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Written by  :  Jason Lee (11)
Written on  :  Dec 08, 2002
Platform  :  Windows

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful

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Addictive as smack. Funny as hell. Best damn thing to happen to my hard drive.

The Good

You've been capped by your girlfriend and left to die. The cops pick you up, but you're out again fast than you can say "Jailbreak". Your only friend leads you to work for a Mafia pimp chauffering a hooker. Thus begins one of the most addictive games I've seen in my life.

Grand Theft Auto 3 is pretty much Grand Theft Auto 1 on drugs. It's present day Liberty City and (thank god) the Zaibatzu Corparation (remember GTA2) isn't in power. The people in Liberty City seem as real as they can be, talking about things from how their mother is also their sister, to humming tunes from the radio.

Speaking of the radio, it is one of the best game improvements I've seen in the GTA series. Head Radio, for example provides Rock and Pop music, while the DJ Michel Hunt, Mike Hunt, says cheesy cliche after cheesy cliche. My favorite is Chatterbox, a talk radio channel that's hosted by Lazlow, a DJ who seems to be the one sane person in Liberty City. Everyone calling in is messed up, such as a guy who makes his seven-year-old child work for a living or a Englishman who's looking for a nanny, because he's been a very naughty boy. Also you can add in your very own mp3's and listen to them as you cap grandma's or pick up hookers.

The meat and potatoes of the game are the missions. Many of them are varied and exciting, from driving around hookers and bank robbers, to acting as bait for the National Guard to chase as the real crooks get away. These chases are a mix of World's Wildest Police chases and The Blues Brothers. Helicopters, and massive car crashes kick ass. If you don't get an adrenaline rush and you're probably not playing it. That's why there is a button that makes a 30 second replay of you just did. You can also moonlight by jacking cars to make cash. Jack a Police Car and you can play Vigilante, killing criminals to save innocent civilans. Jack a Taxi and rush around Liberty, using every available shortcut to make sure that the hooker gets to Ammu-Nation or that grandpa gets to Sex Club Seven in less time than it takes you to deliver a pizza (im looking forward to GTA: Vice City for the PC). Also you can do all of this with your own face on the nameless character. Rock on!

The Bad

Of course, this game has it's flaws. My main problem is that all of Liberty City's islands weren't immediately available. It wasn't a real problem to finish my missions on dreary, dirty Portland Island to get to colorful, corrupt Stauton Island, but there were times I thought that it was a bad idea to seprate the two in the first place. Another problem is that running Stauton Island is slightly laggy on my machine, but it could be my car mods, but it still shouldn't happen.

My last problem is that even after porting it to the PC, it still isn't as graphically improved as I'd hoped.

The Bottom Line

One of the best games I've ever played.