Return to Liberty City in the game that started it all, remastered, retextured and with reconfigured controls for a modern gameplay experience.
Grand Theft Auto III is probably the best game I've ever played. I was nowhere near old enough to play it when it first launched, but I was blown away by the freedom on offer. You could steal any car, drive anywhere, run people over and have shootouts with the cops or rival gang members. Mix in an exciting story full of twists and turns and plenty of unique missions and you had probably the best game ever made at the time. I must have completed it dozens of times and spent hundreds of hours exploring the city, looking for glitches and mysteries. I've played pretty much every version that has been re-released since and I didn't think I'd ever play it again, but with new controls and upgraded graphics, it's not something I could miss.
The story follows an anonymous criminal, later named as Claude, who is left for dead and thrown in jail after his partner turned on him during a bank robbery and how he must climb the criminal ladder to get revenge. You'll meet all manner of undesirables from Mafia bosses and Triads to the Colombian Cartel and even the army as you carry out missions to earn your stripes with the various crime families than inhabit the three islands of Portland, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale.
Gameplay-wise, this is a Third Person action game. As the name suggests, you'll steal cars and run around on foot brandishing weapons at anyone who stands in your way. There are stunt jumps to complete, hidden packages to find, cars to deliver to import/export garages and rampages to blast your way through amongst many other objectives. You'll never be short of something to do in GTA III's Liberty City.
If you didn't play the original game and you started with one of the later GTA's, this might feel a little more basic than what you're used to which is a shame as this really set the standard for pretty much every open world game that would follow. I feel like a grandad saying "things were better in my day", but if you didn't experience this game at the time of its original launch, you'll probably never have the same connection to it as those of us who did. The scale of freedom on offer, the hilarious radio shows and spoof advertising billboards around the city, the pedestrian's catchphrases and the satisfying splat as your wheels mash an enemy into the pavement among some of the things that will live on forever in our memories. Hopefully the new generation of gamers can pick this up and learn to love it the way we did back in the PS2 days.
Platinum-wise, you're going to have to achieve 100% completion in the game which means completing everything it has to offer, from the main story, to side missions, collectables and even the service vehicle sub-missions like Taxi, Ambulance, Firefighter and Vigilante. It'll probably take somewhere from 20-40 hours, but if I were you, I'd take my time and enjoy every second being back in the original 3D Liberty City.
- Release Date: 11th November, 2021
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- Developer: Rockstar Games, adapted by Grove Street Games
- Date Started: 11th November, 2021
- Date Completed: 14th November, 2021
- Version Played: Digital
- Price: £54.99 (GTA Trilogy PS4 & PS5 Bundle)
- If you buy the digital version, you'll get 6 games for your £55 - GTA III (PS4 & PS5), GTA: VC (PS4 & PS5) and GTA: SA (PS4 & PS5) which means there are 6 Platinums up for grabs if you've got the time to earn them.
- It's Grand Theft Auto III! Literally one of the best games ever made.
- The new controls make it much easier to control and while the graphics stay true to the original, they look much better with upgraded textures, reflections and improved lighting.
- New colourful map with GPS routes to your destination on the radar. Previously there was no GPS and you had to follow your own waypoint and make your own way there.
- GTA V style Weapon Wheel with manual aiming. Previously you would just lock onto the nearest target.
- The camera is rotatable making the game easier to control. Previously you could only look forward, back, left or right in a vehicle.
- Failing a mission allows you to restart immediately from the start as the game auto-saves when you start and complete a mission. Previously you'd have to drive all of the way back to the mission start point and do the whole thing again!
- I can't really say anything bad about GTA III the game. I love it and it'll forever be one of the very best games I've ever played, however there are a few things to discuss about the remaster by Grove Street Games.
- Some people may argue the price is a bit steep for a 20 year old game, but you do get Vice City and San Andreas included too, so for the hundreds of hours of gameplay you're getting, it's a bargain.
- The menu in GTA 3 uses the GTA San Andreas sound effects which takes away from the original GTA III immersion.
- The game is very prone to crashing. It got to a point where after losing a few hours of progress during taxi and paramedic missions, I felt the need to save the game every 15-20 minutes where possible and completely close the app then reopen it. If you're doing anything which will require a large amount of unsaved gameplay (for example the Paramedic missions can take 45 minutes or so), definitely make sure you open the game fresh before you start to minimise crashing.
- There were a few bugs with some missions where garage doors wouldn't open preventing me from completing them, and some issues with the map where you could fall through the ground.
- Is That All You've Got? - Achieve 100% completion.
You'll literally have to complete everything in the game for this, so it's by far and away the most time consuming and difficult trophy. Technically, difficulty-wise it's not actually too tough, but you'll probably need a guide or a video tutorial to walk you through all of the hidden packages, unique jumps, rampages (which spawn in a 2nd location each time you fail them), cars to import/export, service vehicle missions and everything else there is to finish.
Helpful Tips / Bugs / Glitches / Exploits
There are a lot of tips I can offer which will make your gameplay experience easier and potentially more fun. Most of this is common knowledge, but every time I play GTA 3, I always do the following as soon as possible;
- Once you've completed the first couple of missions and have access to your hideout to save the game, you should start working through everything you can do on Portland.
- First up, complete the Paramedic missions (Level 12). Grab an Ambulance and start the mission. They are probably the most frustrating part of the whole game as you'll need to complete 12 levels (78 patients in total) in a single run, without running out of time, flipping/destroying the ambulance or running over any of the patients. It's worth the stress though as you'll unlock Infinite Sprint which comes in extremely useful throughout the rest of the game. You'll also unlock a health pickup at your hideout.
- Grab the 31 Hidden Packages which are available in Portland at the start of the game to unlock a Pistol, Uzi and Grenades at your hideout. You can then run in and out of your garage to make them respawn which will give you plenty of ammunition for the missions ahead.
- Once you've got enough Uzi ammo, grab a police car and complete 20 Vigilante criminal kills (in total) to unlock 2 Police Bribes at your hideout which means you've always got somewhere to go to lose a big chunk of any wanted level you might have on future missions.
- That should set you up nicely for the majority of the missions in Portland and give you a good start to the game.
Platinum Difficulty Rating - 4/10
I'd definitely advise saving your game often as you'll lose all of your weapons and ammo if you die or get arrested. The Paramedic missions are up there with the most challenging but you'll also ride your luck a lot in some of the Rampages too. The story missions are fairly straight forward in comparison, particularly when you know what you're doing but it's the side objectives that will take the most time and effort.
Platinum Time - 30+ Hours
You could probably earn the Platinum in 20 hours if everything went exactly to plan and there were no game crashes, deaths or mission failures, but realistically it's going to take the best part of 3 days worth of gameplay to pop the Platinum.
Platinum Enjoyment Rating - 10/10
I'm definitely biased because I grew up playing this game and love absolutely everything about it. There are some quite frustrating and grindy parts, dropping off 100 passengers in a taxi for one, but you'll have to experience everything there is to do throughout Liberty City and it's a journey I'll never get bored of.
Overall Game Rating - 10/10
Take away the crashing issues and some bugs and glitches with the map/terrain and it's an improved version of what is one of the greatest games ever created. The graphics and lighting are beautiful but the original gameplay is still there so nothing is lost from a nostalgia point of view. If you've played later GTA games before this, it'll undoubtebly feel like a backward step given you can't bail from your vehicle, there's no bikes or helicopters, there are fewer weapons and vehicles, but if you take the game for what it was at the time of its launch, it's still up there with the best games ever made and I loved every second of my time in the remastered original Liberty City.
Here are my most recent Platinum Trophies up to and including this game.
||Grand Theft Auto III - The Definitive Edition
|14th November 2021
||Bowling: Breakthrough Gaming Arcade
|9th November 2021
|27th October 2021
||Lady in a Leotard With a Gun
|27th October 2021
||Zippy the Circle: Levels 11, 12, & 13
|26th October 2021
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