Review by Ex Astris Scientia
"A [Near] Perfect port"
This game was, and still is one of the PS2's finest achievements, porting these games to the PC in the past has proven troublesome, GTA1 was plagued with video card issues, GTA2 was the only successful port to date, and GTA3 required a PC that would make the gods tremble in fear everytime it was booted up!
This time, theyve done theyre homework, the guys at Rockstar have found theyre developer whips, and must have flogged mercilessly to pump out a conversion like this, utterly astonishing, there are 2 issues with which i am not pleased, once you get past those, there is nothing but smooooth sailing baby
Sound (7): The game falls here a little for me, this may however not entirely be the games fault, the game forced me to use ''EAX'' technology on my sound card, being that my soundcard is an onboard AC'97 and i only have 2 shabby desktop speakers, this caused the music to appear tinny a lot of the time, this is either getting better, or im getting used to it, either way.
Other than that this is a straight conversion of the PS2 version, the radio, sound effects, and cutscenes are all the same, with the exception of one thing: ''MP3 Player Mode''.
With this baby enabled you can play any music through the cars radio, by placeing MP3 tracks into the specified folder, this makes for some great drivetime music, and ads to the game more than you might expect. The game plays through the songs alphabetically, which disapointed me, as i was hoping for a shuffle mode, or something of the like, but nothing as of yet, however what i do like is that when you save, it saves its position on the playlist, meaning that you dont have to listen to the first few tracks again everytime you start (That would get old fast)
Graphics (8): Make no bones about it, this game looks the dogs *******s, the environmental effects (Lens flare, sunset, atmospheric lighting) are all way above average, and look even better than theyre PS2 counterparts. There are however 2 things about the graphics that annoys me.
1: No detail level control - Everyone gets a fixed detail level, and it is unchangable in this release, now this is all well and good for those of us who need low detail, but for those of us who have decent PCs, we want to exercise them on higher decals and better detail levels damnit!
2: Advertisement errors - On my release of the game, the ads at the beginning of the game have graphical glitches, the screen is zoomed into the bottom left corner, and you can only see a quarter or so of the screen, this is irratating, but it doesnt effect the actual game so it is passable.
Gameplay (10): ITS GRAND THEFT AUTO!! What do you expect, the gameplay is what this game is renouned/feared by parents for, it is what sells this game, not the graphics, pretty though it is. I am yet to play it with a PS2 pad on a Kiki Joy USB Converter, but i shall be soon, and i anticipate it will be astounding.
Conversion Quality (9): Rockstar have done everything right with this conversion, Other than the advertisement problem, this has been a great weekend of gaming, and will be for many wasted weekends to come, it also makes far less demands on your hardware than GTA3.
Overall (NOT an average!) (9): Other than the fact that you cant change the detail level, the slight sound problem (Proberbly my fault), and the ads, this game is a damn near perfect conversion of a damn near perfect game, if you havent bought this game by this time next week, amma gon' come over there and boost your car foo'!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/19/03, Updated 05/19/03
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