Review by Sitorimon

"Fantastic While The Novelty Lasts"

Grand Theft Auto is a game that sets out to shock, and it does just that. This spawns a new type of “racing” game. In Grand Theft Auto, you are the baddie trying to commit as many crimes as possible and dodge the police for as long as possible or until your next crime. The worse the crime, the better the score, the more cop cars will chase you. For once too, this game actually deserves its 18 certificate because of the constant swearing and law breaking.
The first thing you notice though before all that is the shocking graphics! In this day and age, we’re still getting 2D top-down racers? Well, although you might think “oh god”, the game works better this way, you can see who’s ahead and behind at the same time, which junctions ahead have cop cars there and where you need to get to. The city maps that you race in are vastly huge, and although they aren’t fantastically detailed, do the job fine. They actually give the impression you cold get seriously lost in them as you race away from the cops too, which is a plus.
The attention to detail has gone onto the variety of cars on offer though. Any car you ever see is at your disposal. You can get out and run to the next car and highjack it. This includes the police cars too, and ranges from the mini coopers to the school buses. Even better, the handling is different for each one, so don’t expect to get in a tank and speed off as fast as a sports car! If you’re really at a loss for time, you can try and recreated film sequences to see if you can do them yourself.
Grand Theft Auto is a fantastic game for the first hour or two of play. Then suddenly, the novelty begins to wear a little thin a little too quickly. The jobs are a bit mundane though, as it’s constantly “drive here, get passenger, drive there and drive to next passenger”. There’s only a certain amount of crimes you can commit before the game gets extremely unfair and sends about 20 cars just to ram you until your car blows up. The missions could have been a little more varied to keep the magic alive but sadly it gets stale too early.
It’s a shame really as Grand Theft Auto really could have had something lasting, but once you’ve seen one road kill, you feel like you’ve seen them all and the end result is not a pretty sight.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/01/02, Updated 06/30/03

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