Review by alchief
You are a insignificant thief who´s working for the great gangsters of the city. They let you do the ''dirty work'' in exchange for money. As long as you do your jobs correctly they will give you more and more important missions.
You can´t count GTA to a certain game-genre because it features a completely new game concept. Actually it´s ''Driver'' in 2-D.
When I played the game for the first time my eyes really hurt. You see the stages from the bird´s eye-view, but you will need a certain time to identificate all the pixelated things and their meaning. So you - the ''hero'' - for example is a small pile of different coloured pixels moving around. Also the other things you see from the top, like house-roofs, cars, pools, parks... are really simple designed. O.K., the game therefore has its´ certain style, but you always need a bit time to get used to the bad graphics. Especially when you´re driving in a very fast car your eyes are overtaxed for a moment, but once you get accustomed to the graphics it´s nothing to limit the gameplay in any way.
As soon as you enter a car you´ll hear the radio. Depending on what car you´re entering, the music is different. So when you enter a limo you´ll hear classical music, while you will hear Rock-music when you enter a sports-car, or country-tunes in a truck. This is quite a cool idea, and all the tracks are really good. Either if you like none of the tracks, you have the option to insert your favorite audio-CDs once the levels have loaded.
Quite average. You have the sound of the different guns, some cursing civilians, and the police-radio. Everything is not bad, but not good either.
You can walk through any of the three very huge cities as you like, and you can do anything what you want. You can walk to any car driving around, press the action button, and after tearing the driver out of his car it´s yours. Really cool. Somewhere in the cities you´ll find some boxes, containing weapons like pistol, machine gun, flame thrower, or rocket launcher. Other boxes are containing gimmicks like extra life, armor, or speed-up. But if you want to get money (your key to the next level) you have to follow orders. Each city has its´ gangster-boss who is your boss, too. He gives you instructions per mobile phone, or telephone-cell. So you get orders like ''my daughter´s boyfriend stole the car I stole for her. Get it back, but for christ´s sake, don´t wreck it'', or ''my sag-titted wife has run off with the kids. Get them back !''. You always get a very funny mission briefing for a (never legal) job. And if you screw up, your boss will throw the worst curses at you. Really cool. After completing the job you will get money and a bonus-multiplier that will increase the money you get in your next job. But there are many possibilities to screw up. You can be killed by either other gangsters or the police, you can exceed the time limit for certain missions, you can kill the wrong persons, or you can get arrested by the cops. Especially the last one is really bad, because once arrested your bonus-multiplier will be halved.
If you do too much ''criminal actions'' the cops will begin to chase you. At first with only one squad car, and finally all the cops are chasing you and will build barricades to stop you. If you have reached this point, they also won´t hesitate to fire machine guns at you.
If you don´t manage it to do your job, you will get another one. But sometimes you won´t get any further missions. Then you can try to get money by shooting civilians or cars (you always get money when you do things like stealing, killing, or destroying - a bit strange in my opinion), but usually you have to start the level over, because only the missions give you an acceptable amount of money and the bonus-multipliers. And if you have wasted all of your 3 lifes you surely have also to start over. Once reached the right amount of money you will meet your boss, and he will ''send'' you to another gangster or a new city. Only then you have the possibility to save your game.
When your eyes got used to the ugly graphics, you will have many secret missions to discover. And it´s even fun to play through the game once again, because it will take your time to finish the game. Especially the last two levels are really hard. And when you finished them you will already have forgotten the really cool mission objectives of the first missions
Final Score: 7
O.K., the graphics are really ugly. But if you´re someone who wants a good gameplay instead of great graphics and FMVs you should give this game a try, as long as you don´t feel offended by killing innocent people or policemen.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/28/02, Updated 08/28/02
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