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Written by  :  The Cheshire (6)
Written on  :  Jul 20, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Computer asks man: "Is that what you want?" Man replies "Hell yes!"

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.