Grand Theft Auto


Review by Eddie Dalton-Morris



Graphics: 6

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 7


Rockstar Games recently announced that Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 2 and Wild Metal Country would be available for free on its website. As such, now seems like a good time to re-visit the game that spawned a series.

gta1pc.jpg (68929 bytes)The original Grand Theft Auto was released on the PC in 1997 and offered gamers a sandbox environment to play in. Yes, there are missions to undertake, but the story here is minimal at best and your main aim to collect enough points to move on to the next city where you will find faster cars and bigger guns. The missions get repetitive fairly quickly and most players will find that the real enjoyment in the game comes from causing havoc.

Grand Theft Auto is one of the few games that I’ve played that is actually more fun when you cheat. With the missions not being particularly gripping you’ll find yourself wanting to drive fast and blow things up, but this is not a good way to gain points and advance through the game. Opening all of the six areas, spread over three cities, is definitely advisable.

In short bursts, Grand Theft Auto still holds up fairly well today. The traffic and pedestrian density may seem a little lower than you remember, but it’s still good fun causing all kinds of mayhem, performing insane jumps and completing kill frenzies. The game has the sort of appeal that brings you back when you have a spare ten minutes. However, it is not a deep game and is no longer novel enough to keep the average player hooked for long periods of time.

The graphics didn’t really look good in 1997 but they are clear and functional and still hold up today. The music deserves special mention. Unlike in later entries in the series all the audio has been made for the game and there is no licensed music. Whilst there aren’t an amazing number of songs they’re all memorable and amusing. There are no voices in the game so all the dialogue is presented through text. As you would imagine, it’s not suitable for children, but adds to the amusingly tasteless tone of the game.

If you had fun with Grand Theft Auto when it was first released you’ll probably still enjoy it now. If not then it’s worth downloading just to see what all the fuss is about and to hear the brilliantly awful radio stations. For free you can’t really go wrong.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:07 PM