Ever fancied being a tooled-up hoodlum, living on the wrong side of the law and mixing it up with street gangs in a war over turf, drugs and cold, hard cash? Welcome to Grand Theft Auto 3 on the PlayStation 2. Big brother of previous outings on the PSone and PC, GTA 3 has gone fully 3-D to bring the fictitious environs of Liberty City to life. Any worries about graphical speed on the PS2 are quickly dispelled the first time you carjack a taxi and take off like a lunatic, mowing down the innocent and incurring the wrath of law enforcement. This is silky-smooth stuff and the graphical details are truly awesome--all the vehicles are fully deformable and ripping off car doors reveals a driver complete with steering wheels inside. Sonically, GTA 3 cannot be beaten; in-car tunes are provided from one of nine radio stations, each with its own distinct feel, and the sounds of the city are all here too; walk around for a while and you'll hear far-off police sirens, motorists abusing one another and general chit-chat as people go about their business.The game is very open-ended. Its major focus is the mission-based goals--start out as a convict accidentally sprung from jail and work your way up to become a shining light in one of the city's controlling gangs. If that gets dull, hijack a cab, police car, ambulance or fire engine and carry out missions suitable for your mode of transport, and if all else fails, find the ludicrously dangerous looking ramps and hit them hard for some big air and big cash bonuses.It has to be said that GTA 3 fully warrants its 18 certificate, dealing as it does with mob warfare, indiscriminate murders, auto crimes, prostitution and more. The language gets a little "fruity" from time to time and you can't help but wince as you watch innocents get in the way of a good firefight. At the end of the day, though, this is a game and nothing more; thankfully, it's a good game, a very, very good game in fact, so buy it now. Or we'll send Luigi and the boys round. --Chris Russell
Liberty City is a complete physical universe with laws, rules, standards, ethics and morals. They are yours to shatter.
Over 80 gangland missions and loads of side missions.
Work your way through the hierarchy of the gangs, meet bigger bosses, get better jobs.
Multi-layered missions interweave story elements from level to level.
Revenge plot drives the player through the game, whilst retaining non-linearity and freedom of previous games.
Over two dozen ways to take out another character: fist fighting (punch, kick and head butt), base ball bat, handgun, Uzi, machine gun, M-16, rocket launcher, grenade, Molotov cocktail and flame thrower.
Organized police forces including cops, SWAT Teams, FBI, and the Army work strategically to keep Liberty City properly corrupt and somewhat safe.
Liberty City is divided into 3 districts: industrial zone, commercial district and suburban neighborhood all connected by bridges and tunnels. Each has its own look and feel - different kinds of buildings, cars, and inhabitants. As you progress through the game, new areas will open up to you eventually allowing access to the whole city.