Review: Grand Theft Auto Series

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Grand Theft Auto Series
RockStar Games

Action/Adventure

I couldn’t pick just one of these so I’m going to touch upon the last three major console installments of this series, Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas. What can I say about GTA III that hasn’t been said a thousand times already? Open ended game play, obtuse violence and an entire city at your disposal make this game possibly one of the greatest of all time. The cities and the missions were truly memorable and set a standard by which very few games have come close. For me the ability to explore an entire city on foot in a video game completely captivated me and in fact it was this game that brought me back into the video game fold. Vice City, the fourth installment of the GTA series, manages to do everything GTA III did a little bit better. A bigger city, more violence and even helicopters made this the most popular game of the series. The same problems from III were also there as well, including a strange aiming system and the inability to swim in waist deep water. The magic of the GTA III was totally intact and with Vice City, RockStar was assured a place in the video game hall of fame, if there is one. San Andreas, the fifth GTA release, took the GTA open-ended model off in a new direction. The ability to scale walls and swim and even parachute opens up the world in new ways. Despite these needed improvements this game still felt like Vice City on steroids. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but for those of us who finished the previous two installments in the series, there were quite of few de-ja ‘vu moments in San Andreas. However, if we set aside the massive expectations on this title and judge it on it’s own San Andreas is a wonderful title that does set the bar just a little bit higher on sandbox action gaming. -Jesse Kennedy