October 1, 2001
Grand Theft Auto 3 - Preview
One of the most scrutinised, and criticized, games during the 1990's was DMA Design's top-down action game, Grand Theft Auto. This scrutiny wasn't because GTA was a bad game, it wasn't. The problem was the games content and focus on violence at a time when censorship was the big thing in the media. The game allowed you to run over pedestrians, hijack cars and kill policemen. What these political try-hards only managed to do however was give the game a massive amount of press, and put it into a lot more homes then it could have ever done on it's own.
|Is this Israel? Hmm... bad joke.|
The third game in GTA series, called - rather unimaginatively - GTA3, is about to be released on PS2 (and next year on PC), but there is unlikely to be any uproar when it comes out later this year, but it will almost certainly receive plenty of great press coverage, mainly due to the radical shift to 3D graphics.
Featuring a fully 3D living city, a combination of narrative driven and non-linear gameplay and a completely open environment, the game represents a huge leap forward from the previous 2 games in the series. For the first time, players are put at the heart of their very own gangster movie, and let loose in a fully realised 3-dimensional city, in which anything can happen and probably will. You've been betrayed and left for dead. Now you're taking revenge, unless the city gets you first. Mob bosses need a favour, crooked cops need help and street gangs want you dead. You'll have to rob, steal and kill just to stay out of serious trouble.
|The cities are wonderfully detailed.|
With a cast of hundreds, 50 plus vehicles, ranging from sports cars to ice cream trucks and from boats to buses, 3 hours of music, including opera, reggae, house, drum and bass, pop and disco, a huge array of street ready weapons and some of the seediest characters in video game history, Grand Theft Auto 3 is a sprawling epic which will show you that sometimes, crime can pay, and sometimes it can pay you back. As you can probably tell from the surrounding screenshots the game certainly looks impressive enough.
|Now this may draw police attention.|
Grand Theft Auto 3 looks like a great title, with plenty of action and mayhem. The move to a 3D perspective is a risky one, but given the lack of 2D game sales these days, necessary. It will be interesting to see how well the developers have blended the driving and action sequences. The game is currently expected in Australia in late October.