For those who just havent been around, well anywhere Grand Theft Auto IV will be released
April 29 to much fanfare all over the country.
Slowed work production and fast food consumption are likely
In honor of that, AllHipHop Gaming and The Gamer Studio
would like to present a look back at the GTA
III Trilogy, and what made this series from the somewhat obscure sandbox
title to worldwide phenomenon.
Grand Theft Auto III
Lets not be coy. The Grand
Theft Auto series did not have mass appeal. Although they were somewhat
critically appraised, gamers did not flock to them. They needed a new spark for
the third iteration.
Betrayal, a prison bus breakout, and of course, grand theft
auto and this is within the first five minutes. Enter Claude Speed, and exit
the relative obscurity for this franchise. The high that gamers felt within
those first five minutes seemed to sustain itself throughout the whole game.
It felt like you could try any vice you wanted to exploit. A
variety of guns and cars kept you busy killing gangsters and citizens alike. The
boldest even killed cops on the way to killing gangsters. Get a hooker, and
kill her to get your money back after the happy ending. Steal a car and joy ride
through the sprawling metropolis that is Liberty City.
You had to be tough to survive there anyway. Liberty City
was a place that bit back hard. It had its share of killers, wheelers and
dealers, whose only connection is the fact that they were sociopaths that you
hated to love and loved to hate.
The next few games in the series may have added more
gameplay elements and maybe more fun and polished, but this is the incarnation
that started the phenomenon.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Remember the 80s? The time we wore
the ugliest clothes, listened to the worst music, fell for the worst trends.
Sure there was Michael Jackson before he went insane, Married With Children and KRS. But for the most part, it’s embarrassing. Who would’ve thought the redemption of a full decade would come over 20 years later?
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City had
a lot to live up to. After GTA3,
delivering so much, shaping a genre, and wowing gamers worldwide, how could
Rockstar improve on that? Doubts were silenced, as Vice City didnt just become a good game in a genre, it refined it.
The Scarface vibe certainly made its presence felt as you were driving in a drop top below the Vice City [read: Miami ] sun, while choppers were following you, as you proceed to gunning down a rival drug dealer before you get back to your Mansion. There was no more silent Claude, but the cynical Tommy Vercetti, who’d give Tony Montana a run for his money.
The game was simply bigger, better and more GTA then GTA3 ever was .and almost enough to redeemed the 80s completely. Nostalgia, fun, progression, Vice City had it all, and the world was ours.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild West
A state that’s untouchable like Eliot Ness
Dre may have been talking about California, but the same
could be said for San Andreas. Expectations were high after the critical success of Vice City. Maybe questioned just how far the game could be taken on the PS2, considering it was getting towards the end of its lifecycle. However, the final game of the Trilogy happened to not just end it meeting expectations, but pushing the bar even higher for GTA 4.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a combination of West Coast rap albums and urban movies combined, while maintaining the series feel and appeal. The major change is the sheer amount of ground that you can cover. San Andreas allowed you to roam across an entire state filled with three cities and country landscape with a West Coast vibe.
Sure, the East Cost has gangs, but nothing really like the
Black, Hispanic, and Asian gangs of Los Angeles, San Francisco – or the Mafia
lifestyle in Vegas, which this game does a pretty good job emulating.
There were the gameplay additions of tagging, sky jumping
and the ability to exercise to increase your running and fighting ability. Rockstar had a more realistic focus on gameplay with the addition of having to eat to keep your energy up and taking various classes to get better with guns, cars
instead of just wheeling and dealing as you did previously.
It is by far the most polished game of the series, and even
with the infamous controversy with the Hot Coffee Mod and the zero flying
missions, this one stands heads and shoulders above the rest.
As everyone prepares to go to the store and pick up their Grand Theft Auto IV and shun the rest of their social and maybe even fiscal
responsibilities, remember that this has been a good series for a while. Dont
be afraid to go back and get reacquainted.Click here to read AllHipHop.com’s Screen Shot preview of Grand Theft Auto IVFor more updates from The Gamer Studio team, go to myspace.com/thegamerstudio