Written on: 04/05/2007 by Cognition (90 reviews written)
This was possibly the best game of its time
Everything I can think of as I sit here drinking Coke
Game can crash when flying out to sea
Things feel missing when you return from a sequel
Let me start off by saying that this review contains both the "now" and "then" tenses. This just kind of happened as I wrote the review and was too tedious to correct at the end. Ready to begin? Then read on ...
Grand Theft Auto III was the game that transformed me into a video game addict, of a sort.
Playing the game for this first time was such a good experience - it was almost like it took all of my other games and burnt them with a Zippo, then buried them under concrete. Basically what I'm trying to say is that it was so much better than any other game I owned, and probably any other game of its time.
The best thing about it? This has to be the freedom - the way that you can complete the missions as and when you want to - instead of following a strict narrative, the storyline of GTA III was flexible and could be moulded in different ways depending on how and in which order you completed the missions. Admittedly, doing things in a certain way sometimes didn't make much sense, as it could put the narrative in a wrong order at times - but who cares?
Choosing your car, customising your weapon set - the possibilities with this game are almost endless. Hours of fun can be had by simply driving around and smashing into things, or maybe shooting some people, jacking a car and embarking on a long winded police chase around Portland.
I don't think there are any bad point about this game. If I have to think of one, and this involves really stretching my imagination, then I suppose it could be that when flying out to sea in the Dodo, the game almost always crashes before you can try and get past the invisible barrier in the hope that it holds something very magical behind it (which I was lead to believe - I wasted hours doing this ... so many wasted hours).
And on that note, I'd just like to boast that I could in fact fly the Dodo for however long I wanted to (maybe you can too, but nobody I know can). The trick is to make gradual banks, being careful not to flip the plane and plummet to an inescapable death.
Now, some people would say that GTA III (and indeed all of the GTA series) is an unacceptable concept. I've even seen articles on the news about how the GTA culture is "teaching our children that killing is cool" or "influencing young minds that gangs are a good thing", etc - and all I have to say to this is that, at the end of the day, GTA III is just a game - and parental responsibility has to play a part in deciding whether your children should buy the game or not. Games are designed to be fun - not a culture threat. Banning the game is not the answer, that much is obvious.
As well as this, and this is no bad point as such - the game can feel like it's missing a lot of features when you come back to it after playing GTA San Andreas. It's important to remember that the game isn't missing things - it just didn't have them at the time, and this doesn't make it any less brilliant.
Another good thing is that there are loads of cheats and tips available for this game. I know most of them, but it's unfair for me to use a review to tell you all of them. Just Google it. Or of course, if you're playing for the first time, then please don't cheat - play it properly or you're missing out.
So to summarise - GTA III is a brilliant game - I deeply commend Rockstar for the effort that went into making it near perfect. If you want to experience a deep storyline but want potentially limitless freedom, then this game is for you. In fact, GTA III is a must have for anyone with a Playstation 2.
Go out and buy it. If not for me, then do it as a stand against those people who are trying to ban it.