The lights are on
I didn’t know anything about Grand Theft Auto the first time I saw Grand Theft Auto III. I walked in on a friend playing the game. My first thought was it didn’t look very good compared to other PlayStation 2 titles and the jump animation was ridiculous. My friend seemed excited about the game though, so I hung around to see what it was all about.
“Are you early in the game?” I asked, “What level is this?” He explained there weren’t levels, but it was a big open city. “But, this is like a little section of the city, right? You can’t just drive around the whole thing at once? Can you?” I assumed there was some kind of overworld map like Super Mario World, and he was just exploring a section of the city. I didn’t believe him when he kept insisting it was entirely open.
“What are you doing?” I asked. He wasn’t doing anything. He wasn’t trying to get to the end of the level, or collect a certain number of things, or defeat a certain number of enemies. He was just walking around some docks by a river.
He started beating up some pedestrians and told me an ambulance would probably show up soon. I continued to be incredulous. I did not believe an ambulance would come on its own to help pedestrians without it having some meaningful impact on the course of the game. Why would an ambulance just show up to help injured pedestrians if it did not directly affect you? When the ambulance did show up, my friend stole it and started driving around the city.
For me, that was the moment when I understood what Grand Theft Auto III was all about. My friend had beaten up some pedestrians, an ambulance had shown up to the scene, and he stole the ambulance to go on a joyride. Grand Theft Auto III was a city that functioned entirely on its own and the player had the privilege of doing whatever they wanted inside of it. My mind was blown.
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I thought the game was so cool... It really was an experience I want to play it again. :)
My personal favorite game of all time. No game has ever blown me away initially like GTA III did, having all that freedom at your disposal. It was a one of a kind experience.
GTA III was a great game. Lots of memories...Great blog Kyle
Same feeling with GTA: San Andreas (the first GTA game I ever played). Kyle, you sir have good taste.
My mind wasn't.
All the money
all the hate
all the theft it took to make the pile of crap
Look at the junk we have now Nothing but cookie cut outs
I hate everything
its all about shooting at other cars... they run... u chase em down.. and shoot em up.. til the car catches fire. they exit... then you run them down... ahhh... another AI dead and gone.. we're winning John Connor!
I was blown away at first too!
LOL I almost had the same experience. Except i only heard about GTA from friends who got it dayone; bragging about how you can fight the police and pick up hookers, shoot anyone and beat up anyone.. as a kid i found it intriguing because no other game has done it; and i didnt know anything about it besides gameinformer, which i had to sneak a peak at the local retail store. So for chrismas i asked for it; the first play through i didnt stop playing for 3hours; i remember i was suppose to go to my great granmas, but i was glued to the screen till i got tired of playing it. Thought it was the best ever;
I own the original GTA on PSX. It had horrendous sprites, but for some reason my friends and I were hooked on just driving around this overhead view sprite game and running people down.
We loved it so much I got GTA: London and later GTA2. I'll be honest, it took until a few sessions in London to realize there were actually missions you were supposed to do in any of the GTA games. GTA1 didn't tutor you much.
When I read that a GTA3 was coming, and that it was 3D, I knew I had to buy it. I knew what I was getting into, but this was the games that hooked us actually in 3D.
Over ten years later, and my most played Xbox 360 game is GTA4 and it's expansions. I've played through the core game four times, and am actually right now playing through on my fifth time.
I like to roleplay - only kill who I should, actually have a conscience and try to obey rules, even traffic lights. I like to pace and stagger my missions so the character and world have a continuity.
Sure, the gunplay is sloppy, but outside of that, I can safely say no other game this generation has actually drawn me to replay it over and over just for the sheer joy of playing a video game and escaping into it.
...okay, as I type that, that's a lie - there's also Bayonetta.
Brilliant little article! You really captured how I remember feeling when I first started playing GTA III.
Fantastic times with GTA III. One of those games where people would come over and we'd lost 5 hours a time doing the most inane nonsense.