Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto 3 packshot en
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Release date: 26 October 2001
Developer: Rockstar North


Liberty City is a dangerous place to be.

Liberty City is a dangerous place to be. Crime is spiralling out of control, and Liberty's three boroughs are being carved up in vicious turf wars between the many organised gangs that inhabit the City. Obviously, the Mafia are heavily involved, but Yakuza, Yardies, Colombians and other, less high-profile organisations are making their presence felt from one end of town to the other.

With so much bad blood being spilt, gangland vacancies are springing up on a daily basis. There's plenty of work for an aspiring criminal such as yourself, and with a recommendation from a 'friend' of the Family, you've just bagged your first job for the Mafia. Now all you have to do is watch your back, climb through the ranks, and build your reputation on the streets through a campaign of senseless violence, in this bloody but brilliant crime simulator.

You don't have to work for the Mafia, but it helps. The Cosa Nostra have a wide variety of enemies, which means there's no shortage of missions for an efficient and trusted killer. When you're not clipping the opposition, there are banks to rob, security vans to hold up, and all manner of other nefarious schemes to carry out. But all good things must come to an end, and before long you'll be looking to sell your new-found friends out to one of the other gangs in Liberty - before they do it to you.

This is a shame, because the Mafia have some of the coolest cars in the game, hulking great black slabs that glide through the city with style, and can absorb plenty of damage. Fortunately, there's no shortage of choice, as the streets of Liberty City are packed with every imaginable variety of vehicles - sports cars, pick up trucks, lorries, limos, and many many more - and you can steal them all. You can even steal an ambulance, fire engine or police car, and start working for the emergency services!

Or, if you like, you can go freelance. Surf the streets as a vigilante, administering punishment beatings if any of the locals step out of line. Or steal cars to order for the dodgy exporters at the docks. Or pick up the missions that the local "businessmen" leave for you at phoneboxes dotted around the city. Or... well, you get the idea. Do your own thing.

That said, whatever you do, make sure you watch out for the police. Although they tend to turn a blind eye to minor misdemeanours, most criminal activity triggers a concerted effort to bust your no-good hide. At first, you'll just have the local constabulary to deal with, but as you commit bigger and badder crimes, you'll find the FBI, SWAT teams, helicopter gunships and ultimately the Army are called out to halt your one-man crime spree. Now, if only you could find a way to steal one of their tanks...

The open-ended structure of the missions and gameplay will be familiar to GTA veterans, but the all-new, next generation Liberty City completely changes the nature of the gameplay. It's a sprawling, intricately detailed, three-dimensional playground, populated by a staggering array of law-abiding pedestrians, law-avoiding gang members, and all points in-between. Hours of fun can be had walking the streets, watching the antics of the locals (and keeping them in line where necessary). When you tire of this, there are the 80+ missions to contend with, all set up with well-written cut-scenes featuring professional actors. Or you could just cruise in your car (or preferably someone else's), enjoying the scenery and listening to the ten hilarious radio stations. Essentially, you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, in any way that takes your fancy, and that's what makes Grand Theft Auto 3 an absolutely essential part of any self-respecting PlayStation 2 owner's collection.

  • Wreak havoc in a bustling 3D city!
  • Totally open-ended gameplay lets you choose how to play
  • Over 50 vehicles to steal, and more than 20 weapons at your disposal
  • Ten radio stations serve the city with hip-hop, dance, rock, country, opera, and more