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'Grand Theft Auto 3' App: A Revolutionary Crime Saga Turns Ten

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It's been 10 years since Grand Theft Auto 3 by Rockstar Games made its 3D debut on the Playstation 2. Since then, it has become one of the most influential franchises in console history with its revolutionary open world gameplay, gratuitous violence and adult themes. It has gone on to spawn sequels and spinoffs on multiple platforms, and sparked enormous controversy in the mainstream media. Now, this classic game celebrates its tenth birthday by coming to iOS and iDevices everywhere. Controls & Gameplay I wouldn't say this is a mere port of a great game; that would be disrespectful. It is the tenth anniversary edition of Grand Theft Auto 3, slightly modified to be playable on an iPad or iPhone. All the necessary controls are mapped onto the screen with movement being done with a virtual stick on the left side of the screen, and running, jumping, shooting, and hijacking vehicles on the right. Camera control is achieved by swiping the center of the screen to pan the camera.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VxoWT0MyLE&feature=player_detailpage Grand Theft Auto 3 trailer Click here to watch on YouTube 

There is also driving in GTA3 but instead of a virtual stick for steering, there are just two 'left & right' arrows. Accelerator and brake pedals are on the right. Personally, I don't get why not keep the virtual stick for steering. The arrows are smaller and if you have big thumbs you tend to tap both of them at the same time and that gets very annoying when you're going top speed and try to avoid a collision. I should say, however, that I played on an iPod Touch so there is less screen real-estate. I am not sure if it controls better on an iPad. Gameplay is identical to the original game, and that's a good thing. After being left for dead in an alley after being betrayed on a bank job, you have to work your way up the seedy underbelly of Liberty City in order to get your revenge. You take control of a silent protagonist and gameplay revolves around doing jobs for the various characters in the city. From mafia goons, to wealthy businessmen; in Liberty City, everyone has a score to settle and are willing to pay to see it taken care of. Every character is memorable and important in his/her own way.

'Grand Theft Auto 3' App: A Revolutionary Crime Saga Turns Ten

On your free time, roam around Liberty City's three islands while listening to one of many radio stations, or steal a taxi and make some easy money ferrying around pedestrians. And if you're a risk taker, hijack a police vehicle and do 'vigilante' missions to put a halt to crime in an area. There's much to do in Liberty City and the main story will take you quite a while to complete. Graphics Grand Theft Auto 3 was a technical marvel ten years ago. Seeing the experience all over again on a tiny screen evokes the same feeling of awe. Having played the original, my expectations were of a watered down visual experience, but once again, iDevices keep on impressing me. Grand Theft Auto 3 looks, sounds, and feels just like the original. I smiled at hearing the same cries of pain from pedestrians as I ran them over, hearing the city's ambience, and the familiar voices of characters long forgotten. Despite the technical achievement of fitting the whole of Liberty City in an iDevice, it's not without its drawbacks. There's significant framerate issues and texture pop in the game. Most noticeably while driving fast was an obvious limitation of my iPod Touch. I'm fairly certain these issues are less prolific on iDevices with a faster processor such as the new iPhone 4S or iPad 2. Grand Theft Auto 3's gunplay suffers from its simplicity. Shooting any gun without a scope results in auto-aiming. This means that even if you're facing an enemy who's trying to kill you, you'll automatically aim and fire on anyone who happens to be closer to the business end of your gun. If a pack of enemies surround you, your chances of survival are slim because you can't choose which threat to eliminate first (a goon with a gun is more dangerous than a goon with a baseball bat).

'Grand Theft Auto 3' App: A Revolutionary Crime Saga Turns Ten

Even though the combat is the only weak link in this app, it is still a fun experience nevertheless. The fact that you can now play around in Liberty City in the palm of your hand should be enough to purchase immediately. If you've never played a GTA game before, or are strictly a casual gamer who's never owned a home console, this is the chance to see what all the fuss was about. Chances are, you'll enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor Rockstar Games manages to mix in with the chaos. Pay a visit to Liberty City now and see why Grand Theft Auto 3 still holds up to this day after all these years. To read our other app reviews, please click here. AppPicker Rating: 5 / 5 Stars Pick It Up in the App Store: Grand Theft Auto 3 Other apps by Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto III

$4.99

Grand Theft Auto III

$4.99

Grand Theft Auto III

$4.99
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