Monday, January 5, 2015

PS2 Week: Grand Theft Auto III

Hello and on to Day 1 of PS2 Week and I thought I should start us off with a popular game first to get the gamer juices flowing. Boy, did that sound wrong. Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design Ltd) started off a wee bit rocky in the early 80's and by mid-90s it was looking worrisome that they would go under when the creation of the Grand Theft Auto Interactive PC games made the news giving them some breathing room but then demands for the Playstation version was in heaping rows, No sooner did this franchise make waves positively and controversially the creation for the a open world action-adventure made its release in PS2 in 2001 then 2002 for the PC and 2003 for Xbox. This is Grand Theft Auto III.

Meet friendly faces!

After a smooth bank robbery and get away with a team of robbers in Liberty City (fictional New York) our single-player game follows the doings and goings on of Claude, a bank robber who was left for dead by his own girlfriend who blasted him. Left to bleed out on the ground, Claude is arrested and sent up the river for no less than a dime. Sorry, I really get into the lingo. Ten year stretch if you will.

The prison van is destroyed killing the prison guards and devastating the main bridge. Claude and his transport buddy 8-Ball hightail it out of there and make it to a safehouse for a change of clothes, a few weapons and line up some employment to a nightclub/escort service ran by a member of the Leone syndicate. After a few quick car missions, the sky is the limit but always remember if the police see an illegal act they enable a star count. Each star is how much attention you have drawn to yourself. First stint into Liberty City the highest you can get is 3 stars which means S.W.A.T. Has a light armored vehicle and they are packing uzis. Yeah, watch yer butt on your shenanigans and keep a low profile.

Enjoy the sights!

This combines the first person shooter with a driving game giving car jacking rides, races, shoot outs and plenty of primary missions as well as side missions for extra money, armor and newer weapons. Behind the wheel gives you freedom to cruise through neighborhoods and avoid most trouble but every now and then street punks to the Triads will take notice and try to take you out. On foot, you got a bit of street fighting, melee weapons, firearms and even explosives such as Molotov cocktails and hand grenades.

One of the most amusing of carjacking is stealing a police car and then hiding in your safehouse or chop shop to get the man off your back and boom, no one is the wiser. You can toodle around in your newly acquired bacon mobile and have more than a few side quests alone with that like the vigilante option of blowing away dirtbags.

The gaming mechanics via PS2 is simple enough. Your standard pattern of circle is shoot, whack or punch. Triangle is exit/enter cars. X is hitting the gas in the car or sprinting on foot and square is braking for car and jump on foot. Directional buttons are your friend with both vehicle and car. I mean when is the last time it was that easy? Keep in mind, the faster the ride, the more you have to finesse the handling. The light sports cars can zoom but have crap for control. Takes a little practice for each ride so don't go bananas first time out.

Okay now for a teensy bit of controversy. Due to the adult nature of this game it is rated mature from anything eluding to sex, alcohol, drugs, smoking and prostitutes. Yeah this was a big stink about the legitimacy of the game with its lack of morals and scruples. So apparently grudge match games like Quake are fine, Mario Cart can trip up its opponents and we can blast the hell out of zombies via Resident Evil but a crime based video game is the devil. These mooks probably hated the Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface and Casino as well. Bottom line parents, use your own judgement call on whether or not you are introducing your kids to this series.

Yikes, dinged the fender on that last hooker.