Review by ShyningFade

"Welcome to Fernando's New Beginnings"

Alright, This is my first review for a game, and the reason why I had to do a review for Grand Theft Auto III, is because all in all, this game is perfect. For all the other games I've played (And I've been an avid Gamer, playing games since the good old Atari days), not one of them has drawn me in as much as this one has. It's simply amazing. Okay, with that said, lets get on to the reviewing mold.

First Impressions:

I've played all of the previous Grand Theft's, so I've been a fan of this series for awhile. Graphics have never really been a big part in the series, but I was a little skeptical how they'd manage to change the game from the standard overhead view from the previous two outings. I was wondering if they'd have to reduce the city size to keep up with all the traffic and places to go, and was pretty much worried how the whole game would turn out. But after learning about all the gameplay options within this game, I lost any worry at all, preordered my game, and drooled in wait like everyone else.

Graphics:

Okay, In my opinion, the graphics are awesome.
1.) Because they are. After seeing and playing Parts I and II, you have absolutely no complaints from me.
2.) By looking at how MUCH stuff is going on in the city, how much traffic and people there are, the detail they put into the buildings and billboards, and the cars, people and so on surprises me that the graphics aren't crap to make up for how immense everything is. There is a little bit of pop up here and there, and the cars aren't exactly Gran Turismo quality... but hey! There's a hell of a lot more to this game than just going around in circles listening to Snoop Dogg. Graphics do the job, and very nicely. Check out the advertisement on the building next to the ammu-nation store, just to get an idea of what all the signs in the city are like, heh.
There's weather effects in here, day changes to night, and cars take all sorts of wicked damage. And yes, blood comes out when you kill people. Just like in real life!... not that I kill people or anything....ahem.

Sound:

This is the jaw-dropper. (Well, one of the many of this game.) There are 9 radio stations to choose from, and the option of having the music set to off so that you can enjoy the natural sounds of criminal life. Very nice when listening to a Mr.T wannabe complain when dragged out of his equally wannabe A-Team van. ''I pity da foo!''
The 9 stations all include commercials, cracked out Djs, and varying types of music. Head Radio and Lips are your ''hits'' type radio stations. Kjah is the peace loving reggae station, and Double Cleff fm sets you up for the classic gangster action. Rise and Msx are the dance/techno music stations, and Game is the music to play when you find a car with hydraulics. Flashback is um, uh... 80's music. It scares me, but the instruction manual says its all from the movie ''Scarface'', so I guess its okay. And last, but definitely not least, comes Chatterbox. The godsend of radio stations. If you don't like any of the music in the game, set it to here, and get ready to laugh. If you don't like Chatterbox, I'll get into my dragon stance. I'm warning you...
I swear, even if the game sucked all around, I'd keep it for the radio stations alone. They're hilarious, and a blast to listen to no matter what ridiculous crime you're up to.
Sound effects also work nicely in here. Running over people has this really sick squishy noise. Each car has its own horn, and different engine sounds, which is a nice touch. It lets you know which car has balls, so to say. Gunfire and the speech of the people is also clear, adding a lot to the realism of this game.

Control:

This is nice. If you've played the other two, it shouldn't be that hard to get into. And thanks to the pressure sensitive buttons, it makes everything much more precise. You no longer have the ''quick turn'' button, but you have the hand brake which can have the same effect, with a little practice. Gas makes your car go. Brake stops it. Complex, huh? You can get in and out of cars, jump a lil bit, and attack people. You should like this game even if you've never played one before.
Another good thing about the controls, is your flexibility with the cameras. (Maybe I should've put this under graphics, instead..) You have 4 different camera views on foot, and 5 while in the car. You can even select the classic overhead view from the previous grand theft autos too. Theres two behind the car views, one from inside the car, and the dramatic cam. Plus the ability to look all around your car is a life saver during chases. (Should that be under gameplay too? @_@ Everything just complements each other so well).
The only minor thing that some people might complain about, is the difficulty of the gun's aiming system. But hey, learn how to use it. Learning is fun.

Storyline:

This depends...You can either say, ''Wow, this has a sweet storyline! There's so many ways to play the story out!'' or you could say, ''How come I can't have an rpg quality story and talk to everyone!'' and blab on for hours. I like the first choice. The story is great, especially for a game that was done completely by text in the first two. The main plot is that your girlfriend shot you, left you for dead, and then you get arrested. Life is fun, isn't it kids? Then while being transferred to another prison, some really nice chicos come by, save a guy from the police truck, and let you go free. Oh yeah, they blow up the bridge too. So aside from having some hella weird luck, you wanna get out there and get some revenge. You get to start working for the mafia, thanks to the help of your fellow prisoner 8-ball. The characters are really kewl in this game. A lot of personality to them. This game gives you a little cut scene which lets you know the people you're working for a lil better. Especially Toni and his ma. =) That's just great.. you can even hear him call in to Chatterbox as one of the callers. You interact with all the important people, and altho the random pedestrians don't really advance the story, they add to the personality of the game. They'll shout out random things, which helps to add to the style of the game. It really lets you know you're in a crappy town, which is nice. Sets the mood.

Gameplay:

...no. I'm not going to start. This review will be like, I dunno, 50,000 words by the time I'm done. Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS is why you are going to buy the game. Not because of its sweet graphics, or the hilarious radio shows, high quality music or controls. Not because the humor in the game will have you rolling or making accidents all over the floor. And not because an old lady can scrap with you and kick your ass. It's this right here. I'm sure everyone else has covered it already. This gameplay, is perfection. There is a ton to do.. so, being a reviewer, I guess I've got to talk about it. You do whatever you want. That's it. You can continue working for the mafia, or find some other gang you wanna work for. Or you can drive around killing people and running away from the cops. You can carjack a list of cars for the import export garage, which will have you searching. Or you can play Taxi guy, Vigilante police man, Mr. Ambulance, or a happy fireman who likes to put out fires. And your ability to mess around increases with the missions you do. So playing the missions is actually a good thing. More freedom to the most free game ever. Beat up old ladies (...after they've knocked you out and sent you to the hospital, that is). Get high off drugs and send people flying for 20 feet. Do drive-bys in an icecream truck while listening to 80's music. It doesnt matter what you want to do, because you can do it. See a hooker on the street? Do her too! Because you can. You can do practically anything in this game. No, its not a virtual life like Shenmue, but who needs that? This game is fun in its purest sense. Put your morality aside, don't cry because you killed someone in chinatown and a little asian person walks up to the dead body and says, ''Oh, blood so red!''. Just play. Before my fingers fall off from trying to convince you.

Closing Thoughts:

Yeah, the reviews over!! Aren't you happy? Anywho, I feel like a crack addict trying to sell magazines to get my fix.
But I've got my fix... with GTA3. I cant express how godly this game is. There's no ''niceness'' about this game, because you have to kill and steal to make a living. But hey, its an original game! If you want happy, go play Pogo the Monkey, and shoot cats out of trees with your banana cannon. I'll just go run over people because video game violence is hilarious. So yeah, this game rules. I'm out, finally.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/25/01, Updated 10/25/01


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