9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
All bad, dirty fun..,
By A Customer
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto III (PC) (Video Game)
This is a city of crime.. Liberty city that is. The only place in the west were the cops are so busy trying to control gangland turfwars its relatively easy to get away with car-jacking, mugging and 'hit and run' style killings (and practically impossible to get a speeding ticket). Standards of driving are so bad Importers of cars to the city have removed superfluous turn signals and the average life expectancy of a pedestrian is counted in minutes.
We enter this world in the greasy sneakers of 'unnamed punk', hereafter refer to a John Doh. John, resembling some genetic crossover between Dirty Harry Callahan and Morissey, has only three things on his mind; Fast Money, Fast Cars and Fast Women. Fortunately for our antihero, the first two aren't too difficult to come by. JD is a dab hand at getting into all but the most secure cars and is good enough with his fists, feet and forehead not to have too many problems dealing with people that may already be in them. Money may be earned either by doing 'jobs' for local hoodlums (missions basically.. most of which revolve around a pretty cool cinematic plot), by playing taxi driver, paramedic, vigilante, scrap merchant or simply mugging people in broad streetlight. Whilst doing the consecutive missions is the key to progress.. you're free to earn extra cash on the side however you choose. As for the fast women.. theres plenty around, but JD is surprisingly shy for a thug (he never speaks), and so his love life is in the hands of fate (i.e. part of the games plot).
Fancy a firearm? your local Amu-nation store is open all hours for business.. and wont ask for a license. Scratched your car? Take it too a spray shop to get it good as new. Theres numerous other 'special' locations dotted about the city at which you can spend, or earn money. This includes specially set-up 'stunts' to perform.. replayed in slowmo Dukes of Hazard style.
The non-linearity of the game is nice.. as are the graphics, Liberty city is very believably implemented. You're never quite able to forget that GTA3 is a console port, however. On the good side, this means the game is immediately playable and just about as fun packed as it gets. On the down side is the annoying save game system.. where you have to drive to a particular place in town in order to save your game. I also resented the fact that 2/3rds of the city has to be 'unlocked' by following the prescribed missions. Likewise with weapons, where you only have access to a 9mm pistol and a baseball bat to begin with. Theres no reason I can think of why the whole city shouldn't be available from the outset. 'Unlockable' stuff is just one of the gimmicks people expect on console games, unfortunately it seems to be bleeding over into PC games now too.
Generally though.. this is a great gaming experience. The physics model of driving is superb, you can do handbrake turns, jumps, rolls, even drive on two wheels just like in the movies! If you like your Tarentino, you'll also find the plot a great laugh. This game is a great parody of modern 'gangster' films, which in turn parody modern america.. the double twisted humour is subtley and intelligently done. Undoubtably the best thing in the game, however, is simply cruising around in the cars exploring the city and doing rediculous stunts. A must for car fans!