Grand Theft Auto Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Good
    If you want to talk about highly controversial video games, Grand Theft
Auto would have to be at the top of the list.  The basic concept of the 
game is to run (or drive) around virtual cities, stopping at the pay-phones
to receive orders from your superiors in the mob, and doing whatever your 
mob bosses tell you to do without getting caught by the police.  Your only 
means of getting around (besides walking) is to carjack a vehicle, and you 
can also pick up weapons if necessary.  While you can go around shooting or
running over innocent people if you want to, this will attract the 
attention of the police, who will hunt you down and eventually catch you 
(unless you find an auto shop quickly to get your license plates changed). 
The way to really beat the game is to break whatever laws your mob bosses 
tell you to, without going crazy and killing everyone so you don't get 
caught by the police.  When you do get caught by the police, you simply 
start somewhere else in the city without any of your weapons.  No jail time,
no capital punishment, no nothing.  This feeling of immortality is one of 
the biggest reasons that young children definitely shouldn't play this game
(that and the fact that if you run into somebody on the street or otherwise
piss them off, they scream some not-so-pleasant things at you, including 
the f-word).  So while young children should definitely stay away from 
Grand Theft Auto, those mature enough to handle it will find it to be a 
mindlessly addicting title, one that could have been great if it were not 
for some crucial flaws.  First of all, the graphics suck.  Any personality 
that some of the characters may have had is lost because everyone in the 
game is just a tiny blotch on the screen with no distinguishable features. 
Second, the overhead camera perspective is very problematic.  It does zoom 
out sometimes to give you a wider view of the screen when needed, but most 
of the time you will have a hard time seeing where you're going.  Now 
here's the two biggest flaws: the controls and the lack of a map.  The 
controls are a pain in the butt to say the least, and it's virtually 
impossible to drive around the cities without crashing into other cars, 
skidding all over the road, and accidentally running over innocent 
bystanders (and thus unnecessarily attracting the attention of the police).
Also, the lack of any sort of map feature will leave you wondering just 
where the heck you're going for most of the game.  The little yellow arrow 
that appears on the screen to point you in the general direction of your 
next objective is better than nothing, but it's no substitute for the 
fully-featured map this game and its large cities desperately need.  The 
result is that for the majority of the time you're playing the game, you 
are simply following the stupid yellow arrow hoping to get lucky and reach 
the location of your next objective.  Because the underlying theme of the 
game has never been done before, Grand Theft Auto is quite addicting at 
first and is definitely worth renting.  But before long, you'll find that 
skidding around ugly-looking environments from an annoying overhead 
perspective with no idea where you're going really isn't that fun at all.

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