Ever fancied being a tooled-up hoodlum, living on the wrong side of the law and mixing it up with street gangs in a war over turf, drugs and cold, hard cash? Welcome to Grand Theft Auto 3
on the PlayStation 2. Big brother of previous outings on the PSone and PC, GTA 3
has gone fully 3-D to bring the fictitious environs of Liberty City to life. Any worries about graphical speed on the PS2 are quickly dispelled the first time you carjack a taxi and take off like a lunatic, mowing down the innocent and incurring the wrath of law enforcement. This is silky-smooth stuff and the graphical details are truly awesome--all the vehicles are fully deformable and ripping off car doors reveals a driver complete with steering wheels inside.
Sonically, GTA 3 cannot be beaten; in-car tunes are provided from one of nine radio stations, each with its own distinct feel, and the sounds of the city are all here too; walk around for a while and you'll hear far-off police sirens, motorists abusing one another and general chit-chat as people go about their business.
The game is very open-ended. Its major focus is the mission-based goals--start out as a convict accidentally sprung from jail and work your way up to become a shining light in one of the city's controlling gangs. If that gets dull, hijack a cab, police car, ambulance or fire engine and carry out missions suitable for your mode of transport, and if all else fails, find the ludicrously dangerous looking ramps and hit them hard for some big air and big cash bonuses.
It has to be said that GTA 3 fully warrants its 18 certificate, dealing as it does with mob warfare, indiscriminate murders, auto crimes, prostitution and more. The language gets a little "fruity" from time to time and you can't help but wince as you watch innocents get in the way of a good firefight. At the end of the day, though, this is a game and nothing more; thankfully, it's a good game, a very, very good game in fact, so buy it now. Or we'll send Luigi and the boys round. --Chris Russell
Grand Theft Auto 3
lets you explore the fully realised universe that is Liberty City, and complete gangland missions. You can steal any car you see, from sports cars to taxis, and even boats. There are over a dozen ways to take out other characters, including fist-fighting, baseball bat, handgun, Uzi, rocket launcher, and Molotov cocktail. The game world has unpredictable weather, a variety of pedestrian types who act in unique ways, changing times of day and night, and a multi-tiered, fully corrupt police force. The revenge plot offers strong story elements that are balanced with the game's non-linear freedom-of-movement.
"Cross Gone In 60 Seconds
with Reservoir Dogs
and you'd probably knock up a tame version of GTA III. 9.9/10." -- Loaded
"The best game in the world." -- Play Magazine
"The most gleefully sociopathic slice of fun since Mr De Niro asked us what exactly we were looking at. 5/5." -- Maxim
Crime does pay. The hugely successful, highly controversial Grand Theft Auto franchise moves into 3 dimensions in the dark and seedy underworld of Liberty City. With the freedom to go anywhere and jack anyone, Grand Theft Auto 3 puts the dark, intriguing and ruthless world of crime at your fingertips, if you have enough guts to take it.
ESRB Rating: Mature Genre: Action/Adventure