Review by Nexxt
"Mayhem Simulator? Is that even possible?"
Grand Theft Auto III. That name sends shivers down some people's spines. The series has been around for a while. It's a ''Mayhem'' Simulator which pits you as a criminal (the days of being the good guy are over :P) who must go around town and take ''jobs'' from various crime bosses. Doesn't sound fun? Wait until you find out what types of jobs they give you. The only problem that people complained about for Grand Theft Auto I and II, was the fact that it has an overhead view. Well, don't worry, that's all been fixed. Look for more details in the Game Play section.
Game Play: 9/10
The game play is incredible. Who knew that so much FUN could come from a videogame? The controls are, for the most part perfectly placed. The analog sticks work pretty well too. By holding down X while running, you can sprint to get away from cops, etc. But at the beginning of the game, you can only sprint short distances. As you get further into the game, and you get more exercise, you'll be able to sprint for much longer periods of time. Most of the gameplay revolves around the missions or jobs that you must accomplish. Each one is different in their own aspects, but some of them seem frightfully familiar. Sometimes, you may have to steal somebody's car, rig it with a bomb, and park it back where you found it. As soon as the driver steps into the car and starts the engine, he gets blown up. That's only one example of one of the 73 missions in the game. The cities are HUGE. Not exactly the size of a real city, but big enough to get lost without enough experience. You may say, ''How do I find anything then?'' Well, the answer is simple. In the bottom left hand corner of the screen, there's a radar. More like a map I should say. It has the city implanted on it. If you need to see a crime boss, the first letter of their first name will appear on the radar. If you need to head towards a mission objective, that too will be displayed on the radar. Without it, this game would be a lot harder than it already is. Now, onto the weapons. There are a lot of them in this game, ranging from pistols to rocket launchers. As you progress through the game, you get to pick up stronger weapons. The best part of the game play, in my opinion, is not when you're playing a mission, but when you're just normally fooling around. There is a wanted meter underneath your health. As you do bad things, it will begin to light up. This means that the police's artificial intelligence is getting smarter. As you get really high, helicopters, the FBI and even the army will be after you! It's fun to see how high you can get the wanted meter while still avoiding the police.
Here's where the game starts to take a turn for the worse. The graphics aren't exactly bad, but they are by no means, good. All the cars have look smooth, but the people in the game look a little messed up. When they talk, the voice acting isn't exactly matching their lips. They look more like ventriloquist dummies. The thing I like is that if you go to a top of a tall building, you can see all three of the main cities in the horizon. No pop ups, whatsoever. And in a game this immense, that's quite an accomplishment. There are a lot of glitches in this game though. You may be riding along on your car, when suddenly, the road in front of you will completely disappear, replaces by a blue screen! It's kind of freaky to say the least. Also, you may be walking past a building, when you fall through the ground and end up underneath it with no way to get back up. If you are driving into the sun while driving, you may even be temporarily blinded by the light. This is a neat little feature that i thought was cool, until I went over a cliff. Sometimes, the graphics are good, sometimes, they are really really bad, and sometimes, they are just there to make you mad.
Sound? there's hardly any to speak of. During cut scenes, the crime bosses will be given voice actors for you to listen to. That's the best quality sound in the game, and it isn't saying much. The other sound option you have is the car radio. Yep, you get to change the stations whilst in the vehicle. For the most part though, it's a bunch of weird music, with an ad thrown in there every once in a while. Hmm, kind of sounds like a real car radio. The sound effects aren't bad. As you're driving, you can hear the muffler. With some cars, they have bigger mufflers, so they make a deeper louder noise. As you run around in puddles, you can hear water splash up. You can hear the regular noises of a city while on the streets, car horns honking, people talking, police sirens going. There are some good points thrown into the sound, but there's also some bad ones that I think out number the good ones.
Trust me, you'll be playing this game for a long time to come. It takes over 60 hours without a guide to beat the game 100%. Then, even when you're done that, it's still fun to drive around causing trouble. Try to find all the hidden packages, all of the unique jumps. When you hi-jack a fire truck, police vehicle, taxi, or an ambulance, you are given the option to take a mission based on that. You need to pick up a customer and drive them to their destination for the taxi, you must drive an injured person to the hospital for the ambulance, put out fires with the fire engine, and finally, kill criminals in the vigilante missions (police vehicles) This game will keep you playing for a long time, I guarantee it.
Last Comment: ''Is that old lady giving me the finger?''
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/24/01, Updated 07/31/03
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