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Grand Theft Auto 3 is the newest game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It is currently out for the PlayStation2, but it is also in development for the PC (and if things go well, also the Xbox). It is developed by DMA Design and is published by Rockstar Games.
Grand Theft Auto 3 does not fit into any set genre, and it is said that it occupies a genre of its own. The plot centres on the main character who was left to take the blame while his girlfriend and partner-in-crime take off with the goods from a bank robbery. Luckily a Japanese gang called the Yakuza are interested in an old fellow in your prison-truck. With this you are freed and taken to explore Liberty City and meet the ruthless, notorious gangs of Liberty City.
Liberty City is divided into three distinct areas which will open up to you as you play; Portland, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. At your first position, Portland, you will see all the types of people expected to be seen in an industrial neighbourhood. Thugs, tramps and gangsters will terrorize you and other unfortunate civilians. The prosperity of the citizens also varies greatly from area to area. You won't expect to find fast cars and rich suburban villas in Portland, but surely in Shoreside Vale. The architecture of the city and artificial intelligence (AI) will also change from area to area. Staunton Island has tall sky-scrapers, common to a commercial district.
Liberty City is loosely based on New York City. While GTA3 even had blue and white cop cars, this had to change after the September 11th terrorism incident. Rockstar and possibly even the government did not believe such similarity would be appropriate for a violent video game. The districts in Liberty City do remain similar to New York City, however. (Portland represents Queens, Staunton Island - Manhattan, Shoreside Vale - New Jersey.)
Grand Theft Auto 3 is a very interactive game, throughout you will encounter different sorts of missions and gangs. Weather elements have also been included in the game, fog and rain will kick in at times of the day. GTA3 features a real-time clock which is mostly used for missions. Some missions or vehicles can only be found or used at certain times of the day. 30 minutes represents 24 hours in liberty city. GTA3 on the PS2 is on a DVD disk, and many benefits encourage this. The biggest asset is radio stations. That's right, while cruising in your new-found car you can tune in to many hilarious talk shows or funky groove stations.
Of course the main theme of the game is theft of cars. The game features round-about 50 autos, all of which have 4-5 variations. Do the math yourself, but whichever way you do it, there are a lot of autos for you to test and toy with! If you get into any mishap, the police will be right on your tail, forcing you to hit the gas hard. The cops will do almost anything in their power to stop you, even crash their own cars. However, if you
out-do the police, you'll encounter harsher resistance. The FBI and Swat team won't be generous no more and will use helicopters along with snipers to take you down. At the end of the game you will also be able to say your last words as the army tanks take you down, but don't expect much of that!
To encounter this sort of harsh resistance, however, weapons are openly available and encouraged. The game leaves about a dozen weapons at your disposal. All these weapons aren't guns either, baseball bats and melee combat is openly encouraged in this game. You can punch and kick the law enforcement and anyone else who happens to stand in your way. Ammu-nation is a shop where you can actually buy weapons. Money is needed for these purchases, and money is up for grabs easily in this game.. Just punch someone and grab their wallet!
On a more serious note, Grand Theft Auto 3 is a mature game. It is rated 18+ and is meant only for a mature audience. Recently it was banned in Australia, due to the fact that you can take a prostitute in your car,
have your act and then once you're done, kill her. This was regarded as sexual violence in Australia, and Rockstar is preparing a toned-down version of the game for the Australian market. This is one of the rare games which are seriously only for a mature audience, and GTA3.com openly discourages an underage or immature audience for this game.