Review by King Broccoli

"The most corrupting game you'll ever play"

Grand Theft Auto is a game that has copped a lot of criticism from many people, as much as any game released before or after it. The small amount of vulgar language and rather violent themes never gained the game too much popularity from the censors, but despite this GTA still became a smash-hit and is one of the most original games to grace the consoles of the land.

The graphics ooze simplicity, but they do have a certain charm about them. The whole game is in 2D and the player views from a top down perspective, some people complain about the low standards in the graphics, but the style that they’re done in makes playing the game a whole lot easier.
There isn’t too much detail to be found here, the people are all down small and are just usually a head and a pair of feet moving around, and the vehicles are just simple shapes. When they get hit the damage is shown well on them and the fiery explosions and other effects look pretty good.
Unfortunately the whole outlook of GTA is a bit drab, there really should have been a lot more brighter colours incorporated into the graphics, what they’ve included in the game is a helluva lot of grey, brown and black. Whilst the graphics don’t quite JUMP OUT AT YOU, they’re still quite aesthetically pleasing and good to look at long periods of time (and you sure will).
Overall, whilst the graphics aren’t likely to win any awards and are extremely simple in delivery, the whole atmosphere they create is exceptional and they help to make GTA as good as it really is. There was room for improvement, but they’re acceptable.

The audio of Grand Theft Auto is certainly one of the highlights of the game. It gives the game great character and a fantastic atmosphere; everything about the sound is brilliant. For a start there’s the sound effects, they’ve got the virtual cities to sound like REAL ones with all of the effects playing a great part. There’s always the dull hum of car engines as the vehicles speed down the road, people shout out at you and abuse you as you brush past them, and sirens from all of the community services (fire, police and ambulance of course) sound strikingly authentic.
The music incorporated into the game is just fantastic, as you roam around the town there’s nothing to hear, but hijack yourself a car and you’ll be treated to a surprisingly real radio broadcast. Each car can pick up a number of different stations, each complete with their own songs and advertisements. The songs have all been chosen wisely and fit the scene of GTA down to a T.
It seems as if there hasn’t been a thing left out from the sound here, there’s even a button for the lesser-minded gamers that activates a string of flatulence from the lead character. Walking around the town belching at people might just be the most fun a person has in their whole life.
Overall, the audio of GTA has been done perfectly, every detail has been covered extremely well, every sound effect sounds great, and every tune will have you bopping in your seat. The sound could not have been made any better than it is.

The gameplay of GTA is a thing of beauty; it’s so good because it offers the player so much freedom as to how they go about playing the game. You’re situated in a huge city, you’ve got some fast vehicles and a lot of firepower at your fingertips and there’s a whole lot of law enforcement officers just waiting to be blown up. There’s no set path for you to take, nothing that you HAVE to do (except make a huge amount of money), you’ve just got the freedom to cruise around town and do things your way.
That being said, there’s still an incredible amount of things to be done around these cities, a great range of mob-jobs are there for the taking plus a whole assortment of kill frenzies (they’re not as bad as they sound) to try your hand at. You can sit down and play a level for 3 hours and hardly scratch the surface of the activities you can partake in.
Of course with all of these illegal activities going on the cops are going to get suspicious of a lowlife like you, kill one too many innocent pedestrians and the police will swarm on you like bees onto someone that the bees don’t like. If you get the cops really cheesed off they’ll set up roadblocks and wield automatic weapons in a weak attempt to stop you, but it’s all in good fun of course.
Overall, the gameplay of Grand Theft Auto comes away with two thumbs up as it offers previously unheard of amounts of fun, freedom and non-linear action. The game just oozes originality and is all class, it’s one of those few classic games that you can just play without having a purpose.

The lifespan of this game is enormous, there are three huge cities each with two missions of considerable size to play through. It will take the average gamer a number of months to finally make his way to the end, but then the addictive nature of the game kicks in and they are drawn back to play Grand Theft Auto over and over again. There are very few games that can suck a player in like this, GTA is definitely one of the elite.

There is also a considerably large fun factor contained in this single CD. There’s nothing that can match a high-speed chase down a major highway before jumping out of your car and plugging away a couple of coppers. It’s disturbingly violent but that surely won’t hinder anyone’s enjoyment of the game. Grand Theft Auto is simply a delight to play.

There is a great challenge to be found in this game. There is a steady learning curve throughout the game, when you start the missions are simple and the police are gentle with you, but as you progress the missions increase in danger and difficulty and the cops become quite aggressive with you. There is enough in the game to allow everyone to find a level that gives them a good challenge.

Overall, Grand Theft Auto should be up among the ranks in the “Greatest Game Of All Time” category. Sure, it’s been hounded by the critics and plagued with controversy, but that’s never stopped me or anyone else from having a damn good time playing this game. If you haven’t tried GTA or it’s sequel then it’s about time you did.
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GOOD POINTS
- Oh the freedom…GLORIOUS FREEDOM!
- The music sounds like a real radio!
- The levels are huge and their design is stunning

NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- The graphics are a tad simplistic for their own good
- There are still people who haven’t played this game!
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GRAPHICS – 6/10
SOUND – 10/10
GAMEPLAY – 10/10
LIFESPAN – 10/10
FUN FACTOR – 10/10
CHALLENGE – 9/10
OVERALL – 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/07/00, Updated 06/07/00


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