Grand Theft Auto III Review

You know, lately there have been a lot of upset politicians and parents regarding the existence of graphic violence in video games, and rightfully so. With games like Unreal Tournament and Hitman, violence and depravity have become more accessible to children of all ages. No game, however, can come close to the violent acts that are portrayed in Grand Theft Auto III for the Playstation 2 (TM) game console.

ROCK ON!!! >=D


You play a nameless criminal who has been betrayed by your bitch of a girlfriend and left to rot in prison. Not cool. However, en route to the state penitentiary, the armored truck carrying you and a couple of other inmates is hit by a group of Spanish speaking individuals who make it a point to call one of the guards "senior dickhead." While their motives for setting the inmates free is a mystery, all you really care about is getting the fuck out of there. With the help of a Negro mad bomber called "8-Ball," you do just that. And so the story begins...

You begin as a smalltime crook working for a guy named Luigi Goterelli (voiced by none other than Joe Pantoliano, better known as Cypher from The Matrix or, more importantly, Ralph Cifaretto from The Sopranos). While your first mission isn't all that exciting (picking up a whore and driving her back to Luigi's club), the makers of the game waste no time in getting you more involved in the story line. Right after you drop the whore off at Luigi's, there's a note waiting for you telling you that there's a dealer down by the docks who's been introducing a new drug called "spank" to Luigi's girls. Your mission is to, as Luigi puts it, "introduce a BAT to his FACE!" Yes, it's only your second real mission and already you're beating the hell out of someone! What fun! And it only gets better from here, I assure you. As the game progresses, you'll be asked to snuff out a rat for the Italian Mafia, kill Jamaican drug dealers for the Yakuza, get rid of a witness for a corrupt cop (voiced by screen legend Robert Loggia, no less!), and a number of other things that would make your mother crawl with shame, all the while questing for the ultimate reward: vengeance against that four-legged little slut who left you to die so long ago.


As if the story weren't enough to keep you playing...

When Rockstar created this game, they did so with the player in mind. They realized that people don't really like to always follow a specific story, no matter how riveting it may be. Some people just like to do their own thing. And so, in possibly the greatest idea since the Power Player, they made the game free roaming. Yes, you read correctly. FREE ROAMING. What this means is that you, as the player, have pretty much a whole section of the city to yourself to do what you want when you want to do it. You could do a job for a corrupt cop or you could do a job for the Yakuza...or neither. You could, very well, just steal a bunch of cars, hit people, blow stuff up, or even pick up prostitutes (take them to a dark alley and watch the car rock back and raises your health!), all while running from police cars, FBI choppers, and even Army tanks. It's all up to're not held to doing the specified missions (unless you want to unlock more parts of the city, of course). This is a real plus in my opinion.

Another asset along the lines of the free roaming environment is the sheer number of vehicles you can steal. In this game you have your choice of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, ambulances, armored cars, police boats, airplanes, tanks, and literally everything in between. As an added bonus, all vehicles can be stolen while they are being driven right on the street in front of you (but you have to be careful...steal too many and you'll have to fuzz on your ass).

You can also choose between a number of radio stations to listen to, all of which play on roughly hour-long looped tracks (so you'll hear new songs and conversations for at least the first week of gameplay). For instance, my favorite station happens to be Chatterbox, hosted by a man named Lazlow Jones. The conversations he has with his callers are hilarious! Don't believe me? One such conversation involved a parent concerned about violence in video games. Here's an exerpt, from what I can remember:

CALLER: Last week, our dog got hit by a car and all my son said was, "Mommy, where's the reset button?" What are these games teaching our children? That life is a game, that's what! Well, life doesn't have a reset button!

LAZLOW: But luckily for me, this show does. Ah, I love that button. Next caller!

Oh, the joys of irreverance.


While driving certain types of vehicles can be tricky (just like in real life), the controls are easy to learn and as sharp as ever, meaning there are virtually no delays in between the time a button is pressed and the activity seen on-screen.


The graphics are great, and the violence is exceptional, although I must say I was a little disappointed. When I camp out on top of a building and aim at the people below with a sniper rifle, I come to expect that when I shoot a person in the head, it's going to be blown off. That is not the case in this game. In fact, limbs are never lost, no matter what you hit the pedestrian with (even the bazooka). Other than that little oversight, though, the game looks great. Buildings look like buildings and people look like real people, all adding to the game's ability to keep players coming back for more.

Addiction Factor:

I gotta be honest...this game really blurs the line between reality and fiction. Although I have since gotten used to the game, I still find myself ducking as a jeep drives by, hoping that the driver isn't a member of the Cartel out to get me. Literally every car I see now is a possible theft to me. And stoplights...? Well, what stoplights?


This game seriously kicks ass. It was the only game I played for three weeks after I bought it, and I still play it often (though not as often as I'd like...damn school). If you're thinking about buying a Playstation 2 but are still wondering if it's worth it, wonder no more. Even if you hate all the other games on PS2, this game is worth it. I shit you not. You will never find a game like this for the Xbox or Game Cube (or for any other system, for that matter). So what the fuck are you sitting around and reading this piece of shit review for? Go get the game, jerky! You won't be sorry.

You are now listening to Catacombs from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.