Review by Ethereal Blue

"Short and sweet the whole way through!"

To my dismay, I have never gotten to play GTA and GTA: London. I have, however, had the pleasure of my little brother buying GTA2 and Driver 2(I didn't like this one, though). GTA2 is one of the most insane and gratifying games ever created. When I could have easily blown up a car in Goldeneye for the N64, I find a great deal more pleasure in utter destruction and mayhem in this game than in any other...Dear penguins! What's wrong with me?!

Graphics (System-Wise) 6/10

I consider graphics a very minor part of the game, but alas, I must judge them. Explosion in this game look superb and cars look really cool. The view is top down, so you get the full scope of the boom caused by the one and only you! Err...what? You were expecting me to praise more than just the explosions? Sorry, buster, but thats all you get! You get what could literally be the impression that you're in a helicopter controlling a little robot dude in the city in a ''They all look like ants from up here'' scenario. Indeed, the miniscule human beings are hardly something to be excited about, but you hardly care about them! No way, you're more worried about angering the gang populace, finishing your current crime, avoiding the police, murdering innocents while reclaiming thy own innocence at the same time...no wait im going into gameplay here. Oh well, enough graphics, on to the next category!

Sound (System-Wise) 9/10

Though the PC version has more voices, I only played it once. Anyways, most people familiar with GTA will know that music only plays when one gets into a car and should that car be a law enforcement vehicle or emergency response vehicle, one will receive radio chatter. I really enjoyed some of the music that played in the generic cars (Taxi Drivers Must Die is my current favorite) as well as the ''radio realism'' that played on the side (From ranting Russians on KGB radio to funny commercials for weird products like silky milky breast implants or the famous ''orgasmo-bar'' chocolate treat!). As for sound, each weapon sounds different(Hey, you know me!) and this pleases me much. What I get the biggest kick out of, however, is the screaming that people do when you fire off a gun near them or try to run over them with a car. Some of them will call you a maniac, some will scream in horror ''OH MY GOD, A GUN!'' and some will just talk trash to you ''Peice of S**T!''. There are also special people...like the godly elvis impersonator chains ''Slam, Baby! Uh huh huh! Step on!''
The audio experience of GTA2 is very satisfying.

Gameplay (Genre-Wise) 7/10

Whoever says crime doesn't pay hasn't played this game before! Rockstar entertainment invented the almighty ''freestyle madness'' action genre and to this day, follows the tradition. The controls are a bit goofy at first, but you get used to them very quickly.
Here's a rundown...Up makes your nameless felan move in the direction he is facing, down makes him walk backwards. Left and right turn him around, duh. The triangle button is used to get into and steal cars as well as get out of them.
Once you get into a car, X makes you move forward, Square is reverse, up now changed the radio and down does nothing. O button will honk the horn, turn vehicle's siren(if it has one) on and off, and if the vehicle is a fire truck or a tank, it fires the water cannon or tank gun respectively.
When out of your car, you circle through your weapons inventory with L1 and L2, jump with R1 and shoot(or if you have no weapon, punch) with R2. Simple enough.
Basically, you are some nameless guy on a mission: To cause as much mayhem and disorder in this fair city as possible. There are many ways to do this. Start counting now...
You can...
-Get a job with one of the three gangs who inhabit the section of the city you are in.
-Kill innocents, and when you get the feds angry enough, kill policemen.
-And if you're REALLY naughty, they might just call in the army on your unruly ass!
-Blow up massive amounts of vehicles for big bucks.
-Plainly kill gang members (Your felany level doesn't go up if you kill gang members unless you kill them in front of a cop or cop car.
-Steal the beautiful beautiful cars.
-Jump off ramps (Area 2 and 3 only) and pull insane stunt tricks.
-Mindlessly shoot swat team members without missing for accuracy bonuses (Works best with invincibility on)
-Did i mention blow up cars?
-Conveniently placed ''Kill Frenzy'' bonuses that slap you with unlimited ammo on a specific weapon, as well as a time limit and a certain number of people to kill or cars to blow up for which your price is a big sack o' cash.

Anyhow, You can cause mayhem using any of these methods as well as a load of weapons. The include the pistol, the S-Uzi machine gun, the SILENCED S-Uzi machine gun, the flame thrower, the rocket launcher, the taser gun, dual pistols(fires faster than regular pistols) and a shotgun, as well as huck grenades and molotov cocktails at your enemies or allies alike (Killing members of a certain gang raises your respect in another gang).
EAch level has a set score limit you have to hit. Doesn't sound to hard at first, but once the feds starts arresting you and taking your money, as well as gang members literaly killing you for pissing them off, you start to feel the heat. In preferance, I enjoy going on an all out killing spree (Especially with the all weapons cheat on) then showing the feds who's boss with my good ol' friend, Hilda the bazooka!
After you beat a level, you may get some bonus stages that can be really fun to play (example: busting up ice cream trucks for points, mass murder of gang members in a confined space.). Speaking of bonuses, the ''missions'' given to you by gangs are also big fun. They include running over taxi drivers, robbing banks, ramming cars till they explode, dealing in drugs, stalking traitors, killing traitors and snitches, Getting even with the man, stealing specific cars and bringing them to gang HQ and the odd anoying escort mission where the other car ALWAYS gets killed. It takes a very long tme for GTA2 to get old.
I've praised enough, now for the downsides. GTA2 is amazingly short, boasting all of THREE main levels. Three gangs per level, 15 kill frenzies per level, 6 jobs per gang, and several GTA2 coins to collect for the purpose of opening bonus levels.
Others might be a little vexed by the top-down view and lack of an actual system for aiming your guns(Basically anyone who gets in front of you is an unlucky bastard indeed).
All in all, GTA2 has a great concept, but isn't exactly the most perfect gameplay around.

Story (Genre-Wise) 2/10

Story? WHO NEEDS STORY! YAHAHAHAHA! *whips out a S-Uzi and blows up his computer*
Okay...that was stupid...Anyways, what I just did is basically the scope of the ''story'' of GTA2. You have no reason for opening up a hole in the roof of hell but it's still damn fun without a story. This is, after all, an open ended mayhem game.

Replayability (Genre-Wise) 10/10

The first game I've ever reviewed to ever get 10/10 for replayability. No riot is the same. This is one of the first games I've played where cheats actually didn't make the game less fun. Because all the guns can be found lying around everywhere(seriously, even the rocket launcher), the all weapons cheat simply speeds up the task. Ever wondered what it would be like if some one assassinated all the cops in the city were conveniently given one big joint vacation? just flip on the no feds cheat. How about instead, we put in the cheat that makes the cops ALWAYS loathe your very existance no matter how hard you try, as well as put in the one that makes them know your location 24/7! How will you ever survive? The result is quite satisfying. Although the lack of total areas in GTA2 is a burden, these areas are all HUGE! On the first level alone it can take almost 5-7 minutes to get from one side of the city to another by foot.
This is the game that most ressembles the energizer bunny...it just keeps going and going and going and going and...

Overall 8/10

That lack of more than 3 areas things really got to me in the end after clocking about 40 hours into this beauty. Although it still isn't old!
This game is good for a rental to get a feel, see if you like the open-endedness or not. If you enjoy it as insanely as I did, buy buy buy! Now...I have a psychlogist to go see and a court to be in by noon...

WARNING! Easily influenced people should not play this game as it is open ended MADNESS and may give the impression that crime is a good thing which it is not. Always remember, kids, just because you can mercilessly slaughter with every fibre of your being in video games, does not mean you can do so in real life. Until then, drive safely and don't play with guns.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/18/03


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