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Grand Theft Auto III
Score: 100%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: DMA Design Limited
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Mission-Based Driving

Graphics & Sound:
The vice-filled world of Grand Theft Auto has arrived on the PlayStation 2. Now you can immerse yourself in the shadows of Liberty City, USA and do whatever you like. For those of you who are purists, you can still play in the 'birds-eye-view' mode, if you like. However, the third person views (and even first person while driving) allow for a much better appreciation of the details of Liberty City and provide a nice view to the sin and debauchery which thrives there.

Grand Theft Auto 3 has some of the most beautiful visuals I have seen; gorgeous sunrises, excellent lighting effects, nicely detailed areas and a nice variety of views to choose from. There's a camera angle for everyone here. take your pick - above view, third person far, third person close, even a 'cinematic' view... Grand Theft Auto 3 has extremely high production quality; even the intro is classy - in a 1970's sort of way...

And, as for sound, the sound effects are very nice - including the banter of people passing on the street. And, if you get into a car, you'll have 9 radio stations to choose from! Now you can run over people while listening to the classics. Classic!

Oh, my GOD! Grand Theft Auto 3 is a trip! There's 73 missions to keep you busy - but you can choose to do your missions when - and if - you get around to them. While you're between missions, you can entertain yourself by jacking cars, mugging people, searching for the valuable packages hidden throughout the game (100 of them in all), racing around the city and running over people, crushing cars, finding hidden cars, going on a 'Rampage' (basically a timed killing spree), destroying helicopters, pulling off 'INSANE' stunts, and just committing general thuggery. Wanna go for a joyride? Steal yourself a taxi and start making money by picking up fares and getting there. Wanna do your part to help clean up Liberty City? Grab yourself a police car and find a criminal... then waste him! Too violent? No problem, carjack an ambulance and seek out the injured and rush them to the hospital to make some bank. ...Then run over them on your way to your next injured Liberite... I mean, hey! - You got YOUR money, right?

And of course, you'll have to worry about the Liberty City Police Department. In fact, if you cause enough havok, you'll get S.W.A.T teams and even the FBI after you. So you might want to find some ways to lie low and shake the heat a bit. Oh - and if you're low on health but not on cash, you can pick up a dame in the red light district by honking your horn; take her to a remote area and she'll give you some, ah, 'therapy'... with enough cash you'll see that your health level comes higher than it originally started. Then she leaves. Okay, now don't forget to say 'Thank you' as you watch that nice lady walk away... that nice lady on foot ... with all that cash . . .

Is Grand Theft Auto 3 difficult? Well, my friend, life in Liberty City is no picnic! However, unlike real life, when you get 'wasted', you merely start over again at the hospital with no weapons. And if you're arrested? Same thing, but you're next door at the police station. Screw up a mission? No prob. You can do it again. (Until you successfully complete the mission, anyway.) Can't (or don't want to) complete the mission at hand? Just go race around the city. There's enough ways to have (an illegal amount of) fun without even trying the missions; and in the mean time, you'll be learning your way around Liberty City and get used to handling the vehicles. Are some missions hard? Sure! Would that stop anyone from enjoying the game? I don't see how!

Game Mechanics:
Grand Theft Auto 3 could quite possibly be the perfect game. Well, maybe not THE perfect game, but it sure has a lot of the earmarks - anyone can pick it up, but it's hard to master. Can't master it? That's fine, too! Like mini-games? You get a version of 'Crazy Taxi', and similar games for police cars, fire engines and ambulances. The 'Rampage's give you a fire-and-forget shooting spree and 'Carmageddon' flavored action is no further than your nearest sidewalk.

In short, I won't say that GTA3 is perfect; I'm sure there are things that could have been done to improve it even more - but would anyone have noticed if it had?!

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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