|What is Grand Theft Auto III?|
Grand Theft Auto III is the third (fourth if you include the Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 expansion) game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It is currently out for the PlayStation 2, but it has also been released for the PC and the Xbox. It is developed by DMA Design and is published by Rockstar Games.
Grand Theft Auto III does not fit into any set genre, and it is said
that it occupies a genre of its own known as a 'Sandbox' game. The plot centres on the main
character (commonly referred to as 'Claude') who was left to take the blame while his girlfriend and
partner-in-crime take off with the goods from a bank robbery. Luckily a
Japanese gang called the Yakuza are interested in an old fellow in your
prison-truck. With this you are freed and taken to explore Liberty City
and meet the ruthless, notorious gangs of Liberty City.
Liberty City is divided into three distinct areas which will open up to you as you play; Portland, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale.
At your first position, Portland, you will see all the types of people
expected to be seen in an industrial neighbourhood. Thugs, tramps and
gangsters will terrorise you and other unfortunate civilians. The
prosperity of the citizens also varies greatly from area to area. You
won't expect to find fast cars and rich suburban villas in Portland,
but surely in Shoreside Vale. The architecture of the city and
artificial intelligence (AI) will also change from area to area.
Staunton Island has tall sky-scrapers, common to a commercial district.
Liberty City is loosely based on New York City. While Grand Theft Auto III even had
blue and white cop cars, this had to change after the September 11th
terrorism incident. Rockstar and possibly even the government did not
believe such similarity would be appropriate for a violent video game.
The districts in Liberty City do remain similar to New York City,
however. (Portland represents Queens, Staunton Island - Manhattan,
Shoreside Vale - New Jersey.)
Grand Theft Auto III is a very interactive game, throughout you will
encounter different sorts of missions and gangs. Weather elements have
also been included in the game, fog and rain will kick in at times of
the day. Grand Theft Auto III features a real-time clock which is mostly used for
missions. Some missions or vehicles can only be found or used at
certain times of the day. 30 minutes represents 24 hours in liberty
city. GTA III on the PS2 is on a DVD disk, and many benefits encourage
this. The biggest asset is radio stations. That's right, while cruising
in your new-found car you can tune in to many hilarious talk shows or
funky groove stations.
Of course the main theme of the game is theft of cars. The game
features round-about 50 vehicles, all of which have 4-5 variations. Do the
math yourself, but whichever way you do it, there are a lot of vehicles for you to test and toy with! If you get into any mishap, the police
will be right on your tail, forcing you to hit the gas hard. The cops
will do almost anything in their power to stop you, even crash their
own cars. However, if you out-do the police, you'll encounter harsher
resistance. The FBI and Swat team won't be generous no more and will
use helicopters along with snipers to take you down. At the end of the
game you will also be able to say your last words as the army tanks
take you down, but don't expect much of that!
To encounter this sort of harsh resistance, however, weapons are
openly available and encouraged. The game leaves about a dozen weapons
at your disposal. All these weapons aren't guns either, baseball bats
and melee combat is openly encouraged in this game. You can punch and
kick the law enforcement and anyone else who happens to stand in your
way. Ammu-nation is a shop where you can actually buy weapons. Money is
needed for these purchases, and money is up for grabs easily in this
game.. Just punch someone and grab their wallet!
On a more serious note, Grand Theft Auto III is a mature game. It is
rated 18+ and is meant only for a mature audience. However Rockstar had to prepare a toned-down version of the game for the Australian market. This is one
of the rare games which are seriously only for a mature audience.
Screenshots (from GameSpot):