PS2: Grand Theft Auto 3

This won’t be the first time this happens, but I need to share a Geek moment with the “world”. Also, and please don’t be shocked, but this is a Rave and not a Rant. It could easily be turn into a Rant, depending on what the nay-sayers of the world do with this, but for right now it’s a Rave… and this Rave is for Grand Theft Auto 3 by Rockstar Games. Before we go any further, let me get on the soap box right now: This is for Adults only. Should you see anyone under the age of 18 and they have this game, go yell at their parents; for as great as it is, it’s all about adult humor.

So how can such a great game be a Rant? It’s easy. Because of the nature of this game (it’s Simulated Crime, more or less) people will start to say that it’s causing problems. That because of the release of this game, there’s been an increase of violence or there’s more carjackings in cities, etc. You know the types of complaints. Here’s a thought: If someone is having murderous tendencies, a game will not cause them nor enhance them – how about people take responsibility for their actions? Nah, instead, lets change the game so that the “more offensive” stuff is removed – that’s smart right? And they already did it! The version I have has a black background on the cover; I hear there’s a white background version that is “cleaner”. Tis a sad day.

Anyway, I don’t Game very often. I’m from the days of PacMan and Donkey Kong – the 2-D game that was only a quarter, with color that was “so good” you used to mock Space Invaders’ monochrome screen. Today’s games constantly astound me with their graphics, but with the exceptions of Doom, Heretic, Quake and Tribes, I rarely make time for them. It might sound like a lot that I’ve played, but those four games come over a ten year span and there’s at least a few thousand games released every year. I always seem to buy the latest version of EA’s TriplePlay but never get past one nine inning game – I do have to confess to playing the Yankees against the Mets, just to have The Rocket bean Piazza; it was well worth it – before I put the CD out on the bookcase. Having said this, I’ve easily spent hours and days playing GTA3.

Grand Theft Auto 3 is really a bad name for this game. it’s more like SimCrime than anything else. First off, you can carjack anything. See a car? Take it. See an ambulance? Take it. They even go as far as to offer extra cash by allowing you to take taxi fares, emergency runs, vigilante missions, etc. Money is just as important as your health and your mission status. You start running missions for the local mob and work your way up from there, earning and creating more crime as you go. Money can be amassed from successful missions, killing pedestrians on the streets, or even performing insane car tricks. By the way, each of the different cars behave differently; some are front wheeled and are better handling than the faster, rear wheeled cars. Even if all of this wasn’t true, I would still recommend the game for the following “thing”: Say your health is down a bit and you want to get it back up to full – you could tool around the town looking for a heart (which restores you to 100%) or you could try a different approach. In the red light district, there are different types of women walking the street; get in a civilian’s car and park; sooner or later, one of these working women will hop in the car. Drive to the nearby park and stop; while your money decreases (and the car bounces), your health increases to the max level of 125. As if that’s not bad enough, when the “job” is done? You can knock down the chick and take your money back.

The game is well worth the $50 to pick it up.

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