Grand Theft Auto Double Pack

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1 April 2005 | 0

For a while now, Playstation 2 owners have had the pleasure of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, while the rest of us could only look on in envy. Now both titles are available on the Xbox, and those nice people at Rockstar have even bundled them as a double pack.

For those who have somehow missed the GTA series of games, the aim of the game is go on the rampage around the city doing as much destruction as you can and wreaking general mayhem. You can mug people for cash, carjack people at lights or sample some of the nightlife on offer.

Neither of these games are suitable for younger players – there’s a lot of bloodshed (you can run over innocent pedestrians as you race from place to place in your car), bad language and in general, all round bad behaviour.
Grand Theft Auto 3, the oldest title of the two, is a much darker title, and compared to Vice City, is a bit slower to start off. In this story, you play Tommy Vercetti who escapes a prison bus after a road accident in Liberty City. To keep yourself out of the prying eyes of the local law enforcement, you take a few jobs with local villain, Luigi. This leads to more jobs with other local hoods.

You pick up various weapons along the way, ranging from bats to guns – some you can pick up for free, others you will have to pay for, and some can be picked up on the street by beating them out of some gang members.
To get around Liberty City, you’ll need a vehicle. The easiest way to get one is to pull a driver out of a car at traffic lights, but be careful – some fight back.

You’ll have to deal with the local law enforcement too; once you show up on their radar, they’ll stop at nothing to bring you down, including running you over.

Vice City is a bit more polished and fun to play. You take on the role of Tommy Vercetti 15 years before GTA3 takes place. A coke deal has gone bad, and it’s up to you to recover the money and drugs – and track down the person responsible for the failed deal. Like GTA3, you make contacts as you go along; you never know who you may need in your quest to find the stolen cash. And, if you need a bit of cash on the side, you can take jobs as a taxi driver, a paramedic, a vigilante policeman and a contract killer.

At the beginning, half the city is completely inaccessible to you However, as you complete certain missions, the bridges out of the city open up and you can branch out to the other districts, such as Little Havana.
The characters look like refugees from bad episodes of Miami Vice, complete with pastel suits. Others include the obligatory bikini babes, women in power suits, gang members and prostitutes.

Vice City has the upper hand in this double pack. Not only is it nicer to look at, but it’s also a little easier to play, thanks to some nice extras thrown in. In Vice City, you can jump from a moving car – handy if the car is on fire – a move not allowed in GTA3 . The cars also seem a bit easier to handle and you have a wider choice on tap, including motorbikes and scooters.
It’s the attention to detail that really sells this game. If it rains (not unknown in Vice City), the drops will stay on your screen for a few moments; it’s the same if you knock over a fire hydrant.

There’s some celebrity voices that make an appearance throughout the game; Ray Liotta, for example, is the voice of Tommy Vercetti.
The radio stations are a step back in time. You can choose from pirate stations, public radio, talk shows or a station dedicated to love songs. Trying to shoot a fleeing motorcyclist while bad 1980s music is blaring from the radio is a little disconcerting – especially if you have to tune it to ‘Emotion FM’.

The more jobs you perform, the higher your status goes and the more money you earn. If you earn enough, you can buy yourself a couple of safehouses that allow you to save your game and restore your health.
Both games are highly addictive. The double pack has hours of gameplay, whether it’s trying that mission one last time or simply cruising the cities, taking in the sights. Prepare to lose entire weekends to these games.

Grand Theft Auto Double Pack

Spec
Rating: 93%
Price: EUR59.99
Contact: GameStop 01-8724305

08/03/04

 

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