Review by Robertius
Ten years on, still going strong
Grand Theft Auto 3 was the first sandbox style game ever to grace our consoles. A free, open world where you choose what you want to do.
Ten years on, the game has been re-released on IPod touch, iPhone and iPad. In this review I delve back into Liberty City for another shot at this absolute classic.
GTA3 follows the story of an unnamed character (rumored to be Claude Speed) who is a bank robber. He decides to rob the Bank of Liberty with his partners Catalina and Miguel. After they rob it Catalina shoots Claude in the head and leaves him for dead. He is then captured and sentenced to 10 years in prison. On the way the prison transport is ambushed on the Callahan Bridge (which connects the two islands) by some Colombians. A bomb blows up a part of the bridge and Claude and another prisoner escape. From there Claude gets involved with more gangs as he works his way up the criminal ladder and eventually gets his revenge. The story is full of twists and turns like any other gangster movie. You meet a vast array of characters who help you and give you missions and all of them are acted to perfection.
The gameplay mainly consists of hijacking different vehicles and killing lots of people. The array of vehicles is staggering, from a convertible sports car to a trash truck, everything is there. There aren't any planes though. (apart from one you can barely fly as the wings are clipped) The gunplay is clunky as there isn't any aim button on pistols and SMGs and gang members with powerful guns destroy you quickly. Cars also are very prone to flipping over and if they do they explode,killing you. The missions have great variety as you act as a decoy while being chased by cops and hunt down death squads all over Liberty City. There are three islands that you gradually unlock over the course of the game and none of them are the same which makes a welcome change. Portland is a huge port, Staunton Island is the main city area and Shoreside Vale is the industrial area. The gameplay is fantastic and will keep you hooked.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are still holding strong, even 10 years later. The textures are a bit blocky but the characters look good and so do the environments. The game sports a lot of music with 10 radio stations and the voice acting is top notch as some fairly famous actors were drafted in to lend their voices to the game. The fonts have also been redone as the original version had fairly messy fonts.
The game has tremendous replay value as there are four side mission strands, various services missions (vigilante, firefighter, taxi and ambulance) that provide bonuses, several hidden van missions, several checkpoint challenges, three car lists, hidden packages to collect, unique stunt jumps to master and rampages to complete. That is a lot of side content for the first game of it's kind as well as the main story which is great.
You may be wondering if there is any reason to buy it if you have the console version but there are some improvements and new features. There is now a mission retry if you fail a mission so you don't have to drive all the way back to where the mission started. Also there is a map which was missing from the console version. Also if you die you no longer lose all of your weapons (huzzah!). These new features make this version well worth a purchase, especially as it is only £3 on the app store!
For a game of it's age, GTA3 still holds strong so if you have an Apple product you should definitely give this game another whirl.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition (US, 12/15/11)
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