GTA III refined and popularized the open world sandbox gameplay that has become synonymous with the Grand Theft Auto series. Key gameplay elements include:
Players can run, jump, swim, climb ladders, and perform other actions to navigate the environment. The controls are:
The controls are simple and intuitive, allowing players to easily traverse the world.
Committing crimes like attacking citizens or police will raise the player’s wanted level, represented by stars. At higher wanted levels, the police response escalates:
To lose wanted levels, players must escape the search radius and avoid being seen.
GTA III features an arsenal of melee weapons and firearms for the player to use: Melee Weapons
Combat is simple run-and-gun gameplay. Auto aim helps target enemies. Players can perform drive-bys by shooting from vehicles.
With over 50 vehicles available, GTA III gives players many options for transportation and causing chaos:
|Cars||Banshee, Stinger, Manana|
|Trucks||Mr. Whoopee, Yankee|
|Emergency||Police Car, Ambulance, Fire Truck|
|Aircraft||Dodo, Police Helicopter|
Cars have different stats for speed, handling, braking, and durability. Players can add nitrous oxide for a speed boost.
To accompany gameplay, players can listen to 9 different radio stations while driving vehicles:
The radio provides music, commentary, and shows that react to the player’s actions.
The map of Liberty City encompasses three boroughs connected by bridges and tunnels: GTA 3 Map Portland – Industrial zone with a red-light district, docks, and slums. Staunton Island – Commercial area inspired by Manhattan with business districts and wealthy residences. Shoreside Vale – Suburban locale with residences, a dam, airport, and countryside. The environments have distinct personalities and capture the feel of New York City well.
GTA III contains an engaging narrative with a cast of colorful characters:
The story follows Claude’s quest for revenge as he works jobs for various crime bosses and rises up the ranks of Liberty City’s criminal underworld.
GTA III received widespread critical acclaim upon release:
Reviewers praised the open ended gameplay, expansive world, mission variety, and amount of content. Controversy surrounded the violence and adult themes, but it was nevertheless extremely popular.
GTA III is regarded as one of the most influential and innovative games ever made. It popularized the open world genre and established the blueprint that future GTA games would follow. Key elements it pioneered:
The game demonstrated the potential of open world freedom in 3D environments. It showed that video games can tell complex stories while giving players agency.
Grand Theft Auto III is a seminal open world action game that ushered in a new era of gaming. It offered unprecedented freedom and interactivity for its time. The adult themes and violence garnered controversy, but the sheer scope and enjoyment of roaming Liberty City overshadowed any outrage. It established Grand Theft Auto as a blockbuster franchise and influenced the entire industry for decades to come. Any fan of open world games owes it to themselves to experience this groundbreaking title.