July 20th 2002
Grand Theft Auto 3: Greatest game ever made?
Get double crossed by every single gang in the city! Get on top of a building and snipe cops until the FBI and choppers show up and then whip out a rocket launcher and go down in a blaze of glory! Dump some punk out of a humvee and then repeatedly run over asian gangsters until the thing explodes! Occaisonally go on hard ass missions for criminal CEOs!
I pirated this game a week ago, and have been playing it constantly. Truly an A-list production.
The open ended game play is truly revolutionary. I'm sick of single track adventure games like the recent Jedi Knight 2. Sure it looks incredible and the narrative isn't too lame, but you have no choices! The penultimate cut scene has a few interesting line where both the villain and the hero try to entice the other to join their side. However, predictably they fail and end up fighting to the death. It would be much more interesting if there was some plot line you could follow where you actually are able to convert the villain back to niceness, or alternatively give in to the dark side yourself and become a bad guy. These are the kinds of games I want to play. For example check out this Geneforge. Relatively low tech 3d/2d isometric view, but interesting story that you can take in one of many directions and lots of peripheral optional activities. Good stuff.
However, my complaints re:GTA3
Driving. I supose if I had one of those steering wheel contraptions this wouldn't be a problem, but its hard to turn the car only slightly. Even if you barely tap the right or left arrow, you end up wrenching the wheel, which can be quite a problem when you're flooring it in a wobbly van or racing through a tight alley.
Worse is the fixed camera angle. It would be great if you could use the arrows to control the car, and then use the mouse to control the camera. That way you could actually see where you are going when negotiating a tight corner, or getting flipped around in a chase, instead of having to rely on the auto-camera or "uzi-view".
Shooting. Theres a lot to be said for 3rd person action games, but given that the option exists to change camera views (overhead being the only other choice) and the fact that the crosshair gets very confused at point blank range, it would be nice if you could switch to 1st person when in combat for all the guns, not just M16 and sniper. Also the fact that you must stand still to use all shoulder weapons. Why can't you just shoot on the run and suffer a huge accuracy penalty?
Environment. Traffic is unrealistically light. There's never a rush hour in Liberty City? There should be a more significant fear of getting side swiped when running red lights, and greater challenge in weaving through oncoming traffic.
I also don't like the fact that you can't go inside buildings. I would be willing to wait for a new map to load if it meant you could go exploring all or most the buildings.
While the expansive variety of vehicles is impressive, I'd have liked to have seen a few more, like motorcycles and jeeps.