Grand Theft Auto III is the follow up to the previous top down iterations in the series. Featuring similar themes to its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto III diverges to become one of the greatest games on the PlayStation 2, and establishes a basis for one of the best selling game franchises in history.
Grand Theft Auto III went leaps and bounds beyond the previous games, leaving the top down view to become an expansive open world third person shooter, establishing new precedents for graphics in games. GTA III popularized the then-mostly-unknown concept of "sandbox" gameplay, where a player can go anywhere in the game, and is not required to follow a linear path. Also new to GTA III was an auto target system, allowing the players to overcome difficulties with aiming on the PS2. The PC version of the game, which could take advantage of a mouse, dropped the lock-on system in favour of a superior free-aiming system, allowing them to easily shoot targets in game. The final defining implementation was the radio, something to be included in every other game in the franchise except Grand Theft Auto Advance. The soundtrack was expansive, and players could listen to any of the stations, and the various humor included on each one.
Though Grand Theft Auto III was one of the games that made the PlayStation 2 a must-own system, the game was originally optioned to Microsoft as an exclusive launch game for the Xbox. However, Microsoft turned Rockstar's offer down, objecting to the content of the game and how the company and their new system would be perceived because of it, which led to the game launching exclusively on PS2. Eventually, GTA III would come out on the Xbox in the form of the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy pack, bundled with sequels Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
In October 2011, Rockstar announced that Grand Theft Auto III would be released on select mobile and tablet devices in celebration of the games 10th anniversary. The game is coming to A5 enabled iOS devices and select Android phones and tablets.
In the beginning, the main character (who was later given the name "Claude" in GTA: San Andreas) is escaping from a freshly-robbed bank with his girlfriend Catalina and another partner after robbing it. Just when they are about to get away, Catalina murders their partner and shoots the protagonist, and leaves with the cash.
Later, the player, who survived the gunshot, is being transported in the back of a police truck to a prison. Suddenly, the doors fling open and the player, along with a man known as 8-Ball, are set free. Apparently, the Columbian Cartel needed a prisoner free and it just so happens that he was in the same convoy as the player and 8-Ball. 8-Ball knows a place where they can lay low, so the two drive over to the safehouse.
The protagonist puts on some new clothes so the police don't recognize him: the trademark black jacket with green pants. He then heads over to Sex Club Seven and meets Luigi Goterelli, a man connected to the Mafia who has work available. He has the player pick up a girl named Misty from the hospital, and when he returns the player is informed about a dealer giving out drugs to Luigi's girls. Luigi, naturally, is rather upset by this and instructs the player to kill the dealer and return his car to them. Luigi, pleased that the protagonist is doing such a fine job, provides a few more jobs and has the player meet Joey Leone, who gives him more dirty work. For a while the player comes into contact with many people and does many, many jobs for them. Eventually, he meets a woman named Maria and it is implied that she has romantic feelings for him, though it is unclear whether the silent protagonist feels anything in return. One thing leads to another and Maria ends up being kidnapped by Catalina. At the end of the game, a dramatic battle ensues and Claude appears to exact his revenge by murdering Catalina.
The main character in GTA III is nameless within the context of the game itself. However, many speculated that the character was named Claude Speed, who is the protagonist of the previous GTA game. Game files on the GTA III disc reportedly list "Claude" as a text string. Rockstar went on to place the GTA III protagonist into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where his silence becomes something of a gag. A lone phone call in GTA:SA identifies the protagonist as Claude, but this still isn't concrete proof that the man is, indeed, Claude Speed.
Aside from the core narrative component, there are a number of side missions that can be completed. Taking part in illegal street racing and delivering stolen cars to order are just two of the available activities you can take part in outside of the main storyline.
In Grand Theft Auto III, you can steal various service vehicles, and perform missions associated with them, these vehicles include; police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and taxis. Completing a certain level on these vehicles has various benefits for the player.
Grand Theft Auto III was enormously controversial, not least because of its violent and destructive nature. The game has been used as a scapegoat by a number of politicians; who aimed to ban the game entirely, or at least put restrictions on its sale. Violent videogames such as this formed an easy target for society's problems, and the high prevalence of underage players only exacerbated this notion. This game also sparked the publicized relationship between the Grand Theft Auto franchise and Jack Thompson, whom repeatedly tried to have the game banned, and frequently represented people who were filing charges against the game.
In an interview with gaming author Harold Goldberg, Sam Houser relates several changes made to the game in sensitivity to the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City. Specifically, a character using terrorist plots to bring down the Liberty City economy was completely removed, as were the Liberty City versions of the "Twin Towers." Also, the police cars were changed from blue to black.
DJ: Morgan Merryweather
Genre: Classical, Opera
Genre: 1980's Pop music
DJ: Stretch Armstrong, Lord Sear
Genre: Underground hip hop, Midwest hip hop, East Coast hip hop
DJ: Michael Hunt
Genre: Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary
DJ: Horace "The Pacifist" Walsh
Genre: Pop music
DJ: MC Codebreaker, Timecode
Genre: Drum and Bass
DJ: Andre "The Accelerator"
Genre: Anthem Trance aka Uplifting Trance
DJ: Lazlow Jones
Genre: Talk radio
Unlike the other stations, Chatterbox does not play music. Instead, Lazlow takes calls from listeners who voice their opinions on various matters. The show also features two interviews with guests.
In October 2011, Rockstar announced for celebration of the first 10 years since release, that they would be releasing a 10th Anniversary edition of the game for compatible iOS and Android devices. As well as Claude action figure, complete with changeable clothing.
The 10th anniversary edition is the original release of GTA III onto compatible Apple iOS and Android devices. It will be released on December 15, 2011 on both devices.
Compatible devices include:
The limited edition Claude action figure was released in November 2011 and only 1,500 were made. The figure includes two outfits and several weapons.