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Grand Theft Auto 3

Sunday, September 08, 2002 by Gymna

Grand Theft Auto 3
Overall: 4
Graphics: 3
Interface: 4
The long awaited third in the Grand Theft Auto series finally arrived and has taken many homes, dorm rooms, and apartments, and turned them into one constant blaring police siren. Yes, I’m talking about Grand Theft Auto 3 and yes I swear the siren never ends. I for one do not own a play station 2 and was therefore forced to wait for the PC version of this game before I could play it. When I first dove into the realm of this game I was very withdrawn from the GTA world having not played either one of the prequels. But I was highly surprised on what I had been missing out on when I first stepped into Portland. Apart from the grand city and cars and all the other hoopla that is thrown into the GTA3 world, I found myself in a different style of gaming. One where I could do as I pleased and cheat whenever the computer didn’t like whatever was pleasing me at the moment.

Oh I do love big trucks

Going vigilante is fun!

Now I’ll explain what I mean for those of you who are unfamiliar with the GTA world. GTA3 opens with a cut-scene(all done with the game models themselves might I add) of a police transport being hijacked and you escaping with 8-ball, a friend of sorts. He takes you to some friends, and the story gets started. You make your way through a world doing gangsters dirty work, and then later killing them(pretty cool huh). The world is completely 3-dimensional and the concept of stealing a car and doing murder to traffic laws(literally sometimes) is a great way to get those road rage aggressions out. I just don’t recommend playing this game before taking a road trip due to personal experience. Remember that after playing you are in the real world, not the GTA world.


The graphics have you within a 3-dimensional world of gangs, violence, and basically the American way. Some of the cars are quite nicely done and I took my time collecting the nicer looking ones than the ‘better’ ones. The detail involved when you bang up a car is really nice. And the physics of the graphics such as the hood flying up when you accelerate and it flying back down when you brake really got my attention. Objects that are always in your view such as your car, your person, and your weapons are fairly nicely done. On the negative side, it is lacking in the fact that a lot of the stationary items are under detailed. The bushes really turned me off graphics wise and the textured buildings definitely were an eyesore. The engine GTA3 uses is a little behind current times. That being said I personally was memorized by the fast pace police car chases and thug eliminating than comparing the visuals to that of other current games. Don’t get me wrong though, I personally think that the graphics are quite adequate for this game. And any more detail and my one and a half year old computer wouldn’t be able to handle it sadly enough.


Controller buttons are annoying. That being said, the entire keyboard is your domain while playing GTA3. You can bind your keys all over the place instead of having to do interesting gaming controller combos to achieve the desired result. I have two pet peeves about the controls in this game. The first is that the turret on the tank doesn’t go up and down correctly even when I’m pushing the assigned buttons. And my second is that the forward, backward, left, and right movement keys aren’t stationary. What I mean by that is that whatever direction your character is facing, that is the direction that forward is. So when your character is facing you, your controls are reversed, which is a pain for a first person shooter player such as myself. Aside from those two things I really enjoy the interface and adapted to it quite quickly. The map of the town that scrolls as you move helps immensely during the game as I could get lost in a heartbeat within my own city let alone the game’s city. It’s too bad that the icon’s you want don’t always show up during missions(such as your garage). For you mouse users out there, I suggest that when playing this game you adapt to using the keyboard for movement and the number pad for acquiring targets, moving turrets, and looking side to side.

The infamous tank

The best control setup I found was for the cars themselves. While driving you have incredibly good control over the car using just the keyboard. The alternate views, such as the side view, come in very handy when you need to do such things as drive-bys. All in all there are a few tweaks I would have made with the controls, but nothing annoys me enough to where I would quit playing the game.

Multiplayer (if any):



All things considered, I really enjoyed this game. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and break every law that you’ve ever hated. Best of all you get paid to break the law. For blowing up cars you receive about $30-$70, for an unfriendly greeting to a pedestrian you can sometimes pick $50 off of their body after you’ve beat them senseless, and my personal favorite, you can do stunts in the car to get $1000’s. Doing such things as simple jumps or spinning your car sideways yields a few hundred bucks. But doing a double back flip with the car AND landing it can earn you a hefty $3000+. Not bad for a 10 second run.

Double back flip time

Anything is possible in this game in or out of cars. Your arsenal of weapons outside the car includes such things as flame throwers, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, AK-47’s, and much more.

Rocket launcher + helicoptor

There is too much to say about this game in just a review. If you have the cash, and are willing to give the time, go try out this game and have some fun with it, I surely did.

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