"Proof you don't need graphics to make a game"

Despite the laughable graphics, GTA has been well loved by many people who had fantasies of committing the most evil crimes imaginable.

GRAPHICS : 3/10

OK, this is probably its weakest area, but who cares. The sprites in this game are reasonably well done, it ain't Final Fantasy Tactics but at least you do get the idea of what your gangster is doing, and what cars look like real phat rides (Cossie all the way) or what cars look like big-time putt-mobiles (Bugs anyone?). Cheesy-looking it may be, but it's very colourful. The one real bad part, however, is that it's hard to see gun shots (they look like grey pellets and are very hard to see), so you'll have your moments when you get shot and you'll wonder what the hell hit you. And there is also a problem with the frame rate, if a lot of action is happening, it will slow down big time, and won't fix itself up until you die or get arrested.
On a side note: As this game uses lots of textures, the PlayStation 2's Texture Smoothing option will actually make the game look reasonable, so use that option if you have a PS2.

CONTROLS : 6/10

At first you might be going ''Ummmm...'' as the game begins, but you'll notice that the controls are based on the character's own point of view, so if you go left, he'll turn to his left, and not the screen's left. Know what I mean? Same goes for cars. Controls are simple and the learning curve is about half an hour. But one certain bug with the controls that'll tick you off is when you make the gangster try to jack a car, sometimes he'll just wonder around aimlessly, but otherwise there's nothing else wrong with the controls.

SOUND & MUSIC : 7/10

Although the packaging says ''A 60 minute soundtrack featuring all new music by some of today's hottest new acts'', you're not gonna find any 2Pac here, but for some of you anti-mainstream folks, that might be a good thing. The soundtrack contains excellent music by many underground groups you've probably never heard of. It has a bit of everything, a bit of electronica, some gangsta rap, some so-so rock and a funny hick country song. Every car is tuned in to its own 'radio station', when you steal a more pimpin' ride, you're gonna hear gangsta rap play, if you steal a beat-up old truck, you're gonna get country. Sound is alright. Gunshots don't sound very realistic, but then again, they never do in video games. The screams of innocents are always funny to hear. The burping and farting sounds dumb, but funny. Has its moments, but the sound is mediocre, nothing to praise about, but nothing to complain about. If you hate the soundtrack, just pop the disc out and put in your favourite music CD.

GAMEPLAY : 10/10

This is what makes this game for sure! As the game starts, you first start out in Liberty City, in an area called South Park (coincidence, eh?). There's a car in front of you ready to drive, or steal your own, it's your call. Here, to complete the level, you must answer telephones and then be told what your mission is. There are many different missions for you to choose from, blow up police stations with rigged school buses, pick up prostitutes in your 'new' limousine to 'satisfy' your boss, rescue your boss' dog (yeah, he has his soft side), rob banks, play 'assassin' and of course, my personal favourite, kill your friend's mom with a remote control car (with a surprise inside) so he won't have to pay rent. That's only the cream of the crop too. If you don't feel like having someone push you around, why don't you just go on a cop/civilian killing spree? Take your favourite weapon and cap some people (or light them on fire, or blow them up) and have some fun. Or maybe run them over? Take your favourite ride and make crimson pancakes on the street? Or maybe earn a nice 'Guranga!' bonus by wiping out the city's jogging team in a millisecond? Or there's always using the hidden tanks as well. If that doesn't satisfy you, you can just enjoy yourself by committing suicide. How about taking a rest on electrified train tracks? Or possibly driving a motorbike off a building? Oh, screw that, why do that when you can take your rigged car, drive it off a bridge, and blow it up in mid-air and have the flaming wreckage crash into the street below? Total chaos! There're hundreds of different ways to play this game, how you play it is up to you, boy.

OVERALL : 7/10

Hours of violent fun. This is the game that continues to make people be a gangster for day without being thrown in the slammer. This is the game that defines the meaning to 'total freedom' in a game. This is the game that continues a series that makes everyone have fun and enjoy themselves. This is the game that continues to tick off Dr. Laura on her now dead talk show. This game is a must to add to your PlayStation library.

Should I buy or should I rent?

BUY.

I find a rental kind of stupid because this game is available as a Greatest Hits title for about $17 Cdn. (that's about $10 US) and you can own this game for live for the cost of 3-4 rentals. But some people do get bored of it after a week, but I say buy, because if you do get bored of it, you won't be at a big loss and it'll always be there collecting dust, for the day you might decide to play it again.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/02, Updated 01/02/02


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