · read review

ActionTrip (90 out of 100)

In a nutshell, GTA3 suffers a bit from console porting syndrome, and the designers could've worked a bit more on the whole side-quest concept, but I think you'll find that in the end, this is one addictive, intelligent and original game that's definitely worth your money.

May 29th, 2002 · Windows · read review

ESC Magazine (9 out of 10)

Grand Theft Auto III stands as a testament to game makers on how to do it right. The open-ended style of gameplay, the side-quests, the missions, the driving, the flying, the running, the shooting, the crime waves, the jumps, the cars, the people, the innuendo, the humor and the sheer fun all combine together to make a great, easily accessible, sweet-ass game.

Jul 1st, 2002 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (90 out of 100)

Geen enkel moreel bezwaar zou je mogen weerhouden te genieten van dit schitterende spel. Topklasse!

Jun 29th, 2002 · Windows

PC Action (Germany) (89 out of 100)

Endlich darf ich mal so richtig aufs Gas treten. Im realen Leben tu ich das ja eher nicht. Dass ich bei der virtuellen Hatz andere Autos demoliere, stört keine Sau. Und wenn doch einmal ein Gesetzeshüter das Mosern anfängt, fahr ich halt zur nächsten Lackiererei. Die Actioneinlagen sind gut in Szene gesetzt und bieten durchweg ansehnliche 3D-Optik. Störfaktoren hingegen sind die feste Speicherfunktion und der Schwierigkeitsgrad. Während Hardcore-Zocker der Sabber aus dem Mund läuft, schauen Genre-Einsteiger dumm aus der Wäsche. Fazit: umfangreiches Spektakel, bei dem trotz kleinerer Makel der Spielspaß lange anhält.

Jun 2002 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (89 out of 100)

GTA 3 ist eine Wundertüte: Man weiß nie, was einen erwartet. Als ich den zur Routine gewordenen Autoklau zum hundertstem Mal vollzog und den Fahrer eines Wagens grob vom Steuer wegzerrte, war die Überraschung groß: Die Person entpuppte sich als energische Oma, die Karatekicks und fiese Schläge mit der Einkaufstasche beherrschte. Unglaublich, was in GTA 3 alles drinsteckt. Da sind unzählige Autos, die sich allesamt unterschiedlich fahren, und über 70 abwechslungsreiche Missionen in einer Stadt, wie sie lebendiger nie simuliert wurde. Damit verfügt der Titel über zwei Dinge, die im Action-Genre heutzutage rar sind: Einzigartigkeit und Umfang. Die 90er-Hürde schafft GTA 3 trotzdem nicht. Erstens ist mir die beschränkte Speicherfunktion zu umständlich, zweitens die Fahrzeugsteuerung in den ersten Spielstunden zu schwierig, weil übersensibel.

Jun 14th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Game Over Online (88 out of 100)

The swell thing about GTA3 is its flexibility. I can run the missions, or just cruise around the town. I can play for five minutes or over three hours (and I’ve done both). It’s more or less an arcade game, but there’s enough stuff going on to hold your interest. It’s not deep and it’s not teaching our children good things about being productive members of society, but it’s fun, and personally that’s all I expect a game to be.

Jul 18th, 2002 · Windows · read review

PC Powerplay (87 out of 100)

Auch nach drei Jahren hat das erste GTA in 3D nichts von seinem Charme eingebüßt. Klar: Verglichen mit San Andreas eher ein Dorf, und der triste „grau in grau“-Look lässt mich mit Wehmut ans quietschbunte Vice City denken. Als Budget-Titel allerdings steht der Opa noch locker seinen Mann, und wer die spielübergreifende Story in ihrer ganzen Pracht genießen will, kommt um Teil drei nicht herum.

Jul 2005 · Windows

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)

Depuis sa version PS2, GTA 3 n'a pas pris une ride. Bien au contraire ! On peut même dire qu'il a subi un agréable lifting. Mis à part la jouabilité très agaçante, le titre n'a rien perdu de son charme et de son intérêt. Un jeu chaudement conseillé !

May 29th, 2002 · Windows · read review

FiringSquad (84 out of 100)

Who would I recommend this game to? Grand Theft Auto 3 is for those gamers who like to “tinker” with a game – finding all the secrets, collecting every hidden item, exploiting bugs, etc – just for the hell of it. Those same gamers who liked to play Black & White just to see what the creature would do will like GTA3. Instead of pondering where you creature will take a dump, you can see how many people you can kill before the cops bust your ass.

Jun 7th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Factornews (8 out of 10)

Promis j'le f'rai plus m'sieur l'juge. D'un côté, Grand Theft Auto 3 est un chef d'oeuvre de réalisation. Liberté totale dans une mégapole quasiment à l'échelle 1, missions d'une variété incroyable, langage adulte (en Anglais, et c'est tant mieux), immoralité omniprésente. Mais ce tableau idyllique est un peu gâché par une IA à coucher dehors et qui vous fera piquer des crises de nerf digne d'une Milla Jovovitch sur un plateau de France 2 (si vous ne voyez pas de quoi je parle c'est pas grave). C'est ce qui manque à ce jeu pour en faire un véritable mythe, même si l'excellente réputation de la série est déjà éloquente. Les graphismes sont honnêtes, mais on sent bien les limitations de la console derrière que les développeurs n'ont pas pu (voulu ? eu le temps ?) véritablement faire disparaître pour laisser s'exprimer les cartes de dernière génération que nous autres utilisateurs PCs ne manquons pas de courrir après. Un excellent jeu, vraiment, mais boudiou pourvu qu'ils patchent l'IA !

May 30th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Christ Centered Gamer / Christ Centered Game Reviews (68.5 out of 100)

Grand Theft Auto will always go down as the game series that invented the sandbox genre, and continues to reinvent it. The defining characteristic of the sandbox genre is the ability to do just about anything. A player can commandeer any car, and go just about anywhere. GTA3 is the first game in the series to make the leap to 3D, opening up many new possibilities. The game puts the player in the shoes of a silent mobster, running dangerous, illegal, or immoral (or all of the above) errands for various people. These missions involve murder, robbery, extortion, street racing, transport, and other activities. This is while trying to unravel a story of revenge, as the main character must get back at his former lover, who turned on him in a robbery. The city is very lifelike, bustling with activity. The game spans three islands of the quite large Liberty City, each island becoming available after a certain point in the game.

Nov 16th, 2006 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

An excellent free-form game with some flaws.
by Archagon (112)

The Good
The sheer HUGENESS of the world is enough to draw most people in. I really enjoyed the free-form gameplay, as well. It's pretty fun to run from the cops, and the graphics are very good...notice how the lights leave trails and rainy days leave reflections on the ground. The missions are very varied, and, technically, you can do anything you want. The physics are excellent, as well. The gore is pretty good, too. The MP3 player is a GREAT addition!

The Bad
Well, the graphics are kind of Playstation-ish (minor clipping and stuff). There is no multiplayer, although it was planned! There isn't NEARLY enough things to destroy, and the cops are pretty stupid (I got onto the boat via ramp and they just went into the water...LOL). What's up with the "Trails" option?! You can't save your game during a mission. Cars get screwed up too fast, in my opinion. Finally, there is no in-game map, only a radar, and you can get lost quite easily. Oh, yeah, and it gets a bit repetative after a while, but not enough to hinder gameplay.

The Bottom Line
An excellent game, although flawed, which I could recommend to any action gamer (over 17)!

Jun 1st, 2002 · Windows

Guns, violence, harsh language and ice cream trucks. What more could you want?
by Kartanym (12689)

The Good
As an Australian who missed out on the original GTA3 on PS2 before it was replaced with a cut-up version, the fact that the PC version has every little detail as it was originally intended is a big bonus.

Anyway, the game itself is a real blast. Although at first I was a little worried that the transition to 3D might hurt the series, after a few hours blasting my way through the biggest virtual city I've played in, those doubts were thrown out the window, shot to pieces, left on the road and run over by an incoming ice cream truck.

Gameplay itself is varied, very varied. There's so much to do in the city, it's crazy. There are, of course, objectives to be met and thankfully DMA and Rockstar have allowed for some form of open ended adventures since you can complete the objectives to open new areas and items, or just blast around the place ignoring everyone and everything.

Nothing tops grabbing a rocket launcher and blasting everything in the world the to bits. Only Red Faction comes close to creating an environment that can be totally destroyed with pleasure beaming on the players face.

The Bad
There are some slight problems with the graphics (only slight, nothing really to worry about) and you need a fairly strong computer to get the most out of it.

Oh, and if you don't like Ice Cream trucks, stay well away.

The Bottom Line
I'm sure it will get a fair share of "Kids should not play this game, it is a disgrace". What a minority of people don't understand is that this game was never built with kids in mind, therefore developers and publishers should not be put to shame over their ideas, but parents who allow younger children to play it. Not that I want to fight over this.

GTA3 is a sign that the older generation of gamers (from the 20-30 onwards range) don't want to be left out in the cold. DMA and Rockstar should be proud of this achievement. I certainly am.

Now if you will excuse me, I have an Ice Cream truck waiting for me.

Mar 12th, 2006 · Windows

I'll mess you the heck up..... and laugh for days about it!
by Eduardo Gabrieloff (33)

The Good
I'll summarize a story. I was being chased by a cop after doing some sort of crime that did not go over well. I decided to turn into an ally instead of continuing on the road. I realize, too late, that I am entering the territory of the Mafia, who I've angered enough that they open fire whenever they see me. There is a goon at the end of the ally, but there is a huge cop car behind me, so I hit the gas. As I approach the goon, he opens fire, but realizing I am not being swayed, begins to dive out of the way. He does not see the wall there. After he hits the wall face-first, he bounces off. Then, as I begin to pass the goon, his head smacks the side of my car, an falls to the ground where he is run over by the cop chasing me. These are the types of stories you will come away with from this game. You are introduced to a living city, which is a bit rare in a computer game. You can go anywhere and do anything, within limits. The game is truely open ended. The graphics are amazing. The sound of amazing. This game is truely amazing, and you can do the things you want to do in real life, but would feel terrible for doing, like pulling the guy out of the car next to you and beating him to death, then running over his body with his own car.

The Bad
The game has high system requirements, though that is easily forgetable once you start playing. I thought the game ended abrubtly. I wished I could do more, find another 100 missions, even random ones. I didn't like that the game was banned in Australia.

The Bottom Line
The best game I've played in ages, and extremely free-form. You can be as evil or nice as you want, kill more or less people than the next guy, and play chase with the cops. This game is everything you'd expect and more. It is what you WANT to play.

Jul 14th, 2002 · Windows

Computer asks man: "Is that what you want?" Man replies "Hell yes!"
by The Cheshire (5)

The Good
Rockstar games have made some pretty intriguing titles in the past. The Grand Theft Auto series has a cult following to rival Doug & The Slugs, at least among the computer saavy. Well, Grand Theft Auto just fell out the window. Whether this game is allowed to even wear that moniker is still under debate for me.

I don't know what game engine this runs on, but it's awesome. There is linearity in the story and gameplay, but you can mess around with Liberty City as much as you feel you need to. It's a living, walking, talking, and driving city. Realism? You don't even have to go outside anymore, if you're a criminal.

Just as in the real world, there are consequences. If you steal a car in front of a cop, don't expect the cop not to notice. If you punch someone, they punch you back, and they may even pull out a gun. Don't screw with the mafia, or they'll screw with you. Same goes for the gangs. You steal a gang car, and you're in deep.

But damn, is this addictive. Hours can fly by just painting the town red. You steal a sports car, bomb around until you trash it, steal a cop car when they're not looking, cause havoc with the cops, kill some pedestrians, and whadya mean it's eleven o'clock? I don't wanna go to bed yet.

The Bad
As with almost every game, it could use some improvements. Along with this strenuous realism comes a cost, and that cost is PC hardware. You need a real decent system to run this game. Celerons, video cards with 16mb ram, of computers with less than 256mb RAM need not apply. Windows XP beahviour with NVidia cards sucks, but thats because Windows XP sucks. I run AMD700 with 64MB Geforce4 and 320Mb RAM and I just squeeze by at a decent frame rate, for instance.

The Bottom Line
Overall, this is probably the best game for game addicts to come along in a long time. Just don't apply with anything more than a year old, or like me, you'll be frustrated that this fictional world suffers a devastating case of frame-rate indigestion.

Jul 20th, 2003 · Windows

Bringing Crime and Action Game-Play to a Whole New Level: No Levels!
by Dwango (299)

The Good
GTA3 brings a strong and irreverent sense of humor, making fun of the stereotypes people have of gangs and city life. Each neighborhood lampoons neighborhoods straight out of various gang movies such as the Godfather, Colors, and Do the Right Thing. The people walking along the street throw out humorous epithets. And the cut scenes can be a riot, standing the stereotypes on their head.

And the Radio… this is the best produced game sound ever. It fits perfectly in the game, sounding just like real radio, yet with an ironic twist. Even today, I listen to my radio in the car and realize how right on the comedy was. Statements such as “Music you were tired of when they were hot” and “Calling out to any sane people in Liberty City” still sound familiar and leave a smile on your face. And the music is well done, with the correct variety for each station and none sounding out of place. This game device is one that definitely will be emulated, but never reproduced.

One of the strongest points of GTA3 is the big and alive world of Liberty City. The world draws you in with its gritty cityscapes, adding to the campy feel. The constant Chinese decoration of Chinatown, the upscale feel of Staunton island complete with modern gyms, and the obvious uphill rich living over the hood in Shoreside Vale, all examples of the stylized world you are exploring.

What really brings the game world to life is the background characters. Each neighborhood carefully has placed the crowds with the stereotypical people of the neighborhoods. And they act realistically with some gang members grabbing purses, hookers and pimps having fights, and humorous little comments from each group. It feels like they have their own lives. And it really works when your character, the carjacker, get jacked by a bystander. Now you are a victim of your own kind of crime!

The game-play depend on mixes of two kinds of game-play, driving or third person shooter. But, they really have some creative ways of making the game-play interesting. Some of the games are in the main missions, which advance the story. They have missions such as get to a place in a certain time, guard a van going to an appointed place, snipe some bad guys so a friend won’t die. More like these can come from the phones, which will be pointed to by your “pager.” They mix up the types of missions, and they can be somewhat challenging, but never too difficult.

Then, the city has tons of hidden missions. You can collect packages hidden around the city to improve the weapons you get at the home. Police, taxi, fire trucks, and ambulances each have their own missions you can complete. There are Rampage icons that give you a brief amount of time to kill a certain number of gangsters or destroy a certain number of gangster vehicles. There are the creative “Toyz” missions where you drive an RC car, which will destroy gangster vehicles, and the more you destroy, the higher the score. Really, this is a lot of game-play, enticing you to explore the city and see the detailed areas.

On top of this is the freedom you have to do what you want, creating your own challenges. You can cause your own mayhem. You can rob people or chase down muggers. You can find unique jumps and try various vehicles to see how they jump. You can take the subway across the city or explore the tunnels once they are open. You can steal a boat and float around the city. You can steal a Dodo plane and learn how to fly it (difficult, but fun). You can go on your own rampage and see how dangerous the cops can really be, especially as your wanted level goes up. GTA3 really sets the standard on freedom in an action game and every activity has its own rewards.

If you have the pc edition, you have some nice treats. You can add your own music to the radio and have it as an extra station. I found Shaggy was a good addition to my stations. Also, you can get different skins for you character make a more customized look from the Elvis impersonator you seem to be playing. Finally, the graphics are much improved from its PS2 brother, with cars looking sweet and city blocks having much more detail, though character models are still unimpressive, as I will describe.

The Bad
Even though the game-play is pretty varied, it can be somewhat repetitive as they are mostly variations on the same themes. I went about halfway through the game before I needed to take a break from it. The complete-est in me wanted to get all the mini-missions before moving to the main missions, and that became drudgery before too long. Its better to take advantage of the varied missions and not redo the same ones over too often.

The illusion of the vast city can be easily ruined by the way the game handles it various pieces. Turn one direction and then back again will change the type of people and cars at a certain radius from the player. This is useful when you need new people to shoot at when reaching a mission quota, but rather weird to see. When the game needs to add people to the mix, they can be caught dropping from the air (kind of funny when you see it). Cars you collect and leave as blockades will just suddenly disappear if the world has too many cars. This can be inconvenient when you need to the set up roadblocks or create cover if you’ve got a five star wanted rating.

And despite these tricks to save on processing speed, the graphics still must suffer to make the game work. Character models are extremely blocky, especially the Lego hands everyone has. Many of the characters are so ugly; it’s hard to match them to the nice hand drawn characters in the map.

Another issue is the way missions can be cheated easily. On one mission I need to avoid the police by being chased around and keeping alive. I found I could run into a garage to hide until the timer expired, not the desired point of the mission. And this can be found in many missions where all you need is luck to win. Some races or chases were made obscenely easy when cars would destroy them selves by falling off cliffs or get trapped in ally’s you could navigate but they can’t.

Now, the next big problem is the story. It’s a simple get revenge on the former lover story that has some promise. But much of the time what you are doing does not make much sense. You just get told do this or that and don’t see why you are doing it. Then you start helping out new bosses with no real reason of how or if they are furthering your goals. It does not help that the main character is silent, so his motives are always his own. And it ends suddenly, feeling like they ran out of time and had to end it.

And this is my final gripe. The final area, Shoreside Vale is poorly used. They made a complex place to navigate that seems ripe to create new challenges for the game-play, and then they never really use it. Sure, you get to go there for a few missions, but part of a go all over the city mission. If it weren’t for the rampages and the police missions, there would be no reason to go to Shoreside Vale.

The Bottom Line
GTA3 is a genre breaking action game that really creates a gritty yet over-the-top world to leisurely explore or rigidly complete all tasks. Now, I am somewhat biased, in I discovered GTA when it first came out and loved its game-play and non-conformist view of gaming. Really, they took the game-play from 2d to 3d, but it works so much better.

With a massive amount of things to do, the game keeps you interested. It then sells itself with a live feeling world, full of people and cars that act like you’d see in a real city. And on top of this it goes so over the top that you realize every action is a parody of real life, so you can go about this world with a smile at the wit.

Certainly, it is not perfect, as the game styles are used again and again, the illusion of the world lowers the graphics level and uses cheap tricks to populate it, and there are certain levels if the story missions can. But GTA3 succeeds despite its limitations, and its sense of humor successfully covers for these limitations.

What GTA3 achieves is something RPGs were already doing. It brings to the action table the ideas of moving beyond levels and exploring a world, with action at the core. It proves that action game-play can work within a much larger frame of reference than levels.

Aug 31st, 2005 · Windows

It may be the bad boy of the videogaming world, but it's also a well-deserved classic.
by Zovni (10617)

The Good
There's really not much else I can add to the tons of praises and accolades that everyone and his sister has already written about the revolutionary third installment of the Grand Theft Auto series. Basically it's THAT good.

If you've played any of the GTA titles before, then you might have a good idea of the main concept behind the game. You are a thug/hitman/getaway-driver/criminal that gets dropped in a city and works for several seedy characters doing their dirty work which most of the time involves using the many different vehicles of the city to your advantage. Clever as it was, that concept didn't really make it big time until the series got to this sequel, were thanks to the next generation gaming power of the PS2 and subsequently the PC, it finally got to strut it's stuff and fully develop it's concept of playing the role of a criminal in your own virtual city.

Changing to a 3rd-person perspective the game basically thrusts you in a living, breathing polygonal city crafted with an impressive engine that allows seamless spawning of gigantic buildings, rush-hour like traffic made up of fully detailed cars complete with realistic damage and physics models (to an extent, remember it's not a sim) as well as fantastically animated pedestrians that react to your behavior in different ways and whose models sport such niceties as localized damage for creative murders and different textures/models. The game also features decal textures for nice details such as skid marks, bloody skid marks, reflective surfaces, realtime lighting and realistic weather effects that allow the city to have it's own day/night cycles and everything in between with fog and rain effects as well.

You can take to the streets of Liberty City anytime you want, exploring the many locations to be found and cruising around on foot or in your favourite car (obtained through the time-honored technique of carjacking the series is known for). Of course, this by itself could become unimpressive pretty easily, and quite frankly isn't so much of a feat, as similar "sandbox simulators" that failed to provide the gamer a significant gameplay experience besides that of being left to wonder around on your own were already around (see: Shenmue). No sir, GTA3 is much more than a simple city-cruising game, and it is once you start playing that you realize just how far it's scope extends.

Basically speaking the game covers almost all the bases you can think of when you think of arcade/action gaming. There's every variation of racing gameplay possible, 3D action shootfests, sniping sequences and more, all based around simple yet lovingly crafted missions that always involve you doing shady works for opposing ganglords. This missions mostly follow a main plot, but you have also optional missions that you can tackle or not, (which often yield a bonus of some kind) as well as amuse yourself with the extra minigames/professions such as running fares as a cabby or chasing crooks as a cop which can be as much fun on it's own as the main game in some cases. You can also try to find the extra challenges sprinkled through the city in the form of hidden packages, jump locations or "rampage" missions that involve disposing of a given number of persons/gang members or whatever using a specific weapon or tactic... all without getting the attention of the city's cops, which start tracking you once they see you do messy stuff such as stealing a car or running over someone and whose number and aggressiveness increases with the level of mayhem you cause. And boy can they get vicious! (those FBI dudes would run over their own mothers if they got in their way!). The possibilities are pretty much endless and given the nearly gigantic size of Liberty City (sprawled across 3 different sections) the game offers nearly unlimited gameplay experiences even after you passed that 100% completition mark.

Another key factor in the success of GTA3 is it's use of humor to compensate what was at the time a major concern in the gaming industry and which was it's mature content. Yes, GTA3 is violent and mature, and it deals with criminal organizations, has lots of bloody moments on it as well as plenty of mature situations such as being able to pick up a whore and taking her to do "her thang" in order to regain health (don't you just love that?!). But it's all laced with such a distinct sense of humor that nowhere does the game seem as grim or dark as it is made out to be. The gangmembers are all clever caricatures of the many stereotypes surrounding their particular condition (guess how the Italian mafia or the Yakuzas are portrayed) and practically every element in the game sort of winks at you and tells you not to take it seriously and just have fun. After all, what sort of reaction is one supposed to have when one bombs and murders a group of mafia members with an Ice-cream truck??

The comedy doesn't just work as means to compensate the mature themes of the game, but also gets to strut it's stuff on it's own thanks to the wonderfully scripted radio advertisements, billboards and talk shows that take potshots at everything that composes American pop culture, even taking a jab at the videogame industry with such things as the ads for Pogo the Monkey "Just what the world needs, another cutey platform game!!".

These radio ads and talkshows are just a small part of the other fantastic element in GTA3, and which is it's full fledged collection of fictional radio stations, which you can switch at any moment to cruise around to whatever music you want to, be it teeny-booper pop, 80's classics, hip-hop, rock, classical music or any of the other radio signals that include exceptionally well produced material presented by excellently stereotyped DJs, or lenghty comedy bits such as "Fernando's New Beginnings" in the city's most important talkshow station. All voice-acted with exceptional quality and talent that matches the title's stellar production values.

As a clever extra for the PC version, the game allows you to import your own MP3 files and use them as your very own custom radio as well as other PC-only additions such as being able to customize and change your player's skin (I played my GTA3 as Ben from Full Throttle and a friend of mine did so as Snake from The Simpsons!!) as well as improved control that allows the use of the mouse/keyboard combo we PC users so favor. Quite frankly I have no idea how the hell the PS2 crowd got to enjoy this game using their stupid gamepads and the shitty "classic" controls with auto-aiming and camera-dependant movement, but thanks to the nice guys behind the PC port I don't have to find out and get to rejoice with the freedom my mouse gives me.

The Bad
Minor quirks mostly, those are the only real problems that one can point at the exceptional work of game design that GTA3 is. Everyone has their pet peeve and I'm no exception, but make no mistake, they are all just bitching:

No equalization for the MP3 playback which means some of your files may sound too weak and others too loud. Can't your guy swim?? I understand the use of water as a means of limiting the gaming area, but why does it have to mean instant death? The plane sucks ass pure and simple. Some missions are rather weak, and the plot could be more interesting and involving (see the sequel, Vice City for that). And last but not least, the developers neglected to include a little feature that makes the PC version take a substantial performance hit, I'm talking about the shitty idea of keeping the gargantuan audio files in the game CD.

Not many people took notice of this as being the cause of the game's poor framerates, and even fewer realized that the solution to it is really simple: just download a No-CD crack from your favourite crack site (no I don't know of anyone as all my games are original.... uh...yeah, right...) and then copy all the audio files of the 2nd CD to the Audio directory in the game's root and presto! See? GTA3 can fly even on a P3! But it sure sucks when pirates have to do the developer's work...

The Bottom Line
A fantastic game that using creativity and clever gameplay concepts managed to carve it's place as one of the best titles ever developed for any platform. Plus it's probably the first mature title (understanding "mature" as something more than blood and guts) to attain such a blockbuster/instant classic status and not be relegated to the murky pits of cult-fandom.

If we want to really, really understand GTA3's success we should probably trace it all the way back to the classics of the videogame world, and in fact one can better understand the concept behind the game once one realizes that this is probably the first game to be spawned by the Nintendo generation as an homage to itself. Yes, GTA3 acknowledges such gameplay classics as Super Mario Bros. and the titles every 20-something freak like us grew up with, but does so with the mature interests that we now have, and the result is just fantastic.

This game is a must for anyone, if you really are on a budget and want to play the perfect game then you should probably skip it and get GTA: Vice City which is like the ultra-polished version of GTA3, but still this one is a fantastic experience enjoyable by anyone that loves videogaming at it's best.

Jun 4th, 2004 · Windows

Not actually THAT great
by Aapo Koivuniemi (45)

The Good
This game has received insane amounts of praise from virtually every possible place. However, after playing through it, I must say that I am actually dissappointed.

The playing arena, Liberty City, is large and life-like. At morning, the rising sun shines to your eyes, partially blinding you, while people rush to their job. Later, it starts to rain, and you turn the shiny new sports car of yours off the main road, and drive through a Yakuza-owned casino, holding your breath when the awesome neon lights reflect from the wet asphalt. At night the police patrols around the harsh areas of the city, while you go pick up the nearest hooker and have a little midnight fun. Unfortunately for her, you are low on cash - so she must be killed.

The graphics, as you probably know are quite good. Especially the car models are awesome, just look at that Cartel Cruiser... all that chrome. And the reflecting wet asphalt... and that really evil looking spotlight from the chopper just overhead. And weather & time effects are extremely beautiful. All those orange-colored sunrises and gloomy, foggy nights... Unfortunately the console history shines through in very low quality, blurry textures.

There are very many things to do in Liberty City. You could do the story-missions. Or you could try to help people by putting out fires or being a vigilante cop. Or you could try to find all those Unique Jumps or Hidden Packages. Or you could just get the biggest guns possible and cause some serious mayhem.

The game is much more down-to-earth than GTA2. No more busloads of people for hot dog factory, or trashing entire corporation construction yards because they are on Krishna holy ground. Just ordinary pimping, drug-pushing, assassinations and general driving here. Not sure if thats good or bad. I kinda liked the insane neo-retro style of GTA2.

And yes, continuing the GTA tradition, the game is a parody of the USA, and pretty much the whole western culture. Radio ADs for 12-seated family cars, Pogo the Monkey for president of USA, Belly-Up fish marketing, mafia bosses calling radio shows, pop-music parody (that sounds frighteningly similar to "real" pop-music)... everything is twisted, and you can easily spend time just listening all the nine radio shows through. Just to make sure you won't miss anything when you start blasting your own mp3's.

And last but not least, the ending of the game is both hilarious and very grim. One of the best endings for a game I've ever seen.

The Bad
The biggest mistake is seen immediately in the beginning. While GTA2 was pretty much 100% non-linear, and you could make almost anything you wanted to complete the game, here you absolutely have to complete certain missions (something like 40 that you absolutely must do, and a bit under 80 in total). To make things worse, most of the missions are utterly stupid and boring. Now just WHY do I have to shoot those gang members with UZI from my car? Why can't I go on the streets with my flame-thrower? Why must this honour-debt be paid in six minutes? Is that "old oriental gentleman" just stupid, when he selects the longest possible route through hostile territory? Why can't I handle those death-squads all by myself? In GTA2 this was not such a problem, and most of that game's missions were generally much funnier. Of course, there are a few cool missions (All three area-finishing missions are great!)

The original console controls are really bad. There are two ways to control the game. Either 100% keyboard, with automatic aiming, or the standard FPS-style controls with mouse aiming. In the first method turning and running in circles was very hard, and when you auto-aimed, the camera usually didn't really show, who you were shooting at, causing too many dead grannies piling on the sidewalks. The latter method is pretty good otherwise, but it felt slightly clumsy to first drive the car with keyboard only, and then suddenly rushing to get the mouse when you exited the vechile. I got used to it, so it wasn't that much of a problem.

Another problem is the range limitation on many weapons. Especially with the rocket launcher and sniper rifle you might see someone or something that you want to shoot, but can't, because the target is not in range. When I can see someone in the sniper scope, I should be able to shoot him.

Another huge annoyance is caused by the other drivers in the city. They don't really follow the traffic at all, causing zillions of crashes by switching the lane, or making U-turns with no apparent reason. They ARE, however, much more realistic that in GTA2. And you can always drive close to that annoying truck filling the whole street, and shoot it with the Uzi without even leaving your own car.

The sound effects in the game are very lame. Choppers sound like choppers, but even the large V-8 engines sound like little scooters or something. The guns are lacking bass and so are almosta all of the radio songs.

And finally the system requirements. I'm not sure, if my computer is somehow super-fast, or does everyone else have a really crappy computer. My friend with a 1800+ Athlon XP complained about choppy framerates, and I've heard many people with Radeons and GeForce3's accompanied with 1500+ MHz processors complaining that the game is almost unplayable. I have a 750 Athlon, with a GeForce 2 MX 200, and the game runs pretty well. Not silky-smooth, but easily playable - and the framerate is quite constant. Are people forgetting that there is a menu called "Display Options", where you can decrease the viewing distance and turn off the "trails"-motion blur effect. Of course, the 450 MHz minimum is most likely a really bad joke, and there is really not much to do, if you cannot achieve acceptable frame rates.

The Bottom Line
Well... this is the hard part. After seeing this game receiving dozens of "Game of the Year"-prizes and very good reviews, I cannot really say that they are deserved. Of course, this is a great game, and your money certainly won't be wasted with it, but it really isn't the best game out there. It might get into my personal top-10, but not in the top-3. Of course, it's the second-best console game I've played.

Oct 26th, 2002 · Windows

Great game...IF you can get it to run smoothly
by Nevoc (2)

The Good
Awesome 3D graphics, realistic vehicle handling, hours upon hours of fun, freedom to do almost ANYTHING, a great game for today's die hard gamer

The Bad
whether or not the game will work is pretty much luck, tech support doesn't help much, game and sounds lag, lack of multiplayer

The Bottom Line
BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK. The specs listed on the box mean nothing at all. My system (AMD Athlon 1300, 256 DDR RAM, ATI Radeon 9000Pro 64megs, 52xcd/dvd, WinME, Sound Blaster 16) fully exceeds recommended specs, and the game is barely playable. Tech support suggested I get a new video card (i had a 32mb Rage Fury Pro previously), which i did and still the game lags beyond playability. R* is slow with patches and their customer service department is slow with help. Many people I know have had many many problems with this game to this date. HOWEVER, if you can get it to run right, enjoy :) because this game kicks some serious rear-end!

Aug 16th, 2002 · Windows

Ahh...to live in a world without sin and restrictions...Oh yeah!
by Indra was here (20775)

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...

Nov 18th, 2003 · Windows

Very original and lots of fun
by Jeremy Petho (292)

The Good
The best thing about this game is the way it is set out: when you start the game, you are put in the city where you can freely roam around finding hidden packages and bonus missions and games, killing people and stealing cars or go to certain marked spots on the map where you can do the main missions when you feel like. As you go through the missions which are usually very fun and interesting, you unlock access to the other sections of the city one by one which were inaccessible at the start of the game. Another good thing about the game is that nothing is taken seriously, the whole thing is a parody about gangsters, mob bosses and other criminals.

The Bad
There isn't much not to like about this game. The main thing is probably the fact that you don't have the ability to swim (you drown almost instantly then you fall into deep water).

The Bottom Line
Hours of fun, I would highly recommend it (unless you already have GTA San Andreas)

Sep 2nd, 2007 · Windows

Plus 202 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, Yearman, Jeanne, Flu, Patrick Bregger, Alaedrain, Jacob Gens, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Val 50993, Scaryfun, Kabushi, Zaibatsu, GTramp, shphhd, Mobygamesisreanimated, Cantillon, Jack Torrance, lights out party, vedder, Alsy, Jivé GameTrip, Tim Janssen, Xoleras, Big John WV.