Unlike similar games (Driver 1 & 2) the story line isn’t wrapped up in some convenient fuzzy plot about being an undercover cop, or trying to avenge your wronged or murdered sibling/lover. (Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Segal have been there way too many times!)
Oh, no. In this game you are a criminal. A dirty rotten one at that. You can beat up old men on the street for starters, smack a prostitute around for main course and then steal the ambulance that comes to their aid for deserts! And that’s not even scratching the surface of the multitude of missions you’ll have to complete for the various crime lords that operate above the law of Liberty City.
Sadly, our anti-hero has no such protection from the boys in blue and you can find yourself being rapidly hunted down by multiple cops in multiple cars, choppers and even the SWAT team will show up to lock you up or take you out. They really don’t have a preference on which.
As noted in far more professional reviews elsewhere on the web, the most striking thing about GTA3 is the size. The city, throbbing with traffic, fellow criminals and pedestrians is awe inspiring. It even has its own subway system so you can hop on a train to get between the three distinct areas without having to drive or steal a boat to get around.
However, the later options are much more fun – screaming about the streets in a stolen supercar or slipping through the waves in a procured power boat are what this game is all about.
Acquiring the vehicle of your choice, flicking to a radio station that suits your taste, and racing off to the scene of your next crime is the very strong glue that holds this whole game together. Add to that the changing weather conditions, time of day and artificial intelligence of the other inhabitants of Liberty and you have something instantly playable with deceptive depth.
It would be criminal to miss this one.