In 2001, Grand Theft Auto 3 was revolutionary. It was an entire city at a time when 3D games were still confined to rooms and hallways—it was released only three years after the first Half-Life—and, unlike other games, it was not sci-fi, fantasy, or children's stuff. It was inconsiderate. There was profanity. You could run people over indiscriminately, but unlike Postal, which was entirely about upsetting the media with mindless violence, it took place in a world people lived in, one that seemed to exist without you.
Is Grand Theft Auto 3 still relevant today? Probably not as well as Vice City or San Andreas, and how well they stand up is another question, but we're curious to see how they feel in the remastered GTA Trilogy collection, which will be released later this year. Here are some of the highlights we can't wait to relive:
GTA 3: Flying the Dodo
It isn't my recall, but flying GTA 3's first plane sure seemed difficult. Appropriately called the Dodo, a short-winged prop plane that was never designed to fly for even more than a few minutes. I wasn't permitted to play GTA 3 when it first came out (as a five-year-old), but I watched my older brother play frequently, and one day he became obsessed with mastering the Dodo.
For hours I watched him try to leap the Dodo over a river, pushing buttons to nudge the nose into the air and collapsing into the water every time. That was basically what I believed Grand Theft Auto was for the next few years—a problematic flying sim in which all the planes crap. However, the internet eventually figured out how to fly the Dodo eternally and even fly it far enough in the sky that you can view all of Liberty City's non-topped buildings of Morgan Park.
We spent hours flying above Liberty City as Dodo experts. Any strong move sent you plunging back to the earth, but it was fun. But with some effort, you might sustain a stable enough flight to leave the city altogether—flying across to an off-map city block known as 'Ghost Town,' where the game's introduction cutscene was held.
Getting cars to fly
Cheat codes were still ubiquitous when GTA 3 arrived, and it set an excellent baseline standard for how much foolishness players should be able to get up to in open-world games. The GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas cheat that followed maintained the tradition—Rockstar is one of the few developers who never abandoned it. I believe I've spent more time fiddling about with cheats in GTA games than I have completing missions. Speed up the game clock and turn on flying cars for the authentic GTA hard mode.
Also worthy of mention are the numerous pedestrian AI cheats, which allow you to arm every civilian, set them to riot mode, and turn the entire island into a chaotic survival playground. It's a shame that Rockstar's GTA 5 cheats are so tame in comparison to this delightful manner of messing around in GTA's sandbox.
Entering a Rhino tank
While the GTA series is renowned for its humorous writing, referential mission scenarios, and enormous world construction, there are times when you just want to wreak havoc in a sandbox city brimming with stuff to shoot. That's the fun of the Rhino tank. It's a close beast of rage and fury, capable of rolling over cars and easily fending off whole SWAT squads. Additionally, you can fire it back to earn a burst of speed, which is pretty insane. There's a couple of demonstration missions with the Rhino in the center, but the true pleasure is merely stealing one from a military facility and wreaking mayhem in your own time.
As GTA introduced the adventure game, minigames that broadened the scope of what you might do were so fresh, and it didn't matter if the missions were genuinely fun or not. Today I'd probably deliver one pizza in Vice City and promptly ditch it as a dull and monotonous diversion. Or hey, maybe I'd still think it was humorous making Tommy, with all his swagger and Ray Liotta wrath, climb onto a scooter to deliver pizzas at 20 miles per hour.
I recall delivering dozens of pizzas in succession without running out of time to complete the quest chain. On the final delivery, with seconds remaining, my friend went through the opponent's goal, smacked into the pizza joint's wall, and clipped inside, failing the mission as the countdown ticked down. I laughed till I wept, and then we went and did a lot of motorbike jumps because there were no bikes in GTA 3. It didn't take much to keep us engaged for an entire summer in 2003.
In GTA 3, you may roll your ambulance.
I believe I can outdo Wes when it comes to tiresome Grand Theft Auto minigames. As a GTA 3 completionist, my final duty before reaching 100% was to accomplish all 12 levels of the Paramedic mission—which entails picking up and dropping off patients in an ambulance. Each successive group brought an additional patient to gather, and so, by level 12, there were 12 randomly distributed across the landscape. You could only pick up three at a time and had to do it to a time restriction. Oh, and the ambulance was undoubtedly the worst vehicle in the game. It's like it wanted to be sideways, and so would take any corner just too tightly, and it was guaranteed to roll and then—because this was GTA 3—explode. I'm not planning to 100 percent the game in the remaster—been there, done that—but I am intrigued to find out if Rockstar will stay loyal to the ludicrous difficulties of these objectives. Good luck, achievement hunters.
In Vice City, becoming a business magnate.
Vice City offered a whole number of enhancements to the pattern set by GTA III, but—licensed soundtrack aside—the largest to my mind was the ability to buy and own businesses, allowing new side quests and new ways to generate money. Arguably, this was just an extension of the vehicle-based job tasks stated above, but the context made it: Tommy Vercetti clawing his way back to the top by building his criminal empire. Suddenly, portions of the city became yours—allowing you to smuggle, steal, or counterfeit for your gain. Later GTA games would improve on the idea—GTA Online is nearly entirely structured around it—but Vice City was where it had the enormous effect.
San Andreas's dogfighting
After taunting players with the Dodo in GTA 3, later games would include planes that were far more pleasurable to fly. So much so that, once I'd finished with San Andreas, I made sure to leave my safe location at Verdant Meadows—the airport that CJ buys during the game. Climbing in the Hydra VTOL jet, it was a short ride to Area 69—the military base that earned you an instant five-star wanted to level the moment you approached. That assured a steady supply of planes to battle against—something I must have spent many hours doing just for the sheer thrill of it.
In San Andreas, reenacting the Terminator 2 chase.
A lot of the most pleasing aspects of the GTA games are taken from movies. The mission in San Andreas where Big Smoke and CJ slaughter a hundred Russian bandits and escape on a motorbike is an excellent example. You're pursued into flood control channels for a chase like To Live and Die in LA or Repo Man or a dozen other flicks. "The LA River, for all your car-chase needs!" Then a vehicle breaks through a railing and joins in, mimicking a scene from Terminator 2 while you sit on the back of the bike, raising your machine pistol skill.
When the vehicle gets ahead, it breaks down, and the Russians use it as a barricade. Luckily, like every truck in San Andreas, it's constructed for bikers to utilize as a ramp, which Big Smoke does. After you jump off it, the truck explodes, for absolutely no reason except that it's cool as heck when trucks explode.
In San Andreas, a jetpack is used to attack a train.
When they aren't only cribbing from film classics, GTA's other noteworthy missions provide you a great toy to play with. Vice City gave you a remote-controlled helicopter that you used to drop bombs throughout a building site—eventually bringing the whole thing down. Meanwhile, San Andreas handed you a jetpack and ordered you to raid a train full of soldiers to take a jar of "green goo." What is the goo? That is beside the point. The point is, you have a jetpack—good luck avoiding getting killed by it.
Enjoying the music, dude
Inseparable from GTA's attractiveness in 3D is the licensed soundtracks and how they're constructed. Rockstar never just signs a bunch of amazing songs and throws them together; instead, it curates individual stations based on musical genres, gives the show a host, and runs its advertisements. I could go on about Vice City and the entire 80s Miami vibe for days. Still, the most memorable moments for me were in GTA: San Andreas, a game with an enormously colossal landscape that becomes relatively barren at the fringes. I've always enjoyed hip hop and used to play San Andreas mainly for the radio. I'd set up the game, get in a car, and just drive out to the sticks with Radio-X screaming out and keep going. Whole evenings would pass in delight. Slowly going around these magnificent landscapes to such brilliantly and thoughtfully constructed soundtracks is honestly the primary thing I do and the main reason I love these games.
Online Beginner's Guide For GTA Gameplay
Do not skip the Tutorial
The game allows you the opportunity to skip the Tutorial level entirely and jump right into GTA Online. But you shouldn't, as it will enable you to get accustomed to the game straight from the start without dealing with other players. The tutorial level might not help you get acquainted with every one of the businesses you can run or hobbies, but it is an excellent starting place to understand the essentials.
Use Passive Mode at the start
Completing Freemode Challenges and objectives is a fantastic way to gain more RP and GTA$, but the Freemode in GTA Online is plagued with griefers. Griefers are simply gamers whose primary aim in the game is to disrupt other players' enjoyment. They will look to blow you up any chance they can and grab all the money you have on you.
Enabling Passive Mode to explore Freemode. Getting familiar with the game is a crucial must, as griefers will make you quit the game faster than any other mission in GTA Online.
Deposit your money in the bank
Griefers will try to mug you at every opportunity they get, as previously stated. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to store your money in the bank.
To do so, take these steps:
1. Pull up your Phone
2. Select Internet
3. Select Finance and Services
4. Select Maze Bank
5. Select Deposit Money sDeposit the total amount
You will continue to conduct all transactions using funds from your bank, and there is no reason for you to carry cash.
As early as possible, acquire a high-end apartment.
A High-End Apartment not only comes with a Garage for storing your automobiles, but it also grants you access to the best-paid Missions in the game: Heists.
Heists are a vital part of the GTA Online game, and you should be eager to get a few of them done right in the start. While you can participate in Heists by joining matches with other players, launching the Heist as the Leader always pays more.
Completing Contact Missions
Contact Missions are among the simplest ways in GTA Online to earn a few quick and easy dollars. From the outset, contacts such as Lamar will be available, and you will efficiently execute his missions.
GTA Online includes a variety of match types, which can be challenging to win right in the start, although Missions are pretty straightforward to complete.