Review by NeoGamer

"GTA3 will grab you by the balls and will not let go."

Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 brought a new level of violence to the PC a few years back, however the sequel, Grand Theft Auto 3, goes above and beyond the call of duty. The new level of realism is sure to keep this title's very name controversial among parents. Fortunately, there is great game play behind all of the media attention this title will get because of its questionable content. This is truly an amazing game.

WARNING: Parents, this game is quite violent and the content may not be suitable for your children. You have been warned.

This is one area of the game that does not shine as the textures can be grainy at times. Fortunately, the blur mode, which is turned on by default, hides this fairly well. The polygon count is not really high, so the characters will not look stunning. The cars do, however, look good. Some of the special effects, like explosions, look really awesome. The overall appearance of this game does not shout next-generation, but rather, looks like a pumped up Nintendo 64 game. That is to say, the graphics seem stuck somewhere between the 64-Bit and 128-Bit era. Nevertheless, they do not detract from the game in any way. The various camera angles are great, whether on foot or in car. The classic view returns while in a car, but not by default. The default camera angle is 3rd person. This makes the game stand out among its predecessors. You never forget why this game earned its ''Mature'' rating as you shoot cops, gang members, and innocent pedestrians only to watch them bleed to death in the street. So what if the graphics are not the best on the PS2...they get the job done.

What an achievement in the sound department. Not only did the producers manage to provide great voice acting and sound effects, they provided a diverse soundtrack! When outside of a car, you will only hear the sound of traffic, gunshots, and locals shouting profanity at you. That's no problem; that's what real life is all about. Once you climb into a car, you may listen to any one of the ten radio stations, each with several unique songs. These tunes provide a wide variety to please any listener, as they range from Classical to Hip-hop. Or, if you prefer, you may turn the radio off and enjoy the sound of sirens chasing you as you become the city's most dangerous outlaw. Each section of town is packed with unique people who have something different to say to you. Simply put, the sounds immerse you into the game.

Another fine achievement. The controls are dead on, whether on foot or in a car. The controls are also quite complex, and the control scheme takes full advantage of the pressure sensitive buttons. Whether your using a feathery touch on the gas to maintain a slow speed or activating a siren from the Emergency vehicle you just stole, you will be thankful the Dual Shock 2 features pressure sensitive buttons. While on foot, the controls feel more like the ones found in the Syphon Filter series where action and fighting play a key role. The controls change once inside a vehicle, and feel more like the classic game, Driver: The cars handle with precision and excellence. After a small learning curve with button combinations, you will feel right at home with the controller.

There is not much to say about the story, except that its conceptually cool and fairly involving. You basically take jobs from a crime lord. There are constant conflicts between the seven diverse gangs in Liberty City. You must meet the demands of your bosses and keep the cops off of your tail. The story really does help to draw you in, and motivates you to complete the mission.

The primary draw of this game. Stealing cars will play a vital role in this game, hence the name. Anything you want to do, you can pretty much do it. You can get out, steal any car you see, or kill any person you like. You don't even have to go along on the missions, although you must if you wish to beat the game. Everything about GTA3 is extremely addictive. Perhaps this is because the entire game is so non-linear and you are free to do what you wish in the huge city.

Replay Value:
You will be playing this sucker for weeks to come. Not only will it take forever to go through the game one time, but you will be insanely drawn to doing things over again, only in a different way. How many hours? I'm talking an RPG quality with 55+ hours!

This game is worth every penny, no questions asked. Hands down, the best game I've played this year. That's saying quite a bit as I've played all of the other big hits. Go buy this game now. Do it and be happy. Games like this are very rare.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/24/01, Updated 10/24/01

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