The video gaming world would never be the same again once Grand Theft Auto was unleashed upon us all. Welcome to the epitome of violence in video games. In the very first game of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, you’re a nobody who becomes a big time criminal in the making. Work for the mob, drive at dangerous speeds in over a hundred different vehicles, outrun rival gangs, the cops, assassins, run over anything with a heartbeat, and so much more. And do it all in a huge living and breathing metropolis.
This is the game’s biggest flaw of them all. The game utilizes 2D graphics and provides players a top-down perspective of everything. The visuals are poor in design with below standard textures of everything you see. It may be hard to play in the top-down view, but trust me, it’s doable after about a couple of minutes. What you have to understand is that the game’s strengths are in its gameplay and content, that is what makes this game so addictive. The visuals are easily forgivable once you realize this.
This aspect of the game is the cream of the crop for the whole package. This is what makes Grand Theft Auto the game that it is. Featured in this game are three incredibly massive city environments that are filled with various vehicles, pedestrians, highways, bridges, buildings, businesses, alleyways, and much more. You have the choice of following the missions, which get harder as the game progresses, or free roaming around the city and doing whatever you please. The missions in Grand Theft Auto range from rigging a cop car and driving it into a police station in order to blow it up, rescuing a couple of outlaws from a bank robbery, destroying other cars, hunting down gang members, among others that are pretty much straight-forward in nature.
Or, like said, you could just hijack a car and go on a killing spree. Speaking of cars, there’s plenty of variety here, ranging from 4 x 4’s, pick up trucks, limos, taxis, station wagons, jeeps, motorcycles, school buses, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and much more. The developers also paid attention to the driving physics of these vehicles as some may be slower than others and such. The violence in this game is insane. You can practically kill anyone in anyway you like, blood will splatter, people will scream and panic. Try walking up to a random guy in the street and punch him, he will either punch you back, curse you out, or run away.
Running from the cops is also fun. There’s a felony star system where as 1-2 stars consists of a couple cop cars chasing you, 3 stars contains more cop cars and roadblocks this time. The higher it goes, the more cops and roadblocks you’ll see. It goes as high as 5 stars. Getting busted consists of you ending up outside of a police station without your weapons and you’ll probably lose some money too. Speaking of weapons, there’s everything from pistols, machine guns, flame-throwers to rocket launchers. The only downside to this game is that you can’t enter buildings, there’s no SWAT or military to mess around with, and you can’t go in the water or you’ll die. Of course, all of these issues and then some are things that were improved upon in the latter games.
Grand Theft Auto presents some rather straight-forward controls. The on-foot controls consist of the directional pad which controls where you go and what not, a jump button, a fire/punch button, a weapon select, and vehicle select. Driving controls consist of accelerate, brake, reverse, exit vehicle, and radio station select.
Grand Theft Auto single-handedly helped to shape the video game industry into what it is today. Since its release, we’ve not only had newer and improved GTA games but as well as similar and equally great games such as Driver, Saints Row, Dead Rising, Bully, State of Emergency, and many, many more. If the 2D top-down graphics are going to drive you nuts, then I highly recommend you skip to Grand Theft Auto III, the first 3D game in the series. This original entry in the series delivers immensely in its gameplay, content, as well as soundtrack. This game has awesome music ranging from techno, pop, western, rock, to hip hop. All in all, this game is a monument in video gaming itself.