GTA III was my first experience of a sandbox-style game and thus the game that got me excited about sandbox-style games! From the opening cutscene of escaping the prison van on a gloomy night and making your way to your first safe house, I was immediately enthralled. The missions were very cool, but I have to admit the most fun I had with this game was simply exploring the city. I loved the freedom. And also more so than play the actual storyline missions the game was at it’s most fun for me just throwing a mafia guy out of his black BMW-style car (I loved those cars!) and then tearing off down the street as he chased after me, pinging bullets off my newly acquired ride. Then I would just go tearing like a bat out hell around the city seeing how much chaos I could cause. Or going down to that gas station I think it was in the lower east side of the map, stealing the semi-trailer prime mover from the parking lot and seeing how long I could go around slamming into cars and causing as much destruction as possible before my suicidal rampage was brought to an abrupt end in one way or another.
I loved the fact that while on a mission, the open-ended and unpredictable nature of the game could make things go very wrong very fast. I remember one mission (can’t recall the exact details it was too long ago) but basically all I had to do was take a car and get it resprayed, and then take it somewhere else. Pretty straightforward? Yes, except my enthusiasm got the better of me and in one handbrake slide around a corner I mowed down a couple of pedestrians and slammed into the side of a police car. My pulse racing I of course decided to see if I could get away, so I put pedal to the metal and tore off down the street, but got t-boned at the next intersection and flipped the car. So, now on foot I drew down with the cops and blew a couple of them away before legging it down an alley watching those damn wanted stars increase. Needless to say, I failed the mission and went down in a hail of lead. But damn it was fun.
Wow…writing this has made me want to dust off the old PlayStation 2 and give this game another whirl!
Don't worry darling, its just a hat, belonging to a small man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken!