Grand Theft Auto 3

Another sequel to one of the greatest games ever. Can Rockstar pull it off again?

Hot off the press, Grand Theft Auto 3 was released late this year (2001). However one glance at the game reveals very little similarity between the original two Grand Theft Autos. The first thing that everyone notices is the brilliant 3D rendering, then everyone realises you are staring at the world from a Tomb Raider perspective. Your first reaction is to scream "This isn't Grand Theft Auto!" but after playing the game for some time you realise that its still the same old game, jazzed up and with a whole new perspective that does little other than enhance the game greatly.

As I mentioned before the 3D rendering is brilliant. The main character is painstakingly detailed, you can see muscles flexing if you look close enough, as are the cars and the city itself. The cars blind you with their headlights, reflect light when they are new, and look great as you attempt to strip it down to the chassis by hitting everything in your way. Sound is utterly astounding, background noise is constant and the surround sound affects are incredibly realistic. When walking along the streets several people will be talking at once while cars drive by and you can still hear the suffle of pedestrians shoes, the rumbling exhaust of cars and the beeping horns of the impatient. The soundtrack is even better than the original, with major artists appearing and some really funny stations (including a talk back radio station).

The "memory" effect is entirely dissipated. You can chase a car for upwards of a minute and still catch it. On that note, there are many, many different types of cars, and none are the same as the original two (though some may resemble them). The appearance of cars is affected greatly by time of day and where you are. For example, at night in Shoreside Vale, South Side Hoods cars are aplenty, but during the day family vans and station wagons are more common. The time of day affect is an awesome improvement to the day, with the sunlight effects stiffly adhering to the correct times (12:00pm being the brightest, 12:00am being the darkest).

One major change to the game is that there is no level progression as such. Fans of the original will remember Liberty City. Magnify it by ten, add more detail and more shops, then imagine two more islands. There's Liberty City, consisting of Portland Island, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. One can find the Mafia, Diablos and Triads on Portland Island, the Yakuza, Yardies and Columbian Cartel on Staunton Island and the South Side Hoods and Columbian Cartel on Shoreside Vale. The player starts on Portland, and after completing all jobs for the Mafia escapes to Shoreside Vale by boat. The bridge is then repaired and access between the two islands is available. Reaching Shoreside Vale is also accomplished by completing certain missions.

One downside to the game, however, is the fact that you must adhere to the storyline and you can only work for the Mafia, Diablos, Yakuza, Yardies and South Side Hoods. Also, failing a mission once again has no repurcussions as in the original, but even more so in this. If a mission is failed it is still available and in fact must be completed to reach the next mission. Because of this you cannot choose missions from a row of pay phones anymore, but must do them in a specific order. Also, some gang leaders meet you in person, this is a welcome addition. Gang and police AI is greatly enhanced, especcially the cops who will use hundreds of devilish tricks to ensure your death or jailing. The army has been retained, and now once you have reached the third police rating a police helicopter is sent to chase you. These can be knocked down by the rocket launcher, but knock down too many and you will soon find yourself at the fifth police rating and have the FBI chasing you, then the army at the sixth rating.

Overall, Grand Theft Auto 3 is an utterly brilliant game, and Rockstar have outdone themselves. Dissapointingly, they have only released it for the Playstation 2, and have set no release date for Playstation, however an April 2002 release date has been set for PC (thanks to Erik Fish for that information). If you are a die hard fan of Grand Theft Auto this means buying a Playstation 2 (or waiting for the PC release) is the only way to get it, a costly procedure but well worth it if you can afford it. I reccommend this game to everyone.

Note: for those who can't stand the new camera view and ache for the classic bird's eye view, cleverely, Rockstar has included this view as an option.

Final Verdict:

Graphics: 5/5
Sound: 5/5
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Playability: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Another Nodeshell rescue by Big Alba!

This recent Christmas, my mother was doing some shopping for my siblings. Since one had requested Grand Theft Auto 3, she had done a bit of homework- asking co-workers who had seen the game, had heard of the game, that sort of thing- but, for a final recommendation, she asked one of the individuals working in the Electronics Department at the West Side Wal-Mart. Said minimum-wage monkey informed her that he himself owned the game, and loved it to death, but he wouldn't recommend buying GTA 3 for anyone else.

Of course, said sibling managed to get his hands on it anyway, but that's another story. The point is, though, the guy at Wal-Mart was right- this is not a game you buy for someone else.

GTA 3 is not a particularly gruesome game- at least, not gruesome in the sense that some shock horror movies or video games are. There aren't any vivid pictures of skin being flayed from torture victims, there aren't any scenes of dissection... it still merits the M for Mature rating given it by the ESRB, though, due to the casual treatment the game gives to violence.

Yes, it's a story about organized crime. Yes, the nature of its themes are going to be oriented towards an older audience. Yes, the mission tree contains a number of goals that don't inherently involve killing gang members, yakuza, or Cartel thugs. Yes, you can spend the game just doing stunts around Liberty City and playing around with the Taxi and Firetruck missions. When it comes down to it, though, you can't get around the fact that most of the game revolves around a wide variety of ways to make people into corpses.

Like the guy at Wal-Mart said, you don't buy this game for someone else. Instead, you give someone else gift certificates in the amount of forty-nine ninety-nine (or however much your local store prices the game) plus any applicable sales tax and hint to that someone else very strongly that they should buy this game the moment they have the chance. Everything mentioned in the previous writeup is true. Rockstar has created a masterpiece- if I were to have only two games for a Playstation 2, they would be Final Fantasy X and Grand Theft Auto 3.

Play GTA 3- go to exciting places, meet interesting people, kill their enemies, steal their cars, meet more interesting people, kill their friends, kill their girlfriends, steal their cars, blow up their cars, shoot more interesting people, blow up helicopters, steal tanks...

Wicked fun.
I’m in complete agreement with Big Alba’s review above. However, with respect to JarickCWAL, you can buy this game for a buddy. I’m not saying you should buy it for your prepubescent brother so he can feel the joy of simulated murder sprees. No. That would be a bad thing. But feel free to buy it for a friend that you know would really dig the gaming experience.

Here is an extensive list of cheats for Grand Theft Auto 3. Though I’m usually against using cheats to blast through a game’s missions/stages, several of the ones in GTA3 actually add a different and interesting dimension to the gaming experience (especially the 'Liberty City Survivor' cheat).

Grand Theft Auto 3 Cheats

NOTE: P = saving the game with this code in effect will cause it to be permanent.

Full Health: R2, R2, L1, R1, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up

Full Armor: R2, R2, L1, L2, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up

All Weapons: R2, R2, L1, R2, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up

Higher Wanted Level: R2, R2, L1, R2, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left. P

No Wanted Level: R2, R2, L1, R2, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down. P

Gore Mode (because it isn’t bloody enough already):
Square, L1, Circle, Down, L1, R1, Triangle, Right, L1, X. P
Note: No message will confirm this cheat, but it does work. Just try shooting someone to test it.

Rhino Tank: O, O, O, O, O, O, R1, L2, L1, Triangle, O, Triangle.
Note: The tank can only be destroyed by fire (Molotov cocktails or the flame thrower), or plunging into the sea. P until destroyed.

Armed Pedestrians: R2, R1, Triangle, X, L2, L1, Up, Down. P

Liberty City Survivor: Down, Up, Left, Up, X, R1, R2, L2, L1. P
Note: Works great with the Armed Pedestrians code, or else it’s just Fight Club.

There are numerous other cheats, special places, vehicles, and missions in Grand Theft Auto 3, and these can be readily found around the internet. I only wanted to list the codes that would enhance gameplay, not kill it. I emphatically advise you to solve and explore the game to learn all its secrets. It’s just so much more fun that way.
/end public service message.

The PC port of GTA 3 has just been released. It is pretty much an exact copy of the PS2 version, all of the violence and mayhem are intact, but this also means that some of the limitations of the console remain.

Big Alba’s review of the game is excellent and is completely applicable to the PC port. Graphically, the texture detail is very good and will not disappoint any PC gamer. There are some clipping issues, but that is to be expected in any 3rd-person game. The original PS2 control scheme remains for anyone with a gamepad, but I am really happy using the keyboard/mouse combo that was developed for this release. The game has yet to crash on me and is very stable.

The game does not have the multiplayer support that was rumored during development. Rockstar has said they didn’t have enough time to implement it, but maybe this can be remedied with a patch. The game still only allows you to save your game at specific save points. With the virtually unlimited storage capacity of a PC, there is no reason not to include unlimited saves. I understand why Rockstar might have wanted to keep the old save system for gameplay reasons, but I still think they should give me the option to play the game the way I want to.

“Recommended” requirements on the box (NOT the “minimum” requirements)
700 MHz Processor
128 MB RAM
700 MB Hard drive space
32 MB video card

My System
900 MHz Pentium III
9 GB hard drive
GeForce2 MX video card

I’m able to run the game at 800x600x16 with a little bit of frame chug. If I kick it up to the next resolution level, it begins to run kind of crappy, so I would consider my system the true minimum to fully enjoy the game. I was very happy that the game files only take up about 460 MB of hard drive space. After all, no matter how big your hard disk is, space is always at a premium.

In my opinion, the best new feature added is the “Your MP3’s” radio station. You can place shortcuts to your MP3 files in one of the game folders and one of the radio stations in the game will play those songs. I never even bother with the other stations anymore.

BrooksMarlin’s GTA 3 Soundtrack

Last One Out of Liberty City” by Less Than Jake (this should be the game’s official theme song)
“Glass’ Theme” by Smashing Pumpkins
Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine
“All Fucked Up” by Everclear
“Altercations” by The Tossers (the chorus is “Fuck the police”)
“Not That Kind of Girlfriend” by Smoking Popes
“Fuel” by Metallica (symphony version)
“Five State Drive” by Less Than Jake
Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash
“Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins
“Timebomb” by Old 97s
“My Own Flag” by Less Than Jake
“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by U2
Damn, It Feel Good to be a Gangsta” by Geto Boys
“Amphetamine” by Everclear
“Wild World” by Me First & the Gimmie Gimmies
“Jaded” by Green Day
“Can a Nigga Get a Table Dance” by 2 Live Crew
“Let ‘em Die” by Smoking Popes
“Mad Riot” by The Tossers
“Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly
“Hell Looks A Lot Like L.A.” by Less Than Jake

Perfect music to cause havoc by!

MC Hawking has recently released a new track dedicated to Grand Theft Auto III:

Trash Talk
Oh yeah, MC Hawking and DJ Doomsday,
kicking it with the hardcore beat,
to get you out your seat.
We be laying this down for PC Gamer in 2002.

Verse 1
GTA3's like the Sims to me,
a real life simulator 'cause that's where I be,
on the street, packing heat, car jacking, head cracking,
taking duckets from the pockets of the bourgeoisie.
In Liberty City, it's easy to score.
no one in this city locks their car door.
So I'm jacking every cheetah that I happen to see,
not looking like a dot, I'm kicking it 3D.

Then just to mix it up I jack an Esperanto,
uzi out the window spraying the spank ho's.
police take notice so I hit the gas,
and hit the Pay'n'Spray to get the cops off my ass.
Yeah, Liberty City, it's my virtual home,
you dis the LC, I'll drop a nine in your dome.
I got the PE pumping on the MP3,
Yo it's G to the T to the A to the 3.

Trash Talk
Yo Doomsday, you ever notice how the old ladies in this town never hesitate to throw down?
You knock one of them down they get right up again.
Those are some hardcore grandmas!

Verse 2
Sometimes I sit in my car and just listen to Laslo,
rock the chatterbox with the serious flow.
Then I gotta get getting while the getting's still good,
so I take a quick spin to 8-Balls in Harwood.
The car don't make it on account of mafiosos,
hood in flames, I'm hoofing past the po-po.
Sure it's so slow, still it appeals to Hawking,
LC be the only place where I be walking.

Taxi cab missions, got old fast,
if I want Crazy Taxi I'll dust-off my DreamCast.
I'm all about crime all the motherlovin time,
only pausing from my mayhem to bust a dope rhyme.
Driving scary like a crazed Hally Berry,
got a job to do and no time to tarry,
I got the PE pumping on the MP3,
Yo it's G to the T to the A to the 3.

Trash Talk
Oh yeah, that's right gta3.
It's about time somebody made a videogame out of my life.
Yo doom take us out of here.


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