By now, most of you should have heard of this game, Grand Theft Auto. But mostly for the wrong reasons, like the rather controversial contents. This game is about you controlling a carjacker who works for gangsters. You can do all sorts of felonious activities in this game. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? But of course, this sort of game can be too controversial for somebody, and they tend to make a big fuss out of it. But nevermind that, because Grand Theft Auto is simply one of the coolest game around.
The game doesn't start with any fancy FMV intro. You just pick a character out of 4 available and start your gamelife as a gangster. You begin in Liberty City, in an area called South Park. You go to the phone-booths and get a mission. Do what you are told, and you will be rewarded with lots of money. Get 1,000,000 bucks, and you can head to the next level. So, what are the missions about? Well, you get jobs like transport stolen vehicles, bomb the police station, assist a bank robbery, reclaim stolen drugs, and tons more. Foul language is frequently used (which is a good thing if you wish to widen your vocabulary ^_^).
As you can see in the screenshots, the view is top-down. You can move around as your character without a car, knocking down everyone who happens to stand in your way. Items and weapons can be acquired by smashing up the wooden crates located all over the cities. When you get a machinegun, hold the shoot button and spin around at the same time for an effective way of mass-murdering. Very useful when surrounded by cops. The citizens and cars around aren't completely stupid either. If you stand in the middle of the road, cars won't just run over you, they will slow down and stop. The drivers will start yelling at you. Well, too bad for them, because one simple press of a button will make your character walk to the car's door and throw whoever inside out. And then, the car is yours. Around 30 different cars are found in the game. They all handle different, some are fast, but uncontrollable, some are slow, but have excellent maneuverability. Large, heavy trucks can be useful sometimes, since they can bounce away everything nearby. Useful when the cops set up blockades. When people see your reckless driving, they will panick and start screaming around.
You have the freedom of doing whatever you like in the game. There's no set path for you to take. All you need to do, is to gather enough money. If you don't like the given missions, well, there are plenty of other things to do. You will get paid for all felonious activities. Shooting down cops, though, will make the other cops very upset. A number of cop heads will be displayed on the top of the screen, showing how much you are wanted by the local authorities. The more heads there are, the more the cops want to lock you in. As mentioned, they will set up roadblocks to stop you. If you are not quick enough, they can reach your car and drag you out. When they do so, they will send you to jail. (what a surprise...) You will be released at once, but all your weaponary will be confiscated, and half of your money will be gone.
The PlayStation version is not as pretty to look at as the PC version. The textures can look a bit blocky when zoomed up, and the framerate isn't always so smooth either. But all this is understandable, considering how huge the cities are, and how much that is going on at once. And the gameplay makes up to it and more. DMA is known for its Lemmings series, and somehow, GTA is similar. Solid gameplay instead of flashy visuals. GTA also features some of the best background music I have heard recently. It suits the game perfectly. Depending on what kind of vehicle you are driving, different music will be played in the car radio.
With 3 huge cities, 6,000 miles of roads, freeways and alleys for you to explore and over 200 missions to complete, GTA is a game that will last for a while. This is definitely one of the most original games released this year. It's addictive and very enjoyable.